JEROME FEST USED TO HAPPEN EVERY YEAR in JUNE, when musicians from around the world gathered for a weekend of music in honor of the late great RIVER COWBOY.


The party before JeromeFest 2013, so many fine musicians, old friends, from California, Connecticut, Spain, Missouri…

June 16, 2012 Jerome Fest was at Mojo’s, Columbia. Thanks go to Keenan O’Brien for organizing and to Richard King for hosting…


Our group is composed of old friends. We have known each other for many years, and some have been playing with one member or another for over forty years. Our style is in the traditional genre of music, comprised of older ballads, folk, bluegrass, and many original compositions. Jerome Wheeler has been a member of the Celebrated Renaissance Band, and continues to play with that group on occasion. He is a prolific writer of songs and is quite renowned for his composition entitled “River Cowboy,” hence the name of the group. He is an excellent musician, and plys his musical knowledge on the guitar, banjo, and occasionally, the mandolin. He has several CDs available for sale. Lee Ruth has been a staple of the Columbia (and national) music scene for over forty years. His knowledge of music is truly amazing. He can quote a song and original artist faster than you can get this information from a computer. He is a master of the guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and his style of playing is unique and refreshing. Lee has been a teacher of music in Columbia for well over thirty years, and many a fine musician in Columbia has gotten their start from Lee’s guidance. Danna Moore is one of the two lead vocalists in the group. She has been singing with Columbia bands in excess of thirty years, and her voice is unexcelled. Danna adds a touch of rhythm guitar for the group as well. Pippa Letsky has been playing locally with many groups and does occasional solo work as well. She is the second half of the lead vocals that make up the unique River Cowboy Tour sound. Dale Palmer has been performing in and out of Columbia for over thirty years, often as a solo act. He has played with several different bands in and around the Columbia area. He supplies the rhythm guitar for the group and sneaks in an occasional lead.

(Edited for typos and timeliness)

The Jerome Wheeler Memorial CD, featuring Jerome Wheeler, the River Cowboy Tour, and Friends, produced by Doireann O’Brien and Pete Szkolka, is now for sale at gigs.

Lee Ruth has been teaching guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and performing locally for over thirty years. He hosts one of the oldest music programs on KOPN Radio 89.5 fm, “Radio Omega” early on Wednesday mornings. He has also recently been honored by many local bands, in the double CD, “Everybody’s Got Love: The Songs of Lee Ruth.”