Stillwater News Press

June 24, 2014

Q5: Red Dirt legend to perform Thursday in Perkins

By Elizabeth Keys
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Monica Taylor Johnson is hosting the Cimarron Breeze Concert Series featuring Tom Skinner & The Science Project Thursday.

 1.    Who are the guest artists at the Cimarron Breeze Concert Series?

Tom Skinner & The Science Project are the featured artists. The Science Project includes Don Morris, Gene Williams, Jack Abraham and Rick Gomez. Bill Erickson from Tahlequah will also be there. Some other guests may drop by to sing with the group, too.

 2. Where are the concerts?

The Cimarron Breeze Concert Series are held in the historic Oklahoma Territorial Plaza Old Church Center, 780 N. Main Street in Perkins. Built in 1892 as the Methodist Episcopal Church, the building was originally located at 202 East Thomas St. in Perkins.

 3.  What time do the concerts start?

Everyone is invited to an old fashioned potluck dinner at 6:15 p.m. Bring a favorite dish to share. There will be a silent auction for items such as a fiddle donated by Byron Berline, a harmonica donated by John Fullbright and an album from Chuck Dunlap. Proceeds benefit a new mixing board and monitors. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Reserve tickets in advance for $20 by calling 405-547-2411 or stop by 222 N. Main in Perkins. Tickets will also be available at the door. Refreshments are available for purchase, too.

4. What can you tell us about Tom Skinner?

Tom Skinner is considered a founder of the Red Dirt music scene. He and his brothers had a band in Stillwater in the 1970s when they were attending Oklahoma State University. Skinner partnered with Garth Brooks in a musical group called Santa Fe in Stillwater in the 1980s. He accompanied Brooks to Nashville as a bass player in the band backing up the young singer but returned to Oklahoma. For Skinner’s latest release, Brooks wrote . . . “This is a very, VERY special gift from Tom to all of his fans . . . of which I am one.”

 Skinner’s songs have been cut by legendary Red Dirt acts such as the Great Divide and Stoney LaRue. Cody Canada and the Departed, featuring the former Cross Canadian Ragweed frontman, included three of Skinner’s songs on their debut album “This Is Indian Land.”

 5 What can the audience expect?

 A legendary figure, the singer-songwriter comes alive on stage. Skinner will sing his own original music along with tunes ranging from Gram Parsons to Hoyt Axton. Together with The Science Project, Skinner always plays music that he loves. Steve Ripley, head of the platinum selling-band, the Tractors, said, “Like none other, when Tom Skinner sings . . . I listen.”