Old-Time Music to be featured at Center for Missouri Studies

The public is invited to a free program Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., by author and musician Howard Marshall, who will perform music and talk about his latest book Keep it Old-Time: Fiddle Music in Missouri from the 1960s Folks Music Revival to the Present. The event will be held at the State Historical Society of Missouri, 605 Elm St., Columbia.

Marshall, professor emeritus and former director of the Missouri Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Missouri, will offer examples of Missouri fiddling today and will share the history and people behind the music. Marshall, a fiddler himself, will be joined by Richard Shewmaker (violin), Amber Gaddy (violin), Jim Ruth (five-string banjo), David Cavins (guitar), Asher Ferguson (penny whistle), and Kathy Gordon (bass).  The program will include a set of Irish fiddle tunes by Jim Ruth (violin), Linda Shumate (concertina), and Heinrich Leonhard (guitar), mainstays of the Irish music scene in Columbia.  

Marshall’s new book published by the University of Missouri Press is the third book in his fiddle history trilogy. The book, along with a companion CD of music by 36 fiddlers, is available in the Richard Bookstore inside the Center for Missouri Studies. Howard will be available to sign books following the program.

Marshall said his third volume on Missouri fiddling represents a lifelong fascination with the world of music. “For centuries, the violin has been both a ‘people’s instrument’ as well as a ‘palace’ instrument that spans the globe,” Marshall said. “Whether called violin or fiddle, it continues to be enjoyed across many different traditions and communities,” added Marshall.

The previous two books in this series are Play Me Something Quick and Devilish (2013) and Fiddler’s Dream (2017). In all three volumes, Marshall seeks out the people, stories and communities that make informal, traditional music for their own enjoyment, particularly folk-singing, bluegrass, old-time fiddling and jazz.