This week the letter is F. F is for folk music. I have always loved folk music. As a young kid in the 60's I grew up listening to Peter, Paul and Mary, The Kingston Trio, Trini Lopez, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. Some of the earliest records that I owned were by The Wedgwood who were a Christian folk group. I still love to listen to their music. It takes me back to my childhood.
For those of you who have never heard The Wedgwood; here is the song, There's A Light, from their Country Church LP.
Over the last couple of years, my favorite folk music group has been 3 Penny Acre. Their name comes from the fact that the price of the Louisiana Purchase was three cents an acre. 3 Penny Acre is Bayard Blain, Bernice Hembree, and Bryan Hembree. They are all wonderful musicians, vocalists and songwriters. There sound is acoustic, and has been labled as Folk, Bluegrass, and Americana.
I first heard 3 Penny Acre when they came to Mena, Arkansas and gave a concert at The Ouachita Little Theater. I was curious about them because Bernice Hembree grew up here in Mena. I was blown away by how talented they were. Last fall I heard that they would be at the Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We made plans to attend and were weren't disappointed. They put on an awesome show.
One of my favorite songs of theirs is the title track off of their new album Highway 71. Highway 71 runs through Mena, and my shop is located on the highway. When we first moved to Arkansas in 1981, Highway 71 still had one lane bridges and there was a popular bumper sticker that stated "Please pray for me; I drive Highway 71. Here is their performance of Highway 71 at The Ozark Folk Festival.
For the past few weeks 3 Penny Acre has been providing the music for the world premier of the play "Sundown Town" in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Sundown Town is a significant new addition to the American stage. When an African American drifter wanders into a rural North Arkansas town in the summer of 1918, a law prohibiting "strangers" after dark threatens to tear the tight-knit community apart. The play features more than a dozen bluegrass, folk and gospel songs. Sundown Town is an uncommon theatrical story of prejudice and redemption, persecution and hope.
This Sunday evening was the 3 Penny Acre Sundown Town Closing Concert. We were able to attend, and it was an incredible two plus hour concert. They played all of our favorites plus some new songs from Sundown Town, and from a new album they are working on that will have a Celtic influence. Here is video from the concert of the song, Ballad Of John Lambeth.
To close out the show, the band invited the cast of the play to sing "I'm Ready For The Times To Get Better" What a fun way to end the concert on such an upbeat note.
Click on the photo above to purchase my latest book, In the Fog, for $5.99. The Kindle version is only $2.99.
I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled The Little Things - Devotionals from a small town, using articles from the column. I published the second book in the Devotionals from a small town series, titled In the Fog, in December 2017.