Saturday night, Beautiful weather and great bluegrass music from Interstate Thirty! At first, our Front Porch Stage show with Interstate Thirty looked like it was going to be a tiny crowd, but the crowd arrived and kept arriving! A beautiful evening made it all the better with the great music from Interstate Thirty.
The band kicked off with a couple of warm-up instrumentals and showed their arranging skills with a wonderful bluegrass version of “House of the Rising Sun”, not your typical tune. They then presented a more traditional “My Little Georgia Rose”. The crowd really enjoyed a totally radical bluegrass “Midnight Rider” and a wonderful arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, which the crowd loved. The band then did a moving, soulful version of a gospel favorite, “Wayfaring Stranger”. They went to break with a great version of “Georgia on the Fast Train”, a bluegrass standard.
Interstate 30 got its name from the location of all the members’ geographic locations all up and down I-30. Derrick Ball, no stranger to the porch, having played here with Phillip James, is from Benton and leads the band on vocals and guitar. Peyton Murphy, originally from Imboden, AR, now resides in Benton and plays the mandolin, provides great vocal harmonies, and occasionally takes a lead vocal. Paul DeWeber moved to Arkansas from Washington and now lives in Hot Springs. Paul has a lot of history here, as he was in the Ouachita Mountain Boys years ago. Paul plays a mean fiddle, sings great vocal harmonies, and he too takes a turn on lead vocals. Ben Cardin is no stranger to our stage, having played with several bands before making Interstate 30 his musical home. Ben lives down on I-30 somewhere in the Caney Creek area. Ben plays the banjo and provides a lot of humor at his own expense. Last but not least Chris Smith on the upright bass; Chris also occasionally sticks his head in there for a lead vocal.
The second set was just as fabulous as the first set, as they opened with a great gospel instrumental “Jerusalem Ridge” followed by “Live By the Side of the Road”, where Paul took a turn on lead vocals. Chris finally got in on the mic with a great version of “Going Down the Road”. They performed a song off their current CD, “Coal Mining Man”, bluegrass at it’s very best.
They played a request from some folks from Montgomery County … Texas – “Redwing” – which got a great response from our Montgomery County, AR, crowd too! Chris got back into the vocal spotlight with a great rendition of a real crowd-pleaser – “Wagonwheel”.
Bluegrass wouldn’t be bluegrass with out the greatest tunes like “Sled Ride” and “Fox on the Run”; Interstate Thirty has mastered really great versions of both.
We insisted on an encore and they obliged with one of the best versions of “The Orange Blossom Special” we’ve heard, with Paul tearing it up on the fiddle.
We wish to thank Interstate 30 for coming to Mt Ida to our front Porch. We will be looking at a couple of dates for them next season!!! Thanks Derrick Ball, Chris Smith, Ben Cardin, Paul DeWeber and Peyton Murphy for the wonderful evening of bluegrass!