Luke Dick leans forward in his studio chair, strikes a match for his tobacco pipe, takes a few puffs and begins reminiscing about his childhood.

The Nashville songwriter, responsible for co-creating No. 1 hits Eric Church’s “Kill a Word” and Dierks Bentley’s “Burning Man,” brings light to his early life in Oklahoma City, where he lived approximately three miles from a rowdy strip club known as Red Dog Saloon. Dick’s mother, Kim, also worked there — as an exotic dancer — and on January 7, her son releases the Red Dog documentary centered on her story.

Though he’s best known for his work with Church, Bentley, Miranda Lambert and more, Dick is a creative mind whose essence isn’t defined by a few commercial country hits. He also has a master’s degree in philosophy, fronts (and writes) for his indie-rock band Steve (formerly Republican Hair) and now dives into his first feature film with this documentary.

“It wasn’t until I was an adult and became interested in human stories and the human condition that it occurred to me that this [Red Dog story] could be something that was interesting,” Dick tells Taste of Country. “So I started getting my mom to give me stories. … My mom tells me a couple stories. I really like those stories. Let’s film the stories. It was a process of figuring out that this was compelling, that she was compelling and that the situation was compelling enough to turn it into a project that you’re actually going to finish and do something with afterwards.”

Dick says his mother thought he would never finish the project, but he and co-producer/co-director Casey Pinkston invested about 5,000 hours and approximately 30 trips back-and-forth from Oklahoma over roughly a decade to prove that notion wrong. And though the duo dances with some sensitive subject matter in the documentary, it offers more of a fresh viewpoint than an exposé.

“I’ve never seen or heard about a retrospective of somebody who started their career in a strip joint and what that means when you’re 70 and how you look back on it,” Dick says. “There is some human catharsis because it’s my mom story. It’s kind of an origin story, but I was just as interested in the story itself whether or not I was in it. It’s a subcultural piece that really has bigger universal implications to human beings. People struggling with addiction, getting over addiction, figuring out a way to raise good kids … Friendship, love and parenthood in a weird place. … Family dysfunction and divorces and reconnection and things like that. These are really human things that I think are just universally compelling.”

The Red Dog documentary will be accompanied by a 12-14 song soundtrack of the same name and will feature songs not only from Luke Dick, but will have some major country star power as well (acts TBA). Patrick Carney of the Black Keys also co-write and co-produced part of the album. The Red Dog soundtrack is aiming for a spring 2020 release.

Red Dog can be rented and purchased via Amazon and more.

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