Cathy Barton and Dave Para have created dynamic performances acclaimed for more than 25 years for their variety and expertise in vocal and instrumental music. It has been said that “ this duo from Missouri make some of the best music you’ll ever hear.” They have celebrated the musical traditions and folk-life of Missouri and the Ozarks in festivals, clubs, concert halls, schools and studios across the U.S. and Europe. Their audiences are as diverse as their repertoire. A versatile duo, Cathy and Dave play several stringed instruments, including hammer and fretted dulcimers, banjo, guitar and autoharp, as well as “found” instruments like bones, spoons, mouthbow and leaf. Their concerts range from the lively dance tunes they have collected in their home region to old ballads to new songs. They have conducted several instrumental workshops as well as those about songs from the Civil War, from American rivers, old gospel and children’s songs and Christmas music. Dave is best known for his guitar wizardry and his quick wit on stage. He began his music career by taking guitar lessons at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. Cathy holds college and graduate degrees in humanities and folklore and has worked as a folklorist at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR. Cathy and Dave have ten recordings to their credit, two of which include music from the Civil War on the Western Border.
Cathy and Dave released their 17th album, Sweet Journeys, in Spring 2010. The album is a compilation of songs and tunes, old and new, as well as three cuts from a Nashville session they did in 1990 with the late Canadian fiddle legend Graham Townsend. David Wilson also brought his fiddle magic up from Springfield. Included are original songs from friends Sam Stone, Judy Domeny, Dyarl Lewis, and Cathy’s song tribute to the late Bob Dyer, “Songteller.”