Community members will have the opportunity to experience live bluegrass music at the annual fall festival held by the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association.

Organizers with the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association, Inc. will be holding their 36th annual Fall Bluegrass Festival Thursday through Saturday. The fall festival will feature performances by New Grass Attack, Charlie’s Landin’, Murphy Bluegrass Boys, Blue Train, United Men’s Quartet and The Rabun Family. 

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday at bluegrass park, located off of Bypass 63 at 1138 Bluegrass Lane, in West Plains. All shows will be held at the park rain or shine. There are concessions and restrooms on the grounds and camping and RV hookups are available. 

Due to COVID-19, organizers said things will be a little different as precautions have been taken to help insure a safe, pleasant festival. There will be no bean supper on Thursday or breakfast on Saturday to keep volunteers and attendees safe, and organizers said social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing will be observed at the festival. 

More information can be found on the association’s website at https://hobabluegrass.wixsite.com/mysite or visit them on Facebook at HOBA Bluegrass. Residents may also contact the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center at 417-256-8835, 417-372-7241, or tourism@westplains.net.  

Bands Set to Perform

New Grass Attack

Performances: Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Cheyenne McIntosh - guitar and vocals Connie McIntosh - vocals Duke McIntosh - bass Ben Eldringhoff - banjo and vocals Randall Romans - dobro and vocals

Cheyenne is a third generation bluegrasser. Her grandfather, Dale McIntosh, had his own group, Bluegrass Attack that Cheyenne’s dad, Duke McIntosh, played bass in for many years. Duke has also performed with many area bands. Connie McIntosh, Duke’s wife and Cheyenne’s mother, also sang with Bluegrass Attack and has been involved in the bluegrass music community for many years. Another third generation bluegrasser, Ben Eldringhoff, grew up playing in a family band here in the Ozarks and was a founding member of Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association and has served on the board of directors. Randall Romans also grew up in a local musical family and has been a member of the association since the early 80s plus serving on the board of directors. 

The United Men’s Quartet

Performances: Thursday

Members:

Jake Marcum - bass Jason Roberts - lead Tim Tilson - baritone Keith Turner - tenor

The United Quartet of West Plains has been singing together since 2008. With the exception of Jake Marcum (bass), who joined the group in 2017, the balance of the quartet is as it was at the start, with Jason Roberts (lead), Tim Tilson (baritone), and Keith Turner (tenor). The group primarily sings acapella, taking listeners back to the days of “front porch singings”, with pleasant harmonies and gospel hymns that have been sung for centuries. They will often throw in some southern gospel favorites with Tim at the piano, or some bluegrass numbers with the acoustic strings of Jake and/or Keith. Jason, a minister since 1995, and the group’s members will share testimonies and words of encouragement that will lift you up and leave you inspired. A preaching and singing ministry, The United Quartet looks forward to sharing the love of Jesus Christ with all that will hear. 

Blue Train

Performances: Friday 

Members:

Kenny Key - mandolin and vocals Juanita Lee - vocals Tony Melvin - bass and vocals D.J. Shumate - banjo Steve Youngblood - guitar and vocals

Contemporary bluegrass band hailing from Springfield, Marshfield, Forsyth and Branson. This group's incredible vocal and instrumental talents blended with a unique selection of material make this a band that will keep attendees entertained.

Charlie’s Landin’

Performances: Friday and Saturday

Members:

Charlie Freeland - guitar Landon Potter - guitar Greg Potter - mandolin Tony Wray filling in for J.R. Freeland - banjo Stacy Freeland - bass

Charlie’s Landin’ is a fun group of folks comprised of a couple families. Charlie Freeland plays guitar for the band. She is the 16-year-old daughter of the banjo player, J.R. Freeland, and the bass player, Stacy Freeland. They reside in Greers Ferry, Arkansas with roots in Douglas County. The other part of the family band is 17-year-old Landon Potter, the group’s other guitar player, and his dad, Greg Potter, who plays mandolin. They reside in Ava. The old folks in the band played together in another band back before Charlie and Landon were ever born and never dreamed a day would come they’d be reunited on stage with two of the kids playing and singing up front and center for them. This band thrives on hard-driving, up in your face bluegrass, and a sweet gospel tune or so to wrap up a set. They give all glory to God for the opportunity to be on stage together making music and doing what they love.

Murphy Bluegrass Boys

Performances: Saturday

Members:

Aaron Murphy - guitar Peyton Murphy, mandolin Gevan Murphy - bass

The Murphy brothers hail from the Imboden, Arkansas area.  They primarily play traditional bluegrass but throw in some newer stuff from time to time, as well as a bit of classical music to show everyone that they have good taste. The band consists of brothers Aaron and Peyton Murphy, on the guitar and mandolin respectively, and father Gevan Murphy anchoring the upright bass with a guest banjo picker making appearances with them. 

The Rabun Family

Performances: Saturday

Members:

Truly Rabun - guitar and sings lead Dixie Rabun - banjo and sings lead and harmony Jubilee Rabun - bass and sings lead and harmony Liberty Rabun - guitar and fiddle and sings lead

The Rabuns are a group of four sisters with a desire to use their playing and singing talent to bring glory to the Lord and bless people.  They live on a farm in Hartshorn.  With experience levels ranging from 3 to 10 years, they strive to do their best every time they hit the stage and to leave a lasting impression on all who hear them. Their wish is to sing for God and challenge people to come to know him as their personal savior, by doing something they enjoy very much, playing and singing bluegrass gospel music.