Sam Cox formed his eponymous band back in 2012, when he was just 17 years old. Now more than 1,000 shows and nearly a decade later, the Sam Cox Band is still going strong — and keeping …
Sam Cox formed his eponymous band back in 2012, when he was just 17 years old. Now more than 1,000 shows and nearly a decade later, the Sam Cox Band is still going strong — and keeping busy.
When the red dirt/country/rock band takes the stage at the Park County Fair Thursday night, it will be the ninth of 14 fairs that the group is playing in a span of 24 days. The fairground tour is taking the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based musicians across Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
While past Park County Fairs have featured stars like Keith Urban, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Ned LeDoux, the Sam Cox Band is not a household name, with only about 120 monthly listeners on Spotify. (The group landed the Powell gig by cold calling the fair office.)
However, Cox has worked with artists like Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, JB and the Moonshine Band and Mike McClure and his songs have cracked some regional charts. Listening to the Sam Cox Band’s latest record, “The Lost Years,” it’s easy to understand why the group has landed a slew of slots at county fairs.
Cox grew up in Pryor, Oklahoma — a town of less than 10,000 people — and his small town upbringing is reflected in his work.
In the single “Make a Livin’”, Cox reminisces about carefree summers as a high schooler in a way that many Wyomingites can likely relate to.
“Driving down main in first gear, blaring our speakers for the town to hear, while we’re playing that Chris LeDoux,” he sings. “And I miss living, I miss living, when I didn’t have to make a living.”
His rural roots are also reflected in “See You at the Bars,” which Cox wrote about his experience of settling down and making a home in Tahlequah.
“You probably thought you’d move out of state, instead you end up two towns away,” Cox begins.
“Well, hey, that’s OK,” he continues, swearing that “you’ll fit in here like a glove on your hand, and you finally found a real solid place to land.”
The Sam Cox Band isn’t landing anytime soon, as it’s keeping up a busy touring schedule.
“We’ve been playing pretty much literally every weekend since … September,” Cox told Lakes Country KEOK-FM in February as the new album dropped. “We’ve just been hitting the road and just kind of grinding and getting these guys ready to go for bigger stuff.”
The band’s recent lineup has included Cox, Cox’s brother-in-law Hunter Ragland and Josh Searan — who all hail from Pryor — plus drummer Dillon Escue.
After playing in Powell on Thursday night, the Sam Cox Band heads to the Platte County Fair in Wheatland on Friday and the Las Animas County Fair in Trinidad, Colorado on Saturday. Their summer tour will culminate in a performance at the Kansas State Fair in mid-September.
As if Cox wasn’t busy enough, he and his wife, Autumn Ragland, lead a more Americana-focused band called Ragland, which is playing a few additional shows in the coming weeks. Cox and his wife performed hundreds of shows between 2016 and 2019 and drew more than 9,500 Facebook followers. They put out an album last year, but took a 10-month hiatus as he focused on the Sam Cox Band.
“I had to rock and roll for a little bit,” Cox explained to KPUR-FM last month. “I just had to get it out of my system.
“I’ll probably do it again in another four years,” he added.
Thursday’s concert begins at 7 p.m., with Powell musician Tia LeeAnn Ibarra serving as the opener for the Sam Cox Band. Tickets are $10 for the grandstands or $15 for box seats. They’re available at parkcountyeventsandfair.com.