Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive September 2014 Show 1438 Horseshoe Road - Heartland Acoustic

Horseshoe Road - Heartland Acoustic

As musical ambassadors for Oklahoma, Horseshoe Road spreads goodwill through song.
Horseshoe Road - Heartland Acoustic

Horseshoe Road - Heartland Acoustic

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Horseshoe Road

Show Details

Show 1438: Horseshoe Road - Heartland Acoustic
Air Date: September 21, 2014



Rob McClendon: Well, in many ways, music is a universal language. In this week’s Oklahoma Standard, we recognize a musical group who’s exporting our culture by serving as musical ambassadors for Oklahoma and now the nation.


Alisa Hines: Take a little fiddle [music], add some base [music], throw in some guitar, and what you have is foot-stomping music by Oklahoma’s own Horseshoe Road. Kyle Dillingham is a world-renowned fiddle player and leader of the band and says their music enables them to be ambassadors to the people of the world.

Kyle Dillingham: Using musical diplomacy is very powerful because music already naturally brings people together. And it’s just going one step further to say, while we have the people assembled and they’re all feeling good, what kind of message are we going to convey? And so it’s very natural and for all of us to say, to just connect them to the United States, connect them to Oklahoma.

Alisa: So as part of the American Music Abroad program, Kyle and bandmates Peter Markes and Brent Saulsbury tour different countries performing in each location, like they are on this night, with a local orchestra, which Brent says is pretty amazing.

Brent Saulsbury: For me personally, that’s probably the closest to being a rock star I’ve ever been. I’ve never had so many pictures taken, had so many autographs asked to be signed in my whole life. So everywhere we went we were met with just open arms and, you know, standing ovations. In fact, in Taiwan, one place, I think we counted five standing ovations one night, and it was beyond my wildest expectations.

Alisa: And while playing American-style music may be a different sound to the audience, Peter says music is the same no matter where you are.

Peter Markes: You find that every culture obviously has their roots in some sort of music. When you go that far back to the roots, many music styles have similarities. And so our music, while it may have been brand new to them, the song or the sound they’re hearing, they know our instruments, they’re eager to learn more about it because they, too, have their own cultural music. In just about every country, we were able to play with some sort of specific instrument to that culture, and it was always fun to see how quickly we were able to just make the instruments meld together, make a really intricate sound. Although the harmonies might be very different than what we’re used to hearing, the instruments and our eagerness to learn from each other came together immediately.

Saulsbury: It was a challenge. It was a challenge we met with great enthusiasm. I think it’s one of our great passions, this love to mix with the people of different cultures and the different instruments and give and take in that context, you know.

Dillingham: We’re musicians, and so as Peter was saying earlier, roots – all music – music is music is music, and when you can realize that, you realize we are speaking the same language even though it might be a different dialect. But that, if we just spend the time, it’s great fun for us as musicians to learn new music to expand our vocabulary, so to speak, of expression because when you’re playing music, you’re creating sounds and sounds that have meaning to people. That’s the idea behind music, and when you realize these musicians are creating sounds that are not as familiar to us as a musician you want to grab a hold of those sounds because it gives you that many more tools to connect with that many more people.

Alisa: Music and culture from Oklahoma’s musical ambassadors heard around the world.

Rob: And it is that willingness to spread goodwill through song that makes Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road an Oklahoma Standard.