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, Arkansas. In addition to the music, our “Feature Host” segments take listeners through the Ozark hills with historians, authors, and personalities who explore the people, stories, and history of the Ozark region.
This week, old time fiddling husband and wife duo “Spencer & Rains” recorded live at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Also, interviews with this fascinating duo. A performance from old time fiddle legend Dan Levenson, and Mark Jones offers an archival recording of singer/songwriter Jimmy Connor performing his hit song “Grandma’s Featherbed.”
Spencer & Rains combines the talents of two extraordinary traditional fiddlers, Kansas fiddler Tricia Spencer with Texas artist and fourth generation fiddler Howard Rains. Together, the husband and wife duo Spencer & Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. The duo are known for their twin fiddle harmony, which is a product of the influence of midwestern Scandinavian fiddlers Tricia heard as a child. At the same time, Howard’s distinct repertoire reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. That same sense of harmony is in their vocals as well, which they pull from all manner of American folk music. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old time music.
A Southern Appalachian native, Dan Levenson was raised with old time music. He has become a true master musician and teacher in both the Clawhammer Banjo style and Old Time Fiddling. His dad called square dances and his mom played guitar, piano and sang. With 14 Mel Bay publications including his innovative Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch and 10 recordings to his name, Dan is one of the undisputed influences on today’s old time music aficionados. Dan Levenson is a modern day troubadour in the truest sense of the word. A full time musician, he travels the country with banjo and fiddle, singing songs and telling stories of the road, his musical journey and his Southern Appalachian roots. Dan is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now makes his home in Tucson, Arizona year round, when he is not on the road. His stage show, “An Evening with Dan Levenson" is an intimate evening of musical conversation that combines old time fiddle, Appalachian banjo, stories, and song in a storytelling format, celebrating life in rural Appalachia and life on the roads of America via the music of our country.
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers an archival recording of singer/songwriter Jimmy Connor performing his hit song “Grandma’s Featherbed,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
- Folk & Singer-Songwriter