With the exception of festival director Dave Para and his wife, Cathy Barton, all of the performers for the 26th Annual Big Muddy Folk Festival this year are new.  

Para said the lineup is an impressive list of talent in a variety of musical styles.

“We have a Grammy winner, a Grammy nominee, acclaimed songwriters and genuine Missouri legends,” Para said.

The roster feature a number of composers of song and tune, whether as part of a band’s repertoire or a solo or duo act.

“This is a festival more like the late Bob Dyer would have booked,” he added.

Two founding members of the famed Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Randall Chowning and Larry Lee, also known as Beyond Reach, will play on Saturday night. Pat Donohue, popular guitarist leading the house band for, “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show will also play that night. as Barton and Para and a trio of female a cappella singers from Chicago, Aremisia will join the lineup.

Friday night will feature one of the world’s finest Irish fiddlers, Liz Carroll, with Jimmy Keane, a master of Irish music on the piano accordion, also from Chicago. Keane played the festival in 2003 with his trio Bohola. A longstanding dance and concert band from Albuquerque, the Adobe Brothers, will also play Friday night, as well as the Creek Rocks, a duo from the Ozarks, with Cindy Woolfe and Mark Bilyeu. Bilyeu was a member of the band Big Smith, who played the Peddlers Jamboree previously. He and his wife, Cindy, sing a lovely mix of songs of the tradition songs and their own.

As usual, a dance will follow Friday evening's show, with the caller to be announced. Saturday morning and afternoon will feature music workshops of many types at Thespian Hall, Turner Hall and the First Presbyterian and Christ Episcopal churches.

Terry Smith’s Big Muddy BBQ happily returns to fill the air with the sweet smell of barbecue.

Tickets are $25 for each evening and $45 for both nights. Admission to all Saturday daytime sessions is only $5 and free with series tickets. Tickets can be purchased at www.friendsofhistoricboonville.org.

The Friends of Historic Boonville receives financial support from the Missouri Arts Council, Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino and City of Boonville Tourism Commission. For more information, call 660-882-7977 or email fohboonville@gmail.com.  Consult the festival website, www.bigmuddy.org, for updated information.