Saturday, February 19, 2011

F Is For Folk Music

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

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.

For more information on 3 Penny Acre, you can go to their website here.


  1. I enjoyed watching the videos, Richard. Thanks. I have always liked bluegrass/folk music.

    Nice post for your ABC.

  2. I'm an old folkie from way back. Great idea!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. Well, I'll try to post again. Blogger is doing some funny things. I'm an old folkie too and enjoyed your post and the music you gave us.

  4. What a nice post, full of lovely energies!
    I love music, thanks for sharing!
    Léia - Bonjour Luxembourg

  5. Thank you for the music!This is a new kind of music for me and I like it. You're right about Celtic influences. I thought to detect some Irish traces in their way of singing.
    Your blog is interesting and it's great that you were walking for a good cause together with your wife!

  6. Love the music, have always loved folk music and your choices are terrific! Great post for the F Day! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!

    ABC Team

  7. What a delightful read and listen - those were good times!

  8. I thought that this is part of country song. Now I learned something today. Thanks for the info.
    ABC Wednesday-F

  9. That was FUN! Thanks for sharing these groups with us - I used to love folk music back in the day, too.

    ABCW Team

  10. Thanks for the music- I do like folk.

  11. I've enjoyed your presentation of 3 Penny Acre. There is a bit of a folk revival going on in the UK at the moment, of course it never really goes away, it just gets more air play.

  12. I have several different folk artists programmed into my Pandora play list. I'll pass on the Bob Dylan though.
    Donna - ABC Team

  13. A fun post. And a good reminder that folk music is alive and well.

  14. Interesting. Jammed pack full of info like Roger! Now I feel a bit smarter knowing the meaning behind 3 penny acre.

  15. What a FUN take on the theme!! thanks for the memories, Trini Lopez was one of my favorite ones!!
    F is for fuchsia"

  16. Oh take me home country roads...I soooo remember the days of Peter, Paul and Mary!!! They were the bomb when I was in college!

    God bless ya and have a fantastic day Man!!!