7PM Friday, June 2 in the Arena
The Isaacs have been performing over 50 years. After performing as guests for 30 years, The Isaacs were officially inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry on September 14, 2021. In 2020 the Isaacs were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Hall of Fame). They have been frequent guests on RFD network’s ‘Larry’s Country Diner’ and appeared on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Tours for over 20 years. The Isaacs have won 9 Dove Awards and their latest 3 albums have received Grammy nominations! They have performed the National Anthem at many professional sporting events including NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games. The Isaacs and its members have been invited to perform on many gospel, bluegrass and country artist albums and stages including Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Don Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Alabama, Craig Morgan, Josh Turner, Alison Krauss, Natalie Grant, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, and many others. The Isaacs have a non-profit organization called The Isaacs Foundation that blesses the less fortunate in America. They also have a branch called the Fishman Isaacs Israel Initiative that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to bless Israel, specifically Holocaust Survivors, Israeli “Lone” Soldiers and orphans.
“Oh, how I love The Isaacs. I love their hearts, their souls, and their look. And, of course, God never gave anyone more beautiful voices than the Isaacs. They have been so generous through the years singing with me on different recordings of mine. And those are among some of the greatest of my personal treasures and pleasures. To know the Isaacs and to hear them is to love them.”- DOLLY PARTON
Blackwood Brothers Quartet
5PM Saturday, June 3 in the Arena
Blackwood Brothers Quartet
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet was formed in 1934 with brothers Roy, Doyle, James and Roy’s son, R.W. In the late 50s Roy and Doyle retired from traveling and in 1954 R.W. was killed in a tragic airplane crash. However, the quartet with James, as the quartet’s leader and spokesman, established a new group of singers who would go on to take Gospel music to new heights as they traveled and sang in all fifty of the United States, every Canadian province as well as cities in Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
In 2002, James Blackwood went to be with the Lord, but his sons, Jimmy (James Jr.) and Billy have continued the 80-year tradition. Recently Jimmy retired after singing for 49 years and his younger brother, Billy now carries on the quartet which has the distinction of being the best-known name in Gospel Music history!
Billy, James Blackwood’s younger son, sings baritone and is a song writer. Billy played drums for J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet at the age of 14. He also played for the Blackwood Brothers, Gordon Jensen and Sunrise, and Andrus/Blackwood & Company and toured with Voice, the opening act for the Elvis Presley show. He has traveled in solo ministry and has worked in youth and pastoral ministry. Billy has four daughters, Brette, Britni, Emma and Ellie and one son, Will. He and his wife, Cherry live in Hendersonville, TN.
Jim Rogers is the newest member of the Blackwood Brothers. Jim and his wife of 44 years, Belinda (Bunny), reside in Nancy, Kentucky. Jim has sung all his adult life as a ‘weekend warrior’, with groups like Midnight Cry and others, but never on a professional level until now. Jim’s amazing range and crystal-clear high tenor voice will undoubtedly leave people asking, “Where did you find this guy?” All we can say is, God knows what we need and meets those needs abundantly. Jim follows in the footsteps of Wayne Little who sang with us for twenty years and passed away on New Year’s Day 2022 from complications of covid, leaving a huge void and big shoes to fill. Ironically, Jim has the same vocal sound and quality that people loved about Wayne’s voice. You will thrill to hear Jim sing, and we are thrilled to have Jim as the newest addition to the long legacy of great singers in the Blackwood Brothers. Welcome Jim Rogers!
Jonathan Mattingly is the youngest member of the quartet and sings lead. He grew up with the Mattingly Family from Moody, Missouri and has a wonderful lead voice. He and his wife, Sarah and son, Asher make their home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. You will enjoy his singing and his youthful enthusiasm for ministry.
Eric has been singing bass in regional groups for over 50 years. Eric is an alumnus of Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music attending for 10 years. Eric has had many notable appearances with artist’s and groups over the years. He accompanied the Speer Family at the Dottie Rambo Tribute at the Ryman Auditorium, sang for the Thrasher Brothers, and with the Homeland Quartet (Joe Thrasher, Bill Traylor & Ben Speer) at the annual Albert E. Brumley Sing. Eric lives in Arnold, Missouri. He has one daughter, two sons and four grandchildren.
Women In need of God Sing (W.I.N.G.S.) 4PM Saturday, Arena stage
W.I.N.G.S. is an acronym for Women In Need of God Sing. It is an a cappella singing group comprised of nine African American women from various Churches of Christ in the Oklahoma City and metropolitan area. The group celebrates its 26th year of performing at various venues across the United States. Their style of music can be best described as compelling, authentic Christian singing with a hint of R&B. Their harmonies clearly reflect years of companionship and sincerity to bless The Trinity and audiences through the ministry of song.
The members are Deborah BInkley-Jackson, Trena Byas, Charlotte Carey, LaVera Holland-Pretlow, Karen Orton, Alesha Lilly, Wendell March, Cheree McClain, and Janice Stallworth.
Judy Domeny Bowen
1PM Saturday, Theater stage
4PM Saturday, Garfield 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 Dolly and 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 a plethora of murders. 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 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 at school 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
funny and TRUE original songs about being a teacher. These songs led to Judy creating a couple CDs under the title of Teacher Therapy. CDs led to performances across the nation and internationally as Judy shared music and laughter, honesty, and inspiration with educators in need of a good dose of humor.
Judy’s performances 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.
Oh, and you will notice when you see her, she is not as young as this photo shows her to be. Time marches on but photos don’t. A current photo would show her with graying unkempt hair, farm-dirty clothing, frowning about needing rain or needing sun or too many goats or… Better to just use this photo, don’tcha think?
Noon Saturday, Theater 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.
Compton & Newberry
6PM Friday, Theater stage
Mike Compton and Joe Newberry play traditional and new American music that honors the past and forges a path toward the new tradition of the future. While two musicians do not a bluegrass band make, their music rings true to fans of bluegrass, early country, blues, gospel, and string band music. Together, Compton & Newberry are shining a much-deserved contemporary light on the roots, as they tend to the branches. too.
Compton & Newberry are masters of their craft whose combined pedigree speaks for itself. In addition to multiple IMBA and Grammy nominations and wins, their talents have been featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” the Transatlantic Sessions, the soundtracks to “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Cold Mountain”, as well as numerous other popular collaborations with a diverse range of artists and styles. The duo can be counted on to showcase the sounds that laid the foundation for ragtime, country, folk, rural blues, and Americana, as well as other sounds that dominate radio and music charts today.
A Compton & Newberry program features a familiar combination of tunes and songs from the great American song bag mixed with their own newly composed numbers which are already taking their rightful place in the new tradition. They are just the artists to bring fans together for a multi-generational celebration of music we all can love.
“Two musicians, two instruments and two voices capture the essence of how great music can be.”
– Mandolin Café
Echoes of Dogwood Mountain
1PM Friday, Theater stage
The “Echoes of Dogwood Mountain” is a group that formed from associations of folks in the southwest
Missouri area. The group name has evolved over the years from Ozark Mountain Dulcimers (a 5-person
mountain dulcimer group) to Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers (which had hammered dulcimers as well as
mountain dulcimers) to the now Echoes of Dogwood Mountain (a multi-instrument group). The Echoes of Dogwood Mountain has a unique variety of instruments: mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers, a
flute, a violin, a marimbula, and a bodhran. While the group plays mostly folk music, they also include songs from Bluegrass, Celtic, and Southern Gospel backgrounds.
Meet the members of the Echoes of Dogwood Mountain:
Anne Dreier grew up performing at Silver Dollar City with the Homestead Pickers and toured Ireland with them multiple years showing the Irish influence on American music. Graduating from William Jewell College with a Music Education Degree, Anne spent time teaching K-12 music in Quincy, Illinois and Everton, Missouri. Now a stay-at-home mom, Anne plays music and has ‘dance parties’ with her husband and 2 children.
Christa Clawson – a nurse from Walnut Grove, Missouri. Her bucket list always included learning to play a stringed instrument, and empty nesting revived that desire. After some disappointment with
other instruments, she settled on the mountain dulcimer and was given her first dulcimer for Christmas in 2019. For Christa, the challenges of learning a new instrument, making new friends, and making music
with those friends are just all-around good medicine.
Julie Wilson was introduced to the hammered dulcimer after retiring from teaching. In January 2014 she attended a workshop given by Rick Thum where she met some new friends, and together 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, based in southeast Missouri. They have played in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, school programs, heritage days, and local festivals.
Marvin Glueck,- a retired delivery driver from Oran, Missouri, who plays the hammered dulcimer and bodhran. 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”.
Robin Tucker – from Everton, Missouri. She started playing the flute in 4th grade and has played off and on her whole life. She has played at her church for the last several years before joining the Echoes of Dogwood Mountain. This group has been a blessing to join in many ways, but playing music together with others and for others is a very fun way to spend your time!
Matthew Tucker began his musical journey at the ripe young age of 12 as he played the instrument that drove many parents crazy…the snare drum! After a couple of years of percussion, he then moved to the trombone, where he truly found his calling. As the years passed by, though, with marriage and children, the trombone was a distant memory. But Matthew’s musical adventures were not to be lost and forgotten. It just so happened that the Echoes group had an opening for a marimbula player! So, long story short, Matthew is once again in the rhythm section of a band!
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.
June Day – from Springfield, Missouri. She was introduced to the mountain dulcimer in 2014 while on a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Although June 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 various groups and attending jams and festivals.
It’s our joy to share our music together and with others! Many of the members of the Echoes of Dogwood Mountain host an open jam group called Dogwood Mountain Dulcimers. This group meets every 1st Tuesday for a multi-instrument jam at a library in Springfield, MO, and we’d love for you to join us if you’re ever in the area on the day we meet.
Four Corners Quartet
2PM Saturday, Theater stage
Four Corners Quartet was formed in 2022. Members are Andrew Eckman, tenor-West Plains, MO; Matt Franks, lead-Salem, AR; Lee Edwards, Baritone-Pulaski, TN; and Jim Goss Bass-West Plains, Mo. Four Corners Quartet loves spreading the word of Jesus Christ through Southern Gospel music. All 4 members have sung southern gospel music their entire lives.
Noon Saturday, Garfield 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 include 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.
4PM Friday, Theater stage
The members of the Juhl Family Band eagerly look forward to returning to West Plains for their second appearance at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.
The originator of the group, Marv Juhl, developed an affinity for the music made by local instrumentalists and singers such as the Beverman Boys at box socials and barn dances during his youth in central Illinois’s Logan County in the 1930s and ‘40s, as well as the sounds broadcast by the National Barn Dance on WLS in Chicago and the Grand Ole Opry on WSM in Nashville. He took up guitar and later learned bass.
Marv and his wife, Josie, later moved to southern Illinois, where their son, Bob, began playing guitar and another son, Joe, took up banjo. Inspired by the recordings of such bluegrass musicians as Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Mac Wiseman, and the Osborne Brothers, in addition to television’s Hee-Haw and the soundtracks to Bonnie and Clyde and Deliverance, Marv, Bob, and Joe honed their instrumental skills, playing with and learning from local musicians including Les Darmstatter, George Holt, Norman Blankenship, and Rocky Wohlwend.
In the 1970s, the Juhls formed a bluegrass band called the Beaucoup Bottom Boys. Based in Du Quoin, Illinois, the group was named for nearby Beaucoup Creek. The membership of the Beaucoup Bottom Boys varied over its approximately ten-year existence and included Lutheran chaplain, singer, and banjoist Bob Brown, as well as Don Willi, Dave Halstead, Butch Kosma, and Steve Townes, friends of Bob and Joe.
The band performed at various venues, festivals, and community events in southern Illinois, the St. Louis area, and southeast Missouri, appearing on WSIU TV in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1980, and releasing an album, Comin’ Out, on the regional Crusade Enterprises label in 1981.
After the band ceased performing together regularly, Joe, Bob, and Marv continued playing with various local musicians and making occasional public appearances. Bob and Joe recorded and performed with fiddler Katie Kerkhover and Rockwood Junction in the 1990s. They and Marv, along with other relatives and friends, played together intermittently in the early 2000s at family gatherings, senior centers, church picnics, and other local events.
The Juhl Family enjoyed participating in the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in 2014, when they celebrated Blackberry Winter’s recording of an original composition by Marv and Bob, “Memories of the Ozarks.” Blackberry Winter included their rendition, which they retitled “Ozark Mountains,” on their album, Still Standing.
Since then, Marv has passed away, and so has Don Willi, a longtime friend and fellow musician who joined them onstage. Their performance at this year’s festival will include tributes to Marv and Don.
The current membership of the “band,” sometimes augmented by other friends and neighbors, includes the following:
Bob Juhl of Du Quoin, Illinois – guitar, vocals
Joe Juhl of Perry County, Illinois, and Madison County, Missouri – banjo, guitar
Josh Juhl – Joe’s son – of Newburgh, Indiana – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Gary Juhl – a cousin of Bob and Joe – of San Antonio, Texas – guitar, vocals
Matt Meacham – son of Bob’s and Joe’s cousin, John Meacham, who was a public folklorist with the West Plains Council on the Arts from 2007 to 2011, remains involved with the festival, and currently lives in Edwardsville, Illinois.
3PM Friday, Theater stage
2PM Saturday, Garfield stage
Duane Porterfield is a musician with a passion for old time folk instruments and music. He is the current Arkansas State Old Time Banjo Campion, (senior division) a former National Mountain Dulcimer Champion as well as several other awards and acknowledgements.
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, 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. He sums it up with these words, “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”.
Living in Mountain View, AR. since 2013, he remains involved in its rich music heritage. When not performing, or instructing workshops, you may find him at the Dulcimer Shoppe helping to create the McSpadden Mountain Dulcimer.
The Roe Family Singers
Noon Friday, Theater stage
4PM Friday & noon Saturday, Garfield stage
Bonfire Music Group 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 and Quillan Roe, the band marries old-time sounds from barn-dances, fiddle pulls, and county fairs with the rock & roll passion of youth.
For 20 years Kim & Quillan Roe have made music together, starting at a tribute to the then recently deceased Johnny & June Carter Cash.
Kim Roe grew up with music all around her. Her dad would play his guitar and she would sit at his feet singing along. As she grew, so did her love for music: first as a girl singing along with the radio into a hairbrush in front of her bedroom mirror, then as a teenager in choir, then as a young woman singing karaoke.
Quillan Roe is the descendant of Kentucky horse-thieves and a long line of Appalachian and Ozark fiddlers on his mother’s side; and an equally long line of evangelists, poets, and writers on his father’s side. He’s been playing in bands for nearly three decades, with his first professional band, Accident Clearinghouse, launching in 1992.
Kim and Quillan were married in the Spring of 2003, and soon Kim was asking Quillan if they could start a band together; Quillan said, “No. Husbands and wives shouldn’t be in bands together. It’s a terrible idea!” But Kim persisted and kept asking to start a band together, and Quillan kept saying, “No.” That same year, however, both June Carter and Johnny Cash died, and a local bar, Lee’s Liquor Lounge, organized a tribute to them and their music. Quillan wanted to perform at the tribute but his band at the time, Accident Clearinghouse, was on hiatus. So with the tribute’s promoter on the phone Quillan asked Kim if she still wanted to start a band together. Not knowing that Quillan meant right then, she answered enthusiastically, “Yes!” “Put us down as the… uh…” Quillan hadn’t thought it through that far. “Put us down as the… Roe Family Singers,” he finally blurted. The Roe’s first show was booked, and Kim didn’t even know it!
In 2011 they won the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, which comes with a substantial monetary award. The Roes talked it over and decided that they would try life as full-time musicians—using the McKnight Fellowship to help fund their first year—and have been making music their full-time work ever since.
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; in 2019, won Best Band, Best Band Overall, and Entertainers of the Year from BMAI; and in 2020 their song, “Don’t Worry About the Rich Man,” was #10 overall on the Bluegrass Grassicana charts.
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 Band w/Lonnie Jones
2PM Friday, Garfield stage
5PM Friday, Theater stage
The Shortleaf Band is a duet based in the Southern Missouri Ozark’s. Michael and Tenley Fraser have immersed themselves into the culture, and traditional music of the “Scots Irish” who became the first to settle the region.
Michael, an original member of the Shortleaf Band was instrumental in the founding of the “Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.” He served as an apprentice to the late Bob Holt of Ava learning how to
perform Ozark Square Dance Music on the fiddle. He is also the author of the CD titled “Fiddles and Forests” that was produced by the Missouri Department of Conservation, as well as musical director on the CD “Voices of the Hills” also produced by MDC.
Tenley 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.
They will be joined by bassist Lonnie Jones and 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.
3PM Friday & 1PM Saturday, Garfield 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 performances will include harmonica masterpieces from nearly a century ago. 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.
Pete Howard –
After exploring fiddling in a bunch of styles as a youngster in Ft. Smith, Pete discovered that his native Ozarks had some of the greatest Old-Time fiddlers and an amazing variety of styles and tunes not heard elsewhere. Pete has learned tunes from Ozarks Fiddlers such as Bob Holt, Jim Lansford and David Scrivner. He also continues to dig through field collected resources like the Parler Collection and Wolfe Collection for Ozark fiddle gems. Pete and Seth have been playing tunes together for almost 15 years now.
The United Quartet 3PM Saturday, Theater stage
The United Quartet, based in West Plains, MO consists of four friends that have been singing together most of their adult life. The group performs a variety of styles, but you are sure to hear some old-time hymns, southern gospel, or bluegrass favorites when you join them in service or concert. They are gifted musicians on the piano or keyboard and various strings, but perform many of their songs acapella, using, in their words, “nothing more than the instrument God gave us”… their voices. When you hear them, you quickly recognize that their mission is the message, and music is just the tool.
For years, they have been singing in churches all over the Ozarks, sharing not only their music, but their touching testimonies and stories of God’s goodness, mercy, and grace. The lead singer, Jason Roberts, is also pastor of the Faith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, where all four members of the quartet attend and frequently sing. Tim Tilson sings baritone for the group and has played the piano since just a child. He has dedicated his life to using his God-given gift in various music ministries for many years. Keith Turner sings tenor and plays the guitar, which he has done for decades with bluegrass groups around the region. His love for bluegrass, and music in general, started with his father, Shirley, who lived and breathed it for as long as Keith can remember. Jake Marcum sings bass and you will occasionally find him behind a guitar or piano as well. With a powerful voice and powerful testimony, many have been touched by his story of overcoming a rare brain disease that nearly took his life as a teenager. The United Quartet continues to sing and welcomes anyone and everyone to join them for some familiar tunes and timeless truths. Come and be blessed with the United Quartet.
John P. Williams and Thomas Coriell 2PM Friday, theater stage
5PM Friday, Garfield stage
3PM Saturday, Garfield 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 early 40’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 the national contest style of fiddling is overtaking Missouri’s historically rooted regional styles. Today, you are just as likely to find John playing at a 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.
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 St Louis bands, 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 newfound 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 was 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 & 2022 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.”