Big Muddy Folk Festival
The Boyer Family
The Boyer Family’s influence on the St. Louis folk community is long and deep. Janet Boyer and her brother, fiddler Bob Beers, grew up in the area with the traditional music of family gatherings. Bob moved eventually to New York and founded the Fox Hollow Folk Festival, a legend in the northeast. Meanwhile, Janet and her husband Bill Boyer opened a store, Music Folk, and started the coffeehouse Focal Point in 1975. (A few years later, Cathy Barton started performing there.) Both of those interests thrive today in other hands but remain at the heart of the St. Louis folk scene. Like her brother, Janet raised and nurtured musical children who joined in family sessions and later married musical spouses. A Biograph Lp recorded the extended family band in 1971. Daughter Susan, who continued a singing career of her own, will come up from Florida. Daughter Becky, who took fiddle lessons from her uncle as well as violin lessons, now plays second chair violin for the St. Louis Symphony and was featured with Mark O’Connor when he appeared there. Becky’s husband, Jerome Hall, is a good flatpicker, too. This is music and love that has grown and intertwined like the fabled briar and rose.