Brandon Jenkins (musician)

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Brandon Jenkins
Born(1969-06-07)June 7, 1969
DiedMarch 2, 2018(2018-03-02) (aged 48)
Alma materOklahoma State University
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • philanthropist
Years active1994–2018
Spouse(s)Michele Jenkins
Musical career
GenresRed Dirt
Texas Country
LabelsRainy Records
Red Dirt Legend Recordings
Remorseless Records
Explosive Records
Thirty Tigers
Smith Entertainment
E1 Music
Associated actsCross Canadian Ragweed
Jason Boland & The Stragglers
Stoney LaRue
Casey Donahew Band
Josh Abbott Band

Brandon Dean Jenkins (June 7, 1969 – March 2, 2018) was an American singer-songwriter and philanthropist. He was part of the Red Dirt music genre.[1][2][3]

Jenkins performed in the Texas and Oklahoma regions, and he toured Europe on several occasions.[1][4] He often played 150 shows per year and shared the stage with Sunny Sweeney, Zane Williams, Cory Morrow, Deana Carter, Pat Green, Willie Nelson, The Mavericks, and Kevin Welch.[5][6]

One of Jenkins' notable songs, "Refinery Blues," was a biographical ballad about growing up near the Sand Springs Line, an area where oil refineries abound near the Arkansas River tributary of the Mississippi River.[7]

Jenkins was also a philanthropist as a supporter of the Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that supports musicians from the Red Dirt family of artists who face financial hardship.[8]

Early life[edit]

Jenkins was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to parents Wilma Jenkins (née Linthicum) and Dean Jenkins, a popular Tulsa radio disc jockey on stations KELi (where he was known as Dean Kelly) and KMOD-FM.[9][10]

In 1987, Jenkins graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, where he was in the jazz band, sang in the choir, and taught himself guitar.[11] In the 1980s, He attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.[12] During his time at OSU, Jenkins made life-long friends with many of his long-term musical collaborators in the Red Dirt Music community, including Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue, and Bleu Edmondson.[13]

Jenkins' uncle was the Grammy Award-winning bass player, sound engineer, and producer, Gordon Shryock, who was known for his work with J. J. Cale and Leon Russell, as well as Andrae Crouch, Elvis Presley, Natalie Cole, and Dwight Yoakam.[14][15]


In the early 1990s, Jenkins got his start recording for the Alabama-based record label, Rainy Records.[7]

In 2003, Jenkins moved from Oklahoma to Austin, Texas, where he lived until 2015.[12][16]

In 2005, Jenkins released Down in Flames and got a 3-year record deal for his Western Soul Records imprint to have his work distributed by Sony/RED. The record came out on the Thirty Tigers label.[17]

In 2008, Jenkins released Faster Than a Stone, which featured Travis Fite and Stoney LaRue.[18][19]

Jenkins' 2009 album Brothers of the Dirt was a collaboration with many Red Dirt and Texas country scene artists: Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed), Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland, and Randy Rogers.[20] The record was his first release on the independent label E1 Entertainment/Red Dirt Music Co.[5] The song, "Out of Babylon," sung by Jenkins and Canada, was a tribute to 9/11, while the song, "Innocent Man," is a LaRue and Rogers contribution inspired by the John Grisham novel about Ron Williamson, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.[9] The song, "Blood for Oil," was a protest song that focuses on George W. Bush's involvement with Iraq War.[12]

In 2011, Jenkins released a record he called Project Eleven, which was a digital only 11-track record released on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with a single released on September 11, 2011.[13]

In 2015, Jenkins released the record, Blue Bandana, which was recorded over a period of two days in David Percefull's Yellow Dog Studios with a full band capturing a live sound in one day and the engineering and mastering done over the next day.[14] The record was released in a digital only format, with a limited number of physical versions available.[2][14]

Also in 2015, Jenkins released Brandon Jenkins @ Radio Recorders, which he recorded for Pride Hutchison and Dale Lawton's Tulsa-based label, Explosive Records.[14] The record was made in 2006 in the Southern California record studio called Radio Recorders.[21] Since Jenkins' music was firmly in the Texas country genre, this record was held onto for release, some nine years later.[21]

Jenkins recorded The Flag, in 2016 which again with long-time collaborator, Dave Percefull.[1] This was recorded in Wimberley, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country, and features Dony Wynn, Bukka Allen (son of Terry Allen) on accordion, and Kim Deschamps on lap steel and dobro.[1] In 2016, Jenkins moved from Austin to Nashville, Tennessee where his career would be based from until his death in 2018.[1]


Jenkins' song "My Feet Don't Touch The Ground" was featured on Pete Anderson's 2003 A Country West of Nashville album. The song garnered him an Emerging Artists in Music Award.[22] The song was placed 8th on the list of "The 50 Best Red Dirt Texas Country Songs" of the Dallas Observer, and helped his career significantly.[23]

Fellow Red Dirt artists Bleu Edmondson ("Finger on the Trigger") and Stoney LaRue ("Feet Don't Touch The Ground") recorded and performed songs written by Jenkins.[7] The song, "Feet Don't Touch The Ground," was praised by KKCN as being one of the top 5 recorded songs by Stoney LaRue,[24][25] and features on his album Live at Billy Bob's Texas. His song "Down in Flames," co-written by Stoney LaRue, appeared on The Red Dirt Album.[7]

One of Jenkins' notable songs, "Refinery Blues," was a biographical ballad about growing up near the Sand Springs Line, an area where oil refineries about the Arkansas River tributary of the Mississippi River.[7] The song describes the devastating effect the refineries and their pollutants had on generations of families in the area.[7]

In addition to writing hits for several of his fellow "brothers of the dirt," Jenkins had songs at the top of the Texas Music Radio Charts.[26]


Jenkins cited the influence of the "Tulsa Sound" of J. J. Cale and Leon Russell on his songs and said that the songwriting gives him the most satisfaction.[14][27]

Jenkins also cited the life and music of Woody Guthrie as being an important part of his approach to music and focusing on people and their lives in the Oklahoma region.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Jenkins went by the nickname of Red Dirt Legend.[1][28] He was married to Michele Angelique Jenkins until his death in 2018.[29]

Jenkins was a supporter of the Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that supports musicians from the Red Dirt family of artists who face financial hardship.[8][30]

On February 21, 2018, Jenkins was hospitalized in Nashville and underwent surgery to replace his aorta and aortic valve.[31] After the procedure, he experienced surgical complications and remained hospitalized until his death on March 2, 2018 at the age of 48.[29][31]



Title Album details Reference
  • Release date: April 13, 1996
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
The Ghost of Jesse James
  • Release date: August 8, 1999
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
Live at the Blue Door
  • Release date: 2000
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
  • Release date: 2002
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
Down in Flames [32]
  • Release date: 2006
  • Label: Smith Entertainment
Faster Than A Stone
  • Release date: 2008
  • Label: Smith Entertainment
Tough Times Don't Last
  • Release date: July 2008
    (originally released in February 1994)
  • Label: Smith Entertainment
Brothers of the Dirt
  • Release date: 2009
  • Label: E1 Music
Under The Sun
  • Release date: 2011
  • Label: Smith Entertainment
I Stand Alone
  • Release date: May 2014
  • Label: Red River Entertainment
Blue Bandana
  • Release date: February 16, 2015
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
Brandon Jenkins @ Radio Recorders
  • Release date: June 22, 2015
  • Label: Explosive Records
Glass House Sessions
  • Release date: August 12, 2015
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
The Flag
  • Release date: April 5, 2016
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings
Tail Lights in a Boomtown
  • Release date: February 8, 2018
  • Label: Red Dirt Legend Recordings


  • 2003: Various Artists, A Country West of Nashville (Little Dog) – "My Feet Don't Touch the Ground"[33]
  • 2006: Various Artists, Red Dirt Sampler: Volume II. Songs in the Spirit of Woody Guthrie (CD Baby) – "Refinery Blues," also Producer[34]
  • 2006: Route 66: Songs of the Mother Road (CD Baby) – "Headin' Down That Mother Road"[35]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Little, Tonya (March 21, 2016). "Brandon Jenkins: Austin to Nashville". Red Dirt Nation. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Wenger Watson, Julie (October 26, 2015). "Brandon Jenkins Takes Red Dirt Digital with Blue Bandana". No Depression. Archived from the original on December 28, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  3. ^ McDonnell, Brandy (March 2, 2018). "Red dirt musician Brandon Jenkins dies following heart operation".
  4. ^ Wooley, John (September 6, 2001). "Jenkins conquers Europe; Goodbye to Andy O". Tulsa World.
  5. ^ a b Woods, Eric (August 27, 2010). "Red Dirt rebel Brandon Jenkins still churning out chart-toppers". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
  6. ^ MacNeil, Jason. "Brandon Jenkins: Biography & History". AllMusic.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Conner, Thomas (2007). "Chapter 6: Getting Along: Woody Guthrie and Red Dirt Musicians". In Joyce, Davis D. (ed.). Alternative Oklahoma: Contrarian Views of the Sooner State. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 89–90, 100, 104–105. ISBN 978-0-806-13819-0. OCLC 71222981.
  8. ^ a b ""Stand" Song Project benefits RDRF" (Press release). Red Dirt Relief Fund. April 1, 2014.
  9. ^ a b McDonnell, Brandy (October 23, 2009). "CD Review: Brandon Jenkins "Brothers of the Dirt"". The Oklahoman.
  10. ^ "Tulsa Radio: KTOW AM and FM". Tulsa Radio Memories.
  11. ^ a b Braudrick, Nicole L. (May 1, 1996). "Western Soul: Brandon Jenkins Reinvents His Style". Tulsa World.
  12. ^ a b c McDonnell, Brandy (September 23, 2009). "Brandon Jenkins at home with 'Brothers of the Dirt'". The Oklahoman.
  13. ^ a b Boydston, Joshua (February 21, 2012). "Branded". Oklahoma Gazette.
  14. ^ a b c d e f McDonnell, Brandy (December 18, 2015). "Oklahoma native Brandon Jenkins brings red dirt to home state for tonight's Blue Door show". The Oklahoman.
  15. ^ Wooley, John (February 26, 1989). "Gordon Shryock: Grammy Winner Is Home to Stay". Tulsa World.
  16. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: Jenkins, Brandon Dean". BMI.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Brandon Jenkins Signs Sony/RED Deal". Angry Country Magazine. February 15, 2005. Archived from the original (Press release) on December 30, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  18. ^ Sudhalter, Michael (November 22, 2008). "Brandon Jenkins – Faster Than A Stone". RoughStock.
  19. ^ Brown, Mark (November 26, 2008). "Q&A with Brandon Jenkins: Austin transplant Brandon Jenkins channels Tulsa". Tulsa World.
  20. ^ Moser, Margaret (November 27, 2009). "Brandon Jenkins". The Austin Chronicle.
  21. ^ a b c d Wooley, John (November 20, 2015). "Explosive Sounds: Oklahoma native and Texas country artist Brandon Jenkins releases two albums recorded nine years apart". Oklahoma Magazine.
  22. ^ "Brandon Jenkins". MTV. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  23. ^ McCarthy, Amy; Dearmore, Kelly (February 16, 2015). "The 50 Best Red Dirt Texas Country Songs". Dallas Observer.
  24. ^ Stubbs, Tommy (July 24, 2012). "Top 5 Songs Ever Released By Stoney LaRue". KKCN.
  25. ^ Hessman, Jake (2010). "The Music". The Road Goes on Forever. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. pp. 272–273. ISBN 978-1-4502-3906-6.
  26. ^ "Texas Music for the Country – Chart: August 13, 2007". August 14, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007.
  27. ^ Dufour, Florent (2002). "Interview: Brandon Jenkins". French Association of Country Music (FACM) (in French).
  28. ^ Poet, J. (December 24, 2015). "Brandon Jenkins: "Blue Bandana"". Lone Star Music Magazine.
  29. ^ a b "Red dirt music artist Brandon Jenkins dies". Tulsa World. March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  30. ^ McDonnell, Brandy (March 25, 2014). "Red Dirt Rangers and all-star lineup of Oklahoma musicians recording song for Red Dirt Relief Fund". The Oklahoman.
  31. ^ a b "Red dirt musician Brandon Jenkins dies following heart operation". NewsOK. March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Brandon Jenkins Discography". discogs. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  33. ^ Weiss, Neal (June 30, 2003). "Various Artists – A Country West of Nashville". No Depression (46). Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  34. ^ Wooley, John (June 21, 2005). "Release of 'Red Dirt Sampler' to benefit Guthrie festival". Tulsa World.
  35. ^ "Route 66: Songs of the Mother Road". AllMusic. Retrieved March 2, 2018.

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