Having a good time with Outlaw Sippin'Dancers took to the floor soon after Outlaw Sippin’ opened its show for the tailgate chili cook-off in Dickinson. “We play a little bit of everything — we try to make sure everybody is having a good time,” bass guitar player Beni Paulson said. “We focus on playing music that has a good beat, that is very recognizable and enjoyable.”
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Dancers took to the floor soon after Outlaw Sippin’ opened its show for the tailgate chili cook-off in Dickinson.
“We play a little bit of everything — we try to make sure everybody is having a good time,” bass guitar player Beni Paulson said. “We focus on playing music that has a good beat, that is very recognizable and enjoyable.”
The band provided the entertainment for the Dickinson Rural Firefighters’ benefit. It also was an opportunity to introduce the band to a new audience.
Outlaw Sippin’ has developed a following of fans since it organized five years ago. Today, the band includes Beni and his brother, Brady, who is lead vocalist; Emil Anheluk, who plays fiddle, accordion and keyboards; Chad Heidt as drummer; Kim Landis, vocalist and Ty Taylor, lead guitar.
Beni and his wife, Michelle, raise Angus-cross cattle on a ranch near Richardton, and he was a bull rider in his younger years. But music was always important, as he’s a self-taught player.
Beni describes the band’s music as country rock with its own spin.
“Music is something we love to do,” he said. “We do it for the enjoyment of others.”
Beni credits the musicians’ talent for the band’s success.
“The fiddler defines our band and separates us from other bands and makes us unique with his fiddle, accordion and keyboard,” he said. “He gives the show its uniqueness.”
The band entertains at clubs and bars, but Beni’s favorites are rodeo and fair dances.
“We’re trying to work with the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) to do events with them,” he said.
Brady Paulson toured with the band, Subzero while he lived in Fargo. The band opened for such artists as Sawyer Brown and John Michael Montgomery.
“I was 19 years old and it was quite an experience,” Brady said.
The Paulson brothers played together before Brady moved to Fargo. When he returned five years ago, they invested in stage equipment.
He helps write music for the band — something he did as a member of Subzero. The goal is to record several demos this year.
Brady, who works as an online marketing agent, considers music more than a hobby. He and Anheluk entertain Wednesdays at Maverick’s Saloon in Dickinson. Sometimes, Landis joins them for the evening.
“It’s a way to keep sharp on things and it’s a heck of a lot of fun,” he said.
Anheluk grew up in Oregon, but has family roots in Belfield. He learned to play fiddle because his dad needed one for his Ukrainian polka band.
Anheluk works for SolarBee’s customer service department, but music is part of his life.
“There’s nothing better than seeing people having a good time — that’s a pretty special thing,” he said. “We try to play a variety of music — we don’t fence ourselves into anyone that style — whatever gets people on the dance floor.”
Taylor sings harmony and plays lead guitar with the band.
“I’m the new guy in the lineup — the chili cook-off was my second show,” he said.
Taylor played with Brady and Beni Paulson at Dickinson and with Subzero when he was attending North Dakota State University. He dropped out of NDSU to pursue a music career in Nashville. After a stint there, he worked in the oil fields before deciding to complete his degree. Today, he works as an oil field chemist.
Music is part of Taylor’s life, but not a priority. He was married in October and the couple is building a house in Stanley.
“Now, it’s more a mental therapy — it’s something for me,” Taylor said.
He said the challenge is getting together with the band for practices.
“It used to take two hours to drive to Dickinson and now it takes three because of traffic,” he said. “I was lucky enough to join up with the band.”
Landis joined the band 11/2 years ago, getting to know Beni when she and his son, Cheyden, competed in Dickinson’s Got Talent. His son placed in the youth division, and Landis was the grand champion.
A native of Mott, Landis works at Missouri Basin in Belfield and bartends on the side.
“Music is definitely a hobby that I loving doing,” she said.
She describes the musicians as her big brothers.
“They pick on me being I’m the only girl, but I have a tough skin,” she joked.
Rehearsals are difficult to schedule, being they have such diverse jobs.
“We solo practice on our own,” she said. “It’s a blast, especially when people haven’t heard us before — we like seeing them having a good time and that makes it even better.”
Chad Heidt, who is Outlaw Sippin’s drummer, got a call from Beni inviting him to join the band.
“We all get along — they’re fun guys to play with,” Heidt said.
He describes himself as a self-taught drummer.
“I’ve pounded on the stuff since I was a little kid,” he said.
As an electrical engineer for Montana-Dakota Utilities, Heidt practices drums at home.
“It’s an outside hobby — to get your frustrations out,” he said. “I still practice at home with an electric drum set so as not to disturb my family.”
He also enjoys watching people have fun.
“We try to make it a dancing environment and want to see people out there dancing,” Heidt said. “If they’re having fun, the more fun we have.”
More information regarding Outlaw Sippin’ can be viewed on Facebook.