The original Discovery
Win Grace, Cathy
Barton, Paul Fotsch, Dave Para, and Bob
and Original Music
Interpreting the Epic American Journey
Bob Dyer, Dave Para, Win Grace,
Cathy Barton, and Paul Fotsch
Photo by Leela and Ellie Grace
Five noted musicians steeped in the history and
traditions of the Missouri valley join to tell this American
tale of rugged individuals born of and challenged by the
frontier. Music was part of the daily life of the Corps of
Discovery and part of their introduction to native tribes.
Gibson and Cruzatte played the fiddle. The French boatmen hired
on to work the keel boat sang voyageur songs to bear the heavy
burden upstream. A box of jaw harps was among the trade items
destined for the natives. While no specific musical title is
mentioned in any of the journals of the voyage, tunes and songs
of the period and of the ethnic traditions represented provide
the musical context of the journey. These troubadours also
have composed original music that tell the heroic stories and
stay true to the history and musical traditions of these people.
Instruments played by
The original Discovery String Band:
Fiddle, Mandolin, 6 and 12-string Guitars, Harmonica, Piano,
Piano Accordion, Autoharp, Hammered Dulcimer,
Lap Dulcimer, Mouth Bow, Indian Flute,
Banjo, Guitar, Jawbone, Pennywhistle,
Jaw Harp, Bones, Spoons, Triangle (Petit Fer),
And Feet (Le Pied - seated clogging)
Cathy Barton and Dave Para
& Paul Fotsch
For 30 years,
Win Grace toured throughout North
America performing American roots and contemporary folk music,
often performing with Paul Fotsch.
These high-energy, versatile vocalists and multi-instrumentalists
delighted audiences of all ages with their close harmonies, warm
stage presence, and skill on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmonica,
piano, autoharps, and accordion.
Win has released seven albums and has appeared as
guest artist on numerous other recordings, including albums by
Cathy, Dave and Bob. She has performed at festival and concert
venues including the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Roots of
American Music Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Win has presented school assemblies and residencies
for students throughout the U.S. and has arranged, selected, and
performed music for several original plays and films. She was on
the Missouri Arts Council Touring Program roster, the Missouri
Arts Councilís Artists in Education roster (a residency
program), and the Mid-America Arts Alliance roster.
Win holds a B.A. in theater and for five years was Festival
Coordinator/Artistic Director for First Night Columbia, a multiple
venue New Yearís Eve celebration of the arts.
Bob Dyer was
born and raised on the banks of the Missouri River. He has spent
much of his life delving into the history and folklore of his
native state and the great river that runs through. Combining his
talents as a poet, musician, historian, folklorist and teacher,
Dyer has developed an entertaining way of presenting history and
folklore that he calls "Songtelling." He has recorded
two collections of original folk-style ballads ó Songteller and
River Runs Outside My Door. His songs were featured in the film
Tom Benton's Missouri; and he was writer and co-director of a film
about the American epic poet, John Neihardt.
Bob has also published a book of poetry,
a history of his hometown, an anthology of poems and stories about
the great Missouri/Mississippi River flood of 1993, and an
award-winning book in the Missouri Heritage Series for the
University of Missouri Press entitled Jesse James and the
Civil War in Missouri. He is co-author (with Hans von
Sachsen-Altenburg) of Duke Paul of Wuerttemberg on the
Missouri Frontier: 1823, 1830 and 1851.
Along with Cathy and Dave he has recorded
two volumes of Civil War songs: Johnny Whistletrigger
and Rebel in the Woods. He is also one of the
co-organizers of the Big Muddy Folk Festival held annually in
April at Thespian Hall in Boonville.
As part of the Missouri
Artist-in-Education and Young Audiences programs, Dyer has
conducted residencies, assemblies and workshops in many of
Missouri's public schools. He has also performed in a variety of
other settings including colleges, folk and craft festivals,
libraries, banquets, clubs, theatres, and conventions.
He has a Master's degree in English and
taught college English for 15 years prior to embarking on his
career as a "Songteller." In 2002 he received the
Governor's Humanities Award for Excellence in Community Heritage.