STILLWATER — “Abilities” by Dallas Parker, “Angels Lullaby” by Ashliann Rivera, “Breathless” by Chloe-Beth Campbell and “Hollyhocks and Morning Glories” by Scott Aycock were selected from 74 entries as finalists in the second annual Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest.
Finalists will play their songs before a live audience at an April 30 Gypsy Café pre-party hosted by the Red Dirt Rangers at Iron Monk Brewing, 519 S. Husband in Stillwater.
At stake is the chance to secure a spot in the lineup at Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café on May 1, a $500 cash prize and a $500 donation made in the winner’s name to the Red Dirt Relief Fund. A $100 “People’s Choice” prize will also be awarded by a vote of those in attendance. This event is free and open to the public.
Aycock is a Tulsa singer-songwriter and poet who co-hosts NPR’s Folk Salad and operates House Concerts Unlimited. See more at https://www.publicradiotulsa.org/people/scott-aycock.
Campbell of Enid is a young folk singer-songwriter who released her debut full length album, “Remnant,” in 2018. See more at https://www.chloebethmusic.com.
Parker of Oklahoma City is a rapper and student at ACM@UCO who performs under the name Faux Draco.
Rivera is a 21-year-old Brooklyn-born, Oklahoma City-based singer-songwriter who has released three EPs since 2016. See more at https://www.ashliannmusic.com/.
A panel of judges representing Red Dirt Relief Fund and the Jimmy LaFave Trust blind scored the songs to select the four finalists. Among judges:
Brad Piccolo is a vocalist/guitar/songwriter for Red Dirt Rangers and a current member of the Red Dirt Relief Fund Board of Directors.
Joel Rafael is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician from San Diego County, Calif., who recorded, toured and performed with LaFave, most notably at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and in the Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway tribute show to honor Woody Guthrie.
Roger Ray is a pedal steel/guitarist/songwriter, most notably as a longtime member of Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and former member of the Red Dirt Relief Fund Board of Directors.
Julie Watson is host of the NPR radio show “Tune in Tulsa,” a music journalist and Tulsa Roots Music co-director.
The contest was free to enter for Oklahoma songwriters who are unsigned without a current publishing deal.
Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café festival tickets that allow access to all venues start at $20. A limited number of reserved seating VIP tickets are available for $50. Tickets, lineup and more information is at reddirtreliefffund.org/gypsycafe.
Red Dirt Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma musicians, took over management of the festival in the fall of 2013. In 2018, the festival raised more than $30,764 for Oklahoma musicians in need. Since the Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012, it has provided more than $110,000 to musicians across the state.
Visit reddirtrelieffund.org, “friend” Red Dirt Relief Fund on Facebook or follow @reddirtrelief for festival updates.