Monica Taylor named Restless Spirit Honoree and Brunch host at Gypsy Cafe 2024

On May 5th more than 70 Oklahoma songwriters will gather in Stillwater to celebrate the songwriting legacy of the godfather of Red Dirt music at Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café. Monica Taylor, longtime friend and collaborator of the late Childers, will be honored with the Restless Spirit Award and will headline brunch to kick off the thirteenth annual festival benefitting the Red Dirt Relief Fund, Oklahoma’s nonprofit music safety net.

Restless Spirit Award: Monica Taylor

For more than three decades Monica Taylor has been writing songs from the heart and has recorded and performed with a litany of famed Red Dirt, country and bluegrass musicians including Childers, Jimmy LaFave, Tom Skinner, Greg Jacobs, John Fullbright, Jared Tyler and Robin Macy. Taylor earned the nickname “The Cimarron Songbird” from La Fave and Childers because of her unique singing style and her home near the Cimarron River.

In the 1990’s Taylor lived and cowrote with Childers at the Farm, the storied birthplace of Red Dirt music on the west side of Stillwater. Taylor has curated the Cimarron Breeze Concert Series for  the past  decade bringing countless acclaimed touring and local artists to Perkins including Malcolm Holcombe, Dale Watson, Eliza Gilkyson, Cherokee Maidens, Parker Millsap, Byron Berline and many more.  In 2022 she recorded a double vinyl “Red Dirt Ramble” which features 55 guest vocalists and musicians paying tribute to pioneers of Red Dirt music with 18 new recordings of songs written by Childers, Jimmy LaFave, Don Morris, Tom Skinner and more.

After performing at Brunch to kickoff the festival, Taylor will be presented the award at the Grand Casino Stage at Eskimo Joe’s at 5:30pm and perform in the following set. The Restless Spirit Award, named for Childers’ song with the same name, is given by Red Dirt Relief Fund in recognition of a musician who has impacted the Oklahoma music community in a spirit akin to Childers. Taylor joins a prestigious and beloved litany of Restless Spirit Award honorees:

Jimmy LaFave (2017), Brandon Jenkins (2018), Randy Crouch (2019), Steve Ripley (2020), Jim Paul Blair (2021), Chad Sullins (2022) and Jake Flint (2023).

As part of the festival weekend, Taylor is also curating the first Honorary Jimmy LaFave’s Stillwater Musicians Reunion as part of the Cimmaron Breeze Series at the Old Church in Perkins on Saturday, May 4th as a fundraiser for the new Block 34 Music Park’s Musicians Walk of Fame memorials being built in Stillwater to honor the founders of Red Dirt music. Tickets are $25 ($15 for 18 and under) and available soon at

Gypsy Cafe Brunch 2024

Bob’s “Mexican Morning” Brunch

Paying homage to a popular Bob Childers’ song with a nod to the festival’s date on Cinco de Mayo, brunch will take place from 10am-12:30pm at Stonecloud Taproom and feature a lineup of Monica Taylor and friends including Red Dirt Rangers, Jared Tyler, Chuck Dunlap, Brad James, Gene Williams and more. The set from these Red Dirt pioneers will include songs written by Childers, Jimmy LaFave and other forebearers of the genre. Presented by The Collab Coffee, brunch includes a Mexican-inspired buffet from Good Little Eater, coffee from The Collab, two drink tickets from Stonecloud and general admission to the festival. Limited tickets are available at and will not be available at the door.

The Festival

Now in its thirteenth year, Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café has become Oklahoma’s largest homegrown songwriter festival with artists ranging from Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductees to emerging talents just getting their start. The format emphasizes collaboration and mentorship in the spirit of Childers by grouping songwriters in 45-minute acoustic song swap sets across four venues for an afternoon of unforgettable music in intimate settings. The full lineup will be announced March 27th.

The festival also includes a performance by the 2024 Jimmy LaFave Song Contest winner to be announced in April, as well as the Restless Spirit Award. The main festival grounds at Eskimo Joe’s will include regional vendors and a silent auction of one-of-a-kind music experiences and memorabilia. Before the all-lineup family jam finale, there will be a live auction of a Gypsy Cafe guitar signed by the entire lineup along with some other surprises.  

Festival venues include:

  • Grand Casino Stage at Eskimo Joe’s (all ages, outdoor weather permitting, 501 W. Elm St.)
  • Modelo Especial Stage at Outlaws (21+, 501 S. Washington St.)
  • Austin Eastciders Stage at Salty Bronc (21+, 911 W. 5th Ave.)
  • VIIDR Stage at George’s Stables (21+, 502 W. Elm St.)
  • Bob’s Mexican Morning Brunch at Stonecloud Taproom presented by The Collab—SPECIAL TICKET REQUIRED IN ADVANCE (21+, 917 S. Husband St.)

The festival will provide a free shuttle running a loop around the general admission venues from 12-7pm on May 5th.

General Admission tickets good for entry to all festival venues (excluding Brunch) are $40 in advance at or $30 for students with ID. A bundle of four GA tickets is also available for a discount at $140.  A limited number of tickets for Brunch and Reserved Seating at the Grand Casino Main Stage at Eskimo Joe’s range from $65-$150.

The Cause

Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012 using the ticket proceeds from the very first Gypsy Café festival held in Stillwater in 2011.  Since then, the nonprofit has granted more than $817,000 in emergency assistance to more than 800 music professionals in all genres and jobs statewide, including more than $300,000 to those facing venue closings and gig cancellations during the pandemic.

Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, brought in over $50,000 for its Emergency Financial Assistance Fund in 2023, and would not be possible without the support of sponsors including Grand Casino, The Collab, Oklahoma Film + Music Office, Modelo Especial, Austin Eastciders, Visit Stillwater, Home 2 Suites and many community partners.

For more information, visit or contact Katie Dale at 918-407-4599 or

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