The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division is launching a new promotion to bring attention to the state’s country music scene, but they may be stepping on some toes. “Our dirt is redder,” laughed department chair Henry Dix. “And better.”
That’s even the tagline for the advertising campaign, which will appear in major print publications and a nationwide television advertisement. The marketing format seems to claim that Georgia’s “red dirt” music scene is greater than that of the beloved (and much longer lived as an actual scene) Oklahoma network of songwriters and musicians.
|Hank Dix, Tourism Director|
Farce the Music spoke with Dix about the Georgia Red Dirt promotion.
FTM: You’re aware that Oklahoma has had a Red Dirt scene for decades, and that Georgia has never had a music scene by that name?
Dix: Indeed! Otherwise, our motto wouldn’t make sense. Better than what?? Better than Oklahoma, that’s what! And we do really have red dirt.
FTM: Great. So, you’ve either just copied the nomenclature from an existing format of music, or pulled it out of your a** and expect it to take? You can’t give yourself a nickname.
Dix: Think of it as “giving that name a better home.” Good artists copy, great artists steal… as they say. If you look at it by pure sales, our scene dwarfs theirs in every category. Thus, we plan to trademark the term, and possibly allow them to continue its use in lower case.
FTM: That’s some shady dealing there, but all’s fair in business it seems. You say your artists sell better. Who, exactly, are you considering to be “Red Dirt” in the Georgia music scene?
Dix: Have you ever heard of Luke Bryan? I thought so. That man alone has sold more albums and concert tickets than nearly every ragweed from Oklahoma combined. Oh, and we claim half of Florida-Georgia Line too. Just half their sales puts us over the entirety of their artists when added to Bryan’s sales. Then there’s Brantley Gilbert, a more humble and soulful songwriter than ever existed in Still Waters.
FTM: It’s “Stillwater.” And hold up. You’re claiming national artists who have already made it in the mainstream as “Red Dirt” artists?
Dix: And why not? They’re from here, many still live here, and they play here once or twice a year on tour. They bring more to our economy than Stoney LaDue ever brought to that dust bowl.
FTM: Gross. And it’s “LaRue.” You don’t even know what a music scene is, do you?
Dix: Music evolves, terminology evolves. They’re just jealous. Justin Boland couldn’t shine Colt Ford’s boots.
FTM: It’s “Jason” Boland. And their scene isn’t about platinum sales and laser shows and dancing at concerts. It’s about integrity and the love of music. You’re making a mockery of the name Red Dirt.
Dix: I’ll tell you about mockery. Nobody ever heard of 90% of their so-called artists. If music isn’t popular, it isn’t good. It’s about the bottom line, not well-written lines. Who the hell are the Red Dirt Rangers, LMAO (he said this aloud)? Are they some redneck Power Rangers? And the Turnrow Troubadours? LOL (again, said out loud), they got Yoko’d before they could even sell out Bridgestone.
FTM: That’s offensive, and I’ve heard enough, and it’s “Turnpike.” You are an idiot.
Dix: And a good day to you too, sir! Before I go, everybody make sure to check out our up and coming Red Dirt® artists Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett!!
FTM: F**k off.
At press time, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt scene had just claimed Garth Brooks, and taken the lead in the sales category.