2019 Restless Spirit Award goes to Randy Crouch

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The Restless Spirit Award was presented to beloved Oklahoma fiddler, Randy Crouch, during Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café music festival in Stillwater on May 1st. Crouch, who lives in a self-constructed geodesic dome near the Illinois River and refers to his songs as “Oklahoma protest music,” learned to play piano, guitar and ukulele at a young age and was influenced to learn and play the fiddle by his grandfather, Daddy Mack, an accomplished fiddler himself. He was a regular at The Farm in Stillwater where the red dirt music movement was born. He’s written songs and played with bands including Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Red Dirt Rangers, South 40, Vince Herman Trio and his own Flying Horse Opera which has been an Oklahoma staple for more than 30 years.

Crouch also performed as part of the Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café Festival. Prior to the award presentation at the Main Stage, filmmakers working on the documentary “Randy Crouch: Survival of the Fiddlist” shared a video created to highlight how his songwriting and character impact the Red Dirt scene. Watch the video above and more about the full documentary at RandyCrouchMovie.com @RandyCrouchMovie #RandyCrouchMovie. 

Jimmy LaFave accepting the inaugural Restless Spirit Award in 2017.
Wilma Jenkins accepting the 2018 Restless Spirit Award in honor of her son, Brandon Jenkins. Credit: Natan Poppe

The Restless Spirit Award is given by the Red Dirt Relief Fund in recognition of a musician who has impacted the Oklahoma music community in a spirit akin to Bob Childers, a prolific songwriter and the so-called godfather of red dirt music. Previous honorees include Jimmy LaFave (2017) and Brandon Jenkins (2018).