Boonville to host 23rd Big Muddy Folk Festival

Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 7:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — After a quiet winter, music will return to Thespian Hall this weekend.

The 23rd Big Muddy Folk Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, April 4 to 5, in Boonville. The festival, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Boonville, focuses on ethnic and folk music and features concerts, dances, workshops and barbecue.

If you go

Big Muddy Folk Festival

What: Concerts, dancing, workshops and barbecue in downtown Boonville

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Thespian Hall, 522 Main St., Boonville, and nearby venues

Cost: $25 per evening or $45 for the weekend


Barbecue by Terry Smith, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Concert lineup, 7 to 11 p.m. in Thespian Hall

  • Roger Netherton, fiddle
  • Lee Murdock, ragtime, blues and Irish tunes
  • Mike Gentry, banjo
  • Matthew Olwell, percussive dance, with John Skelton, Irish flute
  • Cathy Barton and Dave Para, various folk instruments
  • Dance following at Turner Hall


Barbecue by Terry Smith, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Workshops, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

10 a.m.

  • Matthew Olwell and John Skelton explore current American dance, Thespian Hall, 522 Main St.
  • Howard Marshall and John Williams demonstrate Missouri fiddling traditions, First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 417 Vine St.
  • Claire Zucker and Alice Boyle lead songs sung in rounds, First Presbyterian Church sanctuary
  • Lee Murdock, Cathy Barton and Dave Para sing of their homeland waters, Christ Episcopal Church, 524 Fourth St. 

11 a.m.

  • Howard Marshall, John Williams, Alice Boyle and Roger Netherton demonstrate fiddle music, Thespian Hall
  • Mike Gentry, Cathy Barton, Robert Rosenberg and Dave Firestine hold a "banjo circus," First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall
  • Andrew Calhoun, Kate MacLeod, Kat Eggleston and Claire Zucker perform Celtic songs, First Presbyterian Church sanctuary

1 p.m.

  • Claire Zucker and STEAM! lead contra dances, Thespian Hall
  • Matthew Olwell and John Skelton help you find your own rhythm in First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall
  • Andrew Calhoun, Cathy Barton and Dave Para perform gospel and spiritual music, First Presbyterian Church sanctuary
  • Storefront Congregation performs up close at Christ Episcopal Church

2 p.m.

  • STEAM! with David Firestine performs an old-time jam session, Thespian Hall
  • Mike Gentry hosts a sing-a-long of old-time favorites, First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall
  • Buzz Keiper hosts an open-stage in First Presbyterian sanctuary
  • Andrew Calhoun, Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston perform original songs with historical themes, Christ Episcopal Church

Concert lineup, 7 to 11 p.m. in Thespian Hall

  • Storefront Congregation, bluegrass band
  • STEAM!, Irish and folk music and step-dancing
  • Andrew Calhoun, Celtic, African-American and American folk music
  • Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston, American and Celtic fiddle and guitar
  • Howard Marshall and John Williams, twin fiddles

Most of this year's acts are new to the festival, according to a release from the Friends of Historic Boonville.

"The high level of artistry is impressive in this year's roster," Dave Para, festival artistic director, said in a news release. "Most reflect an extension of American musical traditions through their own creativity in composition and interpretation. Their knowledge of their styles run deep and broad, and it informs well their original work."

The festival is an effort to raise money for art programming, according to a festival newsletter.

Tickets to the festival are $25 per evening or $45 for the weekend. Tickets to individual workshops on Saturday are $5 or free with a festival ticket.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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