Thanks to everyone who came out to the 2017 festival! We raised $19,700 for Oklahoma musicians in crisis!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Venues: Eskimo Joe’s, Stonewall Tavern, George’s Stables
In addition to 70 Oklahoma songwriters previously announced, Jimmy LaFave, Stoney LaRue and John Fullbright join the sixth annual Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café lineup. Jimmy LaFave will be honored with the first Red Dirt Relief Fund Restless Spirit Award in recognition of a musician who has impacted the Oklahoma music community in a spirit akin to Bob Childers.
LaFave befriended Childers in the late 1970’s while living in Stillwater. Together in a collective of musicians at the Farm, they developed the genre we now know as “red dirt.” Later, LaFave moved to Austin taking this new style of music with him, and paved the way for Oklahoma red dirt musicians to flourish in Austin ever since. Red Dirt Relief Fund will give the Restless Spirit award each year at the festival moving forward.
The storied Red Dirt music festival will bring together 70+ songwriters playing across three venues to celebrating the influence of the Godfather of Red Dirt music, Bob Childers.
2017 festival host Kaitlin Butts first played Gypsy Café in 2013 alongside young musicians Parker Millsap and Corey White while she was still a student at Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM@UCO) in Oklahoma City. According to Butts, “I was paired with Rick Reiley that year. Rick reached out to me when we found out the lineup. At the time, I was so new to the scene that I didn’t really know the history. Rick gave me the low down because I was so young.” Named 2016 Best New Female Vocalist of the Year for the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards, Butts said Gypsy Café “was the one show that carved my path into the Red Dirt scene.”
This spirit of mentorship, musical discovery and honoring Bob Childers have become hallmarks of a festival that draws Oklahoma musicians from around the state. Notable moments from last year’s fest include Stoney LaRue singing “Oklahoma Breakdown” with Mike Hosty who originally wrote the song, and a finale set led by Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Randy Crouch and Craig Skinner.
The festival format remains the same. Small songwriter groupings will play 45-minute sets across three venues: Eskimo Joe’s, George’s Stables and Stonewall Tavern. The evening will culminate with an all-musician finale on the main stage.
Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma musicians, took over management of the festival in the fall of 2013 after Red Bull hosted the event in spring of 2011 and 2012. In 2016, the festival raised $22,000 for Oklahoma musicians in need, funding the organization’s $21,950 in grants given last year. Since the Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012, it’s provided over $60,000 to musicians in need.
Tickets that allow access to all venues start at $20. A limited amount of Reserved Seating tickets are available for $50.
For media or sponsorship inquiries, please contact Katie Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-407-4599.