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2018 – 2nd Stage


The Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will celebrate its 24th year Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2, and performers for the 2nd Stage have been confirmed. The two-day annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 3-9 p.m. Friday and noon-9 p.m. Saturday.

2nd Stage performances will take place on the outside stage on the East lawn of the West Plains Civic Center from 3-6 p.m. both days.  Performance times are as listed below


SOYO 2017Youth Showcase – Friday, 3-4 p.m.

Fiddlers from the Southern Ozarks Youth Orchestra will showcase their old-time music skills. Simple gifts, Ashoken Farewell, Peekaboo Waltz, and Arkansas Traveler will be among their offerings. Begun in 2013, Director Danyal Sallee says, “I started the orchestra so my students would have a place to play different types of music and learn to work together as a group.  The Southern Ozarks Youth Orchestra has two concerts every year; one in the fall and one in the spring.  The kids do orchestral works and perform in chamber music settings doing duets, trios, and quartets.  In addition, SOYO performed the pre-concert music for the Springfield Symphony in May.  I teach some fiddle tunes so the students can be exposed to all types of music and continue the heritage of the Ozarks. In our May 20 concert SOYO debuted the world premiere of “Beyond Time,” a piece that was written specifically for the Southern Ozarks Youth Orchestra by composer Ryan Cockerham.”


Open Mic – Friday, 4-5 p.m.

Musicians are encouraged to take the stage and share their old-time or other traditional music; or newer music in an old-time style.


2008 Festival - Fiddler's FrolicFiddlers’ Frolic – Friday, 5 p.m.

Fiddlers, other instrumentalists and those who like to listen to good, toe-tapping fiddle music are invited to the Fiddlers’ Frolic. This year’s event will be led by fiddle historian and fiddler Howard Marshall. For more than four decades, Howard Marshall has been devoted to conserving, studying, and carrying on traditional fiddle music. A member of a pioneer Randolph County family and a retired University of Missouri professor of art history, Marshall has played fiddle since the late 1960s. He notes that there has been a fiddler in every generation of his family since at least 1830.


An annual component of the festival, the Fiddlers Frolic gives participating fiddlers an opportunity to select and lead tunes in an open jam session.  It focuses principally on traditional fiddling found in this region, but traditional is defined broadly and flexibly, and fiddlers of all backgrounds, stylistic orientations and skill levels are welcome to participate.


“It’s always enjoyable and really fascinating to hear the participating fiddlers exchange tunes and compare notes, in multiple senses of the word,” Meacham said.  “We know that there will be folks on hand who are very knowledgeable about the history of fiddling in this part of the country and will provide interesting commentary on many of the tunes that will be played.”


One of the goals of the Fiddlers Frolic is to help conserve and perpetuate old-time tunes and techniques.  As a result, it tends to emphasize traditional fiddling, but traditions are always evolving, and the group doesn’t want to define tradition in an artificially rigid way, so fiddlers of all kinds are strongly encouraged to join in. And, of course, we’ll need banjoists, guitarists and other instrumentalists to provide accompaniment.  Everyone’s welcome.


Cash & StewartCash & Stewart – Saturday, noon-1 p.m.

Rod Cash and Lowell Alan Stewart are a banjo and guitar duo that offer traditional hard-driving, toe-tapping Bluegrass and old-time music along with favorites of Gospel and Folk. A blended style that leaves you wanting more and always a fun time with plenty of picking and singing. Lowell and Rod have been on many gigs, have picked around in Nashville, and played a memorable gig for the Governor of Arkansas last summer. A Bluegrass stringed duo that that picks to please.


Ryd WestRyd West – Saturday, 1-2 p.m.

Ryd West is Larry and Shane Utley, a father and son duo that have performed together for twenty plus years. They are natives of Pemiscot County Missouri and are comfortable with roots music referred to as “Americana” these days. Their music combines rockabilly from the fifties with blues standards and folk music from the heartland.


Local Connection 2018Local Connection – Saturday, 2-3 p.m.

The band members, all born and raised in the Ozark hills, have been playing traditional old-time music for 35 years. “It’s always been a part of our life, and we’re no strangers to the good old-time acoustic music.”


Country Express 2018Country Express – Saturday, 3-4 p.m.

Formed from an original five-piece band in the 1980’s, this trio carries on the traditions for those who came before them. Dance music abounds in their performance, and the group performs in the area most weekends. Mike Coldiron on lead guitar and vocals, Shorty Martin from Dora on bass, and Tom Bowers from Caulfield on drums will have you on your feet.


2015.FestivalPhoto.Matt MeachamMatt Meacham & Friends – Saturday, 4-5 p.m.

Matt Meacham started trying to play the guitar 34 years ago, at age seven, and is still trying today.  He says that he’ll leave it to this year’s Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival audience to decide whether he’s succeeding when he appears on stage..


From 2007 through 2011, Matt lived in West Plains, where he worked as a folklorist with the West Plains Council on the Arts and taught classes at Missouri State University-West Plains.  Now a program manager with Illinois Humanities in Edwardsville, Matt eagerly looks forward to returning to the Ozarks for the festival.  “It’s always a joy to visit West Plains and see so many good friends who’ve taught me a lot,” Matt remarked.


Matt’s early musical influences include relatives on his father’s side of the family, the Juhls, from whom he began learning bluegrass and traditional country music in rural southern Illinois.  The Juhls performed at the 2014 Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.  One of their original songs, “Memories of the Ozarks,” appears as “Ozark Mountains” on Still Standing, an album by Missouri Ozarks-based Blackberry Winter Band.


Roberta and Gary Gordon of Sparta, Illinois, who appeared at the 2010 festival, were also among Matt’s early musical mentors. Matt also has a longstanding interest in church music traditions of the rural Midwest and South, including the German Lutheran chorale tradition and the shape-note singing of Primitive Baptists.


A graduate of Centre College in Kentucky, Matt studied musicology and folklore at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Before coming to West Plains, he conducted a study of traditional musical activity in southern West Virginia for the West Virginia Humanities Council.


While living in the Missouri Ozarks, Matt played and sang with many of the traditional musicians in and around West Plains. “It was a real honor and a pleasure to learn from so many talented, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic musicians,” he commented.  “This region has a wealth of thriving cultural traditions.”


After living in Chicago for four and a half years while working in Illinois Humanities’ main office, he moved to Edwardsville, just northeast of St. Louis, last summer and now works from the organization’s new southwestern Illinois office.  Since returning to southwestern Illinois, he has been performing locally and participating in jam sessions.


Additionally, he has done some songwriting in recent years.  Several of his original compositions refer to places in or near the Ozarks.  “I might sing some of them if the audience will promise not to throw any rotten tomatoes,” said Matt.


Although Matt has not yet made any commercial recordings, he and his friend and fellow musician Travis Stimeling made an album of informal “demo” recordings entitled Mountain Clay & Prairie Sod in 2011.  Festival attendees will be able to obtain copies of Mountain Clay & Prairie Sod in exchange for donations of $15 or more to the West Plains Council on the Arts.


Some of Matt’s music is available on his SoundCloud page:  His Facebook link is


Open Mic – Saturday 5-6 p.m.

Musicians are encouraged to take the stage and share their old-time or other traditional music; or newer music in an old-time style.

Headliners Announced For 2015 Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Headliners Announced For 2015 Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 21st year Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, introducing two powerful, first-time festival performers as headliners on the main stage.

The Quebe Sisters Band will take the stage Friday night, and Dr. Ralph Stanley with Family and Friends will close the Festival Saturday night. Both performances are scheduled for 8 p.m.

The two-day annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture. Admission to all festival events is free.

“The overall mission of the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is about preserving traditions, and there are few traditions as close to people’s hearts as music,” said festival committee member Emily Gibson. “Our headliner selections this year combine youth and experience in a way that we hope will bring out audiences of all ages. These headline performers truly exhibit that great music rooted in storied traditions transcends generations. We are thrilled to have two outstanding headliners this year at the festival. Each year we try to bring bigger and better and this year is no exception.”

THE QUEBE SISTERS BAND When Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced Kway-bee) raise their fiddles and play, audiences marvel. When the girls sing their three-part harmony, audiences are blown away.

The Quebe’s unique brand of music has taken the Americana music scene by storm. They perform a refreshing blend of swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz and swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.

“Hearing the Quebe Sisters sing is nothing short of mesmerizing — perhaps because they make music that most have only experienced via grainy black-and-white TV screens or crackling vinyl. Imagine the angelic Andrews Sisters (of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” fame) singing in top form — and then ripping into a nimble fiddle breakdown.” Chris Richards, The Washington Post

Members of the band include : Grace Quebe – Fiddle, Vocal; Sophia Quebe – Fiddle, Vocal; Hulda Quebe Stipp – Fiddle, Vocal; Penny Lea Clark – Mandolin, Guitar, Vocal; and Katy Lou Clark – Guitar, Piano, Accordion, Banjo, Vocal. The group has had appearances with such performers as Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Marty Stuart, Asleep at the Wheel, Riders in the Sky, Merle Haggard, the Reno Philharmonic, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Dailey & Vincent, John Cowan, the Fort Worth Symphony, and Ray Price.

Gibson says, “The Quebe Sisters are highly entertaining and will leave audiences with a new appreciation for Texas style fiddling. They have been through this area before, and we are excited to bring them back as part of our festival.”

For more information about the Quebe Sisters Band, check these online resources:


When legends come to mind there is one star that shines above them all and that is none other than bluegrass icon Dr. Ralph Stanley. Charles and Pam Drago’s partnership with the Festival this year will enable us to bring Dr. Ralph Stanley to our stage. Along with grandson Nathan Stanley, look for some surprise guests in the “Family and Friends” who will perform with him.

Performing for over six decades Dr. Ralph Stanley has become one of the most influential artists of all time. Recognized as the leading exponent of traditional Appalachian music and a founding father of bluegrass, Stanley has spread his sound around the world during his 68 years of touring and recording. Some of country and bluegrass music’s biggest stars came from Ralph Stanley’s band, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley.

In 2002 Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death” that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou”. In 2006 He received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National Medal of Arts given by President George W. Bush.

Ralph Stanley was honored Oct. 11, 2014, when he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts, which was founded in 1780 to recognize America’s foremost “thinkers and doers.”

“There are few names as synonymous with the foundation of bluegrass as Ralph Stanley and we are proud to have him join us to close out the festival Saturday night. Whether you remember him on albums with The Clinch Mountain Boys or if you know him better for sharing a soundtrack with The Soggy Bottom Boys, his status as a music legend is unquestionable. Dr. Stanley truly is an original and will bring his signature sound to our festival stage in an unforgettable performance”, said Gibson.

His new album, Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow was released January 19, 2015, and he will be featured in a PBS special in March. More information about Ralph Stanley can be found at these online resources:

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands.

2015 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, Charles and Pam Drago, and Missouri State University-West Plains. Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

For more information on the festival e-mail, visit the website at, or “like” the Facebook page at

Roe Family Singers to join performers on the main stage

Roe Family Singers to Appear on Festival Main Stage


Due to a scheduling change, the Roe Family Singers will take the main stage at the Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains, MO, on Saturday, June 21, 2014, at 4 p.m.   Organizers promise this addition to the festival’s musical offerings to be a great one!


The Roe Family Singers are a good-time, old-time Hillbilly band from the Mississippi-headwaters community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN.  Led by Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe (Accident Clearinghouse), the band marries old-time sounds from barn-dances, fiddle pulls, and county fairs with the rock & roll passion of youth.


Featuring banjo, autoharp, guitar, and Appalachian clogging, the band and family of fans have been regularly filling Minneapolis’ 331 Club every Monday night since 2005. They’ve shared the stage with Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, Mike Seeger, Del McCoury, the Grascals, and Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur. In 2011 the band was awarded the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians; they won the title of “World’s Best Jug Band” twice, in 2010 & 2012 at the annual Battle of the Jug Bands; and, in 2012, won the Minnesota Duet Contest at the MN State Fair.


The Roe Family Singers mix original music and contemporary takes on old-time, traditional, and gospel tunes into one roiling & rollicking river of fresh yet familiar American music. Every performance raises a ruckus.


More information on the group is available on their website at and on their Facebook page: