Howdy. I suppose you’re wondering why I called you here today. I’ve been singing, writing and telling stories about these Ozarks hills for a very long time, collecting pieces of the culture, music, and always poignant, sometimes hilarious and often inexplicable stories that, trust me, are probably not available on reality TV. I have been saving them for you here, and you can stop by any time for a laugh, a story, a tune, and some food for thought. Come back soon, and come hungry.
For booking information click here.
Listen to Marideth’s monthly radio show, These Ozark Hills, on KSMU here.
Booking information, contact
Dear Pals. I need some input on a project i’m thinking about taking on. But be nice. No being a jerk. This is serious, at least to me, and I’m putting this in the form of a questionnaire. Here we go –
I’m considering putting together an hour or half-hour-long program of stories and songs, with guest appearances, and or show-and-tells, with a general theme of old times or music or storytelling or some such (suggestions welcome). The program (in uncut version of about 1-2 hours) would take place before a live audience at the Yellow House. It would be edited down to an appropriate size and net cast on my YouTube Channel monthly. Here are my questions.
1. Would you watch?
2. What would you like to see or hear on such a program, and how often? (All ideas, including the absurd, will be considered)
3. Would you watch on YouTube, live and uncut at the Yellow House, or both?
4. Would you like to be involved in the production of such a program? (Be specific if possible)
5. How do you think such a program should be funded?
6. Would you consider being involved in funding or fundraising for such a program?
7. Would you consider buying merchandise such as CDs, DVDs of the program, cool T-shirts, cool hats, posters etc. to help fund and advertise the program.
You can check in at my web site: http://www.maridethsisco.com for the ongoing discussions and the results of this questionnaire.
A FEW MORE things about the Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival need mentioning, not least of which was the release of the 20th anniversary 2-CD set of performances from festivals past. Titled ROOTS: Volume 1, it contains performances from the best of the 2003 festival, recorded in high definition, remixed and mastered by the folks at Juneapple Records (yes, that’s us – [bowing and smiling]-) in cooperation with the West Plains Council on the Arts and the Missouri Arts Council.
This collector’s edition contains some of the best work you’ll ever hear, including historic performances that will never be heard again. If you’re a fan of this music and/or would like to support the festivals still to come, this collection needs to be in your hands. The festival web site is still undergoing an upgrade to include an option for buying through Paypal. In the meantime, it can be ordered by mail for $20 plus $3 shipping and handling from West Plains Council on the Arts, P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO 65775. Show your love for this unique annual gathering and be rewarded with a 35-song dose of pure ear candy.
IT HAS OFT been said that something that ends well “Ends with a bang” or goes out in a “burst of glory.” Technically I suppose both could be said about the 20th annual Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival held Friday and Saturday in downtown West Plains.
We experienced a full complement of bangs when a sudden pop-up thunderstorm dealt us a severe hammer blow late Saturday afternoon that could have shut down a smaller, more ill-equipped festival. But hey, when you have 20 years of experience under your belt, this ain’t your first rodeo, or thunderstorm.
There was the year Doc Watson came, and the festival was being held out at the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Park, and we got flooded out so bad it was difficult to even get the cars out of the muddy grounds. That year we moved artist, crowd and all to the Civic Center and the show just went right on, with some of us dripping wet, but still happy.
And that’s how it went Saturday, thanks to Keith Collins and his intrepid crew of audio support. They just hauled out the tarpaulins, threw the equipment into a cattle trailer as soon as the rain let up, set everything up in the same Civic Center theater, and the show went on. Congratulations and Kudos to all those stout-hearted souls, including a big part of the audience who held fast and got to see that burst of glory through to the end.
I JUST REALIZED that earlier I didn’t say nearly enough about the festival, and it deserves more attention. For instance, when was the last time you watch a competitive Mule Jump? Or sampled home made root beer, or judged a dutch oven cook off? Not recently, I’d bet, unless you came last year. And that doesn’t even mention the two stages of performers playing 10 hours both days. Bring a lawn chair or make yourself comfy on a hay bale and listen all afternoon and into the star-filled night. Learn a little more about this unique culture. Make some memories.
Schedule of events at the Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival.
NEWS FLASH: Just got word that the amazing musical group, the Roe Family Singers of Minnesota, are coming to play at the festival. This old time family band, complete with musical saw, opened for Blackberry Winter when we played in Minneapolis, and we were so busy listening to them we forgot to tune up. They’re just wonderful, and you don’t want to miss them. They’ll be on stage at 4 p.m. Saturday. Give your ears a treat, won’t you.
Photo credit: Melissa Philpott
I’VE DECIDED TO spend the rest of this week bragging on the Old Time Music Ozarks Heritage Festival. Two reasons aside from the fact that it’s s very, very good way to spend a weekend. The reason I like best is that you’ll see players and bands here that only come out of the woods or into the Ozarks once or twice a year. And the other is that it’s an opportunity to see and hear things from you childhood memories, or maybe experience them for the first time. And don’t forget to come by and see me while you’re there. I’ll be emceeing the music, and I’ll have all my books and CDs with me, and I’ll be happy to autograph one or two. If this sounds like a pitch, it is, from my own shameless commerce division, just as I learned from public radio.