Interview done by Chris Ohle.
In The Now Magazine: Tell us about the history of the band. More specifically, when was the band formed, how did you meet, and have there been any particular highlights or low points in your career, any crucial events that have taken you where you are today?
Ricky Fugitt: This band was formed out of necessity really. I just met up with Jeff Parker of Cimsound Records (producer for clients such as Cross Canadian Ragweed and Jason Boland) which I met through a mutual friend out of Friendswood, Tx , to begin production on my next album. It was that day late in 2011 we got the call to do a show with Merle Haggard at the Downstream Casino over by Joplin, Mo. So a few phone calls later we had some pro touring musicians from the Tulsa area together for the show. Our band never met until about 2 hours before showtime, and when we pulled off a 3 hour gig like we had been playing for years, I knew we had something special.
In The Now Magazine: How long after you formed was it until you played your first live show?
Ricky Fugitt: 4 days….The Merle Haggard show was our first gig as the new band.
In The Now Magazine: What are your memories of the performance?
Ricky Fugitt: It was so effortless…I had been working with other musicians for years….NEVER has something fell together so easily.
In The Now Magazine: Tell us about the band's name?
Ricky Fugitt: Our band doesn’t market our music as anything other than RICKY FUGITT….but the band has kinda named themselves for recognition purposes and introductions. All being from the Red Dirt Scene of Tulsa and Stillwater, OK they coined themselves as The Tulsa Road Hammers.
In The Now Magazine: What is your latest album and why should people buy it?
Ricky Fugitt: My brand new album is title CURSED TOWN. We have recently released the first single “ONE MORE DAY” written by Bill Erikson and Jeff Parker to Texas Radio as well as Oklahoma and Kansas. It has also been picked up by a few national stations based out of Nashville, Tn. This album is songs of real experiences, good and bad. It’s seems to have found a notch in the Red Dirt and Texas Scene as well as mainstream radio.
In The Now Magazine: How would you categorize the style of the band? And did you ever consider or try playing other styles of music than the one you are playing now?
Ricky Fugitt: I don’t think we can put a finger on one specific description. We got the attitude of rodeo cowboys mixed with the love of traditional country as well as Texas Music and Red Dirt. We have members that have played just about everything and when we hit the stage it is all about making people want to watch and listen.
In The Now Magazine: Can you share with us one or two of your favorite moments with the band?
Ricky Fugitt: Being as spread out as we are and the timeframe we have been together we aren’t together all the time..even our shows we travel separately depending on locations of shows. I would have to say my favorite moment was knowing that I click with each one of these guys and we are all here to do the same thing and do whatever it takes to keep rolling down the road. Very thankful for the hard work my boys put into this whole project.
In The Now Magazine: Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?
Ricky Fugitt: For this album no….not saying there won’t be any brainstorming in the future but with the exception of our first single ONE MORE DAY all songs on this album are my own.
In The Now Magazine: How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?
Ricky Fugitt: In this style of music, lyrics are HUGE!! Especially when you are in a market that is flooded with great talent. It puts a lot of pressure on the songwriter to make your songs stand out from something that has already been done. For myself, I don’t write songs to please anyone but myself. Like I said earlier, I write from life stories and experiences. I don’t try to be like anyone else nor do I want to be categorized as a certain type of artist. It’s like this, write and sing what is you. That simple. If you don’t like what you are doing nobody else will either. Make it yours and be yourself. Then the key is finding the right market and audience that loves it as well. For me it’s been Red Dirt & Rodeo.
In The Now Magazine: What are your current tour plans, if any?
Ricky Fugitt: We stay busy all the time….mostly just to keep the bills paid. Some shows aren’t always glamerous, but I have had the privilege of doing some pretty cool shows with acts such as JASON BOLAND, KEVIN FOWLER, CODY CANADA & THE DEPARTED, JACKSON TAYLOR, MIKE McCLURE, MARK McKINNEY, KURT SOUTH, PHIL HAMILTON, MERLE HAGGARD, JAMES WESLEY, DARYL SINGLETARY and VALLEJO. We will be hitting the Texas market more this year promoting the new album.
In The Now Magazine: Describe your live performance?
Ricky Fugitt: We party, we have fun, we stand on stuff! Whatever it takes to put on a great show. You have to be an entertainer to make this work. I don’t mean running all over the stage and hang from the ceiling, but just being able to adapt to what your audience is that night. Your show might not always be the same, but if the fans are happy I am happy.
In The Now Magazine: Tell us about your view on your local music scene?
Ricky Fugitt: I have a home in Kansas, and up here there really isn’t a lot. I will say that the past few years the artists from the Texas and Oklahoma scene have been knocking down some doors up in the mid states and I can’t be more proud! We also have great venues coming on board as well as radio stations that support these kind of shows throughout the mid west. We couldn’t do it without them or the fans wanting to hear what it is we do.
In The Now Magazine: Why do you think people are into your music?
Ricky Fugitt: It’s believable. It’s not made up in a 6x6 room with 4 other writers spitting out words that rhyme just to meet a quota. That simple.
In The Now Magazine: If we were to look at your Ipod, what would we find in your music collection?
Ricky Fugitt: Man I got everything!! I am just a fan of music no matter what it is as long I can feel it. From Garth Brooks, Chris Ledoux and George Strait to the newer boys like LOGAN MIZE, JASON BOLAND, PHIL HAMILTON, RAGWEED, etc…list is way too long!
In The Now Magazine: Would there be any one band or musician that would surprise us that you are listening to them?
Ricky Fugitt: Haha…well I guess if Buckcherry or Nickelback new I listened to there music, they might raise an eyebrow! You got to realize though…I am from a rodeo family! When we hear that kind of music we wanna turn some livestock out and BUCK!
In The Now Magazine: Where can our readers find your band on the internet?
Ricky Fugitt: www.artistecard.com/rickyfugitt is my website. Also can follow RICKY FUGITT on Twitter and Facebook.
In The Now Magazine: How has Social Networking affected you and your band?
Ricky Fugitt: Oh man it has been Awesome! It is so much easier booking, finding venues and promoting yourself. Sure beats the days of mailing out promo packs knowing they were just going to end up in the trash.
In The Now Magazine: Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments or words of advice for the readers of In The Now Magazine?
Ricky Fugitt: I am sure you hear this with any artists….but I will continue to say THANK YOU. To the fans, the radio the internet radio, the bloggers, the venues and the magazines that care about our kind of music…THANK YOU. We are all a team and could absolutely not do this without you!