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.
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. For more information, visit the facebook page, Yarnspinner Media.
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.
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.”
Fiddle, bass & vocals
Lauralyn has degrees in math and psychology, and for her Master’s theses in architecture helped design and build an energy efficient home. She teaches Italian at the University of Kansas,
Hammered dulcimer, accordian, snare drum, bodhran, vocals and vocal impressions
Matt’s picture is in the American Heritage Dictionary (American Heritage, 2nd college edition) next to “dulcimer”. He is an artist by trade, with a degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. He plays the hammered dulcimer that he designed and built.
Fiddle, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin and Vocals
For a day job Steve Mason is a luthier: one who repairs, improves and creates stringed instruments. To make a guitar he starts with a tree and carves away everything that doesn’t look like a guitar. He has a degree in Biology and he’s only five years of graduate school and a dissertation short of a PhD.
Guitar, mandolin, bass and vocals
Mike admits to being the former chief photographer at The Lawrence Journal-World newspaper. Some of his photographs can be seen in the books “America 24/7” and “Kansas 24/7”.
Banjo, bass, vocals
Noah is a drawing and painting teacher of visual art at a small-town high school in north-eastern Kansas. He is the most recent addition to The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, joining the group in 2014.
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. Along with older relatives and his nine brothers and sisters, he “traded steps” as a child at domestic and community square dances. His maternal grandmother, Will, lived with the family and danced in a flatfoot—often barefoot—unadorned country style. Her influence on Maupin was strong, and today, more than her movement, it is her sound—the metric thud of heel meeting wooden floor—that he remembers. As Maupin entered adulthood, rural dances waned. Once married with children and employed in an aircraft factory, he took a 15-year hiatus from dancing.
With his children grown and with the emergence of regional old-time music contests, Maupin returned to dancing and found a new community of traditional musicians and steppers. His dance continued to develop as he became an active competitor. 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.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Maupin became a mainstay at music contests in the South. His precise musical timing and collaborative spirit made him favored among old-time string bands, who worked with him more in a symbiotic relationship than an accompanying one. Over the next three decades, he won state championships in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Indiana, as well as several national and regional championships in buck dancing, clogging, and freestyle dance.
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’. In 2009 Maupin was given the Trail Blazer Award from the Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival and in 2011 he earned the Tennessee Governor’s Folklife Heritage Award. 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 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. She listened to country music playing on her dad’s 8-track recordings in the farm pickup truck, singing along with Loretta and Merle, Dolly and Emmylou, Johnny and Tom T. Hall. But somehow, she veered off the path to country stardom and into folk music obscurity, 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. She developed a personal repertoire of hundreds of traditional Ozarks songs that are seldom heard today. She has enjoyed performing these songs at festivals and concerts for decades.
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… Currently raising top quality Boer goats, Judy will talk your ear off about all things goats, so be advised and don’t even bring up the subject.
An elementary art teacher (now retired after teaching 30 years), Judy surprised herself by spontaneously writing a song about being a teacher one February day. Her students were climbing the walls because they had not had outdoor recess for 3 weeks due to snow. (Remember those heavy snowstorms we got decades ago?) This first song, February Teacher Blues, turned into a bevy of original songs about being a teacher. These songs led to recording projects and then performances as Judy shared music and laughter, honesty and inspiration with educators across America as well as internationally.
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, and he’s occasionally playing on stages with Grammy-Winning acts like Dom Flemons and Los Texmaniacs or with rockers like Cory Branan and Shawn James.
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. Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances at The Fayetteville Roots Festival, Pickin’ On Fest, The Focal Point, Homeroutes, The Westport Roots Festival, Thacker Mountain Radio, AmericanaFest UK, The Ozark Heritage Festival, and more.
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, from Springfield, Missouri, was introduced to the mountain dulcimer in 2014 while on a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Although she didn’t get one at that time, she couldn’t get that instrument out of her mind, and then, a couple years later, her husband gifted her one for her birthday. With a growing passion for the mountain dulcimer, she enjoys playing with several different clubs, Ozark Mountain Dulcimers and Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers both in Springfield, and Show-Me Dulcimer Club in Columbia.
Belinda Link resides in Potosi, Missouri. She first discovered the mountain dulcimer at Silver Dollar City in 2017, took lessons for a few months, and fell crazy-in-love with it. She plays at historical events, churches, coffee shops, and uses it in her Comfort Ministry for hospice and nursing home patients, and to spread joy to others.
Joyce Creed from Walnut Grove, Missouri. Joyce joined the group after attending some dulcimer events with her sister Rhonda. She enjoys spending time with the group and having quality time with her sister. Joyce’s biggest fans are her dogs, Jojo and Peeps, who attend every home practice session! Joyce has attended numerous workshops and festivals as well.
Julie Wilson was introduced to the hammered dulcimer after retiring from teaching in 2006. In January 2014 she attended a workshop given by Rick Thum and met some new friends and they decided to get together once a month to play. From once a month they went to once a week and formed a group called the Front Porch Players and played in public for the first time at Fort D in Cape Girardeau in September, 2014, during a Civil War encampment weekend. They have played in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, school programs, heritage days, and local festivals and other outside events.
Marvin Glueck is a retired delivery driver from Oran, Missouri. He saw his first hammered dulcimer on his honeymoon in Branson and fell in love with the music. He built his first hammered dulcimer and started out mostly self-taught with a basic music background. His philosophy is “with a desire, you can make music”.
Rhonda Jones from Grovespring, Missouri. Rhonda started playing the mountain dulcimer to share in the fun of learning to play a stringed instrument with her grandchildren. She began dulcimer lessons with Ginny, who is also in this group, in May of 2016 and has been playing the dulcimer and enthusiastically attending festivals and workshops ever since.
Mary Ellen Lounsbery resides in Branson, Missouri. She first picked up a dulcimer back in 1994/1995. At that time, she took a few lessons from Art Reed. There were not many mountain dulcimer players around at that time, so she lost interest and put the dulcimer away. She started playing again in 2015. That time she totally fell in love with it and hasn’t stopped since.
Christa Clawson is from Walnut Grove, Missouri. Christa has owned her dulcimer since 2019 but only began learning to play it a few months ago. Learning a new skill has been a form of self-care for her, a way to exercise her mind and her hands. It has given her a welcome place to focus her thinking during grief recovery. Playing the dulcimer during her personal prayer, praise, and worship time has been the most gratifying to her.
Ginny White is from central Missouri. Ginny first found the mountain dulcimer in 2002 at a church craft show from Kentucky and has been playing it ever since. She has performed solo and with different groups at numerous events and activities throughout the state, as well as helping others learn to play. She loves playing music with others and discovering players who share the same enjoyment.
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.
Emily is also a music instructor and worked at Palen Music Center in Springfield for eleven years, until starting her own music studio from home in order to be a full-time mother to her young son. Emily enjoys working from home but she still performs live shows occasionally.
Aside from performing and teaching music, Emily has done various work as an actress throughout the years, both screen and stage. Most recently, she worked at the Branson Murder Mystery dinner theater in Branson, MO, for the summer 2018 season. Emily also enjoys literature and writing and has written several poems and other works, in addition to her songwriting. She started penning a novel while in college and hopes to resume work on it after completing her current recording projects. She also plans to release a children’s book in the near future.
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. She has released a few singles and is currently busy working on multiple full-length albums. Release dates TBD. There is no website available at this time, although she does plan to update her Youtube channel and post music as much as possible.
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.
Julie also found inspiration in her music from Appalachian singers and musicians like Jean Ritchie, Lily May Ledford, and Virginia ballad singer Eunice Yeatts MacAlexander, as well as folk revival musicians Tom Paley and Peggy Seeger.
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.
As a folklorist, Julie has interviewed singers and musicians from the Appalachians and the Ozarks, steeping herself even more deeply in the traditions she loves. She has also spent a significant amount of time in Ireland studying the song tradition of that country, so that, as music critic Philippe Varlet has commented, “Julie can go from American-style traditional songs like ‘Going Across the Sea’ to traditional Irish songs and be equally comfortable in either style.” 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.
Rachel Reynolds is a folklorist, fiddle player, and consultant from Fox, Arkansas, where she leads cultural programs for Meadowcreek, Inc., a 1600-acre nature preserve and artist retreat in North Central Arkansas.
Allison Williams is a Master Artist in Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts’ Apprentice Program. She plays the clawhammer banjo, rhythm guitar, and sings ballads. Allison lives, teaches, and works as an audio engineer and luthier in the Fayetteville, Arkansas, area.
Cindy Woolf is an accomplished songwriter and recording artist who plays banjo and guitar. She has released three records of original material under her own name, as well as one record of Ozarks songs from her band The Creek Rocks (along with husband Mark Bilyeu). She currently resides in Springfield, MO.
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 or as he is often referred to, “That dulcimer player that always wears those overalls.” 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. Playing along with cassette tapes of The Eagles, John Denver and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, among others, he soon discovered a love for the sound of acoustic stringed instruments. Eventually he would form a string band, Hardtack, with his older brother Dennis and Les Crider, the man who first taught him to play Wildwood Flower on the guitar. For several years they played fairs and festivals in the area.
In 1997 he entered the Mountain Music Shop in Shawnee, Kansas and was introduced to the mountain dulcimer. He recalled as a young child watching his great grandfather strumming on a similar stringed box with a stick and feather. Duane left the music shop that day with his first mountain dulcimer failing to realize the impact this instrument would have on his life. “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 was born in Kansas City, Missouri to parents who left their Arkansas Ozarks roots to find work and a living. He was raised in Kansas City, Kansas where upon graduating from high school, he was accepted in the KCK Police Cadet program. On his twenty-first birthday he was sworn in as a police officer beginning his thirty-two-year career in law enforcement. He and his wife, Cindi, were married on April Fool’s Day, 1995 and with their combined families resided with their five children on a farm in western Wyandotte/Kansas City, Ks.
With kids grown and moved away and retirement in sight, Cindi and Duane began looking for a place to retire. Eventually their search led them to a place they often visited and in 2005 they purchased a cottage in the wooded hills just outside of the small Ozark town of Mountain View, Arkansas. They would travel to and from Mountain View becoming involved with the proclaimed “Folk Music Capital”, its festivals and its people.
Retiring in 2013, Cindi and Duane moved to their Arkansas home where they volunteer at the many various festivals in the region and at The Ozark Folk Center State Park. 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. It was the spring of 2015 that his longtime friend, mentor and fellow musician, Judy Klinkhammer, upon revealing that she had terminal cancer, asked him to continue on with her workshops. “Just share your music”, she said. He agreed and although nervous and a bit intimidated at his lack of music terminology, he discovered that he and his students were equally blessed with a great experience. “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
Awards include 2000 Kansas State Mountain Dulcimer Champion, 2003 Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Champion, 2005 National Mountain Dulcimer Competition 2nd Place, 2006 National Mountain Dulcimer Competition Finalist, 2009 National Mountain Dulcimer Competition Finalist, and 2014 National Mountain Dulcimer Competition Champion.
ROE FAMILY SINGERS –
Noon Saturday, Theater Stage and
5PM Saturday, Outside Stage
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.
Strickland has a solid foundation of stories encapsulated through his music on four studio albums, his most recent of which is Preservation. There is a truth to his work that resonates. It catches you and won’t let go. From the uplifting cover of “It’ll Shine When It Shines” to the poignant “Gone for the Weekend”, Strickland takes you on a ride that is both universal and uniquely born of the Ozarks, guaranteeing that if nothing else, you will be moved. Lyal’s experience with performing since age 13, has afforded him the opportunity to play alongside such greats as the late Lou Whitney of the Morells and Skeletons, the Hillbenders’ Mark Cassidy, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ David Painter, Steve Cash, and John Dillon.
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.
Lyal will be performing and releasing a series of singles honoring his rural roots telling stories with his trademark raw authenticity and grace in 2022.
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.
While still a teenager, John started to seriously compete and win fiddle contests in Missouri and beyond. In 2001, at age 20, he won the National Invitational Fiddle Championship held in Yankton, South Dakota. Now in his 30’s, John plays Missouri fiddle contests occasionally for fun and a chance to jam with old friends. Like other old time musicians, he worries that the popularity of national Texas contest style of fiddling is overtaking Missouri’s historically rooted regional styles. Today, you are just as likely to find John playing at jam, local dances, or with his friends on his family’s farm.
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 from Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard songs 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.
As a rebellious teenager, Thomas took his talent with the guitar to many up-and-coming angst filled cow-punk, twangy rock, and hard country bands. Performing with Saint Louis acts Redline, and The Roundups, Thomas wrote songs, recorded, and played in venues across the midwest region.
Starting a family in his twenties, Thomas began to appreciate a slower paced approach to playing and performing music. Picking up the mandolin and fiddle, Thomas began to focus on more acoustic styles of country music. In the early 2000’s, Thomas joined Saint Louis based roots band The Red-Headed Strangers. Performing a mix of classic country, bluegrass, old-time, irish, and rock n roll music, The Red-Headed Strangers continue to perform to the delight of audiences around the Saint Louis area.
In his thirties, Thomas began focusing on playing the fiddle, and in particular, old-time Missouri fiddle style. Observing fiddlers like Betse Ellis, Geoff Seitz, Tricia Spencer, and Charlie Walden, Thomas began researching and learning Missouri fiddling styles. With his new found love for fiddle music, Thomas joined the Sadie Hawkins Day String Band, playing fiddle, mandolin and guitar for dances and showcases around the Saint Louis area.
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, Jake Hockemeyer, Dwight Lamb, Cecil Goforth, Kathy Summers, and Walden (all, left-handed fiddlers, too). Thomas was a guest instructor at the 2021 Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp, in Bethel, Missouri. Thomas has competed in various Missouri fiddle contests including the Missouri State Fair fiddle contest several times. 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 performance schedule is 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic.org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival