2022 Performers 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. 

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!”

Headliners were previously announced:

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

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.

Our other featured performers with their set times are:

JUDY DOMENY BOWEN -Noon Friday, Outside Stage

Judy Domeny Bowen is a solo performer of folk songs. Her musical performances are a reflection of her life’s interests–traditional Ozarks ballads, farm songs, and original songs about being a teacher.

     Judy began playing guitar and singing as a child growing up on a farm near Rogersville, Missouri, falling in love with the stories and history within Ozarks ballads. Mining the collections of Max Hunter and Vance Randolph, Judy learned songs of broken-hearted lovers, cowboys, Civil war soldiers, train wrecks, and murderous love triangles.      As years rolled by, Judy added songs that reflected her life on rocky Ozarks farms that she loves so much. She sings of gardening, cutting wood, auctions, milking cows…  

     Judy’s performance at noon on Friday, June 3 will include songs from her life—Ozarks ballads, farm songs, and songs about life as a teacher. Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, Judy sings with great clarity, warmth, and good humor. Come enjoy her music and stories. Also, please buy one of her cheaply priced CD’s as she has a garage full she would really like to clear out.

WILLI CARLISLE – 2PM Friday, Outside Stage

Willi Carlisle is a folksinger and storyteller based in Arkansas. With years of collecting folklore, calling square dances, mentoring under old masters, and tirelessly touring festivals, honky-tonks, and house-concerts, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist with a big voice, a banjo, fiddle, guitar, button-box, and more.

After his all-old-time-music debut in 2015 with Allison Williams (Old Ties) and several Ozarks-focused folklore exhibitions, Willi released a debut EP of original songs, “Too Nice to Mean Much,” in June 2016. After a year of touring, Willi settled in with producer and director Joseph Fletcher to design his award-winning folk-music play, “There Ain’t No More.” In the 2017-2018 touring season, the solo storytelling/folk-music show won ten awards and was performed over 100 times at festivals, colleges, and arts centers. Willi then returned to Arkansas to record “To Tell You the Truth,” a stripped-down, live album of 12 folksongs and originals that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette says “stand on their own, lyrically and musically.”

Willi’s newest project is an album and performance piece titled “Peculiar, Missouri,” a travelogue story in folksongs and field-recordings. Produced by the Grammy Winning Valcour records, the album is poised to synthesize his heartfelt and historical approach to storytelling. In the meantime, he’s been publishing his fieldwork and music writing in places such as The Journal of American Folklore. His last year of touring will take him from Maine to California, Texas to Manitoba, Alaska to the United Kingdom.

With a style forged in the fire of Ozark old-time music and his ever-growing collection of antique music, Carlisle’s musical stories hoot, stomp, and saunter with banjo-tricks, rhythm bones, crankies, and bad jokes.

COLBERT BROTHERS – Noon Saturday, Outside Stage

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.

DOGWOOD MOUNTAIN DULCIMERS – 1PM Saturday, Outside Stage

Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers, based in Springfield, Missouri, is a group of mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer players that formed from associations of folks from a widespread area of Missouri, from the St. Louis and Cape Girardeau areas to the Walnut Grove and Branson areas.  They are a fairly new group, but they all share the joy of playing their instruments, and they enjoy sharing this unique art with others!

Meet the members of Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers: June Day, Belinda Link, Joyce Creed, Julie Wilson,

Marvin Glueck, Rhonda Jones, Mary Ellen Lounsbery, Christa Clawson, and Ginny White. 

The Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers group plays mostly folk music, but they also include songs from bluegrass, Celtic, and southern gospel backgrounds.  Also, they host an open jam every first Tuesday from 5pm-8pm at the Library Center in Springfield.  So if you’re ever in that area on that day, they invite you to join them at the open jam!

EMILY DOWDEN – 3PM Saturday, Theater Stage

Emily Dowden Estes is a musician/singer/songwriter from the MO Ozarks. She plays traditional folk/Americana with originals sprinkled in, featuring her main instruments: clawhammer banjo and ukulele. She and her husband, Kyle Estes, live in Springfield, with their little boy, Isaiah Clell Estes. Emily was raised on a big dairy farm and grew up around old time and bluegrass music. She began playing professionally at a young age and toured with her family band throughout her teens to mid 20s. During this time she lived in Mtn. View, AR (The Folk Music Capital of the world) and Asheville, NC. She later moved back to her home state of MO and attended Missouri State University, where she graduated with honors. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing, English and minored in Theater.

Music and creating art remain Emily’s biggest passion in life aside from motherhood. Her long-term (and life) goal is to create and archive a large body of work to leave behind for her child and posterity. She wants to actively do her part to help keep the old folk music and traditional sacred songs alive and well, for future generations to learn and enjoy.

DRIFTERS MILE – 3PM Friday, Theater Stage

“Born in the deep dark woods of the Ozarks”

Members are Deakin Mooney, Jake Norman, Tony Johnson, Cris Appleby and Trent Pruit – Drifters Mile is a group of guys brought together by a love for country/ bluegrass music. They might not share a bloodline, but they are a family band all the same. Drifters Mile got its start under the moniker Deep Fried Squirrel, playing festivals like the Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Fest (AR),  John Hartford Memorial Festival (IN), River romp (MO) sharing bills with bands like Del Mccoury and the Travelin McCourys, Split Lip Rayfield, and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.  With a new brand, new ideas, and a new catalog, Drifters Mile released their first album, Road to Antioch, in the Winter/Spring of 2018, and their second album The March in  Spring 2019. They have gone into studio and recorded a 2-song single for there yet to be named 2020 album. In concert, you can expect to see a high energy performance filled with a wide range of country music from original compositions and old timey bluegrass standards to smile-inducing covers from the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s Expanded touring from a regional to national platform lies ahead through the windshield and down the highway. We hope to see you soon!

JULIE HENIGAN – 1PM Friday, Theater Stage

Julie Henigan grew up in Springfield, Mo., with old-time music on her doorstep.  Famed fiddler Art

Galbraith lived a block away, the Max Hunter Song Collection was at the nearby library, and music parties were just a short drive away.  Other musical influences from the Ozarks have included Almeda Riddle, Glenn Ohrlin, and Bob Holt.

Known for her unerring command of the distinct, but related, idioms of Southern American and traditional Irish music, Julie sings and plays finger-style guitar, clawhammer banjo, mountain dulcimer, and fiddle – instruments she uses for both song accompaniments and solo pieces. At the festival she will concentrate on her American repertoire, especially that of the Ozarks.

Julie’s performances have been characterized as “mesmerizing,” her vocals “stunning” and her instrumental work as “absolutely superior.”  She has performed solo in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and as a member of a number of Irish and old-time bands, including Missouri Girls with Barbara Weathers and Kim Lansford.  She has shared the stage with a variety of singers and musicians, including Tom Paley, Chirps Smith, and Irish super-group Altan.  Author of two Mel Bay books on open-tuned finger-style guitar, Julie has a highly lauded CD on the Waterbug label entitled American Stranger.

THE HOECAKES – 5PM Friday, Outside Stage

The Hoecakes serve up old-time soul food from the Ozark Hills. Rachel Reynolds, Allison Williams, and Cindy Woolf blend old-time vocal harmonies with traditional string band drive.

Hailing from various corners of the Ozark mountains, the Hoecakes call on traditional material and the early recording history of string bands, along with original material, to offer up a raucous time for audiences of all ages and experiences.

ONE MORE DOLLAR – 2PM Saturday, Outside Stage

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 provide 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.

OZARK HELLBENDERS 3PM Friday, and 3PM Saturday Outside Stage

The Ozark Hellbenders band consists of Gordon Johnston, Randy Aufdembrinke, Hank Dorst, and CD Scott. The band has gone through many transitions in name and members throughout the years. They are a very eclectic band playing older rock and roll, country, bluegrass, Celtic music, and gospel music. Gordon plays a very soulful piano and sings, Randy plays rhythm guitar and sings, CD plays guitar, mandolin, and sings. The solid beat is kept by Hank. Gordon and Randy have also penned many songs.

DUANE PORTERFIELD – 1PM Friday, Outside Stage, 5PM Saturday, Theater Stage

Duane Porterfield is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist. As a boy in the fifth grade, his parents bought him a K-Mart guitar promising that, “If you stick with it, we’ll get you a better one”.  He stuck with it, (developing some quite nice calluses) and a few months later, was presented with his first “real” guitar. 

In 1997 he was introduced to the mountain dulcimer.  “The mountain dulcimer has been the medicine that relieves my headache, has taken me back to a simpler time, and has introduced me to some of my closest friends,” he says. Duane now spends much of his time as a regular performer and emcee at the Folk Center’s live shows.  He also assists with sales, promotions, and the creation of McSpadden Dulcimers in Mountain View.

Because he plays by ear, Duane was rather reluctant to conduct workshops. “I want those attending my workshops to be able to take only what they need from my classes and combine it with what they can use from other instructors and/or resources to develop their own style and uniqueness with the mountain dulcimer.  Then share your music.  There’s room for us all.”  Duane Porterfield  

ROE FAMILY SINGERS – Noon Saturday, Theater Stage and 5PM Saturday, Outside Stage

Roe Family Singers features Quillan and Kim Roe, Eric Paulson (bass), Dave Gustafson (mandolin), and David Robinson (guitar).

Pinecastle Records recording artists the Roe Family Singers are a Good-Time, Old-Time Hillbilly band from the tiny community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN. Led by wife & husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe, 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, Jesse McReynolds, the Grascals, Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur, Junior Brown, Asleep at the Wheel, and John McEuen & John Carter Cash. 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; in 2012, won the Minnesota Duet Contest at the MN State Fair; in 2016 won the title of Entertainers of the Year from BMAI; in 2017, Kim won the clogging competition at the Old-Time Music & Ozark Heritage Festival, held in West Plains, MO in 2018, won both Entertainers of the Year and Album of the Year from BMAI; and in 2019, won Best Band, Best Band Overall, and Entertainers of the Year from BMAI.

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.

SHORTLEAF- 4PM Friday, Theater Stage

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 Ozarks. They will be joined by Lonnie Jones from Rogersville, Missouri on Bass.

SETH SHUMATE – 1PM Saturday, Theater Stage

Seth Shumate is an Arkansas native whose grandfather and great-grandmother played the harmonica or “french harp” in the Ozarks.  Shumate said he acquired the habit in the seventh grade.  Since then he has played and studied the history of old-time harmonica and specializes in the fiddle-tune, country blues, and jug band styles of the harmonica masters of the 1920s-30s.  He has played at this very festival as a member of the string bands Shout Lulu and The Ozark Highballers. 

His performance at 3 PM on Saturday will include harmonica masterpieces from nearly a century ago followed by a harmonica and fiddle duet with Ozark fiddler Pete Howard. 

Later in the afternoon Seth will give a presentation on the old-time harmonica techniques needed to transform a skinny melody into a wall of sound.   

LYAL STRICKLAND – 2PM Friday, Theater Stage

Singer. Songwriter. Farmer.

With a raspy voice that at times is soothing and still others raw with emotion, Lyal Strickland beautifully captures the soul of working-class America by telling the individual stories that somehow help you understand the greater human puzzle—stories of love lost and found, of sleepless nights, of a loved one’s mind slipping away, of working too hard and never quite having enough—they’re our stories and your stories, and they are the heartbeat of Americana. Despite the unflinching honesty that might sound bleak on paper, there is a hope woven throughout Strickland’s music like in his single “What if We Could Save the World.”  That hope takes center stage.

After spending some time focusing on his family farm, getting married, and starting a family of his own—Strickland finds himself returning to the music that’s so woven into the fabric of who he is. Lyal is a man of many talents and many passions, but at his core, he is a singer.  A songwriter. A farmer.

STRINGFIELD – 4PM Saturday, Theater Stage

Stringfield is a truly unique band; it comes in many different variations. Victoria Johnson hails from Missouri, she has won two championships on the hammer dulcimer, plays in an Irish jam every Monday at a local pub, and recently taken up the Swedish Nyckelharpa. Stringfield has played many venues, and festivals including the traveling Smithsonian Roots Festival, The Bon Festival in Japan, and many more.

Gail Morrissey will be playing concertina and hammered dulcimer. Gail Morrissey is from Hollister, MO. She won the SW regional competition and honorable mention that year at the National competition. Gail also traveled to Japan to play at the Isaseki Bon Festival.

Husband and wife duo, Elissa and Clay Dodson,The Meandering Misanthropes, provide traditional music on fiddle & bodhran. Hailing from their farm (the Cross D Ranch) in Fair Grove, they blend Irish with New England Contra, French Canadian, Swedish & Scottish tunes. Jamming together for over 15 years, they enjoy playing for farmers’ markets, dances, their kids, and any gig that gives them an excuse to pull out their instruments.

JOHN P WILLIAMS W/THOMAS CORIELL – 4PM Friday, Outside Stage; and 4 PM Saturday, Outside Stage

One of the foremost Missouri old-time fiddlers playing today, John P. Williams has played the fiddle over 30 years. He first caught the “fiddle bug” at age seven inspired by the “fiddling I heard growing up at the local fiddle contests my family would take me to.” He grew up and still lives in northeast Missouri on his family’s farm located in rural Monroe County. Central and northeast Missouri is home to the distinctive regional old time fiddle style known as Little Dixie; generally characterized by long bow strokes, an emphasis on clear notes and melodies, frequent double stops, and accenting all of which produce a driving quality to the tunes.

From ages 9-17, John attended Bethel Fiddle Camp held annually in Bethel, MO and learned from “some of the finest Missouri fiddlers to ever draw a bow;” Pete McMahan, Taylor McBaine, Johnny Bruce, Vesta Johnson, Dwight Lamb, Charlie Walden and Bob Holt to name only a few. In 1998, then sixteen, he had “a once in lifetime opportunity” to apprentice with the legendary Little Dixie and contest fiddler Pete McMahan in Missouri’s Traditional Apprenticeship Program. Pete was and is a significant influence on John. John learned Pete’s amazing bowing technique and many of his rare and unique tunes. Since then, like all great fiddlers, John has developed his own style and picked up many more tunes through the years.

John teaches regularly as a master fiddler at the same Bethel Fiddle Camp he once attended. He has been selected four times as a master artist in Missouri’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, one of the youngest masters chosen in the programs over 30 year old history. As John simply and directly puts it, “I want to play and pass on the traditional tunes that have been played in our state for generations.”

Like his grandfather and father, Thomas Coriell has developed an intense passion for listening to, and playing old time country music. Growing up around musicians while accompanying his father to countless gigs, Thomas caught the music bug early in life.

Learning guitar at an early age, Thomas picked up riffs and chords by watching his father rehearse for band jobs. Modeling his playing after his father, (both Thomas and his father have an irregular style) playing left-handed, upside down and backwards on right handed instruments, Thomas learned all he could from dad.

Thomas is Charlie Walden’s apprentice in the Missouri Folk Arts Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, 2021-2022. Active in jam sessions, contests, teaching, and string bands, Thomas, a fiddle scholar, is interested in the history and personalities in fiddling and writes commentaries on his experiences. Thomas’s fiddle repertoire focuses on old-time tunes particularly from Cyril Stinnett. Thomas was a guest instructor at the 2021 Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp, in Bethel, Missouri. In 2021, Coriell competed in the annual Walnut Valley national championships in Winfield, Kansas, and played Stinnett’s version of “Brilliancy,” “Shamus O’Brien,” and “Waiting For The Robert E. Lee.”

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