The Far Flung Empire of Musicale

The far-flung empire of Musicale is located smack dab in the middle of Usa (pronounced Oosa) in a rural location called LeMars, Iowa. Far removed from the teeming urbanite, it is a closely guarded and hidden location.

The empiricists continue to keep alive the ancient tones handed down from generation to generation via strange stringed melody making contraptions.
This empire’s King has been gone for centuries, and all those that gather during the maize harvest season, continue to wait for His return. He was a lowly carpenter but He was the architect of the universe.

While the empire waits, during this time of celebration, they engage in dawn to dusk rustic musicale messages handed down from the past. In these very personal messages are coded reminders of how they should live their lives as they patiently await the return of their King. During the evening gloaming they gather to partake of many various types of music and food; wild rice dishes, spiced meat repasts from animals they raise like bovines, swine, and domestic fowl; and simplified recipes which include sweet offerings like strange curly-que funnels of cake, and a very cold and refreshing dessert they call iced cream.
The dark hours are spent, sometimes gathered around warming log fires, sharing harmonic soirees that remind them that purity of mind, soul, and body, keeps them alert for the eminent return of their King. Many will tell you that there is monumental lures and distractions on the planet to steer them aside, but the sentinels continue their steadfast gardein duties, many times accompanied by a rood.

The many visitors that attend the 7-day celebration, come from other strange places on the planet. From Nippon (often referred to as Japan) a representative will arrive to share in the rustic Usa music. From the British Commonwealth of Nations, New Zealand, Lady Crowe will attend, sharing the stories in songs of Usa’s ancient past. From the land of Hibernia, a special envoy will arrive bearing news of the legends from their ancient world, legends still alive in Usa. This too, is revealed with vibrating strings and irradiating brilliance. Another ancient Kingdom, known as Jutland, will send their Queen of Musicales from Copenhagen. All of it performed in a rustic rural manner with hundreds of performers from Usa participating in the various songs, stories, and message offerings, many of them undecipherable to the vast civilization who knows little of these roborant rustics who still hold the key to eternal life.

Some of the activities have outrageous names like ‘Dulcimer Do’ and ‘Poet’s Corner.’ Yet others are more easily recognized like the ‘Harmonica Howl’ and the ‘Autoharp Gathering.’ Some are even a one-of-a-kind historical like ‘Carl Sandburg Readings’ and ‘Fiddler’s Jubilee.’ Others are more feverous like the ‘Banjo Jamboree’ the ‘Band Scramble’ and the ‘Guitar Pull.’
The event always takes place in time-inspiring reverence and admiration. Octavia was the original time-name, then called Agustus, now shortened to the last week of August, continuing the supreme dignity and majestic grandeur of the assemblage of highly respected keepers of the ancient tones. Some are plenipotentiary ambassadors coming from far away in Usa. The House of Cash is sending their only living diplomat, John Carter Cash. From the ancient hills of Hee Haw, the amassadress LuLu Roman; and from the Kingdom of Alabama, the Warrior River Boys. From the home of the founding fathers of Usa, a tribe that plays a musical instrument having a set of small metallic reeds mounted in a case and played by the breath, sometimes referred to as a mouth organ. These representatives attend the gathering with a sense of humor. They call themselves the ‘Harmonicats.’ From deep in the far-flung jungles of Africa, comes a descendant of one who has kept the rustic Usa ancient tones alive. Stephen Pride, the younger brother of Charley Pride, brings greetings and subtle tonal harmonious effects to the musicale. Even the dangerous bogs of Usa is represented by ‘Swampgrass’ an exciting and rapidly moving stringed instrument ensemble.

Over 600 musicale participants place honor and homage on those scribes who continue to give expression and artistic execution to the stories and tales handed down from generation to generation. They do this in the form of their own original compositions. Terry Smith with Far Side Banks Of Jordan; Hugh Moffatt with Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You; and Larry Cordle with the mysterious Murder On Music Row, a devastating tale of how the creators and communicators of the ancient tones can be destroyed and erased from humanoid records in a very short period of time.
Electronics (pale imitations of the real instruments used to create ancient tones) are not permitted at this 39th annual convocation, even though there are ten performance venues operating daily from 9am to midnight. The cultivators of the concourse do use electronic communications with information available at or passages available at 712-762-4363 or at

Prepared by Bob Phillips, Correspondent for the National Traditional Music Association

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