Still on the Hill
Arkansas Duo Brings Ozarks Energy to Okemah
Bringing their “low-tech” PowerPoint to the Brick [Sidenote: This is the third post in our coverage of the sixteenth annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. We’ll be alternating our reporting with essays and photo galleries from the twenty-second festival in 2019, so check in often for a mix of old and new Woodyfest goodness.] Street Café in 2013, musical duo Still on the Hill had the audience in stitches. Quilting stitches, that is; the PowerPoint slides consisted of text and images on handmade quilts, displayed as storytelling aids.
Husband and wife Kelly and Donna Mulhollan sang and told stories of their native Arkansas Ozarks, played a variety of unique and strange homemade instruments, [Sidenote: The instruments were mostly made by Ozark old-timers and each has its own story — stories which the Mulhollans shared with humor and enthusiasm.] and held up the aforementioned quilts to illustrate their tales.
The more animated of the two, Donna held the audience’s attention with her kinetic demeanor and piercing blue eyes: eyes that commanded:
Do. Not. Look. Away. But that is to say, Kelly is the more laid back only by comparison. The two do, indeed, possess enough energy to air-condition Texas:
If we ever lose power in Northwest Arkansas, we could tap into the energy of Still on the Hill and have enough left to air condition Texas!
The duo have created numerous Ozark-centric documentary projects, including 2010’s Ozark Project and 2015’s Once a River. In 2016 Still on the Hill completed their documentary project Still a River, a history of the Beaver Lake watershed and the White River in Northwest Arkansas. Upon its completion the National Park Service granted them ten additional programs to be performed throughout Arkansas.
2013 was Still on the Hill’s fourth and most recent Woodyfest performance.