Performing Groups

Music from the Ozarks

Known around the world for his clawhammer banjo playing, Missouri native Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. Growing up in a family full of Ozarks singers and dancers, with roots in Spring eld, Mo., West Plains, Mo., and Eureka Springs, Ark., his Grandfather Newberry was a long-time hunting and fishing companion of Ozark song collector Vance Randolph. Joe’s dad was a classmate and friend of song collector Max Hunter. A longtime and frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion, Newberry was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K. with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and at the Transatlantic Session’s debut at Merlefest in 2017. In addition to his Ozarks collaboration with Chris Brashear, he plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, and with the fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.

Chris Brashear plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar and he is a singer with a wide vocal range and a clear, distinctive voice. Growing up in Ozark, Missouri, in the rolling farm country situated south of the James River between Springfield and Branson, Chris frequented “the Shack” on Saturday nights to hear and play along with fiddlers Emmanuel Woods and Art Galbraith, the Woods family and Byron “Bye” Kelly. He also knew Max Hunter and a variety of regional singers interested in learning, singing and performing ballads from the Ozarks. Chris’s Ozarkian heritage remains a vital piece of his musical creativity and repertoire. In 2017, he was asked to be part of the Berea College Music Festival as a presenter and performer of music from the Ozarks region. Brashear’s solo recordings were produced by Jody Stecher and Jim Rooney.

The Deep River Ramblers

Originally teaming up to perform a Doc Watson Tribute show for Signature Sounds, the trio was and remains a natural collaboration. Their approach to music and performance is humble, direct and expressive. If you can imagine hiking in a landscape of contemporary Americana and roots music, you could easily see these “ramblers” roaming between well-known and inspirational voices like Doc Watson, Nanci Griffith, Levon Helm, Muddy Waters or John Prine. Combining fiddle, guitars, mandolin, dobro and bass, this streamlined trio brings multi-instrumental abilities to every song. The final ingredient, however, is the combination of soulful singing with great songs.
On that front, the Deep River Ramblers will take you on a journey that will last long after the show is over.

Additional Groups

  • Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin
  • Jazz Sketches
  • Piedmont Melody Makers