Welcome to the home page of the signature event for West Plains, Missouri – The Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.
June 20 and 21, 2014, we will celebrate our 20th Year!
Come celebrate Old Time music and the distinctive culture of the Ozarks Highlands.
Three ideas are central to the festival:
Acknowledgement of the many able local performers
The need to save these expressive traditions
Maintaining a focus of authenticity
Old-Time Music will be performed for two full days, from our main stage, featuring outstanding local and regional artists representing the musical traditions of the Ozarks.
The 2nd Stage is designed to bridge the gap between the generations of musicians in an effort to keep the traditional music of the area alive and well through the interpretations of new performers.
spinners and weavers,
to who knows what you’ll get when you get Ozark folks together.
2013′s new activities included a demonstration of Missouri Fox Trotter Horses, an Interpretative Bike Ride, and our first-ever sanctioned Turkey-Calling Competition! See the Events and Demonstrators page for updates as confirmations come in.
Inside the air conditioned comfort of the West Plains Civic Center you can enjoy various workshops and jammin’ sessions. All featuring outstanding local and regional artists representing the musical traditions of the Ozarks.
Around the Festival you’ll find jig dancers, workshops, fiddlers, banjos, string bands, pickers and more.
On the What’s Cookin’ Stage you’ll find demonstrations of traditional Ozark cookin’ with a dash of entertainment thrown in to boot!
The festival was established and has been supported by the West Plains Council on the Arts through funding by the Missouri Arts Council. The festival is being produced through a partnership between West Plains Council on the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri State University-West Plains, the City of West Plains, Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the West Plains Civic Center.
Festival organizers have incorporated audio and videotaping sessions for the benefit of the artists and to establish a collection for the conservation of knowledge and awareness of the traditional arts.
Festival organizers encourage Facebook users to “like” the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival’s Facebook page to keep informed as plans develop.
Comments welcomed – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival organizers saddened to learn of passing of one of its founders
One of the founding fathers of the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains, Mo., multi-instrumentalist Don Buedel, passed away peacefully in his sleep June 6 at his home in Murphysboro, Ill.
Buedel and his wife, Lori, were scheduled to perform on the main stage at this year’s festival, set for Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, in and around the West Plains Civic Center and along East Main Street. Organizers said they are working to fill the Buedel’s performance time and Don’s workshop times and will announce the changes as soon as they are made.
From the first festival in 1995 and through all 19 years of its evolution, Buedel was a major factor in its mission and success, festival organizers said. “While some musicians play old-time tunes very well, they tend to isolate the music from the lives of the tradition bearers who have preserved this music so we can, in this age enjoy it as well,” he has been quoted as saying. “I think it’s important to remember the people, as well as the music. Without the people, there would be no music.”
“All of us involved with the festival were deeply saddened to hear of Don’s passing,” organizers said. “Don has been such an integral part of this event from the very beginning, helping to shape its purpose and supporting its mission through his own performances every year. The work he has done to preserve and pass down the musical traditions of this area is immeasurable and incalculable in its worth. We feel privileged to have known him and worked with him so many years. To say he will be sorely missed is truly an understatement.”
A professional clock maker by trade, Buedel ran a small clock repair business, Shawnee Cottage Clock Company, in Murphysboro, but his avocation, passion and special gift was his music. He started playing in bluegrass and old-time string bands in his hometown of Springfield, Ill., at a young age and was a multiple fiddle contest champion in recent years. He and his wife, Lori, performed at many festivals and historical settings, including the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, and the Clayville Historic Site near Springfield, Ill.
He was a lead member of the Smoky Hollow String Band of Murphysboro and also had played with the Colbert Brothers of Willow Springs, Mo., and the Wolf Creek Possum Poachers. In his youth, Buedel toured Germany with William Furry, now director of the Illinois Historical Society, accompanying the International Folk Dancers.
While residing in the Missouri Ozarks in the 1990s, Buedel, with support from the Missouri Folk Arts Program, collected and learned tunes from longtime traditional musicians, including Howe Teague and Howell County fiddlers Charlie Hiler and Cliff Bryan, in order to teach their repertoire to others.
Buedel’s philosophy may have been best reflected in the following quote offered by members of the Smoky Hollow String Band on June 9, 2013. Band members said Buedel loved this description by Don Borchelt of his great passion – a good fiddle tune:
“A fiddle tune is a melody that, once you hear it, you can’t seem to get it out of your head until you can grab your banjo and learn it yourself. A fiddle tune is a living cord connecting us back to long ago generations, to feel deep in ourselves just a fragment of feeling transmitted from across the ages by some plain common folk, our ancestors otherwise long forgotten. A fiddle tune is a kind of tune that has a lot of music concentrated in just a little bit of space, and in that respect it is to notes what poetry is to words. A good fiddle tune you can play for a very long time and not get tired of it. A good fiddle tune is a tune that you can never quite play the same way twice, even when you want to. A good fiddle tune will bring two or more people together who might otherwise be enemies. Fiddle tunes all pretty much sound the same, except they all sound different when you finally hear them. A good fiddle tune will always be remembered by somebody. And a good fiddle tune will make you forget, for just an instant, that man is born to die.”
Buedel is survived by his wife, Lori; mother, Evelyne Buedel, who resided with them in Murphysboro; two sons, Josh and Clay Buedel, both of St. Louis, Mo.; a daughter, Layla Rismoen, and husband Greg, Minneapolis, Minn.; two grandchildren, Gibson Buedel and Elsa Rismoen; and his sister, Gina Vespa and husband Jim, Athens, Ill.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Leo Buedel Jr., who lived in Bradenton, Fla., and his first wife, Betsy Buedel, originally from Willow Springs, Mo.
A memorial service and celebration of life for Don Buedel is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 2013, at the General John A. Logan Museum, 1613 Edith St., in Murphysboro, Ill. A memorial page has been set up by his family at http://www.youcaring.com/other/don-buedel-memorial-donations/65016#.UbPsGA4PO_k.facebook.
Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival
Loses Long-time Performer Jim Lansford
Jim Lansford, who with his wife Kim, played at the Old Time Music Festival since its early days at the H.O.B.A. Park, left us October 30, 2012. Together they were among the finest practitioners of the old-tie style of duo singing to be found. Jim’s prowess on the fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin was superbly complimented by Kim’s innovative and meaty guitar playing, and when they sang, their voices blended together to provide a feast for the ear, as well as the heart. He will be greatly missed. Kim continues to perform and still resides at the family farm in Galena. Missouri.
CALL FOR ARTISANS/DEMONSTRATORS
The festival has featured many different material art and craft genres throughout the years. Most of these arts and crafts originated for entirely utilitarian reasons or to meet basic needs of the region’s early settlers, organizers said. But as a result of regional economic changes, especially increased availability of manufactured goods since the mid 20th century, these arts and crafts are no longer practical necessities; however, many talented artisans and craftsmen in the Ozarks continue to practice them both as outlets for their creativity and as means of celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage, festival organizers explained.
Area artisans and demonstrators who are keeping these traditional crafts alive and would like to share their talents with festival goers are encouraged to contact the West Plains Council on the Arts at email@example.com or call 417-293-2325.
OUR FESTIVAL PARTNERS