This week, Ozark oldtime duo “Old Ties” performs live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with the members of this eclectic duo, Allison Williams & Willi Carlisle. Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Walter Gosser playing the traditional tune “Cripple Creek.” Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents a piece on the uniquely American art form of shape note singing.
Allison Williams and Willi Carlisle were brought together by a passion for old-time music. The duo is best known around these parts as the leaders of monthly square dances at various hotspots throughout Northwest Arkansas. When they aren’t calling dances, Williams and Carlisle gig as “Old Ties.”
A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Allison Williams got her start as a punk rock musician before rediscovering her musical roots. Several years in the mountains of North Carolina educated her in Appalachian banjo techniques, especially the fast distinctive styles of Hobart Smith and Wade Ward. Allison has toured internationally, sharing stages with Rhonda Vincent, Donna the Buffalo, and many other giants of the new roots music scene. Her solo CD ”Give Me the Roses” came out in the autumn of 2008, featuring driving arrangements of traditional old-time songs as well as eclectic originals, woven together by a talented backing band of rising stars: alumni of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the Wiyos, among others. Since then, Allison has toured internationally, playing to a sold-out Barbican Hall in London as part of the BBC’s “Folk America” special, and backing folk legend Michelle Shocked on her 2010 East Coast tour.
Willi Carlisle has, according to one reviewer, "an authenticity it takes some songwriters years to achieve." After years of collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde, Willi Carlisle is a multi-faceted writer, performer and instrumentalist. With a style forged in the fire of Ozark oldtime and an ever-growing collection of antique musics, Carlisle’s multi-instrumental stories hoot, stomp, and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely Southern and timelessly true. Equally comfortable on banjo, fiddle and guitar, Carlisle has earned accolades for his versatility with performances at the Ozark Folk Center, the Fayetteville Roots Festival, Thacker Mountain Radio, and Fringe Festivals across the country.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of Ozark original Walter Gosser playing the traditional tune “Cripple Creek,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
Author, folklorist, and songwriter Charley Sandage presents an historical portrait of the people, events, and indomitable spirit of Ozark culture that resulted in the creation of the Ozark Folk Center State Park and its enduring legacy of music and craft. This episode presents a piece on the uniquely American art form of shape note singing.
- Folk & Singer-Songwriter