The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 20th year June 20 and 21.
The centerpiece of the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival held the third week-end each June in downtown West Plains is the music, and once again, festival goers will be entertained by performers on two stages – the main stage on the east side of the civic center and the 2nd Stage on Court Square. 2nd Stage performers and schedule are here.
Confirmed headliners for the main stage include The New Christy Minstrels, a mix of old and new and now the best collection of performers ever to have been billed as The New Christy Minstrels; SHEL, a vocal group with outstanding instrumental capabilities and an instrumental group with a thrilling vocal attack; champion buckdancer Thomas Maupin, with Daniel Rothwell and The Overall Creek Band; and The River Girls of the Rhodes Family, an area favorite.
Thomas Maupin and The New Christy Minstrels will take the stage at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively, June 20, while The River Girls of the Rhodes Family and SHEL will play at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively, on June 21.
“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.”
Admission to these performances, and all other festival activities, is free.
THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS – 8 p.m. Friday, June 20
One of the pioneers of folk music, 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.”
Been there, done that! In the humorous words of Yogi Berra, “It’s like deja vu all over again!” Randy Sparks, presiding over a faithfully restored group offering no less than three original New Christy Minstrels, reclaim their rightful place on stage and in the hearts & minds of millions. “Life is wonderful,” says Randy, “so much better than before. We’ve also been blessed with age and the wisdom that arrives therewith, so we can better appreciate how special is our time on each and every stage. We love what we do.”
Sparks invented the big folk group concept and format in 1961. He actually sat down with a pen and a notebook and designed his dream band – a happy blending of the exuberance of The Kingston Trio with the choral harmony of The Norman Luboff Choir. The name came from his reading on the struggles of Stephen Foster. Foster solved his problem by leaning on the most popular musical ensemble of his era, Christy’s Minstrels, and shortly became a household name. “Might the same formula work again more than a hundred years later?” Randy Sparks asked himself. The answer was yes. Randy and his group rode their musical chariot to the very top of the mountain, achieving world prominence, then wandered away, one by one, busying themselves with other challenges, always performing, but not being billed as The NCM.
“When my mentor and friend Burl Ives died,” Randy explains, “I suddenly had more time to devote to other forms of music, and I began writing for my old group again. A reunion concert became the logical next step, and the restored group has now been in high gear for more than four years.
SHEL – 8 p.m. Saturday, June 21
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.”
Sisters Sarah (violin, bass), Hannah (piano, keyboards), Eva (mandolin, cello) and Liza (drums, percussion) were born within five years of each other. Raised and homeschooled by a professional songwriter father and an artist mother, they dove into music young. Hannah was first to take classical lessons on piano. Then it was Sarah on violin, Liza on harp and Eva on mandolin. Liza switched to the drums upon discovery of her passion for polyrhythm.
Then in the early 2000s, they started working up and performing songs with their father. Over time, Eva stepped forward as the lead vocalist. Nestled within SHEL’s enveloping sound, wisps of folk revival, vaudeville, renaissance fairs and steam-punk esthetic blur around one another. Allusions abound to their core influences – The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson and acoustic super group Strength In Numbers – but you’ve never heard their brand of music before.
THOMAS MAUPIN AND DANIEL ROTHWELL – 6 p.m. Friday, June 20
“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.”
One of America’s best known buckdancers, 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, Thomas has won over 60 first-place titles, including the national buckdancing championship, which he has won six times, and state championships in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, to name a few.
Now over 70, Thomas hasn’t lost a step and is still a sought-after performer at festivals and events around the country. Through his performances, audiences are re-introduced to old-time mountain music buckdancing, an Appalachian folk dance with roots reaching back to English and Welsh step dancing. Described as a shuffling, countrified tap dance, buckdancing plays an important role in the documentary, showing how an art form interweaves with family, fellowship and tradition.
This year he will be joined by award-winning dancer Hillary Bevels. Age 21, Hillary Bevels is the 2013 National Old-Time Buckdancing Champion. She started dancing at age eight when she joined a local clogging team and performed. Hillary took up the fiddle a few years later and developed a passion for Old-Time music. Naturally, she learned the Old-Time dance style too. By the grace of God, Hillary met buck dancers Thomas Maupin and Jay Bland who played a huge role in nurturing her talent. Hillary Bevels has gone on to teach students of her own, one of whom won the Tennessee State Championship.
Maupin and Bevels will be dancing to the music of Overall Creek Band, with Daniel Rothwell (banjo and vocals), Danny Rothwell (guitar), Chris Gray (fiddle), and Sharlene Hazelwood on the bass. 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.
“The Thomas Maupin-Daniel Rothwell group totally tore it up at the 2011 Berkeley Old Time Convention. Thomas Maupin is the Mikhail Baryshnikov of Appalachian dance; he has the ‘something extra’ found in all truly great dancers, where even small movements are invested with a deeper meaning. Daniel Rothwell brought ‘real deal’ old-fashioned country entertainment to our stage with his cornball jokes (which the audience totally loved), his hollering renditions of old-time favorites like ‘Mountain Dew’ and ‘Columbus Stockade’ and his lively banjo playing. The interplay between grandfather and grandson was so strong and tender, adding a certain depth to their performances that could only come from a strong family connection. We loved the way they shared that with us.”
Suzy Thompson, Director, Berkeley Old Time Music Convention
Daniel is currently visiting many of the older Tennessee Old Time Musicians, recording them talking about their interest in music, family, etc… He is writing up small essays on each person and making mini documentaries. Sample of the work is shown at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EAIchiVHsQ
More information is available through their website and Facebook pages: http://www.banjodanielmusic.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/ThomasMaupinDanielRothwell
In addition to their Friday night spot, they will also be playing at 2-3 p.m. Saturday, June 21
THE RIVER GIRLS – 6 p.m., Saturday, June 21
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 River Girls of the Rhodes Family includes Sandra Rhodes on guitars and vocals, Donna Rhodes on vocals and percussion, and Brenda “Bear” Barnett, on bass guitar and vocals
What might you expect? Some of the best harmony singing you’ll hear live or recorded…ANYWHERE!
Colin Elmore & the Danville Train – noon till 2 p.m. Friday, June 20.
Colin comes from gospel music roots in his hometown of West Plains, but he’s fused his past with the flavor of rock and roll and bluegrass to create a unique sound that stays true to the traditional sounds of the region in which he was born and moves it forward, enticing a new and younger generation of fans to the fold.
Born into a musical family, Elmore, who now lives in Nashville, TN, first began writing original songs with deeply personal lyrics at the age of 16. He earned a significant fan base in Springfield as a member of the alternative rock band Berch, and he has continued to build his resume performing with the Franz Family and as a solo act. He finally has joined forces with the Danville Train.
Marideth Sisco, who heard Elmore at a “Battle of the Bands” event a couple of years ago, said “I was just really impressed with him, his musicianship and his songwriting ability. He really is exceptional, and I think everyone will be happy to hear what he’s been doing.”
More Colin Elmore information available at http://www.facebook.com/ColinElmoreMusic
The Juhl Family and Friends – 2-3 p.m. Friday, June 20; and 5-6 p.m. Saturday, June 21.
Like many trails in the Ozarks, the one that has led the Juhl Family and Friends to the 2014 Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is somewhat circuitous. ‘Still Standing’, the latest album by Blackberry Winter, the band assembled for the soundtrack of the 2010 movie Winter’s Bone, concludes with a song called “Ozark Mountains.”
“All across Missouri and south to Arkansas, from the hills of Oklahoma to southern Illinois: Ozark Mountains, I hear you calling, and near to you is where I long to be,” sings Marideth Sisco of West Plains, founding member of Blackberry Winter. Those words were written in 1980 by Marv Juhl of Du Quoin, Illinois, to a tune that his son Bob, had composed on the guitar.
Marv, Bob, and Joe Juhl (another of Marv’s sons) and several other Du Quoin-area musicians recorded the song, originally entitled “Memories of the Ozarks,” as the Beaucoup Bottom Boys, named for Beaucoup Creek in Perry County, Illinois. They included it on their 1981 album, Comin’ Out.
Thirty years later, Marv’s great-nephew, Matt Meacham, then a folklorist with the West Plains Council on the Arts, included a version of the song on a demo recording that he made with fellow musician Travis Stimeling. He gave copies of that recording to several members of Blackberry Winter. “Memories of the Ozarks” caught their attention. “We fell in love with it. It was a natural to include on this album,” Sisco commented.
Audiences at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will hear the Juhl Family and Friends perform “Memories of the Ozarks,” as well as other original compositions and a variety of old-time, bluegrass, country, and gospel selections.
Marv said the beauty of such places as Giant City, Bald Knob, and the Garden of the Gods in Illinois’ Shawnee Hills inspired his words. He had grown up in New Holland, near Lincoln in central Illinois, and moved south in 1962 to take a job with Associated Lumber Company in Carbondale. He later managed that company’s branch in Du Quoin for many years. “We [previously] lived on the prairie, and when we moved down here, it put us in a different environment,” Marv remarked. “I was just amazed by southern Illinois and Missouri.”
Marv brought with him an interest in country music that he had developed as a young man by listening to square dance bands and radio shows such as the National Barn Dance. He had taken guitar lessons and learned at least one country standard, “Red Wing,” from his high school band director. He became more seriously interested in music when his sons, Bob and Joe, inspired by the soundtracks of the movies Bonnie and Clyde and Deliverance, developed a love for bluegrass music and began playing it themselves in the mid-1970s. Bob had already started learning the guitar. Joe, who also played guitar, began focusing on the banjo. Marv took up the bass. They played with and learned from longtime local musicians Les Darmstatter, George Holt, and Norman Blankenship.
The three Juhls, along with friends such as Pastor Bob Brown, chaplain at the Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois, for several years, formed the Beaucoup Bottom Boys. They played for audiences at church picnics, campgrounds, senior citizens’ centers, and store openings all over the region and made occasional radio and television appearances. “Wherever we could get a free meal,” Bob joked. The Beaucoup Bottom Boys remained a band until the mid-1980s. Since then, Marv and Bob, both of whom still reside in Du Quoin, and Joe, who lives nearby between Willisville and Campbell Hill, have performed with various combinations of musicians in southern Illinois and surrounding regions.
Work and family obligations, along with the effects of a stroke that Joe suffered, prevented them from playing regularly during the early 2000s. Joe took up the banjo again in early 2013, however, and they have been making music frequently over the past year and a half. Several other members and friends of the Juhl family are also musicians and have often played with Joe, Bob, and Marv over the years.
Those who will join them onstage for portions or all of their Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival performances include the following:
- Marv’s nephew, Gary Juhl (guitar, vocals), and Gary’s wife, Debbie (vocals, songwriting), of San Antonio, Texas;
- Joe’s son, Josh Juhl (guitar, vocals), and Josh’s wife, Jenni (vocals), of Newburgh, Indiana;
- Matt Meacham (mandolin, guitar, vocals, songwriting), who lives in Chicago;
- Two former members of the Beaucoup Bottom Boys, Dave Halstead (mandolin, guitar, vocals, songwriting) of Du Quoin, who has played in various bands and is currently a member of Fertile Soil, and Don Willi (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals, songwriting), who lives in Mahomet, Illinois, is active in traditional music-making in the Champaign-Urbana area, and is a member of Wildwood; and
- Carolyn Dement (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Richie Dement (bass) of Centerville, Missouri, who will perform sacred selections during the Saturday performance.
The Juhls will celebrate their 2014 family reunion in conjunction with the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival. The principal organizer of the reunion is Marv’s nephew and Matt’s father, John Meacham of Chester, Illinois.
(NOTE: Some of the content of this article is borrowed from an article by John Meacham that was published in the County Journal, Percy, Illinois, and appears on the website Marideth Sisco: My Life and Times.)
Emily Dowden Estes – 3-4 p.m. Friday, June 20.
She developed her musical skills in the scenic, country setting of the Ozarks, where she was raised. Emily was born in Springfield and grew up on her father’s 1,000-acre dairy farm in Wright County, MO. It was there she began performing regionally. At age 16 she moved to Mtn. View, AR, with her sisters to pursue their growing music career. They were regular employees at the Ozark Folk Center, along with many other venues.
Eventually the girls landed in Asheville, NC, where Emily toured for over a decade with her family band. “The Dowden Sisters” performed at music festivals and concerts across the U.S. and parts of Canada to venues that included, in part, the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC, Silverton Jubilee in CO, Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration in Rosine, KY, Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, the Traditional Music Festival in Il, Fathers’ Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley, CA, and the Prince Edward Island Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in PEI, Canada.
After living on the east coast for five years, Emily moved back to her native Missouri Ozarks to pursue college and other interests, and to be near her relatives. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing-English from Missouri State University, she chose music for her career path once again. She formed a new group, the “Emily Dowden Band” and will release her first solo project this summer. Emily collaborated with several regional musicians and one friend from Nashville, and is excited to finally be releasing her long awaited album, which ranges from folk, to bluegrass, to old country, one gospel number, and two originals. She is also very excited to entertain for this very special 20th anniversary festival. She was around for the very first one, as a kid, so the festival is special to her, as a native Ozarks’ musician and loyal festival participant.
Aside from being a performer, Emily also is a music instructor at Palen Music Center in Springfield, where she gives private clawhammer banjo and ukulele lessons. She strives to keep the art and customs of traditional Ozarks music alive and well, by passing it down to younger generations, just as it was passed down to her by the late great Karen Kraft and other traditional folk artists from southern MO and northern AR. Emily minored in Theater at MSU and has employed her acting skills by participating in a local TV show, “Kelly’s Kountry Junction” shown on PBS weekly. Emily is also a “professional princess” playing the the roles of “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast” and “Ariel” from “The Little Mermaid” for “As You Wish Princess Parties” out of Branson, MO. In addition to acting and music, she is also an independent consultant for Arbonne, a health and wellness/cosmetics company. An official web page is in the works for later this year; in the meantime you can like her Facebook fan page, at https://www.facebook.com/emily.dowden.band
South Wynns – 4-5 p.m. Friday, June 20
South Wynns is a Bluegrass/Country Band, with members Berry Wynn, Betty Wynn, Amanda Marlow, Casey Freeland and Alan Young.
~SouthWynns~ was founded 17 years ago, by the late, great John Wynn, Master Mandolin & Banjo Builder. Barry Wynn says “I made my Dad a promise, before his passing, to keep the family band going, and that’s what I’ve done.”
~SouthWynns~ are a regular on the TV show Kellys Kountry Junction and they also play at Dickeys BBQ Pit in Nixa, MO every second & fourth Saturday of each month. Band members include Betty Wynn (John Wynn’s wife), Berry Wynn (their son), Amanda Marlow (Berry’s daughter), Casey Freeland (granddaughter of John & Betty), and Alan Young (not blood related, but kinda like Berry’s son).
Deep Fried Squirrel – 5-6 p.m. Friday, June 20.
From atop the Ozarks plateau comes Deep Fried Squirrel, and old time wall of sound blending Bluegrass music and instrumentation with influences from across the spectrum of genres, all tied up with a big progressive bow. In their fifth year as a band, after some lineup shifting and putting the drum kit in storage, they have settled into a tight knit string band ready to throw down some foot-stomping acoustic jams to anyone willing to lend an ear.
Artists include Caleb Fairchild (guitar, vocals), Deakin Mooney (banjo, vocals), Kolt Kendrick (mandolin, vocals), Eric Mathewson (fiddle), and Jake Norman (bass)
Colbert Brothers – noon – 1 p.m. Saturday, June 21
Old-time music has been a family tradition for generations for Colbert Brothers Van, Vernon and John, 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.
All of the children sang a cappella in a deep, nasal hill-country style that needed no accompaniment, and memories of their voices together or solo during family reunions can still raise the hair on the back of Van’s neck.
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.
Truett learned to play the banjo from Homer Treat, a performer featured on volume one of the “Echoes of the Ozarks” album. Mother Vernieca May (Easley) Colbert also was a beautiful singer and lady, Van said, and before she passed away last year, they could always encourage her to sing “Beautiful Brown Eyes,” “Red River Valley,” “Maple on the Hill” and “Wildwood Flower” to their accompaniment. Brother Leon Colbert of Wichita, Kan., has joined brothers Van, Vernon and John on fiddle.
The Faretheewells – 1-2 p.m. Saturday, June 21
With music exploding in every direction, The Faretheewells have found their place right at the roots. They blend indie, folk, rock, country and bluegrass, mix in a double shot of energy, and create an eclectic musical concoction.
The four-piece family band is made up of 3 siblings: 16 year old multi-instrumentalist Shaun Chilton, Ryan Chilton on guitar and vocals, and Jodi Whitchurch on percussion and vocals, and Ryan’s wife, Jamie Chilton, on bass and vocals.
They have a sound that has been aged in a whiskey barrel, laced with honey, and then set on fire. Whether they are playing a stripped-down lament or a boisterous barn-burner, if you are listening to this band, it is sure to be a good time!
Stringfield – 3-4 p.m. Saturday, June 21.
Stringfield is a truly unique band; it comes in many different variations but always includes the unique sound of the Hammer Dulcimer. The sound is like a good stew; it depends on the ingredients. The flavor of old time comes through when you hear the clawhammer banjo paired with the Celtic strains of the dulcimer. New stories and places are created through the art of the songwriter. Sometimes you will even hear the sweet pairing of two dulcimers. The members have played with various bands, numerous events and some have even traveled to distance lands to bring their sound to new places.
Victoria Johnson has been playing music most of her life but one beautiful day in summer she heard her first hammer dulcimer and it was love at first listen. She also plays the guitar and fiddle in addition to the Hammered Dulcimer. Over the course of time she has had the privilege of playing with a number of great musicians at festivals, workshops and concerts. She was the 2002 Southern Regional Hammered Dulcimer Champion, 2002 Southern Regional Ensemble – Second place and the 2004 Oklahoma State Champion. In 2003 she traveled to the Isaseki Bon Festival in Isaseki Japan representing Springfield along with the Hammer & Strings Dulcimer group. Victoria also holds an MFA in Drawing from Southern Illinois University.
David Greathouse is a songwriter, an actor, a graphic designer, a sound designer & editor, recording engineer, a CG enthusiast, and a fledgling blacksmith. But his passion is song writing… storytelling… the business of taking a listener to some special place and bringing them back changed, or at least affected. His is the art of altered perspectives and artfully colored phrases intent on catching a listener off guard… to knock them off balance and send them on their way with new ideas about “stuff.
He has been writing and performing for over twenty years, but has recently found himself a willing captive of the Star Trek universe – writing several songs for the wildly popular series of live, staged parodies of the classic show performed in Springfield, Missouri since 2011. In addition to the Star Trek parodies, he has immersed himself in various local theater and film projects – writing, acting and producing at every possible opportunity.
Jeremy Myers began his music quest in 1986 when the five-year-old found a Harmonica and learned to play it. He has since picked up fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer style banjo and most recently cello, Jeremy seeks to bring his twenty-seven years of musical experience into the field of folk music with an emphasis on Traditional and Old-time music.
Having played with bands such as Emily Dowden Band, Hot Ash Stringband, and most recently Peppersauce Alley, Jeremy has played venues such as the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival in Little Rock AR, the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in West Plains MO, and Wooley Creek Bluegrass Festival as well as local venues. Jeremy is also a Luthier and a certificated pilot!
Roe Family Singers – 4-5 p.m. Saturday, June 21
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.
For an example of events and performers from last year or 2012, please click the appropriate link below.