Upcoming Episode

34 Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin

This week, accomplished modern folk performers and songwriters Wil Maring & Robert Bowlin perform live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with Wil & Robert, Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover ask the question “What is folk music,” and Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Clark Fowler leading the “Sacred Harp Singers.”

Wil Maring got her start as a songwriter, picking out songs, while working at her family’s roadside fruit stand outside Carbondale, IL. And while she’s since traveled the world, Wil continues to call rural Illinois her home. Her voice and songwriting reflect the natural, uncomplicated beauty of the rural Midwest.

Wil is joined by her longtime musical collaborator Robert Bowlin. Robert is an accomplished guitarist and fiddle player, and a native of Pocahontas, Arkansas. He has extensive credits for guitar and fiddle, performing with Bill Monroe and Kathy Mattea, among other notable musicians.

Ozark Highlands Radio host Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover discuss the fine points of what makes “folk music,” drawing from interviews & perspectives of various folk musicians.

Mark Jones' “From the Vault” segment offers an archival recording of legendary shape note expert Clark Fowler, leading the Sacred Harp Singers in a traditional rendition of the song “Angel Band,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.

Radio from the Ozarks by People who Live There

Ozark Highlands Radio is a weekly radio program that features live music and interviews recorded at Ozark Folk Center State Park’s beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium in Mountain View, Ark. In addition to the music, our “Feature Host” segments take listeners on a musical journey with historians, authors and personalities who explore the people, stories and history of the Ozark region.

You’re invited to be a part of the Ozark Highlands Radio audience. Shows run Wednesday through Saturday (April 15- October 1) and Tuesday through Saturday in the month of October. Check out our 2016 show line-up. Admission to most evening shows is $12 and all seating is general admission, available the day of the show. Nightly concerts start at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. A few select performances will be all reserved seating, so watch our calendar for more information. Book a room at the Cabins at Dry Creek and check out the southern-style cooking at the Skillet Restaurant. Give us a call to learn about discounted combination tickets to Ozark Folk Center State Park and the Craft Village, season passes and other packages at 800-264-3655.



  • Tune in to:

  • KUAR: Little Rock AR
    FRI 8 p.m. 89.1FM
  • KASU: Jonesboro AR
    SAT 2 p.m. 91.9FM
  • KUAF: Fayetteville AR
    Sat 6 p.m. 88.9 FM
  • KFFB: Fairfield Bay AR
    SUN 6 a.m. 106.1FM

  •  
  • KSMU: Springfield MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 91.1 FM
  • K255AH: Joplin MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 98.9 FM
  • KSMW: West Plains MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 90.3 FM
  • K204FX: Mountain Grove MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 88.7 FM

  •  
  • KSMS: Point Lookout/Branson MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 90.5 FM
  • K279AD: Neosho MO
    Sun 8 p.m. 103.7 FM


Hosted by Dave Smith

Dave moved to Stone County in 1972 at the age of twenty and began attending the old-time musicals at Lonnie Lee’s house in the community of Fox. He was completely captivated by the old songs and tunes. He would spend Saturday night at Lonnie’s and the rest of week learning what he had heard. He plays guitar, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, button accordion, and along with Robert and Mary Gillihan, he’s part of the musical group Harmony.

Recent Episodes

33 Van Colbert/Dave Para & Cathy Barton

This week, award winning Missouri Ozark traditionalist Van Colbert performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. A performance from Old Time musicians Dave Para & Cathy Barton. Also, interviews with Van Colbert, Dave Para & Cathy Barton. Ozark Highlands Radio host Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover discuss the fine points of what makes “folk music,” and Mark Jones offers an archival recording of famed songwriter and Ozark original Jimmy Driftwood.

Like an old pair of jeans, Van Colbert and his family band are familiar and very comfortable in almost any setting. Van leads the group on banjo and vocals, with a laid back and easy style. Van and his family have been playing music all of their lives, in and around the Springfield, MO area. Van also performs with the “Blackberry Winter Band,” whose music was the soundtrack for the 2010 Oscar nominated film Winter’s Bone.

Performing together for over 30 years, the husband and wife team of Dave Para and Cathy Barton have long been tuned into the sounds, traditions, and ways of old time musicians. Cathy Barton was an early adopter of Grandpa Jones’ “claw-hammer” style of banjo playing. She worked with both Grandpa and Ramona in Mountain View, AR and Nashville, TN among other musical hot spots over the years.  Dave Para (guitar/vocals) moved to rural Missouri in the late 70’s and began what has been a long and fruitful career as a musician. The duo was recorded as part of the annual “Tribute to Grandpa Jones” event at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.

Ozark Highlands Radio host Dave Smith and producer Jeff Glover discuss the fine points of what makes “folk music,” drawing from interviews & perspectives of various folk musicians.

Mark Jones' “From the Vault” segment offers an archival recording of famed songwriter and Ozark original Jimmy Driftwood performing a song, using a hickory leaf as a musical instrument, from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.


32 Steel Wheels

This week, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia progressive folk roots Band “The Steel Wheels” perform live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with the band, and Mark Jones “From the Vault” segment.

The Steel Wheels are a four piece acoustic band that combines the instrumentation and song structure of traditional Old Time music with a modern sensibility and drive. Performing together since 2010, The Steel Wheels hail from the rich musical grounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The band sponsors and organizes an annual music festival, held in the lush Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, called the “Red Wing Roots Music Festival.”

Mark Jones' “From the Vault” segment offers an archival recording of Ozark original Doug Ward performing the traditional song “The Fox,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.



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