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Stoney LaRue: The Man, The Message, The Red Dirt Icon

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Originally published in Heart of Texas Magazine

One of the biggest acts in the Texas Red Dirt music scene, Stoney LaRue has been a crowd favorite in and out of the Lone Star State for some time now. The singer-songwriter is well-known for his list of number one hits, including “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground,” “Oklahoma Breakdown,” and “Down in Flames.” LaRue has been selling-out venues over the course of his career, which now spans two decades of bringing his unique brand of country music to the stage. Taking time out of his business schedule to give an interview to Texas Hill Country magazine, he was happy to discuss what makes him tick.

Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, LaRue has built a tremendous fan base from the sound of his roots – a blend of Texas country, southern rock, and his own vibration and lyrics – fusing down-home blues with a tasty Texas sound that’s allowed him to do what he loves for a living. However, it wasn’t always this easy. When he first broke onto the scene 20 years ago, he was a young voice looking to impress in a music scene that wasn’t entirely expansive – the Red Dirt genre was something one needed to earn their chops in, to say the least, and it still is today. Yet, with each show, and his ability to be the conduit for the message (or carry the flag, so-to-speak), he has reached the gates of success in the industry at a level of which many can only dream.

Stoney LaRue: The Man, The Message, The Red Dirt Icon

Photo: Wikimedia

Now, LaRue leads the charge on the Texas music scene, which includes a variety of Red Dirt artists that LaRue can take pride in inspiring and a fan base that has expanded, inclusive of every walk of life from redneck to white collar. He plays over 200 dates per year, bringing his music to the masses at venues he once only dreamed of playing. The man whose mentors include the great Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Waylon Jennings, explains that his music stems from, “…a feeling or idea. [Their music] sounded different from everything else to me and I didn’t know why. And, I had emotions that I didn’t know how to harness otherwise. I wanted to write like that and sing like that and put it into a live application.”

Coming off the heels of “Us Time,” a collection of previously unreleased music and popular covers chosen by fans, LaRue’s entirely independent style has launched him into a road lifestyle that he’s proud to say he lives enthusiastically. “It’s on the bus, it’s fresh, green juice and egg whites every day, and it’s going to a show.” His devoted fans will understand his efforts to take good care of himself considering a pending new album release, yet untitled, which is scheduled for later this year – with a sound and new music that might surprise and impress.

Stoney LaRue: The Man, The Message, The Red Dirt Icon

Photo: Wikimedia

LaRue has headlined a number of benefits for such causes as tornado relief, cancer support and research, wildlife management, and youth initiatives, and he’s not slowing down any time soon. His new project incorporates the vocal stylings of such acts as Tanya Tucker, Ray Benson, and Alison Krauss & Union Station, to name a few, and if it seems like his event calendar is a bit aggressive, that’s because it is. The upcoming release of his new album, coupled with his desire to continue to bring his best to his fans, means a flurry of social media shares, live events, and recording dates that result in a carefully managed routine he loves. Staying connected with his fans, LaRue explained, “I handle my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat personally, while the official Facebook page is managed by my media team.” He notes that what he loves is not necessarily being the man out front but being the catalyst for a message that’s sent and shared through his music.

There are songs yet to be sung and fans yet to be satisfied. When asked about future career goals he would like to reach and venues he would like to play, he certainly didn’t aim low. LaRue didn’t hesitate to say that Madison Square Garden in New York and the Sydney Opera House in Australia were high on his list. If the level of anticipation for his upcoming studio-recorded album is any indication, he’ll be securing tour dates there in the very near future, producing more of the sound his fans love and bringing his rough-around-the-edges Texas style to a global audience.