2022 Headliners Announced for

Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will host its 27th celebration Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, with outstanding performances on two stages from noon till 9 p.m. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates the music and culture of the Ozarks Highlands.  Admission to all festival events is free. 

Following the cancelation of festivities in 2020, and a one-day event in 2021, organizers hope to bring joy and celebration back to the community for the full two-day festival.

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. The event is now the signature event of the City of West Plains.

“We’re excited to introduce the full slate of performers who will fill our stages from noon till 9PM. For this celebration, we’ll feature many of those who have performed over the years, some who have been involved with this Festival since its inception, and some names new to our event,” organizers said. “It will be a great day of old-time music!”

This year’s Friday headliner is Snorty Horse, on stage at 8 p.m., preceded by the Blackberry Winter Band at 6 p.m.

SNORTY HORSE – 8PM Friday, Outside Stage

Snorty Horse is a collection of friends of more than 30 years. Mike Fraser knew Cathy Barton and Dave Para from fiddle contests and jam sessions in the vibrant fiddle tradition in Missouri where Mike has apprenticed with master Ozark fiddler Bob Holt. The trio did numerous school assembly shows for Young Audiences about Missouri cultural history and the Lewis and Clark Expedition and played occasional dates together around the state. They recorded two albums for the Missouri Department of Conservation: “Voices of the Hills” and “Fiddles and Forests.” Mike has led the band Shortleaf, named after an important native pine tree, for many years. Tenley Hansen, trained in musical theater, joined Mike’s band in Kansas City, adding keyboard, guitar, lead singing and composing.

As Snorty Horse, the quartet played dances, festivals, and school shows, chomping at the bit to play traditional and contemporary Ozark music. The band name came during a late-night drive after a dance and has managed to stick, facilitating several bad jokes, puns and strange graphics. The four started camping together at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, and Erika Gerety and her late husband Gary Libman were part of that close circle of friends from New Mexico and Kansas City known as PIcko de Gallo. Since Cathy’s passing in 2019 Dave and Erika have found a loving life together and are active in the New Mexico music scene. In the new group, Dave plays more banjo in addition to his lively back-up guitar style, and Erika has saddled up with the band offering her solid bass playing and expressive singing voice. They all share a love for traditional music and its cultural contexts and history, good singing, and the joy of making a big sound for the evening dance.

BLACKBERRY WINTER BAND – 6PM Friday, Outside Stage

Marideth Sisco is a teacher and consummate storyteller as well as the singer and songwriter featured in the 2011 Oscar-nominated film “Winter’s Bone.” A teller of tales and veteran award-winning author and journalist, she has sung and spoken to wide acclaim in public and private concert venues across the U.S and beyond.  Sisco hosts the public radio essay series “These Ozarks Hills,” now in its 14th season on KSMU-FM, Ozarks Regional Public Radio. She was the 2018 recipient of the Quill Award from the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame.

Along with Sisco will be the latest iteration of her band, Blackberry Winter. Sisco said the outdoor concert is something the band is really looking forward to. The band, now composed of Bo Brown on guitar and dobro, David Wilson on fiddle and mandolin and George Horne on acoustic bass, will be recognizable to folks who were around for the Ozarks’  progressive bluegrass scene some decades ago, Sisco said. “I’m honored to have 3/5 of the original Undergrass Boys as my backup band. They’re just a pure joy to work with. We’re happy for any chance we get to play together.” Sisco and Blackberry Winter Band are at work on their 5th studio album for Juneapple Records.

This year’s Saturday headliner is the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, on stage at 8 p.m., preceded by Thomas Maupin, Daniel Rothwell, Overall Creek and Friends at 6 p.m.

ALFERD PACKER MEMORIAL STRING BAND – 8PM Saturday, Outside Stage

The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band is five multi-instrumentalists, dressed in old-time costumes, singing and playing fiddles, banjo, guitars, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, accordion, bass, and creative percussion. The band has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Bill Geist, and in a documentary called “Overlooked” which aired on KTKA-TV. They were the focus of articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Readers’ Digest. Their music has been used in a national broadcast on NPR. Their infectious good humor and high energy leave no toe untapped. Musicians include Lauralyn Bodle (Fiddle, bass & vocals), Matt Kirby (Hammered dulcimer, accordion, snare drum, bodhran, vocals and vocal impressions),  Steve Mason (Fiddle, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin and Vocals), Noah Musser

(Banjo, bass, vocals),  Mike Yoder (Guitar, mandolin, bass and vocals).

Alferd Packer the 1800’s Gold Prospector, Guide & Cannibal: The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band is named after the gold prospector/guide turned cannibal Alferd Packer. Packer was the only American ever convicted of cannibalism. In the fall of 1870, five miners in Alferd’s charge headed for the Colorado gold fields. They ended up in Alferd’s stomach! At the conclusion of the trial, the judge’s exact words were, “Alferd Packer, you voracious man-eater, there were only seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, and you done et five of ’em.”_____

THOMAS MAUPIN, DANIEL ROTHWELL, OVERALL CREEK & FRIENDS – 6PM Friday, Outside Stage

Fiddle Austin Derryberry, Guitar Danny Rothwell, Dancer Courtney Derryberry, Dancer Kory Posey, Bass Sharlene Hazelwood

An elegant master of flatfoot buck dancing, Thomas Maupin has blended traditional steps learned in his family with a distinctive personal rhythmicality to create a mesmerizing and highly musical style.

Born in 1938 in rural Eagleville, Tennessee, Maupin was surrounded by dancers on both sides of his family. In performance, Maupin is most animated from bent knees to shoe soles, his form firmly anchored at his narrow waist. His lean upper body swivels with subtle emphasis, in graceful balance with his toes and heels. His feet tap, stomp, and slide a sophisticated rhythm grounded in the accents of traditional fiddle and banjo tunes. Distinguished by his impressive crisscrossing and scissor steps, Maupin is known to dance at times without instruments, as his feet and vocal patter make a fully functional musical ensemble.

In the 2000s, Maupin began a musical partnership with his grandson Daniel Rothwell, an award-winning traditional banjo player. Their relationship was portrayed in the 2010 documentary Let Your Feet Do the Talkin’. Over the years, he has patiently guided many young dancers on festival grounds or in his open house, and inspired hundreds more through workshops and exhibitions at numerous major festivals and heritage events. Maupin has evolved a deceptively simple artistic philosophy: follow the note of the tune, dance the music that you hear, and make your feet say something.

Our other featured performers will be announced soon!

The Festival 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.

2022 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 is 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