Though Winfield’s own Barry Patton celebrates 22 years of playing the bones at this year’s Festival, his history with the event goes back to when he was a boy. He first heard the bones played by Cecil Hiatt here at the Festival. Known as the Grand Master of the bones, Cecil was playing onstage with Barry’s grandfather, Lue Berline, and his uncle, Byron Berline. During the Festival, his grandfather accidentally shut Barry’s fingers in a car door and felt so bad about it that he gave Barry his first pair of oak bones and one short lesson. From then on, he practiced and practiced, broken fingers and all, and the rest is history.
Today Barry is one of the premier bones players in the world. Not only can Barry play the bones with either hand, he can play the bones with both hands, and at the same time. He is one of the few “two fisted bone rattlers” in the world. Traditionally bones were made out of cattle ribs, but Barry prefers to make his own out of Osage wood. A regular fixture at the Festival, Barry plays with numerous performers over the years. His fans are always delighted by his energy and big grin.