Celebrating Ozark Heroes

May 27, 2017


Afternoon Matinee Set in the Craft Village at 2-3pm

Evening Performance 7-9pm

Workshop Registration Form

$50 single day pre-registation until May 13
$75 single day registration, walk up only after May 13


Special Guest Performer: Meredith Axelrod

Participate in an energizing day celebrating Ozark music with workshops, dialog, and group playing with Mark Bilyeu, Cindy Woolf, Clarke Wyatt, and Betse Ellis. 

This multi-section workshop is geared for intermediate and above players and/or singers. Open to a variety of instruments— breakout sessions will accommodate mandolins (to join the fiddle class), both finger-style and clawhammer banjo, guitar, and vocalists. Beginners are welcome to attend; during the breakout session you may sit and listen if the class moves faster than your comfort level. Please bring a recording device of your choice, ideally a portable one (video is ok). If you have questions about the workshops, please send an email to Betse Ellis: betswilder@gmail.com

  • The morning session will delve into discussion of tradition, source material, research, music theory essentials, and making choices for performing and recording traditional material. 
  • After lunch, there will be breakout sessions including, song research and arrangement, banjo tunes and backup and Fiddle tunes and backup
  • The final session brings everyone back together to share the songs and tunes, explore what we’ve learned, and enjoy the rich traditions of the Ozarks that we love.

About the Instructors:

Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu
The duo have been playing music together since 2003, and have been married since 2013. Cindy has recorded three albums as a solo artist, and Mark is well-known as a member of the now-defunct Ozarks family band Big Smith. Now these two are excited to have recorded their first album together as The Creek Rocks.

 “Wolf Hunter” is a collection of 16 folk songs from the Ozarks, drawn from the collections of Max Hunter of Springfield, Missouri, Mark’s hometown; and John Quincy Wolf of Batesville, Arkansas, where Cindy grew up. Joining them on the album and on stage are bassist Jason Chapman of the Chapmans bluegrass band, and percussionist Jay Williamson, also from Big Smith. 

Betse & Clarke 

Their music is familiar... and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Betse & Clarke play old time music celebrated alongside inventive new compositions… they share a passion for the depth of tradition and a look to the future of folk. 

 Betse Ellis is an Ozark fiddle tune celebrant and devoted teacher. Long known for her exuberant performance style with her former band, The Wilders, or in her solo touring that followed, Betse has partnered with Clarke Wyatt to continue her adventures in old time music and beyond. Betse is a long-time friend and student of Violet Hensley. A few of the many camps Betse has taught: Folk Alliance International Music Camp; Festival of American Fiddle Tunes; Musique Acoustique in Virton, Belgium; and Targhee Music Camp. Betse's workshops explore how we learn -- from others & from ourselves -- with a big dose of love. 

Clarke Wyatt plays banjo and has a great time doing it. He is descended from a long line of pickers and fiddlers in rural East Texas - the region and time period of the East Texas Serenaders. He plays two- and three-finger style the old time way and loves sharing his unique approach to the instrument. If you ask him questions he'll come up with something to say on the spot and something better to say later. Then he'll ask you questions. Some of the places Clarke has taught: ZigZag Camp, Folk Alliance International Music Camp, and Montana Fiddle Camp.




About Meredith Axelrod:

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.