Come Sit a Spell

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

Sarah Denton


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Blackberry Winter Returns to the MARC

P1050520Note to all pals, chums, family and fans in Southwest Missouri – Blackberry Winter Band will be performing a 2-hour concert this coming Saturday, Aug. 23, at the MARC in Mt. Vernon, Missouri. Doors open at 6:30 and the music begins at 7. We will be featuring a lot of old favorites as well as selections from our brand new CD, “Still Standing.”

We played the MARC last year, and it’s a wonderful venue. Please if you will, pass on the word to friends and family. I grew up in Butterfield and graduated from Cassville High School and SMSU, so I have a bunch of sweet friends and family members over in those hills that I never get to see often enough.

Come join us for a night of fun and reminiscing as we sing the songs that explore all the things we feel and remember about our Ozarks home. Hope to see you there.


Preparing the stage for Blackberry Winter last fall at the beautiful MARC theater, our groupies in tow.

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Musical intro to Life

OOOOh, I’m goin’ down that road fee – and then I’m not. This time stuck in a parking lot 20 miles from home. Took my truck out of mothballs and drove it down to the salvage yard to deliver the title to Automobilius defunctus. Stopped by the store for groceries and to pick up my meds. Truck, which has been parked for a year and something due to bad behavior, had a smoking front wheel. Drove it to garage where it was diagnosed with a stuck brake. I also told them about the above mentioned bad behavior, and got a ride home with a friend. It was a message from God, who always starts with the words, “I SAID …” This time the rest of the sentence was “Go home, sit down and finish the damned book, bitch!” She gets so touchy sometimes. So I’m at home, at the computer, and clear, completely and altogether out of excuses. See you when the book’s done. Meanwhile, Tune in here Satureday if you don’t catch this month’s edition of “These Ozarks Hills” on KSMU-FM Springfield (91.1), College of the Ozarks (90.5) or West Plains (90.3). It airs at 7:30 a.m. and repeats at 4:30 p.m. first Friday of each month

The text will be posted here and on the archives, where you can also listen to it streaming later


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Autocide update

Auto hearse just came and picked up poor old Prizm. She’s on her way across that auto rainbow bridge, in hopes of one day becoming a coffeepot in China.

Taking the truck to make it legal tomorrow. Still need reliable transportation.

Truck, whose name is Tonto, got in with a gang of renegade Pontiacs last year after I made it drink some of that 35-mph Arkansas gas and then ran it dry (not my fault if the damn gas gauge doesn’t work) and now it occasionally and randomly abandons me on some godforsaken patch of the lone prairie – not often, usually just when I forget about it and go off somewhere in a carefree manor. So, I repeat, still looking for ReLIABLE transportation. And did I say good gas mileage. Working gas gauge. Cheap. Working heat/ac. Maybe a radio, if it wouldn’t be asking too much. If you spot it out somewhere looking affordable and lonesome, let me know. Thanks. You’re a pal.

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Breaking News: Involuntary Autocide

Well, bummer. It appears that I have inadvertently murdered my car. First there was a leak in the valve cover gasket. I knew about it, and whenever the oil light came on, I would add a quart of oil. Then the oil light burned out without telling me. Soooo it was a fairly swift demise. It’s beside the road in Pomona, waiting for me to decide what to do next. Can anyone explain to me the process of selling a car for parts? And please no jokes. I’m still processing the grief. Oh, and does anyone have an older, reliable car, van or SUV they’d sell cheap?

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Help Me Decide

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: for the ongoing discussions and the results of this questionnaire.

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securedownloadA 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.
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A Burst of Glory, or, 2014 Post Festival

securedownload-1_2IT 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.

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