Red dirt music returns to Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks through June 14 with the Third Annual Red Dirt LakeFest.

Red dirt music returns to Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks through June 14 with the Third Annual Red Dirt LakeFest.  The three-day event at Runaway 2 Resort in Climax Springs will feature 13 bands on two stages.  LakeFest began on Thursday evening, with the first performance at 7:30 p.m., and continues through Saturday, when the last performance begins at 11 p.m.

"Red dirt" music gets its name from the color of the soil in Oklahoma and Northern Texas, where it grew from country music roots, and can best be described as a melding of country, folk, bluegrass, blues and rock and roll.  "The bands at the LakeFest are independent artists playing music that appeals to everyday, average Joes," festival organizer Matt Church said.  Church once owned "Longhorns," a country music venue in Manhattan, Kan.  There he booked a number of up-and-coming artists who have since made names for themselves in the red dirt music scene, including Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen and The Great Divide.  He also booked at his club several of the bands that now appear at the LakeFest.  

Church now works as special projects director at The Red Dirt Rogue, a company that focuses on promoting the red dirt/ Texas music genre.  There he is working on several other live music events and a line of merchandise dedicated to the genre.

 Rex Pryor from participating band Exit 13 agrees with Church about the broad appeal of the music.  He said that while people don't find it on most radio stations, "once they have access to that music, they pretty much get hooked on it."   

The bands at this year's LakeFest all come from the Missouri/Oklahoma/Texas area that gave red dirt music its name.  The 2014 lineup includes:


•Cody Jinks

•Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward

•The Sparrows

•Kayla Ray

•Cole Porter Band

•Statesboro Revue

•The Dirt Road Junkies

•County Road 5

•Court Nance

•Midnight River Choir

•Sam Riggs & The Night People

•Exit 13


Only 400 tickets will be sold for each day of the event and 100 one-day tickets for each day of the festival ($45 each).  Tickets include primitive tent camping, but other lodging options — including motel-type rooms, cabins and RV campsites with full hookups — are available.  The resort's amenities also include a restaurant and lounge, swimming pool, boat launch and boat slips.

Tickets can be purchased, and lodging reservations made, directly from the event's secure "shopping cart" at the Red Dirt LakeFest Facebook page.  Accommodations can also be booked by calling the Runaway 2 Resort at 1-800-468-1655.