Big Muddy Folk Festival comes to Boonville

Thursday, April 8, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 2:21 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 9, 2010

*CORRECTION: Joe Newberry has appeared with the North Carolina string band Big Medicine at the Big Muddy Folk Festival, and the name of the band he's with this time is Craver, Hicks, Watson and Newberry. An earlier version of this story listed the wrong past band and the wrong name for this current band.

COLUMBIA — This weekend, the usually sleepy city of Boonville will see an influx of folk and acoustic musicians. That's right, it's Big Muddy time.

Boonville will host the 19th annual Big Muddy folk festival this weekend . This year, coordinators and performers Dave Para and Cathy Barton, along with the Big Muddy committee, have put together a more diverse group of folk musicians than in previous years. From ragtime to blues, you'll be able to find it at Big Muddy.

The Big Muddy

When: Friday and Saturday, April 9 and 10

Where: Thespian Hall, 522 Main St., Boonville

Tickets: $20 per evening or $35 for the weekend. Order online at

Who's going to be there?

  • Dave Para and Cathy Barton
  • Swing DeVille
  • Kate Power and Steve Einhorn
  • Li'l Rev
  • David Lynn Grimes
  • Hicks, Watson, Carver and Newberry
  • Rory Block
  • Bob Schad and Jazzou Jones

"It's a good strong lineup this year; we are pleased with it," Barton said.

There will be four scheduled acts each night of the two-night festival, in addition to a few unscheduled "guest" appearances. Para, the artistic director for the festival, predicts a diverse audience this year with a wide range of acts, five of which are new to the festival.

In addition to musical acts, the festival will hold workshops during the day led by some of the musicians. In between sets, there will be a variety of vendors, such as jewelers and weavers.

Almost two decades ago, Para and Barton came up with the idea to give back to the community and to show people what they felt folk music was really about.

"It's a good way to let people know folk is more than a person with an acoustic guitar," Para said.

This year, there will be familiar faces as well as some new ones. Joe Newberry, who performed at Big Muddy with the *North Carolina string band Big Medicine a few years ago, says he is excited to return to the festival. This year he is performing with jazz-folk fusion band *Craver, Hicks, Watson and Newberry.

"I cannot wait to be back in Missouri," said Newberry, who lives in North Carolina. "There is a really, really rich tradition of music there."

A new artist, Matt Wyatt of Western-swing-inspired Swing DeVille is pleased they were asked to come play at the festival.

"We love playing folk festivals," said Wyatt. "It's a pleasure to be invited."

The festival will be held in Boonville's Thespian Hall and surrounding venues.

"Thespian Hall is one the most beautiful venues I've ever played at, and I've played all over the country," Newberry said.

Para and Barton are very excited about this year's festival and think everyone else will be too.

"People come to the Big Muddy and see something they haven't seen before, and that's the beauty," Para said.

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