Check out our Episodes
101 | Pam Setser
This week, Stone county native, Ozark original, and our very own traditional folk legend Pam Setser, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this Ozark icon. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of another Ozark icon, Almeda Riddle, performing the traditional tune “Pretty Peggy-O.” Writer, musician, and traditional dancer Aubrey Atwater waxes poetic in a discussion about songs of undying love.
Pam Setser is an award winning multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. It's not just her musical talent that will catch your heart but her angelic voice as well. Setser has played at many venues including Louisiana Hayride, Hee Haw, The Ralph Emery Show, Jay Leno, and You Can Be A Star. Not to mention playing in Washington D.C. for President Clinton, and winning third place in the National Wrangler Country Showdown at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. From the first time you here Pam Setser perform, you will want to hear her again and again.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers a 1979 archival recording of Ozark folk icon Almeda Riddle, performing the traditional tune “Pretty Peggy-O,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
In this week’s guest host segment, renowned traditional folk musician, writer, and step dancer Aubrey Atwater waxes poetic in her discussion about songs of undying love. The segment features the most beautiful of all love songs ever conceived, “The Blackest Crow.”
100 | Willi Carlisle & Carolyn Carter
This week, award winning actor, playwright, singer-songwriter, and traditional Ozark folk musician Willi Carlisle, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this dynamic talent. In addition, a featured performance by Arkansas True Folk singer-songwriter Carolyn Carter. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of guitar designer, builder, & player Stu Mossman performing the traditional tune “Red Haired Boy.” Writer, musician, and traditional dancer Aubrey Atwater relates legendary folk singer Jean Ritchie’s childhood experience of meeting her mysterious “Uncle Jason.”
Willi Carlisle is, according to The Washington Post, "powerful...both down-home and brainy." With years of collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde, Willi Carlisle Goehring is a multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist.
With a style forged in the fire of Ozark oldtime music and his ever-growing collection of antique music, Carlisle’s musical stories hoot, stomp, and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely southern and timelessly true. Equally comfortable on banjo, fiddle, and guitar, Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances at the Ozark Folk Center, the Fayetteville Roots Festival, Thacker Mountain Radio, and Fringe Festivals across the country, where he has been lauded with awards like "Best Show" (Orlando Fringe) and the "Meryl Streep Acting Award" (Portfringe).
While his big frame and expressive voice draw comparison to old balladeers and bluesmen, Willi sings new songs for the oldest reasons: love, heartache, and joy. People who watch and listen will find that he laughs and sheds a tear onstage almost as often as his audiences do, fire- and-brimstone proof of larger-than-life songs and stories. - www.willicarlisle.com
Carolyn Carter is a Stone Country, Arkansas native and a regular performer at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Carolyn is a gifted songwriter and singer, whose talents are now becoming apparent to a larger audience, outside of Arkansas. Blessed with a songbird’s voice, Carolyn’s original compositions can be both haunting and heartwarming, reflecting her experiences growing up in the Ozarks.
99 | Brian Martin
This week, award winning True Folk & Americana singer-songwriter Brian Martin, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Brian. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Pam Branscum performing the traditional tune “Goodbye Liza Jane.” Writer, musician, and traditional dancer Aubrey Atwater discusses the concept of percussive singing in traditional as well as modern musics.
“While keeping one foot planted firmly in the roots of American music, singer/songwriter Brian Martin is forging a distinct path into its future as well. Interweaving old-time country blues and mountain folk music with southern soul, funk and gospel, Martin seamlessly creates a style that he simply refers to as "front porch soul." His burly voice and down home witty tales result in music that is both alluring and enduring for generations young and old.
Hailing from southern Arkansas, Martin begin the journey of a full time performing musician in 2004. He spent years crafting new songs and developing his sound through constant touring around Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, while building a devoted fan base along the way. He released his solo debut album "No Rider" in 2011. Offering many of his fan favorite songs, "No Rider" highlights Martin's gritty soulful voice and intricate acoustic guitar finger picking, resulting in a theme collection of intimate, and at times, haunting folk songs.
In addition to his solo performances, Martin also performs with Sad Daddy, a popular folk swing band he co-founded in 2010 with Melissa Carper on upright bass and Joe Sundell on the banjo. The trio recorded their self titled debut album in 2010 and toured extensively over the next few years, before taking a hiatus to work on other projects. The band has since added violinist Rebecca Patek to the lineup and released their follow up album "Fresh Catch" in 2016. With the new lineup intact, Sad Daddy has been out and about, sharing the new songs with old favorites, while keeping fans singing and dancing along the way.”
98 | The Dave Adkins Band
This week, award winning contemporary bluegrass singer-songwriter Dave Adkins and his band, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Dave Adkins. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals the Trawick Family performing the traditional tune “Under the Double Eagle.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates a history of birds in the early Ozark region.
There is no mistaking the raw and powerful vocals by singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Adkins. His significant chart success, coupled with his stellar live performances, have made him one of most talked about male vocalist in acoustic music.
Adkins was born in Pikeville, Kentucky and makes his home in Elkhorn City. He began playing and singing when he was just eight years old and joined a band with fellow classmates performing at schools and other venues. At 17, he began playing bluegrass music at Dollywood where he stayed two years. A year later, Adkins was named a Kentucky Colonel – the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the governor and the secretary of state to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation.
97 | Meredith Axelrod
This week, mysterious time traveling minstrel Meredith Axelrod recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this amazing musical apparition. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of David Prine, brother of famed singer-songwriter John Prine, performing the tune “Southern Railroad Blues.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates the history of panthers & wolves in the early Ozark region.
Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.
The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire, is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and / or sheet music) which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia, and Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music; she has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore.
96 | The Hogslop String Band
This week, high energy neo-traditional oldtime music phenomenon “The Hogslop String Band” recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this rowdy group of pickers. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of a very young Allison Krauss performing the traditional tune “Gardenia Waltz.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates the history of black bears in the early Ozark region.
The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of four energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia & Tennessee. Featuring Kevin Martin on the fiddle, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, Daniel Binkley on banjo and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.
Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, The Hogslop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands. Known for their outrageous facial hair and a rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and Middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals and soirees.
Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by both young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughters!
95 | The Gordons
This week, inimitable Illinois husband & wife acoustic duo The Gordons recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these matrimonial music mavens. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Lonnie Finnley performing the traditional tune “Vienna Waltz.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins relates the history of elk in the early Ozark region.
“The Gordons” – Gary and Roberta. Influenced by the great music of their era, this husband and wife duo were baptized by bluegrass music and have made wonderful folk music ever since. Accompanied by Gary’s tasteful Gallagher guitar and dobro, Roberta plays the American born Appalachian autoharp. With many recordings to their credit since 1976, harmony singing is their signature.
94 | The Purple Hulls
This week, talented twin Texan bluegrass and gospel duo The Purple Hulls recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these identical virtuosos. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Donnie Dutton performing the traditional tune “Wildwood Flower.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins recounts the American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft’s experience in the early Ozark region.
You could easily say these two musicians were born to make music together. Identical twins Katy Lou and Penny Lea Clark of The Purple Hulls were raised on a working family farm in the deep piney woods of East Texas, but that didn’t stop the Texans from finding their way to the hills of Tennessee, specifically Music City, where they began touring with various country artists and writing songs for Nashville’s largest publishing company, Sony Tree. The Purple Hulls are no stranger to road life and are now blazing the trail as a dynamic sister duo, showcasing their unique sibling harmonies while ripping the strings off any instrument they can get their hands on. If you’re looking for authentic acoustic driven music delivered at its best, your search is over.
93 | The Down Hill Strugglers
This week, Brooklyn, New York based old-time string band The Down Hill Strugglers recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this fantastic folk trio. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Dave Leatherman performing the traditional tune “Shoutin’ On the Hills.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins recounts the American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft’s experience in the early Ozark region.
The Down Hill Strugglers is a string band composed of Eli Smith, Walker Shepard and Jackson Lynch, who play at various times; fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and harmonica. Forming in 2008, they are influenced by the music that came out of rural America, including Appalachian traditions, music from the Deep South, and the Western States. They combine the feeling of the old music that can be heard on commercially recorded 78 RPM records (largely of the pre-WWII era) and field recordings made throughout the 20th century. They have been playing together for five years and have performed at the Newport Folk Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, the Brooklyn Folk Festival and many other places. In 2013 they were featured on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, "Inside Llewyn Davis" produced by T-Bone Burnett.
92 | The April Verch Band
This week, Canadian Ottawa Valley fiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with April. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Tim & Dennis Crouch performing the tune “Dill Pickle Rag.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins recounts the American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft’s experience in the early Ozark region.
Fiddler, singer, and stepdancer April Verch knows how relevant an old tune can be. She was raised surrounded by living, breathing roots music—her father’s country band rehearsing; the lively music at church and at community dances; the tunes she rocked out to win fiddle competitions. She thought every little girl learned to stepdance at the age of three and fiddle at the age of six. She knew nothing else and decided early on that she wanted to be a professional musician. She took that leap, and for over two decades has been recording and captivating audiences worldwide, exploring new and nuanced places each step of the way.
While Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and far beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch and her fellow trio members pare down their arrangements, highlighting the simple pleasures of upright bass, guitar, clawhammer banjo, voices, fiddle, and stepping in intimate conversation. At the heart lie Verch’s delicate voice, energetic footwork, and stunning playing. Sometimes she sings, steps and fiddles all at once with apparent ease and precision. Verch is – as they say – a triple threat in performance, her live show a beautiful companion to her music: versatile, robust, and masterfully executed.
91 | Frank Fairfield & Zac Sokolow
This week, California based multi-instrumentalists, singers, and purveyors of traditional Southwestern American folk music Frank Fairfield & Zac Sokolow recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Frank & Zac. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Frank Ellis performing the tune “Shamus O’Brien.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of The Meadowcreek Project, a sustainable agriculture & education facility located in the Ozarks.
Music has the power to transport us to another time and place. Frank Fairfield loves to harness that power with a broad audience of fellow music lovers and passionate musicians alike. Ever since a young age, Fairfield has found great joy and satisfaction by being involved in the creative music process. Frank plays down-home, old time folk music. He plays fiddle, guitar, banjo and he sings. Frank has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, as well as the PBS documentary series American Epic. Born in Fresno, California, he now lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
On this show, Frank will share the stage with the equally adept multi-instrumentalist & singer Zac Sokolow. Zac is at home on guitar, banjo, fiddle, as well as mandolin. Sokolow is a founding member of the contemporary Americana band “The Americans,” also featured on PBS’ “American Epic.” Zac began learning music from his father at an early age, playing bluegrass as a child.
90 | Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives
This week, five time Grammy Award winning traditional country, bluegrass, & Americana music legend Marty Stuart and his band, The Fabulous Superlatives, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Marty. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of himself & Marty Stuart performing the song “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town.”
Marty Stuart is an American country music singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist, known for both his traditional style, and eclectic merging of rockabilly, honky tonk, and traditional country music. As a musical child prodigy, Marty grew up playing with some of the greatest names in bluegrass & country music. His early career saw him working with Lester Flatt, Vassar Clements, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Porter Wagoner, and many others. As an adult, Stuart launched a successful solo career that has spanned 30 years, and garnered five Grammy Awards. He has appeared on numerous TV shows including Hee Haw, The Nashville Network, and his own show “The Marty Stuart Show.” These days, he tours & records with his band “The Fabulous Superlatives,” featuring Kenny Vaughan on lead and acoustic guitar, Harry Stinson on drums and background vocals, and Chris Scruggs on electric, acoustic, steel and bass guitars, and background vocals.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers a 1980 archival recording of himself & Marty Stuart performing the song “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
89 | The Buffalo Gals
This week, award winning Neo-Bluegrass & Americana acoustic singer-songwriter duo The Buffalo Gals recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these incredibly talented Buffalo Gals. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Kenny Sims performing the traditional song “Butcher’s Boy.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins profiles the curious history of Dogpatch USA, a unique theme park in the Ozarks for 25 years.
The Arkansas duo Buffalo Gals is comprised of Melissa Carper on vocals, upright bass & guitar and Rebecca Patek on vocals, fiddle & guitar. Both women being extraordinary songwriters as well as accomplished musicians, they bring to the stage a range of stories and down home feeling that’ll have your toes tapping and your heart yearning. Blending a classic Country music & Americana sound with a bit of humor and a decidedly modern sensibility, the Buffalo Gals’ music is at once authentic as well as intimately relatable. Rebecca Patek’s most recent album “Come up and Meet Me” was named Best Bluegrass Album for 2016, by the Independent Music Association.
88 | Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
This week, celebrated Scottish & Oldtime acoustic music explorers Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this dynamic musical duo. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Roger Fountain performing the traditional fiddle tune “Bill Cheatham.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins profiles the curious history of Dogpatch USA, a unique theme park in the Ozarks for 25 years.
The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, "the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling", and brilliant Californian cellist Natalie Haas spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. Over the last 18 years of creating a buzz at festivals and concert halls across the world, they have truly set the standard for fiddle and cello in traditional music. They continue to thrill audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music.
Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, radio and television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic, etc.). In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She has performed and recorded with a who's who of the fiddle world including Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Brittany Haas, Darol Anger, Jeremy Kittel, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese, and many more.
This seemingly unlikely pairing of fiddle and cello is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser. His search eventually led him to find a cellist who could help return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music, where it stood for hundreds of years before being relegated to the orchestra. The duo's debut recording, Fire & Grace, won the coveted the Scots Trad Music "Album of the Year" award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. Since its release, the two have gone on to record four more critically acclaimed albums that blend a profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge string explorations. In additional to performing, they both have motivated generations of string players through their teaching at fiddle camps across the globe.
87 | Hubby Jenkins
This week, Country Blues & Oldtime music phenomenon and Carolina Chocolate Drops member Hubby Jenkins recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. Also, interviews with Hubby. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Bess & Lester Kelley performing the Carter Family song “All the Good Times are Past & Gone.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins profiles the curious history of Dogpatch USA, a unique theme park in the Ozarks for 25 years.
Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist, who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. Hubby got his higher musical education started as a busker. He developed his guitar and vocal craft on the sidewalks and subway platforms of New York City, performing material by those venerable artists whose work he was quickly absorbing. An ambitiously itinerant musician, he took his show on the road, playing the streets, coffee shops, bars, and house parties of cities around the U.S. After years of busking around the country and making a name for himself, Hubby became acquainted with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Since 2010 he has been an integral part of the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops and continues to make solo performances.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Bess & Lester Kelley performing the Carter Family song “All the Good Times are Past & Gone,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
From his series entitled “Back in the Hills,” writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins profiles the curious history of Dogpatch USA, a unique theme park in the Ozarks for 25 years. The first of a three part series, this episode chronicles the early years of an Ozark theme park based on the famous cartoon “Li’l Abner,” created by cartoonist Al Capp.
86 | The Savoy Family Cajun Band
This week, distinguished traditional Louisiana Cajun music connoisseurs The Savoy Family Cajun Band recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with renowned fiddler Joel Savoy. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Ervin & Lily Freeze performing the song “Let Those Brown Eyes Smile at Me.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Blanchard Springs National Park, featuring an interview with long time U.S. Forest Service visitor information specialist Tony Guinn.
The Savoy Family Cajun Band consists of father Marc, mother Ann, and brothers Joel & Wilson Savoy.
Marc Savoy was born and raised in the small Cajun prairie town of Eunice, Louisiana. Drawing inspiration from 'bals de maison' (house dances) in his father's outdoor kitchen, Savoy obtained his first accordion and began playing it at the age of 12. Playing the instrument led to repairing it and after disassembling enough accordions he began to build them. Playing the accordion has always been a natural part of his life from the dancehall to the home. The musicians with whom he has played Cajun music read like a who’s who of the finest in Cajun music, from the Balfa Brothers, DL Menard, Doc Guidry to early fiddle masters Dennis McGee and Wade Fruge.
Ann Allen Savoy is a musician, photographer, record producer, and writer. Her destiny was sealed when she began to listen to rare collections of Cajun 78’s. She met her future husband, acclaimed accordion builder/musician Marc Savoy, and after their marriage she began documenting the Cajun culture, taking photographs, interviewing important musicians, and transcribing the Cajun French songs. Her documentation ultimately became a book, Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People Volume 1, which won the prestigious Botkin book award from the American Folklore Society. An avid photographer since high school, her photos have been exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and at the Festival of American Music in Eugene, Oregon.
Joel Savoy is one of the most requested fiddlers in SW Louisiana today. Joel grew up in Eunice, Louisiana, literally at the feet of Cajun heros like Dennis McGee, Dewey Balfa, Michael Doucet, and Wade Frugé. In 2006 Joel founded Valcour Records. He’s worked and played with Linda Ronstadt,T-Bone Burnett, Steve Buckingham, Allison Krauss, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Miller, Tim O’Brien, Darol Angor and many more. Joel also builds accordions with his father, makes electric guitars and hi-end tube amps and studio gear, and is an excellent recording engineer.
Wilson Savoy, the youngest son of Marc and Ann, has made music since before he could walk. He began playing boogie-woogie and blues piano, inspired by Louisiana native Jerry Lee Lewis, at the age of 10. Wilson took up the accordion after graduating from high school. His major influences are his father, Amede Ardoin, and Iry Lejeune. Besides being a musician he is an avid filmmaker, and has produced films of many of the finest bands in SW Louisiana. (www.almenafilms.com) When he isn’t making and producing music videos and short biographies he is traveling with his three times Grammy nominated dynamic young band, the Pine Leaf Boys. - www.savoyfamilycajunband.com/index.html
85 | Celebrating Ozark Heroes
This week, a celebration of Ozark traditional music pioneers and their influences. This special episode features Betse Ellis & Clarke Wyatt, The Creek Rocks, and The Aching Hearts recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals The Apple Family performing the traditional song “Who’s Gonna Dance With Sally Ann.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour of the Ozarks, featuring an interview with Becky Dahlstedt, one of the organizers of the tour.
84 | Bruce Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
This week, preeminent old time fiddler Bruce Molsky and his Molsky’s Mountain Drifters recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Moon Mullins performing the tune “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of the M&NA railroad of the Ozarks, featuring an original song & interview from Tom Simmons, the very first director of the Ozark Folk Center.
Bruce Molsky is a self-described “street kid” from the Bronx who bailed on college and big city life for a cold-water cabin in Virginia in the 1970s. His mission? To soak up the passion that was dramatically upending his parent’s life plan for him – authentic Appalachian mountain music – at the feet of its legendary pioneers, old masters who are now long gone. Molsky’s Mountain Drifters also includes banjoist Allison de Groot and guitarist & singer Stash Wyslouch.
Today, Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations. He’s also the classic “musician’s musician” – a man who’s received high praise from diverse fans and collaborators like Linda Ronstadt, Mark Knopfler, Celtic giants Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine, jazzer Bill Frisell and dobro master Jerry Douglas, a true country gentleman by way of the Big Apple aptly dubbed “the Rembrandt of Appalachian fiddlers” by virtuoso violinist and sometimes bandmate Darol Anger.
Molsky digs deep to transport audiences to another time and place, with his authentic feel for and the unearthing of almost-forgotten rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook. His foils are not only his well-regarded fiddle work, but banjo, guitar and his distinctly resonant vocals. From tiny folk taverns in the British Isles to huge festival stages to his ongoing workshops at the renowned Berklee College of Music, Molsky seduces audiences with a combination of rhythmic and melodic virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit – a uniquely humanistic, downhome approach that can make Carnegie Hall feel like a front porch or parlor jam session. - www.mountaindrifters.com
83 | Antsy McClain & Muriel Anderson
This week, celebrated singer/songwriter & hometown humorist Antsy McClain with world renowned harp-guitarist Muriel Anderson recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Antsy & Muriel. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Robert & Mary Gillihan performing the traditional song “Banks of the Ohio.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of the White River Line railroad of the Ozarks, featuring an interview with George Lankford, professor emeritus at Lyon College in Batesville.
Antsy McClain brings his unique blend of music and “humor with heart” to the stage, combining his original songs with a hilarious slide show, including Antsy’s own life observations, social commentary and imaginary sponsors from his home town trailer park of Pine View Heights. As a master storyteller with the likes of PBS, NPR and TEDTalks under his belt, Antsy includes humorous and serious songs in his shows. Songs such as “One Less Trailer Here in Pine View Heights,” My Baby Whistles When She Walks,” and “The Junk Drawer of Your Heart,” are keenly humorous observations about love and loss, while his more serious songs, like “Field Trip,” “I’m Everyone,” or “Falling in Love in America,” are more akin to personal journal entries written in the act of living. It’s this tightrope walk between humor and heart that makes Antsy McClain a true original.
One of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp-guitarists, Muriel Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. Her CD “Nightlight Daylight” was chosen as one of the top 10 CDs of the decade by Guitar Player Magazine her “Heartstrings” recording accompanied the astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery. She has performed/recorded with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Victor Wooten and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. Her obvious joy of music, humor and her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. An engaging performer, Muriel’s unique approach to the instrument virtually transforms the guitar into a lyrical choir, then a marching band, then a Japanese koto, then a Bluegrass band, one minute launching into a Beatles’ tune and the next, a Rodrigo concerto. Her video “Why Worry” has garnered a total of over 8 million views. Muriel is host of the renowned Muriel Anderson’s ALL STAR GUITAR NIGHT® and founder of the MUSIC FOR LIFE ALLIANCE charity.
82 | The Paul Brock Band
This week, world renowned Irish button accordion & melodeon player Paul Brock & his band recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this master of Irish traditional music. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Ulys Pilcher performing the traditional tune “Sally Goodin.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of the Little Red River of the Ozarks, featuring interviews with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream Fisheries Biologist Jeff Quinn & Angela Chandler, Arkansas Geological Survey supervising geologist.
Button accordion and melodeon player Paul Brock is a multiple All-Ireland champion from Athlone, County Westmeath now residing in Ennis, County Clare. Brock’s solo album, Mo Charidin (Gael-Linn), was described by the Rough Guide to Irish Music as “a masterpiece of accordion playin.” Brock co-founded Brock McGuire Band in 2000 with fiddle player Manus McGuire. The band has gone on to record a number of highly acclaimed albums including Green Grass Blue Grass, a collaboration with 14-time GRAMMY Award winner Ricky Skaggs celebrating the connection between Appalachian and Irish music. In 2014, the band performed a fully-scored program of their music with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Mississippi.
As a soloist, Brock has toured extensively internationally. He has performed with leading musicians and has been a special guest artist on a number of occasions with acclaimed Irish band The Chieftains. In 1989, Brock and McGuire co-founded Moving Cloud, with whom he recorded two award winning albums for Green Linnet Records. Brock’s 2006 collaboration with Enda Scahill, Humdinger (Compass Records), was voted “Irish Music Album of the Year” by The Irish Times and “Instrumental Album of the Year” by The Irish American News. Brock’s many album credits include A Tribute to Joe Cooley (Gael-Linn) with fiddler Frankie Gavin. - https://paulbrockband.com
For this performance, Paul Brock is joined by famed Irish composer & teacher Denis Carey, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and dancer Dave Curley, and also multi-instrumentalist Shane Farrell.
81 | The Barefoot Movement
This week, high energy Neo-Grass acoustic music phenomenon The Barefoot Movement recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with The Barefoot Movement vocalist & co-founder Noah Wall. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Brooke Breeding performing the traditional tune “Tying the Leaves.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of the White river of the Ozarks, featuring interviews with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream Fisheries Biologist Jeff Quinn and historian & folklorist Dr. George Lankford.
Heartfelt, energetic, and down home. Heralded by CMT Edge as "one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene," the music of the Nashville based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. All the worries and frustrations of the world melt away as this charming, acoustic band takes listeners back to a simpler place and time. Whether you're seeking emotional ballads or rip-roaring barn-burners, you can expect a collection of music that offers something for everyone. With two full length albums, an EP of traditional music, several cross-country tours, and appearances at some of the top bluegrass festivals in the United States already under their belt, the possibilities for this act are endless. The group has enjoyed almost non-stop touring including a trip to Burkina Faso, Africa where they were guests of the American Embassy, and in September of 2014, they received a Momentum Award, naming them "Band of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
80 | Leyla McCalla
This week, New York born Haitian-American classical & folk music sensation and former Carolina Chocolate Drops member Leyla McCalla recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Leyla. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original & hammered dulcimer legend Jay Round performing a medley of traditional Irish tunes. Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an introduction to Ozark geology, featuring an interview with Arkansas Geological Survey supervisor Angela Chandler.
Leyla McCalla is a Haitian-American living in New Orleans, who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, and plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive and contemporary. Violist Free Feral - Guitarist, banjoist, and triangle Daniel Tremblay
Leyla’s debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, was named 2013’s Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times and Songlines magazine, and received additional raves from a number of other publications, including the New York Times, Boston Globe and Offbeat, for its haunting mixture of music and message. - leylamccalla.com
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original & hammered dulcimer legend Jay Round performing a medley of traditional Irish tunes, from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode gives us an introduction to Ozark geology, featuring an interview with Arkansas Geological Survey supervisor Angela Chandler.
79 | Jason Roberts Band
This week, two time Grammy Award winning Texas Swing fiddler and Asleep at the Wheel member Jason Roberts & the Jason Roberts Band recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Jason. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of four Ozark originals; Buddy Lancaster, Tom Simmons, Jackie Stewart, and of course Mark Jones performing “Bile Them Cabbage Down.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a profile of the Shawnee residents of the Ozark region.
Grammy Award winning fiddle player Jason Roberts brings his signature style to the Jason Roberts Band.
Having spent his childhood among legends in Texas honky-tonks -- and then nearly 20 years with the world-famous band Asleep at the Wheel -- Jason has soaked up the very best of Western Swing and brings his own signature style to this traditional American genre. Two Grammy Awards and four individual Hall of Fame inductions later, Jason and his Jason Roberts Band delight fans around the world.
Music is a family thing in the Roberts clan. Jason’s grandfather, Buck Roberts, a fellow Texas Western Swing Hall of Famer, toured nationally with The Roberts Brothers Rhythmaires in the 1940’s and 50’s. A 12-year-old Jason eventually fronted a band with his grandfather and other Rhythmaires’ veterans. From the other side, Jason’s grandmother played swing piano well past her 100th birthday. Jason learned to play on his grandfather Carl’s fiddle, an instrument that’s on stage with him to this day.
Legendary fiddler Johnny Gimble (Jason’s kin by marriage) took notice of young Jason's remarkable natural talent and took him under his wing. Jason has said, “Every good lick I know, I stole from Johnny Gimble.” By the time he was 15, Jason had played with greats like Gimble, Leon Rausch, Bobby Boatwright, Herb Remington, and other members of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys.
From the White House to The David Letterman Show and the Kennedy Center to Bob Wills’ hometown of Turkey, Texas, Jason has helped keep the spirit of Western Swing alive across generations. His fiddle magic and endearing personality make him a fan favorite everywhere he plays.
78 | A.J. Croce: Two Generations of American Music
This week, American singer-songwriter and musical legacy A.J. Croce recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Hear A.J. speak of getting to know his famous musical father, Jim Croce, through his inherited collection of personal archival recordings. “A.J. Croce: Two Generations of American Music,” is a blend of A.J’s own soulful music, his father’s enduring hit songs, and some of the music that they shared as influences, together. It is a glimpse into the life of one of America’s greatest songwriters and his equally talented progeny.
Adrian James "A.J." Croce is an American singer-songwriter. He is the son of singer-songwriters Jim Croce and Ingrid Croce.
“According to Willie Nelson, “A.J. Croce has wisdom beyond his years. With his music, he represents his generation with a profound sense of honesty in his lyrics and quality in his delivery. The future of entertainment is safe in his hands!”
Some artists are afforded the chance to tell their personal stories as they see fit, at a particular moment when they know the time has come. But for many, there is no choice — the story emerges hardwired to the music and they become forever identified with it no matter how their story may evolve or change.
A.J. Croce has been inextricably linked to a version of his own story by virtue of his name. He’s experienced a lifetime of comparisons to a father he lost at age two, whose music bears little resemblance to his own output yet still serves as a reference point despite the years that have passed and the many iconic mentors who have stepped in to offer their counsel, creativity, and endorsement throughout his long career.
It’s curious that it now feels necessary to include the reference, as enough time has passed that a new generation of tastemakers and journalists might not know who Jim Croce was — that he was a golden-voiced everyman, a singer-songwriter-guitarist who died too soon, leaving one of pop music’s most beautiful and memorable ballads (written about a young A.J.) in his wake.
Croce the younger, on the other hand, is a piano man, first and foremost, and a vocal stylist second. His muted growl pulls from a host of American traditions and anti-heroes — it’s part New Orleans, part juke joint, part soul, but somehow evokes New York, a continuum where John Lurie meets Lou Reed. He is further a songwriter, driven by a personal muse, informed by a life on a boomerang of tragedy.”
77 | The Keisler Brothers Band
This week, traditional bluegrass & Ozark legends The Keisler Brothers Band recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this talented band of brothers. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of harmonica virtuoso Lonnie Glosson performing “Mama, I Want a Drink of Water.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a brief history of settlers to the Ozark region.
The Keisler Brothers Band is comprised of Redmond, Randy and Rick Keisler, as well as their long time friend Rodney Heslep. This traditional bluegrass group has been bringing their fiery brand of acoustic music to American audiences for four decades. Redmond Keisler, the leader of the group, plays Dobro, while his brothers Randy and Rick play bass & guitar, respectively. The brothers’ long time compatriot Rodney Heslep brings the all important three finger banjo to round out a perfect traditional high energy bluegrass sound. One of the Keisler Brothers’ specialties is their razor sharp harmony singing. Family harmonies are breathtaking to behold, and this family has been perfecting theirs for decades. True, honest, and decidedly down home, a Keisler Brothers show is a testament to their traditional bluegrass legacy.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of harmonica virtuoso Lonnie Glosson performing “Mama, I Want a Drink of Water,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode focuses on the history of early white settlers to the Ozark region, and their impact on the indigenous cultures of the area.
76 | Christmas!
This week, Christmas songs both traditional & rare, performed by an interesting array of folk musicians, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Hosts Dave Smith & Mark Jones present these festive archival holiday recordings. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of his father, Country Music Hall of Fame legend Grandpa Jones reciting a poem called “The Christmas Guest.” Aubry Atwater & Elwood Donnelly profile the story of folk music royalty Jean Ritchie’s first family Christmas tree.
Musicians at the Ozark Folk Center State Park have been putting on Christmas music shows for over four decades. As with most music performed at the park, the Christmas music represented here is not your normal collection of holiday standards. You’ll hear a few songs that you know and love, as well as many others that you’ve likely never encountered before. The eclectic range of musicians performing on this edition of Ozark Highlands Radio include Grandpa Jones, Randall Hylton, The Dowden Sisters, The Lonesome Cowboys, Joni Bishop, Bob Olivera, The Heritage Quartet, and more.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of his father, country music legend Grandpa Jones, reciting a poem called “The Christmas Guest,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
Renowned folk musicians Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly profile influential folk music icons Jean Ritchie and the Ritchie Family, as well as explore the traditional Appalachian music and dance that the Ritchie Family helped to perpetuate into the modern American folk lexicon. This episode relates Jean Ritchie’s own childhood memories of an early Ritchie Family Christmas.
49 | Don Edwards
This week, consummate cowboy balladeer and Grammy nominated performer Don Edwards performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Don. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Jesse Wright, singing the classic Jimmy Rodgers song “The Orphan Child.” Writer, professor, and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins profiles the second in a series of three Ozark regional ballads, “Lee Mills.”
One of America’s best loved and most enduring cowboy singers, Don Edwards is indeed an American treasure. His love and passion for traditional cowboy songs is second to none and has earned him a fan base worldwide. He knows the songs, the stories, and even some of the old trails that made the old West famous. Accompanied by his trusty guitar, Don takes us on a trip back in time when cowboy singers and songs echoed through the trails, taverns, and cattle drive camps of yesterday.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of the mysterious Jesse Wright, singing the classic Jimmy Rodgers song “The Orphan Child,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
From his series entitled “Back in the Hills,” writer, professor and historian Dr. Brooks Blevins presents the second of three episodes on Ozark regional ballads. This episode features a recording of the traditional Ozark ballad “Lee Mills,” sung by husband and wife Berry and Clementine Sutterfield of Marshall, Arkansas on August 1, 1963. The recording was made by folklorist John Quincy Wolf, and is preserved in Lyon College’s “John Quincy Wolf Collection.”
75 | Jayme Stone & The Lomax Project
This week, neo-folk, Americana, and progressive bluegrass sensation Jayme Stone & The Lomax Project recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Jayme about his music and the ambitious Lomax Project. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Mona Fay Moody performing the traditional song “I Will Never Marry.”
Two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world—bridging folk, jazz, and chamber music. His award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling sounds. Stone is the consummate collaborator, unearthing musical artifacts and magnetizing extraordinary artists to help rekindle these understudied sounds. He is a passionate educator, producer, and instigator.
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project focuses on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax. This collaboration brings together distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle and reimagine traditional music. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea shanties, Sea Island spirituals, Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fishermen, prisoners and homemakers. Collaborators on this particular live show include Moira Smiley and Tristan Clarridge.
Moira Smiley is a singer & composer who creates and performs new work for voices. A musical polyglot, and vocal shape-shifter, her voice – and composing – are heard on feature films, BBC & PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 60 albums. When she’s not leading her own group, Moira Smiley & VOCO, Moira tours with Indie artist tUnE-yArDs, Irish music powerhouse, Solas, The Lomax Project and Billy Child’s “Laura Nyro Re-Imagined.” Recent solo performances include TED, Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces,’ the London Proms Festival, features on BBC3’s The Choir, and ABC Australia’s Books & Arts programs. Moira’s recordings feature spare, vocally driven collections of warped traditional songs, original polyphony and body percussion. In addition to her performing work, she is in high demand as a choral clinician, composer and arranger.
Multi-instrumentalist Tristan Clarridge is a 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion and a pioneering cellist, synthesizing traditional folk influences with rhythmic vocabulary from jazz, rock and pop music, and leading a revolution among adventurous young cellists throughout the country. He has toured the world with bluegrass/nu-folk sensation Crooked Still and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, as well as Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky and Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster. Tristan’s latest collaboration, “The Bee Eaters,” features his talented sister Tashina Clarridge as well as hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Mona Fay Moody performing the traditional song “I Will Never Marry,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
74 | Darol Anger & Mike Marshall
This week, oldtime, bluegrass, and psychograss pioneers Darol Anger & Mike Marshall recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with these legendary instrumentalists. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Bob & Kay Blair performing the traditional song “Red Green.”
Fiddler, composer, producer and educator, Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent. Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Anger has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, his Duo with Mike Marshall, and others. He has performed and taught all over the world with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Bela Fleck, Bill Evans, Edgar Meyer, Bill Frisell, David Grisman, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, The Anonymous 4, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, Mark O’Connor, and Stephane Grappelli. Today Darol can be heard on NPR’s “Car Talk” theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He was also the violinist on the phenomenally popular Sim City computer games. In addition to performing all over the world, he has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. He is an Associate Professor at the Berklee School of music.
Mike Marshall made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 20 with jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli as a member of the David Grisman Quartet. In 1985 he would perform in that famed hall with his own classical ensemble The Modern Mandolin Quartet in 1985. Mike has been at the forefront of New Acoustic music for over 40 years having been the founding member of many groups including the Montreux Band, Psychograss, Choro Famoso and The Anger Marshall Band. Between 1999 and 2003 Mike collaborated with Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck and Sam Bush on two separate projects. These groups toured the U.S.A. extensively and performed at the Aspen Music Festival, San Francisco Performances and Chamber Music at Lincoln Center, NY. Both ensembles were nominated for Grammy Awards for their Sony Classical releases. In 2014 Mike was nominated for his third Grammy Award for his recording with the Turtle Island Quartet. Currently Mike is touring with German mandolin virtuoso Caterina Lichtenberg. The two have released two cds on the Adventure Music label and have performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, The Savannah Music Festival, the Bach Haus Liepzig, Germany and the Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival in Colorado and have been soloists with the New Century Orchestra under Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Orchester l’arte del mondo from Cologne, Germany. He currently directs the Mike Marshall School of Mandolin through the ArtistWorks on-line educational company where he is teaching hundreds of mandolinists from around the world. Mike splits his time currently between his home in San Francisco, CA and Wuppertal, Germany where his wife, Caterina Lichtenberg holds the position of mandolin professor at the Cologne Music Conservatory.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark originals Bob & Kay Blair performing the traditional song “Red Green,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
73 | Dom Flemons
This week, Grammy award winning Oldtime singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons, accompanied by the versatile Brian Farrow, recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this Grammy award winning artist. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of country music royalty Jeanette Carter performing the classic song “Foggy Mountain Top.”
Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Dom Flemons’ involvement with music began by playing percussion in his high school band. After picking up the guitar and harmonica as a teenager, he began to play in local coffee houses and became a regular performer on the Arizona folk music scene. Dom wrote his own songs and produced 25 albums of singer-songwriters and slam poets in the Phoenix area, including six albums of his own during this time. He took a brief break from playing music in order to pursue slam poetry (he majored in English at Northern Arizona University) and performed in two national poetry slams in 2002 and 2003. Aside from exploring slam poetry, he spent his early adulthood listening to records and discovering a love of folk music, blues, jazz, jug band music, country music and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll. Dom became interested in folk musicians such as Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, and Mike Seeger, as well as musicians such as Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin’ Wolf, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. After stepping away from the slam poetry scene, he rekindled his interest in music, this time focusing on the old-time blues music of the pre-WWII era.
A multi-instrumentalist, Dom Flemons plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills, in addition to singing. He says that he incorporates his background in percussion to his banjo playing. Dom’s banjo repertoire includes not only clawhammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing. He first picked up the instrument when he borrowed a five-string banjo from a friend who had removed the instrument’s fifth string. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band, Dom was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences. The band won a GRAMMY for its 2011 album Genuine Negro Jig and was nominated for its most recent album, Leaving Eden, in 2012.
Dom says he would like to use the traditional forms of music he has heard and immersed himself in over the years to create new soundscapes that generate interest in old-time folk music. Focusing very much on creating music that is rooted in history but taking a contemporary approach, Dom hopes to reexamine what traditional music can become.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of country music royalty Jeanette Carter performing the classic song “Foggy Mountain Top,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
72 | Spencer & Rains
This week, old time fiddling husband and wife duo “Spencer & Rains” recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this fascinating duo. A performance from old time fiddle legend Dan Levenson, and Mark Jones offers an archival recording of singer/songwriter Jimmy Connor performing his hit song “Grandma’s Featherbed.”
Spencer & Rains combines the talents of two extraordinary traditional fiddlers, Kansas fiddler Tricia Spencer with Texas artist and fourth generation fiddler Howard Rains. Together, the husband and wife duo Spencer & Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. The duo are known for their twin fiddle harmony, which is a product of the influence of midwestern Scandinavian fiddlers Tricia heard as a child. At the same time, Howard’s distinct repertoire reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. That same sense of harmony is in their vocals as well, which they pull from all manner of American folk music. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old time music.
A Southern Appalachian native, Dan Levenson was raised with old time music. He has become a true master musician and teacher in both the Clawhammer Banjo style and Old Time Fiddling. His dad called square dances and his mom played guitar, piano and sang. With 14 Mel Bay publications including his innovative Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch and 10 recordings to his name, Dan is one of the undisputed influences on today’s old time music aficionados. Dan Levenson is a modern day troubadour in the truest sense of the word. A full time musician, he travels the country with banjo and fiddle, singing songs and telling stories of the road, his musical journey and his Southern Appalachian roots. Dan is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now makes his home in Tucson, Arizona year round, when he is not on the road. His stage show, “An Evening with Dan Levenson" is an intimate evening of musical conversation that combines old time fiddle, Appalachian banjo, stories, and song in a storytelling format, celebrating life in rural Appalachia and life on the roads of America via the music of our country.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of singer/songwriter Jimmy Connor performing his hit song “Grandma’s Featherbed,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
71 | Old Ties
This week, Ozark oldtime duo “Old Ties” performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with the members of this eclectic duo, Allison Williams & Willi Carlisle. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Walter Gosser playing the traditional tune “Cripple Creek.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a piece on the uniquely American art form of shape note singing.
Allison Williams and Willi Carlisle were brought together by a passion for old-time music. The duo is best known around these parts as the leaders of monthly square dances at various hotspots throughout Northwest Arkansas. When they aren’t calling dances, Williams and Carlisle gig as “Old Ties.”
A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Allison Williams got her start as a punk rock musician before rediscovering her musical roots. Several years in the mountains of North Carolina educated her in Appalachian banjo techniques, especially the fast distinctive styles of Hobart Smith and Wade Ward. Allison has toured internationally, sharing stages with Rhonda Vincent, Donna the Buffalo, and many other giants of the new roots music scene. Her solo CD ”Give Me the Roses” came out in the autumn of 2008, featuring driving arrangements of traditional old-time songs as well as eclectic originals, woven together by a talented backing band of rising stars: alumni of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the Wiyos, among others. Since then, Allison has toured internationally, playing to a sold-out Barbican Hall in London as part of the BBC’s “Folk America” special, and backing folk legend Michelle Shocked on her 2010 East Coast tour.
Willi Carlisle has, according to one reviewer, "an authenticity it takes some songwriters years to achieve." After years of collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted writer, performer and instrumentalist. With a style forged in the fire of Ozark oldtime and an ever-growing collection of antique musics, Carlisle’s multi-instrumental stories hoot, stomp, and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely Southern and timelessly true. Equally comfortable on banjo, fiddle and guitar, Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances at the Ozark Folk Center, the Fayetteville Roots Festival, Thacker Mountain Radio, and Fringe Festivals across the country.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Walter Gosser playing the traditional tune “Cripple Creek,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
70 | Adam Fudge
This week, Ozark guitarist, singer, and master of the three finger banjo Adam Fudge performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Adam. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of harmonica player & Ozark original Lou Alderman playing the traditional tune “Danny Boy.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a portrait of Arkansan & country music superstar Patsy Montana, through the lens of archivist Bill McNeil.
Born and raised in the rich musical culture of the Arkansas Ozarks, Adam Fudge has pursued the legacy of his native mountain music with tenacity and a deep love for the traditional. Adam is a fine singer and guitarist playing traditional country & bluegrass, but his true love is the three finger style of banjo popularized by bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs. Adam has won numerous awards for his incredible banjo skills, both in Arkansas and at the traditional music proving grounds of Winfield, Kansas. As well as possibly being one of the greatest three finger banjo players alive today, his guitar skills and Jimmie Rogers style vocals are finely tuned as well. On this show, Adam performs with a variety of musicians including his brother bassist Shane Fudge, bluegrass legend Dave Brancecum, old time fiddler Roger Fountain, guitar guru Brad Apple, educator & multi-instrumentalist Bill Nesbitt, and prolific bassist Gresham McMillon.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of harmonica player & Ozark original Lou Alderman playing the traditional tune “Danny Boy,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.