Category Archives: Festival news release

Volunteers, Vendors and Artisans sought for 2015 Festival

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

 

VOLUNTEERS – Organizers come from many different areas of the community, volunteering their time to assure a successful event. There is no paid staff, never has been; and the festival committee spends many hours over the year preparing for it. This year they are placing additional emphasis on volunteer participation and training for the various tasks performed, recognizing that it is a critical element of this success.

 

Because of the festival’s continued growth, more volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs, organizers said. Volunteers are needed for the information booths (2 hour shifts); helping with set-up on Thursday evening or Friday morning; maintaining the entrance gate for artists on the north side of the Civic Center; as shuttle drivers around the grounds (4 hour shifts, must be 21 or older); and helping with simple residency/opinion surveys.

A drop-in luncheon and volunteer t-shirt pick-up will be held Saturday, May 9, 2015, 11 a.m. till 2 p.m., at the West Plains Civic Center, hosted by the Festival committee.

Volunteer training will be held Monday, June 15, 2015, also at the Civic Center, and will be conducted in segments specific to each area:  Gate training – 5:30 p.m.; Shuttle Drivers – 6:00 p.m.; Information Booth – 6:30 p.m.; and Surveys – 7:00 p.m.

Those interested in helping in any way should contact the West Plains Council on the Arts at info@westplainsarts.org, or call Volunteer Coordinator Dee Lewis at 417-257-5563 or 417-256-6919.  Deadline for volunteer sign-up is May 1, 2015.

Volunteers from previous years are encouraged to call or e-mail to confirm they will be participating again this year, organizers said.  Volunteer sign-up forms are available on the festival website, www.oldtimemusic.org.

 

BOOTH SPACE AVAILABLE – Organizers said they welcome booths from vendors, non-profit groups, businesses, school fund-raising efforts, churches, civic groups, public officials and individuals; however, in the event of duplicate offerings, first consideration will be given to early registrants.  Final approval rests with festival committee members, organizers added.

Booth spaces measure minimum of 10×10-feet.  Space rental fees for the two-day period are $60 for for-profit vendors, $30 for non-profit groups, and $85 plus 10 percent net profit for food vendors.

Booth registration forms are available from Terri Combs, TSCombs@MissouriState.edu or 417-255-7988, or they may be downloaded from the festival website, http://oldtimemusic.org.  Registrations should be mailed by June 1, 2015, to West Plains Council on the Arts, P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO  65775.

Organizers plan to provide this year’s attendees once again with a diagram/map of the festival grounds, which will be available at the festival information booths.  All on-time registrations will be listed on the diagram with the booth name and specific location on the grounds.

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 coordinator Emily Gibson at 417-255-7966 or email to info@westplainsarts.org.

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, Missouri State University-West Plains, and Charles and Pam Drago.  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, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

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: http://www.quebesistersband.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/QuebeSistersBand https://www.facebook.com/quebesistersband

DR. RALPH STANLEY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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:

http://drralphstanleymusic.com/ https://www.facebook.com/DrRalphStanley

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 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

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 http://www.roefamilysingers.com/ and on their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/roefamilysingers

Great news for our friends/fans with mobility issues!

Transportation to be added option at Festival

 

Because of the expanded Festival footprint, and to aid those with mobility issues, shuttle carts will be operating all during Festival hours to transport attendees from the area of the Civic Center to the Square or vice versa.   Bus stops will be located on the East and West sides of the Civic Center, in the Senior Center parking lot, and the north and south intersections on the Square (Washington and Aid Avenue corners).  The shuttles will be passing through all parking lots as well.

 

The West and North parking lots of the West Plains Civic Center will be reserved for disabled parking, and the lots will be clearly marked.

 

Shuttle stops will be indicated on the site map which is provided to show locations of all venues, events and booths.  Maps will be available at all information booths and from Festival staff members, who will be glad to assist with any transportation issues.

Main Stage performers listing updated

New acts, old favorites will take main stage at Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

 

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Several new acts will join a list of crowd-pleasing favorites on the main performance stage at the 20th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, a two-day celebration of Ozarks culture set for June 20 and 21 in downtown West Plains, Mo.

The event, which also features a cooking stage, mule jump competition, turkey calling competition, quilt show and a host of artisans displaying their homemade wares, will take place in and around the West Plains Civic Center at 110 St. Louis St. and along East Main Street.  Admission is free.

“The attraction of the main stage performers is that audiences have the opportunity to hear musicians who are from this region celebrate the music of the region,” said Emily Gibson, a member of the festival committee.  “The main stage presents a great mix of performers who are working to leave their mark on the genre of old-time music and keep the tradition alive.  Audiences young and old will find something to enjoy from each act on the main stage as the festival continues to get bigger and better each year.”

Performers include:

Colin Elmore & The Danville Train (noon to 2 p.m. June 20) – Rooted in gospel music at an early age by his musical family, this West Plains native has fused his past with the flavor of rock-n-roll and bluegrass to create a unique sound that stays true to the tradional sounds of the region and moves it forward, enticing a new and younger generation of fans to the fold.  He began writing original songs with deeply personal lyrics at age 16 and and later earned a significant fan base as a member of alternative rock band Berch in Springfield.  After building his resumé performing with The Franz Family and as a solo act, he has now joined forces with The Danville Train in Nashville, Tenn.

• The Juhl Family and Friends ( 2 to 3 p.m. June 20; 5 to 6 p.m. June 21) – Southern Illinois residents Marv, Bob and Joe Juhl have been performing old-time music with a variety of other musicians since the 1980s, when they first formed the Beaucoup Bottom Boys and recorded the album Comin’ Out.  Although the Beaucoup Bottom Boys officially disbanded in the mid 1980s, the Juhls have continued to take their brand of old-time, bluegrass, country and gospel music to the masses with a host of their fellow musicians.

Emily Dowden Estes (3 to 4 p.m. June 20) – A musician, singer and songwriter, Emily developed her skills in the Missouri Ozarks where she was raised.  At 16, she moved with her sisters to Mtn. View, Ark., to pursue a growing musical career at the Ozark Folk Center, where they were employed.  Eventually, the girls landed in Asheville, N.C., where Emily toured over a decade with her family band, The Dowden Sisters, at music festivals and concerts across the country.  She has since moved back to Springfield and former her own band, Emily Dowden Band, and will release her first solo project this summer.

South Wynns (4 to 5 p.m. June 20) – Founded 17 years ago by master mandolin and banjo builder John Wynn, son Barry and other members of the family now carry on the group’s tradition of performing bluegrass and country music.

Deep Fried Squirrel (5 to 6 p.m. June 20) – Founded five years ago, this group from the Ozarks Plateau blends bluegrass music and instrumentation with influences from the vast spectrum of musical genres.  This tight-knit string band is ready to throw down some foot-stomping acoustic jams to anyone willing to lend an ear.

• The Colbert Brothers (noon to 1 p.m. June 21) – Old-time music has been a long-time family tradition for brothers Van, Vernon and John, all of whom hail from Willow Springs.  “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 the banjo.  Joining them this year will be brother John of Wichita, Kan.

The Faretheewells (1 to 2 p.m. June 21) – Finding their musical niche at the root, The Faretheewells blend indie, folk, rock, country and bluegrass with a double shot of energy to create an eclectic concoction for the ears.  The four-piece family band is made up of three siblings and one of the sibling’s spouse who have created a sound that has been “aged in a whiskey barrel, laced with honey and then set on fire.”

Stringfield (3 to 4 p.m. June 21) – This unique band based in Springfield offers a repertoire as vast as the many musical genres known to man, but they are known for having captured the history and beauty of the hammered dulcimer in their performances.

• Josh Jennings Band (4 to 5 p.m. June 21) – Josh Jennings has been writing and recording music over 15 years.  His pieces range from tragic love songs to ironies of everyday life, and it’s apparent a little blood, sweat and tears go into every song.

Joining these groups on the main stage will be the festival’s headliners, award-winning buck dancer Thomas Maupin and his grandson, Daniel Rothwell, at 6 p.m. June 20; Grammy Award-winning group The New Christy Minstrels, under the direction of Randy Sparks, at 8 p.m. June 20; area favorites The River Girls of The Rhodes Family at 6 p.m. June 21; and multi-talented sister act SHEL at 8 p.m. June 21.

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.

Major sponsors 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.

Festival activities include cooking stage anniversary, kids fest, turkey-calling and dutch oven competitions

The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “What’s Cookin’” stage, an Old-Time Kids Fest on Court Square, a return of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) sanctioned turkey calling competition and the third annual Dutch Oven cooking competition during the free, two-day event June 20 and 21 in historic downtown West Plains, Mo.

JUDY HARDEN, left, host of the “What’s Cookin’” Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival shares a laugh with her granddaughter, Anna Grant, center, and her friend, Lauren Enoch, both of West Plains, while making pies at the 2013 festival.  This will be the 10th year the cooking stage has been part of the annual event, which celebrates the unique culture of the Ozarks.  This year’s festival is set for June 20-21 in downtown West Plains, Mo.  (Photo Courtesy of the West Plains Daily Quill)

JUDY HARDEN, left, host of the “What’s Cookin’” Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival shares a laugh with her granddaughter, Anna Grant, center, and her friend, Lauren Enoch, both of West Plains, while making pies at the 2013 festival. This will be the 10th year the cooking stage has been part of the annual event, which celebrates the unique culture of the Ozarks. This year’s festival is set for June 20-21 in downtown West Plains, Mo. (Photo Courtesy of the West Plains Daily Quill)

“WHAT’S COOKIN’” STAGE

A highlight of the festival for the past 10 years has been the “What’s Cookin’” Stage hosted by Judy Harden, who shares her love of old-time recipes with festival goers.  The theme of this year’s stage is “Looking Back,” and Harden and her schedule of cooks invite festival attendees to stop by the stage for a nostalgic look back to former presentations and the introduction of some new “old” recipes.

“In the past 10 years, we have endured heat, rain, wind, location changes, more heat, rain and wind, sunny skies, cloudy skies and several technical difficulties; however, we have prevailed and succeeded in accomplishing our goal of encouraging people to find a family recipe and use it,” Harden said.  “Find your mother, brother, aunt or grandson and recreate that lost art of spending time together in the kitchen!”

The success of the cooking stage, which has grown each year, can be attributed to the Ozark heritage of handing down family favorite recipes, she explained.  Since a lot of recipes and cooking techniques are passed down by word of mouth, Harden encourages her cooks to share their stories, as well as the “how to” demonstration of preparing them.  Area residents who would like to share a family favorite recipe should call Harden at 417-256-7988.

“This year, we will try to include all your favorites, such as our local squirrel pot pie, chicken and dumplings, rhubarb pie, persimmon pudding and hog’s head mincemeat,” Harden said.  “Along with all these, we will make homemade bread of all kinds – and yes, donuts will happen on Saturday morning!”

Free samples of the food, as always, will be available, she added.  “Come to the festival, attend the cooking stage, and leave feeling like you have visited days gone by,” she said.

OLD-TIME KIDS FEST

Kids of all ages are invited to visit the Old-Time Kids Fest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at historic Court Square.  This new addition to the festival will feature children’s games, such as musical chairs, cake walks, turtle races, frog jumping, stick horse races, a stage for plays, a water bucket brigade, roping, square dance lessons and more, according to officials with West Plains Downtown Revitalization Inc. (WPDR), which is hosting the Kids Fest.

Local historian Toney Aid will describe the history of the square, including the Dance Hall Explosion, Civil War battles and the burning of the courthouse, and Howell County Rural Fire Department crews will demonstrate how fires would have been fought at the time of the courthouse burning, organizers said.

Children under age 12 will receive a special passport to track their participation in the various activities and games.  Those who fill their passports will be entered into a special giveaway, organizers said.

“The Old-Time Kids Fest will provide an opportunity for children to learn about and enjoy old-time games and activities while their parents and grandparents reminisce about their experiences playing these same games,” organizers said.  “Ultimately, children and adults alike will create new memories of their time at the festival.”

Organizers said they are seeking demonstrators for quilting, crocheting, spinning and whittling activities, as well as volunteers and game sponsors.  Those who would like to help, contact Anita Parrett-King at 417-293-4438 or Lee King at 417-204-2422.

WPDR, formerly Downtown West Plains Inc., is focused on the historic downtown district and promotes businesses, activities and building ownership in the downtown area.  WPDR officials encourage everyone to visit downtown stores and businesses.

TURKEY CALLING COMPETITION

Trillium Trust, in partnership with local NWTF chapter The Rocky Top Limbhangers, will host the second annual Ozarks Wild Turkey Calling Competition at 10 a.m. June 21 in the West Plains Civic Center theater.  Prizes will be awarded in three divisions – open, friction and youth.  The winners of this NWTF-sanctioned event will be eligible to compete in the national competition later this year in Nashville, Tenn.

Turkey calling, a skill successful turkey hunters work hard to master, is a piece of the cultural heritage of the Ozarks that is passed down from generation to generation, organizers said.  “Even if you’re not a caller yourself, we encourage you to join us to hear some of the best talent in the region show off their impressive calling abilities,” organizers said.  “Bring kids who love hunting and kids who have never had the chance to go out and hear a wild turkey.  Enjoy short videos from the Grand National Competition, turkey callers in the woods, and a short presentation on turkeys in the Ozarks.”

Registration for the contest will begin at 8 a.m. June 21 in the civic center and close at 9:30 a.m. when numbers will be drawn to determine the order of callers.  The contest will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until all participants have completed the required number of calls.  Trophies will be handed out to the top three finishers in each division, and cash prizes awarded to the top two.  A special prize will be given to the winner of the youth division, organizers said.

For more information about the contest and how to participate, call Jim McFarland jmcfarland@trilliumtrust.org or 417-274-3176.

DUTCH OVEN COOKING CONTEST

The art of Dutch oven cooking again will be a featured event at the festival.  Seasoned masters of the technique will be asked to try their hand at main dishes and/or desserts made from scratch.  No entry fee is required.

The contest, sponsored by the Ozark Mountain Long Rifle Club, will take place June 21 in the grassy area on East Main Street near the Grisham Properties office.  Participants will have until 2 p.m. to submit their entry forms, and judging will begin at 4:30 p.m.  Winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at the “What’s Cookin’” Stage.  Prizes, provided by Howell County Outpost, will be awarded to first, second and third place entries.  Audience members can sample the dishes following the awards ceremony.

Dutch ovens have been used more than 300 years and became the cooking tool of choice for those traveling west because of their versatility.  In the Ozarks, the Dutch oven became a mark of civilized living and lifted the chore of providing meals for a family from drudgery to art.

For more information about this event, including entry information, contact Harry McKee at 417-372-3275 or e-mail the West Plains Council on the Arts at info@westplainsarts.org.  An entry form and flyer copies can be downloaded from the festival website, http://www.oldtimemusic.org.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, in its 20th year, 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.

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/pages/Old-Time-Music-Ozark-Heritage-Festival/223205480264.

New, returning acts to headline Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival stage

The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 20th year June 20 and 21 by bringing back two well-received acts from last year’s event and adding two first-time festival performers as headliners on the festival stage.

Returning are award-winning buck dancer Thomas Maupin with his grandson, Daniel Rothwell and band, who will perform at 6 p.m. June 20, and the multitalented sister act SHEL, set to take the stage at 8 p.m. June 21.

Joining them in their first performances ever at the festival will be the Grammy Award-winning group, The New Christy Minstrels, under the direction of Randy Sparks, who will take the stage at 8 p.m. June 20, and area favorites The River Girls of the Rhodes Family, who will perform at 6 p.m. June 21.

Admission to these performances, and all other festival activities, is free.

“The overall mission of the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is all 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.  From the master class buck dancing of Thomas Maupin to the enthusiastic energy of SHEL, the headline performers truly exhibit that great music rooted in storied traditions transcends generations.”

 

The New Christy Minstrels

The New Christy Minstrels

THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS

One of the pioneers of folk music, the The New Christy Minstrels have mixed the old with the new and are now better than ever, with seven members sharing their diverse and unique talents.  “We’re still alive, we’re still creative and eager to please, so we make a deal with the audience – We’ll do all the old songs you came to hear if you’ll allow just a couple of newer ones,” Sparks said.

The group won a Grammy for its 1962 debut album, “Presenting the New Christy Minstrels,” and they’ve been winning awards ever since for such songs as “Today,” “Green, Green,” “Saturday Night,” “Denver” and “Mighty Mississippi.”  Their newest album “Nice Time to Be Alive” was released in July 2013, as was their greatest hits CD, “Recycled.”

“Randy Sparks visited West Plains last summer on a trip through the Ozarks and fell in love with the area,” Gibson said.  “We are excited to have the band come to entertain our festival audience.  This group pioneered folk music, and we know this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience featuring the premiere of a song inspired by Randy’s visit to West Plains.”

 

SHEL

SHEL

SHEL

After a great performance at the 2013 festival, sisters Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza will take a break from recording in Nashville to come back and show what old-time, traditional music sounds like in the hands of the next generation.

The four were raised in Fort Collins, Colo., in an atmosphere of creative freedom and diligent study that allowed them to hone their musical skills and blend their personalities and visions into a unified whole.  From their fetching, unpredictable songs to their whimsical, hand-made top hats, SHEL makes a profound impression on their growing audiences and to critical acclaim.  They’ve played public radio’s Etown, Echoes, South by Southwest, Nashville’s Music City Roots, Lilith Fair and many other distinguished festivals, and they’ve had songs in national television ad campaigns for Splenda, Glade and a song featured on the CBS series “Jersey Girl.”

“We are eager to bring back SHEL after a great performance at last year’s festival,” Gibson said.  “They will leave anyone attending their show looking for their latest video on CMT.”

 

Thomas Maupin and Daniel Rothwell

Thomas Maupin and Daniel Rothwell

THOMAS MAUPIN AND DANIEL ROTHWELL

One of America’s best known buck dancers, Thomas Maupin is a true legend and master of his craft.  The recipient of the Tennessee State Governor’s Folklife Heritage Award, Old-Time Herald Heritage Award and the Uncle Dave Macon Days Trailblazer Award, Maupin has won over 60 first place titles, including the national buck dancing championship, which he has won six times, and state championships in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, to name a few.  Now over 70, Maupin hasn’t lost a step and is still a sought-after performer at festivals and events around the country, where he re-introduces audiences to old-time mountain music buck dancing.

Providing the music for his dancing will be clawhammer banjo specialist Rothwell and his band, which includes Danny Rothwell, Chris Gray and Sharlene Hazelwood.  Daniel has won many competitions across the South, including the 2010 national championship and the 2011 Tennessee state championship.  He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, Merlefest, the Ryman Auditorium, IBMA’s Kids on Bluegrass and the Old Time Opry Variety Show.

Joining them will be 2013 National Old-Time Buck Dancing Champion Hillary Bevels.  Now 21, Bevels began dancing at age 8 when she joined a clogging team and performed at nursing homes.  She took up the fiddle a few years later and developed a passion for the music, as well as the dance.

“If you haven’t seen Thomas Maupin in action yet, you’ll definitely not want to miss this performance,” Gibson said.  “This is one tribute to our past we are happy to give our audiences a chance to see.”

 

The River Girls of the Rhodes Family

The River Girls of the Rhodes Family

THE RIVER GIRLS

As the daughters of Dot and Dusty Rhodes of the world renowned Rhodes Show, it’s only natural that Sandra and Donna Rhodes took up performing themselves.  Joined by Brenda “Bear” Barnett, the trio have been delighting audiences in the area with their talents.

Through the years, these same talents have brought them into the sphere of some of the greatest performers in Nashville and beyond, including Tanya Tucker, Mel Tillis, Al Green, The Bee Gees, Elvis Presley, Paul Anka, KC and the Sunshine Band, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Clint Black and Garth Brooks.  Sandy and Donna also have been nominated for a Grammy for a record produced by Chet Atkins called “The Clown.”

“The Rhodes Family Reunion last year included a concert that still has people talking,” Gibson said.  “The River Girls are high energy, and any fan of The Rhodes Show is sure to fall in love with Brenda and the gang all over again.”

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.

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/pages/Old-Time-Music-Ozark-Heritage-Festival/223205480264.

Vendors, volunteers, artisans, demonstrators sought for Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Planning is underway for the 20th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., and organizers said they are seeking vendors, volunteers and traditional artisans and demonstrators for this year’s event.

The festival, which celebrates the distinctive culture of the Ozarks Highlands, is set for June 20 and 21, from Court Square to the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St.  Admission is free.

VENDORS

Organizers said they welcome booths from vendors that are in keeping with the historic theme of the festival.  Space is available for non-profit groups, businesses, school fund-raising efforts, churches, civic groups, public officials and individuals; however, in the event of duplicate offerings, first consideration will be given to early registrants.  Final approval rests with festival committee members, organizers added.

Booth spaces measure 10×10-feet.  Space rental fees for the two-day period are $60 for for-profit vendors, $30 for non-profits, and $85 plus 10 percent net profit for food vendors.

Vendor registration forms are available from Terri Combs, TSCombs@MissouriState.edu or 417-255-7988, or they may be downloaded from the festival website, http://oldtimemusic.org.  Registrations should be mailed by June 1, 2014, to West Plains Council on the Arts, P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO  65775.

Organizers said they plan to provide this year’s vendors with a diagram/map of the festival grounds, which will be available at the festival information booths.  All early registrations will be listed on the diagram with the vendor’s name and specific location on the grounds.

VOLUNTEERS

Much of the success of the festival over the years has been due to community support, including the many people who volunteer their time and talents, organizers said.  There is no paid staff, never has been, organizers said, adding the festival committee spends many hours over several months preparing for it.

Because of the festival’s continued growth, more volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs, some labor intensive and others not so much, they said.  Some of the jobs volunteers do include manning the information booth for an hour or two, helping vendors find their allotted spots when they arrive on the evening of June 19 or the morning of June 20, and asking festival goers to fill out surveys that list, in part, where they live and what they think of the event.

Those interested in helping in any way should contact the West Plains Council on the Arts at info@westplainsarts.org or call Volunteer Coordinator Dee Lewis at 417-257-5563 or 417-256-6919.

Volunteers from previous years are encouraged to call or e-mail to confirm they will be participating again this year, organizers said.  Volunteer sign-up forms are available on the festival website, www.oldtimemusic.org.

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 coordinator Emily Gibson at 417-255-7966 or e-mail to info@westplainsarts.org.

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.

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/pages/Old-Time-Music-Ozark-Heritage-Festival/223205480264  

Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival T-shirts now on sale at Heroes Coffee, Ozark Heritage Welcome Center

You don’t have to wait until June 20 and 21 to pick up one of the signature T-shirts of The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.  Shirts are now available through Heroes Coffee Café, 1372 Bill Virdon Blvd., and the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, 2999 Porter Wagoner Blvd., in West Plains, festival organizers announced.

“We’re thrilled officials at Heroes Coffee Café and Ozark Heritage Welcome Center have boosted their support for West Plains’ signature event by selling festival T-shirts, including the internationally known Squirrel Pot Pie shirts designed by West Plains resident Kevin Smith, year round,” organizers said.

T-SHIRTS FOR THE OLD-TIME MUSIC, Ozark Heritage Festival are now available year round at Heroes Coffee Café and the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, both in West Plains.  With the festival T-shirt display at Heroes Coffee Café are, from left Felicia Trayler, Doris Gutierrez, Mandi Rohlfsen and Bryce Mossman of Heroes and festival volunteers Mark Basom and Josh Shirley.

T-SHIRTS FOR THE OLD-TIME MUSIC, Ozark Heritage Festival are now available year round at Heroes Coffee Café and the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, both in West Plains. With the festival T-shirt display at Heroes Coffee Café are, from left Felicia Trayler, Doris Gutierrez, Mandi Rohlfsen and Bryce Mossman of Heroes and festival volunteers Mark Basom and Josh Shirley.

Proceeds from the shirt sales go directly to support the festival, held on the third weekend of June each year, organizers said.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will celebrate its 20th year this year, and organizers promised attendees will find a variety of activities and events to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days of the event, including the featured old-time music on the main stage.

In addition, over 100 vendors and demonstrators are expected to fill the festival grounds with their wares, and children can play the games their grandparents and great-grandparents once played in a special children’s area.  The always entertaining mule jump competition and the 10th anniversary of the What’s Cookin’ Stage will round out what promises to be a wonderful celebration, organizers added.

Heroes Coffee Café is a locally-owned, full-service coffee and espresso bar and cafe offering gourmet made-to-order sandwiches, homemade soups and salads, baked goods and more.  Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Provided as a gift to the community by the Southern Missouri Homebuilders Association in 1997, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center provides free maps and brochures for West Plains and the surrounding region, a dump station for RVs, picnic tables, free coffee, soda machine, clean restrooms for visitors, local crafts and souvenirs, and Missouri postcards.  It is an affiliate of the Missouri Department of Toursim.

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.

Major sponsors 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 about the festival, visit the City of West Plains’ festival site, http://www.westplains.net/tourism/otherpages5.php” or the Festival Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival