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What’s Happening at the Festival?

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE

OLD-TIME MUSIC, OZARK HERITAGE FESTIVAL

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 26th year June 5, 2021. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks’ music and culture. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission to all festival events is free.

For more than 25 years, friends and neighbors have volunteered to bring a celebration to West Plains – a celebration of the distinctive music and folkways of the region. This year’s event is especially meaningful following a year of canceled events and activities, and points to a brighter future.

Keeping public safety in mind, most of the Festival activities are held outside this year. Those inside the Civic Center include the Jig Dance Competition in the Exhibit Hall and musical workshops in the Dogwood Rooms, where there’s lots of space.

Music on the outside main stage begins at noon and runs through at least 9 p.m. The lineup this year promises great performances all day by groups dedicated to their craft. Artist information is available on the website 2021 PERformers | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Workshops begin at noon in the Dogwood Rooms and continue through 5 p.m.  Fiddle, banjo, mandolin and dulcimer are among the offerings this year. 2021 Festival workshops | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Artisans and demonstrators will be located on the West Civic Center lawn in our Artisan Village. Flintknappers, basket making, spinning and weaving, gourd art, cross stitch portraits, Native American beadwork, and even a rendezvous mercantile are featured this year.

The Mule Jump Competition will take place on the corner of East Main and Curry Sts., with a demonstration planned for 3 p.m. and the competition at 7 p.m. Three categories (sizes) of mules will compete for over $600 in cash prizes. The South Central Missouri Kennel Club will conduct a demonstration of skills at 1 p.m. in the same location. Ample seating is available.

The National Bob Holt Jig Dance Competition will be held in the Exhibit Hall at 2 p.m., with registration open at 1:30 p.m. There are four age categories, and each dancer competes to the same tune played by live musicians. Come try out your fancy steps. $400 in prize money, plus gift certificates, will be awarded. Come watch this unique dance style. Seating is available.

The Cooking Stage will be located under the Brush Arbor in the Civic Center circle drive. Opening at 10:30 a.m. and continuing through the preparation of chicken and noodles in a dutch oven, the day is filled with interesting dishes and discussions. Included is “1918 Flu Pandemic – what were American easing?” Pie competition entries are due in the Redbud Room between 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Results of the judging will be announced at 12:30 at the Cooking Stage, followed by samples!

Bucket Brigade teams will form and compete at noon, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. near the Children’s Activities location on the East lawn. Look for the fire house and line up your teams! Children’s Activities, sponsored by Ozark Action’s Head Start, will be 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

More than sixty-five booths promise a wide assortment of products, information on local organizations, and demonstrations of traditional arts; and include twelve food concessions offering everything from shave ice to beans and cornbread. Organizers are grateful for their participation, and thankful that they can provide a venue. This year has been especially hard for fundraising – whether non-profit groups or those who earn their primary living through festival-type events.

Fiddlin’ spots are available in three locations toward the western side of the campus, to avoid conflict with the music on stage. Look for the canopies with chairs and strawbales.

The Festival campus runs from St. Louis and East Main throughout the civic center grounds, and includes a block of Curry Street for the mule jump trailers. St. Louis and all other surrounding streets will remain open. There is ample parking in the City lots, and golf carts will be working the parking lots to transport those who might need assistance. Disabled parking is available as marked in the Civic Center west and north lots.

Many thanks to the West Plains Daily Quill for preparing a special Festival Tab each year. Copies were distributed to subscribers with the May 29 issue, and additional copies are available to purchase with that day’s newspaper. More details and photos of artists and events are always included in that Tab.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

Artisans and Demonstrators

TRADITIONAL ARTS FEATURED AT

OLD-TIME MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival features both demonstrations and sales by a wide variety of material artists and craftspeople throughout the two-day event. The Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 26th year June 5, 2021. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission to all festival events is free.

Many of the material arts and crafts originated for entirely utilitarian reasons and were essential for meeting the basic needs of Ozarks residents in past generations.  As a result of changes in the region’s economy, especially the increased availability of manufactured goods since the mid-twentieth century, such arts and crafts are no longer practical necessities, but many talented artisans and craftspeople in the Ozarks continue to practice them both as outlets for their creativity and as means of celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage.

In many cases, these crafts and art forms have incorporated more aesthetic elements as they have evolved over time, and artistry now takes precedence over functionality in the work of many of their practitioners, though this is certainly not always the case.

Some of the artisans and craftspeople who participate in the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival practice their arts and crafts as living traditions, and their work reflects ongoing developments within those traditions, including, in some cases, their own innovations.  Other participants in the festival are historical re-enactors who strive to practice their arts and crafts as they were practiced generations ago.  Some have products available for purchase; all of them encourage festival goers to observe their work and learn about it.

Artisans/Demonstrators Participating in the 2021 Festival are:

Booger County Knappers Club – Flint Knappers

Country Heritage Spinners and Weavers Guild – Ava, MO

DOMINION – Barbara Williams – Collage and spinning – West Plains, MO

Adele Doss – West Plains, MO

Elohi Spirit Gourds – Pottersville, MO

Ozarks Older Iron Club – Cabool, MO

Diane Phillips – Basketmaker – Thayer, MO

Quiet Lady Ent./Lyn Barnes – Beadwork – Caulfield, MO

Leona Reed – Counted Cross Stitch – West Plains, MO

South Central Missouri Kennel Club – Willow Springs, MO

Go Farm Market – West Plains, MO Participating members include:

               Bountiful Blackberries    blackberry plants and herbs

               Crystal Infusion 

               Dream Weaver Haven

               Falling Springs Farm

               Jus’ Farming

Lilly’s Hand-Crafts

Ozark Custom Art

               Philbrick Nursery 

               Rustic Waters Homestead

               Secret Springs Farm

               Taylor Tidbits & Treats

               Three Oaks Farm/Ozark Fruit Company

               The Whimsical Woodworker

West Plains Area Farmers Market – West Plains, MO Participating members include:

Jolliff Farms

Thunder Mountain Farm

Kelly Hollow Farms

Pickin’ Encouraged

PICKIN’ SESSIONS ENCOURAGED AT

OLD-TIME MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday.

               “Musicians are a special breed. We’ve always known that,” organizers say. “But this year it’s hoped they will take advantage of the extra canopies and chairs provided around the Festival campus. Music around the grounds helps everyone feel more ‘at home’ and may just introduce some new folks to the old-time music we love.”

               Organizers are hoping the old “You can lead a horse to water…..” adage won’t apply. Please bring your instruments and help celebrate!

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

Bucket Brigade

LOTS OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE KIDS AT THE

OLD-TIME MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday.

Children’s Activity Area

Head Start staff will host children’s activities, 3-7 p.m. Saturday, June 5. The activities this year will be in the grassy area near the outside stage on the Civic Center East lawn. Unplug and enjoy Make and Take Maracas, playdough, bubbles, can bowling, hopscotch and button on a string. All free courtesy of Ozark Action’s Head Start!

Bucket Brigade

Chief Joe Auffert and friends from the Howell Rural Fire Department will once again provide fun and excitement at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival for all who wish to participate. Young competitors are the focus of this event, but all ages are welcome!

Bucket Brigade competitions will take place at the “fire house” which will be placed near the Children’s Activities area.  Events are scheduled for noon. 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, June 5.

Come join in what is probably the wettest event at the Festival! Form a team and compete with your friends!

A bucket brigade is a method for transporting items passed from one stationary person to the next. The method was important in firefighting before the advent of hand pumped fire engines, whereby firefighters would pass buckets to each other to extinguish a blaze. This technique is still common where using machines to move water, supplies, or other items would be impractical.

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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

Pie Competition

PIE COMPETITION

Old-time cooking – the stories, recipes, and dishes will be featured at this year’s What’s Cookin’ Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, along with a healthy dose of Dutch Oven cooking. This is the 16th year for the Cooking Stage. Aid’s Downtown Antiques are sponsoring this event. This year’s theme is “Home Remedies and Recipes to Cure What Ails You”

The  annual Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Saturday’s session will also include the Annual Pie Competition. This year will include three categories:  fruit pies, other dessert pies, and savory pies.  To enter, bring your pie to the Redbud Room at the West Plains Civic Center on Saturday June 5 between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m.  Judging by a select group of experts begins shortly after, with awards announced (and samples offered) at the Cooking Stage at 12:30.  This year’s judges include Carey Harris of 101 Pastries & Cream, Chef Tyler Dill from Ozarks Healthcare, and Representative David Evans.

Pies should be prepared “from scratch.”  Homemade crust is preferred, and there will be an award for best homemade crust.  Please bring a copy of your recipe so it can be shared in next year’s Festival Cookbook. Pies should be brought in non-returnable tins.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

FESTIVAL CHANGES FOR 2021

The  annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

FESTIVAL CHANGES FOR SAFETY

With COVID-19 not firmly in the rearview mirror, the festival committee adapted this year’s event to fit the times. All events and activities will be outdoors, except for the Jig Dance Competition which will be held in the Civic Center Exhibit Hall, and workshops in the Dogwood Rooms where there’s lots of space for social distancing.

Demonstrators –  Our demonstrators and traditional artisans will each have their own canopy instead of being combined under a larger tent. This should allow lots of space for you to visit with each of them.

Open Jams Encouraged –  We hope those who are looking for an open jam spot will take advantage of the individual canopies scattered throughout the grounds, chairs provided.

The Quilt Show has postponed their 2021 show, and we hope to have them back in 2022.

Square dances will not be held this year, but traditional square dance will return in 2022.

“Our Town – Then and Now” – a wonderful art exhibit by eleven area artists – is available on the Mezzanine. Masks are encouraged if you wish to come in to view the exhibit.

The 2021 schedule draft is up on the website, and updates will be added as confirmed.

Updates of any type will also be posted to the website and Facebook pages.

http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org

https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

2021 Workshops

2021 Workshops Announced for

Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Attendees at this year’s Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be treated to a great schedule of musical workshops during the event June 5.  Artists who know the value of passing along the knowledge and joy of traditional music will share their talents with all who want to participate. Workshops will be held in the Dogwood Rooms at the West Plains Civic Center.

     The annual Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

This year’s Workshop schedule includes:

Noon-1 p.m.   Shortleaf – “FIDDLING” “SO MANY TUNES/SO LITTLE TIME”

               Workshop will be divided into two sections. The first will be information about fiddling in general and include sources for fiddles, tunes, what to expect from various jam sessions, learning to play by ear, and advantages of open tunings (Key of A).

The remaining time will consist of group discussions about any question regarding playing the fiddle. This workshop is open to all levels of expertise beginning with those who do not play the fiddle but have an interest in getting started. It is not about learning a particular tune.

1-2 p.m.    Van Colbert – Old-Time Banjo

 Van will demonstrate old-time clawhammer style as opposed to the five-string picking popularized by bluegrass music. A bluegrass musician once recalled as he listened to Van’s drop-thumb banjo, “It sounds just like my mother used to play.” Van’s family band plays what they have lived, created and shared for generations. He is self-taught and was named a master artist on clawhammer with TAAP-Missouri Folk Arts Program, teaching others to embrace this traditional style.

2-3 p.m.   Duane Porterfield – Mountain Dulcimer

               Duane Porterfield will be conducting a Mountain Dulcimer workshop featuring an overview of the history, tunings, and styles of this American folk instrument. Originating with the early settlers in the Appalachians, the mountain dulcimer has echoed its unique voice through hills and valleys, accompanying songs and playing melodies. Bring your instrument or sit and listen to how the mountain dulcimer can remain a simple and relaxing therapist or become as complex as desired. 

Duane Porterfield is an award-winning mountain dulcimer player, performer and instructor. He can regularly be seen playing a variety of old-time instruments at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, loitering at the Dulcimer Shoppe or exploring the Ozarks with his wife, Cindi.

3-4 p.m.   David Scrivner and Ashley Hull Forrest –  Ozarks Fiddling

               Ashley Hull Forrest and David Scrivner both studied with the legendary Bob Holt through the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) sponsored by the Missouri Folk Arts Program.

Ozarks fiddling is a broad yet distinct style of fiddling.  Yet this variety in our tradition can make it difficult to determine what is included in Ozarks fiddling and what is not.  This workshop will begin with a discussion of the defining elements of Ozarks fiddling.  It also will include a demonstration of various types of tunes common to Ozarks fiddling, such as square dance tunes, waltzes, two-steps, jigs, rags, and train songs.  It also will include a demonstration and discussion of twin fiddling and possibly cross-tuning in the key of D.  Questions from the audience will be encouraged, as will tune requests.  This workshop will not focus on learning a tune together and is open to those who play and those who do not. 

4-5 p.m. – Shortleaf – “YES, YOU CAN PLAY MANDOLIN”

               The first half of this workshop will focus on beginning mandolin, and will address such questions as mandolin set-up, types, styles, costs, lessons, learning melody and chords.

The second half will address questions from the audience. This is not a workshop to learn specific tunes.

Link to the workshops page with photos 2021 Festival workshops | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

What is Old-Time Music?

What is Old-Time Music?

 We’re often asked that question, and especially as the time comes close for our Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival. This year’s event will be held June 5. We hear it described as traditional music, mountain music, string-band music, and other terms that bring up images of family and friends joining in on the front porch to share tunes and stories. It was both entertainment and fellowship, and those musical and oral traditions have created a legacy that we hope to conserve and pass along.

               Trying to answer the initial question, we Googled it (of course), and found lots of opinions/facts that better describe the music than we usually can. Here are a few of the many results we found:

               Wikipedia says: “Old-time musicis a genre of North American folk music. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dancing, clogging, and buck dancing. It is played on acoustic instruments, generally centering on a combination of fiddle and plucked string instruments (most often the guitar and banjo), as well as the mandolin. Harmonica is often included.”

New World Encyclopedia says: “Old-time music is a form of North American folk music, with roots in the folk musics of many countries, including England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as the continent of Africa. This musical form developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance and clogging. The genre also encompasses ballads and other types of folk songs. It is played on acoustic instruments, generally centering on a combination of fiddle and plucked string instruments (most often the guitar and/or banjo).”

Nativeground.com tries to answer the question – what makes bluegrass and old-time music different? And concludes this: ”So to put this in a nutshell, old-time music is mainly an upbeat instrumental dance music while bluegrass is a vocal style where the instruments freely improvise. In old-time, the fiddle is boss, and in bluegrass, most often the singer takes the lead.”

We feel every tune or song has a story, and every repeating/sharing of that tune creates a new story. Sharing to carry on the life in those stories – that’s a calling.

               Festival committee member Paula Speraneo says, “Now, I didn’t grow up here, but my Mama and her family did. We were treated to some of their musical sharing at yearly reunions, where instruments appeared, and folks just joined in as they were able, playing and singing. I’m envious of those who grew up around the old tunes every day, and I’m hopeful this Festival helps to create a future that includes them for generations to come. Scholars can debate, but I think it’s the music I would wish we’d retain pieces of forever – it makes the heart glad!”

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

COOKING STAGE/PIE COMPETITION

ACTIVITIES ON THE COOKING STAGE

INCLUDE ANNUAL PIE COMPETITION

Old-time cooking – the stories, recipes, and dishes will be featured at this year’s What’s Cookin’ Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, along with a healthy dose of Dutch Oven cooking. This is the 16th year for the Cooking Stage. Aid’s Downtown Antiques are sponsoring this event. This year’s theme is “Home Remedies and Recipes to Cure What Ails You”

The  annual Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

In the Brush Arbor, neighbors will share stories from their families, highlighting the way food was prepared in their homes here in the Ozarks. Dutch Oven cooking will be featured. Coordinator Tara Shahan starts the day off at 10:30 a.m. with Lemon Balm Remedies – tea and poppy seed honey cakes, followed by a discussion session of home remedies in the Ozarks.  What did they eat during the 1918 Pandemic? Come at 3 p.m. for Shrimp Wiggle, Salmon Loaf and Apple Sauce Cake….and of course, there is sampling!  Completing the day’s offerings will be a Dutch Oven workshop preparing chicken noodle soup – good for what ails you!

Saturday’s session will also include the Annual Pie Competition. This year will include three categories:  fruit pies; other dessert pies; and savory pies.  To enter, bring your pie to the Redbud Room at the West Plains Civic Center on Saturday June 5 between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.  Judging by a select group of experts begins at noon, with awards announced (and samples offered) at the Cooking Stage at 12:30. 

Pies should be prepared “from scratch.”  Homemade crust is preferred, and there will be an award for best homemade crust.  Please bring a copy of your recipe so it can be shared in next year’s Festival Cookbook. Pies should be brought in non-returnable tins.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

2021 performers announced

The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 26th celebration Saturday, June 5, with outstanding performances on the festival stage from noon till 9 p.m. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free.  In this unique year, following the cancelation of festivities in 2020, organizers hope to bring joy and celebration back to the community.

The West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) started the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in response to input from the traditional music community (mostly musicians from families who had played for generations as well as graduates from the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program of the Missouri Folk Arts Program).  At the time, there was not a festival venue locally where that music was showcased.  Members of the community formed a planning committee to look at the feasibility of a small arts council participating in a meaningful way to facilitate such a festival. The first years were under advisement,  with input, and some sponsorship from the Missouri Folk Arts Program. The festival has always received funding from the Missouri Arts Council under their community arts program.

This year’s headliner is The Creek Rocks, on stage at 8 p.m., preceded by the Shortleaf Band at 6 p.m.

“We’re excited to introduce the full slate of performers who will fill our stage noon till 9PM Saturday. For this post-COVID celebration, we’ve invited back many of those who have performed over the years, as well as some who have been involved with this Festival since its inception,” organizers said. “It will be a great day of old-time music!”

The Creek Rocks are a folk group led by banjoist Cindy Woolf and guitarist Mark Bilyeu. After many years of collaboration, the duo emerged as The Creek Rocks in 2015 with their debut album Wolf Hunter. Cindy and Mark strive to represent their beloved Ozarks region with the right mix of authenticity and their own creative energies.

Wolf Hunter is an album of sixteen folk songs from the Ozarks, gathered from the collections of folklorists Max Hunter of Springfield, Missouri (Mark’s hometown) and John Quincy Wolf of Batesville, Arkansas (Cindy’s hometown). Ozarks’ music has been well documented and preserved by the likes of Hunter, Wolf and others, and The Creek Rocks have a knack for breathing new life into these old songs.

Wolf Hunter has drawn praise and critical accolades, including from heavy-hitting duos like Bela Flek and Abigail Washburn – “The CD has become a favorite for us, and we play it for special friends; and our son loves hearing it in the car, where we all end up getting to know it more and more and all digging it together;” also Molly O’Brien and Rich Moore “We LOVE the CD. I want to order a few more…” The Creek Rocks’ photo graced the cover of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s September 2017 issue under the headline “The Deep Ozarks Sound”, which also included a feature article on the duo. More recently, they’ve been nominated for “Acoustic Act of the Year” in the 2021 Arkansas Country Music Awards.

November 2019 found them in Nashville recording their second album due for release in 2021. The track listing is evenly split between Cindy and Mark’s original songs and another batch of Ozarks material, this time drawn from the folk song collection of Mary Celestia Parler of Arkansas.

Cindy and Mark most often perform as a banjo-guitar duo but can also draw from a host of talented musician friends to back them up if a full band is preferred. Their repertoire also includes songs from Cindy’s three CDs of original songs and Bilyeu’s tenure in the well-known family band Big Smith.

For more on The Creek Rocks, read this excellent in-depth profile by Kaitlyn McConnell from her blog Ozarks Alive!

Shortleaf – The Shortleaf Band is a duet based in the Southern Missouri Ozark’s.  Tenley Hansen and Michael Fraser have immersed themselves into the culture and traditional music of the “Scots Irish” who became the first to settle the region.

Michael Fraser is a founding member of the Shortleaf Band, named after the Shortleaf Pine found in the great southern forests of the Ozark Mountains. He began playing guitar in college and was especially influenced by the new sounds of the Southern Rock Bands, especially The Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Moving to the Ozarks to begin a career in Education, he became immersed in the traditional fiddle music of the Scots/Irish who first settled the Ozarks.

Michael was awarded a two-year apprenticeship with Master Ozark Square Dance Fiddler, Bob Holt through the Missouri Arts Council’s Master/Apprentice Program. It was through this experience that Michael understood the communication between music and dance. Bob once told Michael “You may think you’re a hot fiddler, but if the dancers don’t invite you back, you ain’t a fiddler. You’ve got to give the dancers a place to put their foot”.

Tenley Hansen is a former musical stage performer who has moved into the folk music genre. She lived in Kansas City most of her life and has been performing for The Shortleaf Band since 2005. A singer/songwriter with a folksy alto voice; she plays keyboards, guitar, fiddle and mandolin.

Shortleaf will be performing on a variety of stringed instruments including fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and others as they weave a musical tapestry showcasing traditional and contemporary music from the Ozark’s. They will be joined by Lonnie Jones from Rogersville, Missouri on Bass.

Alvie & Friends – Experienced string band musicians from south-central and southwest Missouri – Alvie Dooms, , Ashley Hull Forrest, Kim Lansford,  Nathan McAlister, and David Scrivner – will bring an old/new sound to our stage…. Old-time music, new sound from this group that rarely plays together, gathered this year to reinforce the traditions.

90-year-old Alvie Dooms has been performing at our Festival since its inception. This is only a small segment of the contribution he has made to old-time music over the years. A standard at the McClurg Jam Monday night festivities, he works hard to keep the traditions going for future generations. And dances – more dances than you can count!

Ashley Hull Forrest has been playing the fiddle since she was 6 years old and loves to play old-time fiddle music any chance she gets. A wife and mom to two girls, Ashley works as a school nurse for a local school district.

Kim Lansford has lived in the Ozark Mountains since the 1970s. As a rock-solid back-up guitarist capable of keeping up with the breakneck speed of square dance fiddlers in the Ozarks, or a piano player well versed in the Missouri Valley fiddle tune repertoire, Kim has accompanied old-time fiddlers at dances, festivals and functions across the country. Years of perfecting her craft provided ample opportunity to play and learn from many older master musicians in the Ozarks and Missouri Valley music traditions including Art Galbraith and Gordon McCann, Bob Holt and Alvie Dooms, Fred Stoneking, and Dwight Lamb. Kim is also an accomplished singer with rich repertoire of songs collected from mentors and Ozarks folksong collectors W.K. McNeil and Max Hunter. Music of the Carter Family, the brother duets and string bands of the twenties and thirties, and the musical memory her late husband Jim, remain as enduring sources of inspiration.

Nathan McAlister resides in the small mining community of Granby Missouri and has spent the last 25 years studying traditional Ozark banjo and fiddle playing.

David Scrivner began playing Ozarks music when he was just six years old. A native of Mansfield, Missouri, David’s family ties in the Ozarks go back generations with roots in Douglas and Taney counties. David has been playing traditional Ozarks fiddle music for 25 years, including several years as a student and apprentice of renown Ozarks fiddler Bob Holt. Focused on preserving Ozarks dance and music traditions, David also won the 2019 Arkansas State Old-Time Fiddling Grand Championship. He has his master’s degree in English and is currently employed in the marketing field in Springfield.

Bona Fide String Band – an old-time group based in Hardy, Arkansas. Band members Jeff Kamps, Debbie Kamps, Lisa Culver, and Greg Cox definitely turn back the clock for some old-time string band music and vocals.

Jeff Kamps brings an old-time sound to Bona Fide with the clawhammer banjo. Jeff is a two-time Arkansas State Senior Clawhammer Banjo Champion. His introduction to traditional music came in the 1970s when he first encountered the music of Doc Watson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Soon, he was playing music and building mountain dulcimers while working as an electrician. Today, he is a retired luthier and businessman, who owned and operated the Flat Creek Dulcimer Shop in Hardy from 1988-2016, building and selling a variety of traditional instruments. In fact, he built one of the banjos he regularly plays.

Debbie Kamps plays rhythm guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals in her warm soprano voice. After seeing Jean Ritchie in a live performance, Debbie developed a love for ballad singing and the mountain dulcimer. Husband Jeff built his first mountain dulcimer for her, and she was soon on the road to many years of singing and performing. Debbie retired from teaching English and history in 2015. Jeff, Debbie, and family were also performers at the Arkansas Traveler Dinner Theater in Hardy for many years.

Lisa Culver plays the fiddle and hammered dulcimer and contributes lead and harmony vocals. Her family moved to the Hardy area from Blytheville, and she has had a deep love for all things musical throughout her life. As a teen she learned to play the fiddle from local fiddle legend, Ralph DePriest. Lisa has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arkansas State University and has been recognized as a master gardener.

Greg Cox is regarded regionally as a gifted musician and songwriter who continues the tradition of passing along music. His musical roots are deep and began with his family in southern Indiana, so much so, that he is not quite sure when he started playing music. Greg adds to the group’s traditional vocals in both lead and harmony and plays the mandolin and fiddle. Greg, a retired electrician, also enjoys gardening, cooking and “making music” with his neighbors and friends.

Colbert Brothers – Old-time music has been a family tradition for generations for Colbert Brothers Leon, Van, and Vernon, all of whom hail from Willow Springs, Mo. “Mom and Dad instilled in us the love of their music, and to this day we play, sing and remember,” said Van, who is known for his unique “two-finger” roll style on banjo.

The Colbert’s grandfather, Hall Colbert, moved the family from the Buffalo River region of Arkansas during the Depression years. He and his wife, Ethel, their four boys, Leon, Bob, Truett and John, and their four daughters, Geneva, Gladys, Jewell and Marge, traveled by horse and wagon to the Howell County community of Amy where they established new roots and Hall preached as a Baptist minister and sang.

The Colbert’s father, Joseph Truett, who was named for a famous turn-of-the-century minister, taught himself to play a banjo he built by stretching a groundhog skin over the hoop for a head. He taught Van’s older brothers to chord the guitar and enjoyed playing along once they could carry a tune. Mother Vernieca May (Easley) Colbert also was a beautiful singer and lady, Van said, and before she passed away, they could always encourage her to sing “Beautiful Brown Eyes,” “Red River Valley,” “Maple on the Hill” and “Wildwood Flower” to their accompaniment.

McAlister & Lansford – Kim Lansford and Nathan McAlister bring together fiddle, banjo, guitar and vocal harmonies to tell the story of the Ozark hills through song.

McAlister resides in the small mining community of Granby Missouri and has spent the last 25 years studying traditional Ozark banjo and fiddle playing.

Kim Lansford has lived in the Ozark Mountains since the 1970s. As a rock-solid back-up guitarist capable of keeping up with the breakneck speed of square dance fiddlers in the Ozarks, or a piano player well versed in the Missouri Valley fiddle tune repertoire, Kim has accompanied old-time fiddlers at dances, festivals and functions across the country. Years of perfecting her craft provided ample opportunity to play and learn from many older master musicians in the Ozarks and Missouri Valley music traditions including Art Galbraith and Gordon McCann, Bob Holt and Alvie Dooms, Fred Stoneking, and Dwight Lamb.

Kim is also an accomplished singer with rich repertoire of songs collected from mentors and Ozarks folksong collectors W.K. McNeil and Max Hunter. Music of the Carter Family, the brother duets and string bands of the twenties and thirties, and the musical memory her late husband Jim, remain as enduring sources of inspiration.

Kim and Nathan join together to offer a unique and raw approach to Ozarks and traditional southern mountain music.

One More Dollar –There is a sound that brings a region into your thoughts. So unique to its location and inseparable to its culture, it is difficult to name. One More Dollar, has that sound and its focus on original and depression-era and earlier music provides an opportunity to build its own sound on the foundation of this difficult name. We believe we know what to call it, Ozarkana.

Local multi-instrumental folk musicians, Robert Adkison, Alisha Thomas, and Jeremy Myers are no strangers to the Ozarks music scene. Having performed all over the Ozarks throughout the years, crossing paths and enjoying each other’s music, they have decided to team up for that full band sound focusing on roots folk music.

Sisco&Alexander – Drawing on their parallel experiences of growing up in musical families in the Ozarks Hills and rural New England, folk gospel singer Mary Alexander joins acclaimed singer-songwriter-storyteller Marideth Sisco, the singer from the Oscar-nominated film “Winter’s Bone,” in a program of stories and songs ranging from the early American frontier to the 1950s – on an American Front Porch.

This program, gathered from numerous sources, features period tunes and a colorful history of the time rural Americans spent singing, weaving tales and shelling peas or husking corn out of reach of the radio and far from the summer heat of the wood cookstove. Both Sisco and Alexander spent significant portions of their childhoods on these porches, soaking up the music and the tales that colored their picture of the world to come. The experience of that earlier world was cut short for most by the arrival in the early 1950s of the television and the air conditioner. The experience of that unique culture has not vanished entirely but is no longer the shaper of memories and culture it once was.

Sisco&Alexander return us to those rich, sweet memories of home.

The performance schedule will soon be available online at www.oldtimemusic.org

“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 organizer Paula Speraneo.  “Our artists this year were chosen for their long-standing artistic excellence, career milestones and legacies that span ages and tradition.  It is a combination that will be special for audiences of all ages.  These performers truly exhibit that great music rooted in storied traditions transcends generations. We are thrilled to have these outstanding performers this year at the festival.”

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, 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 info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival