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Win Grace Home

This is the home page for the original Discovery String Band --
Win Grace, Cathy Barton,
Paul Fotsch, Dave Para
and Bob Dyer

This band is no longer available for performances, but the award-winning CD, Most Perfect Harmony, Lewis and Clark: A Musical Journey is still in print and available for purchase. 

In April of 2007 my friend Bob Dyer put on his spirit wings and left his earthly home.  I will always miss him, but carry his songs and friendship with me in my heart. -- Win


Lewis and Clark:
A Musical Voyage of Discovery

Performed By
The original Discovery String Band:
 Win Grace, Cathy Barton, Paul Fotsch, Dave Para, and Bob Dyer
Traditional, Period and Original Music
Interpreting the Epic American Journey

photo: Discovery String Band
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.


After the original Discovery String Band performance on August 7, 2005, Win Grace resigned from the Band in order to focus more on her musical pursuits as a duet with Paul Fotsch.  Win has put together a new program about the infamous journey of 200 years ago:  Lewis and Clark: A Campsite Frolic.  This program includes and builds on the Metis fiddle and feet, the French voyageur songs and traditions, traditional songs, and the rollicking hoedowns that Win performed with the Discovery String Band and recorded on the CD "Most Perfect Harmony" Lewis and Clark: A Musical Journey.  Win Grace is the booking contact.

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)

The original
Discovery String Band:

photo: Dave Para and Cathy Barton
Cathy Barton and Dave Para
photo: Bob Dyer      photo: Paul and Win Grace
                Bob Dyer               Win Grace & 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.

Grace Family Music Home

Last update: 11/30/12 Site maintained by
Win Grace win "at" gracefamilymusic "dot" com and
Chivalry Music www.chivalry.com