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Whistlin’ Dixie – May 21, 2016

Saturday’s weather was perfect for The Front Porch Stage and the Tri-County Relay for Life fundraiser.

John Talley performs for the Relay for Life crowd in Mount Ida.

John Talley performs for the Relay for Life crowd in Mount Ida.

John Talley provided about a half hour of live music for the Relay for Life participants. Big thanks to John and Phil Campbell for coming out to help with the set up for Whistlin Dixie!

Whistlin’ Dixie was raring to go, got in an early soundcheck, which revealed how great the show was going to be.

Whistlin’ Dixie started out with Darrell Davis and David “beezer” Wagler performing as a duo at Horseshoe Ranch near Jasper, Arkansas. Since those days the band evolved to include Wesley Davis of Deer, Arkansas ( Darrell’s brother), on acoustic guitar and vocals, Drummer David Bowie from Vilonia, Arkansas, and yes that is his real name. Robert Akers from Sherwood, Arkansas, on bass rounds out the band as it is now after three years.

Whistlin' Dixie from in and around Newton County, Arkansas. Thanks, Y'all!

Whistlin’ Dixie from in and around Newton County, Arkansas. Thanks, Y’all!
(Click on this image to view more photos from May 21, 2016)

From the first note to the last, the Whistlin’ Dixie concert was a joy fest of great tunes being played perfectly. Their selection of material covered a big range of music from country rock to folk to old country, new country, outlaw and red dirt and originals. From Dylan to Skynrd, George Straight and Merle. “Wipe Out” to “Mustang Sally” … It was all there and all great.

Whistlin’ Dixie set list:

Set One: “Workin’ Man Blues”, “Party With You”, “Tulsa Time”, “I’m Gonna Be Somebody”, “Neon Moon”, “Luckenbach, Texas”, “Cowboy Rides Away”, “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, “Long Haired Country Boy”, “Mason Dixon Line” (a Whistlin’ Dixie original), “Anymore”, ‘Feet Don’t Touch the Ground”, “Almost Home”, “People “Round Here” (Whistlin’ Dixie original), and “The Ride”.

Set Two: “Fireman”, “Lonesome, Ornery and Mean”, “Simple Man”, “Can’t you See”, “Folsum Prison Blues”, “Ramblin’ Fever”, “Country Boy Can Survive”, “Wagon Wheel”, “Honky-tonk Nighttime Man”, “Copperhead Road”, “Wipeout” (Yes, “Wipeout”! done to perfection. David “Doobie” Bowie nails the surfer classic!!!), “Mustang Sally”, and “Honky-tonk History”.

Big thanks to Whistlin’ Dixie for coming to Mount Ida! Great Band! We sure hope to feature you on the ‘Stage again!

Thanks to everyone else who helped out with the Relay for Life! Thanks John Talley and thanks to our friends and visitors who came out for the show!

Big Thanks to our Front Porch, Back Porch, and Possum Store Volunteers!!

Dewayne Hodges – May 14, 2016

Perfect weather was in order for the second weekend of our fifteenth season and a fine evening for Dewayne Hodges!

We had a smaller but appreciative crowd for Dewayne’s show. Dewayne is blind, but it doesn’t hinder him at all in performing a variety of classis oldies, rock, country, country rock and gospel. Much of  Dewayne’s show were requests from some of his many followers.

Dewayne always plays with a big smilie on his face. A great musician! This photo is from Dewayne's 2014 visit to the Front Porch Stage.

Dewayne always plays with a big smilie on his face. A great musician! This photo is from Dewayne’s 2014 visit to the Front Porch Stage.

Dewayne will be playing a gospel concert at Mt Ida First Baptist on may 29th at 6:00pm. The public is invited. Dewayne tells a great story of his first studio recording being paid for by some members at First Baptist.

Apologies, but we forgot to bring the camera so we have no pictures from Dewayne’s performance.

Here’s the playlist from Dewayne’s concert:

Set One: Kansas City, Margaritaville, Statue of a Fool, You Got Me Singing the Blues and A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation, Sweet Beaulah Land, Folsum Prison Blues, Rocky Top and Ouachita Ladies, written by Stan Lafever of Hot Springs

Set Two: Suppertime, Potters Clay, Last Date, Going To the City, Midnight Cry, Write This Down, Behind Closed Doors, Go Rest High, Elvis Medley Blue Suede Shoes, Teddy Bear and Don’t Be Cruel, Arkansas Farmer and finally The Mt Ida Boogie.

Our thanks to Dewayne Hodges and Shirley for coming to play, thanks to our regulars and to some special visitors from Texas, Louisiana and the Rowlands from St Augustine, Florida! Big thanks to the volunteers who make it happen.

You can show your support for our shows with a donation via PayPal! See the link on the right side of this webpage.

Thanks Everyone!

The Prairie Grove Band – May 7, 2016

You could not have asked for a more perfect evening to kick off the 15th season on the Front Porch Stage. Nor, could you have asked for a better band than our friends, The Prairie Grove Band, to get our season started. Over the years Prairie Grove has been a local favorite, and it still holds true. We had a nice crowd, mostly hometown folk with  visitors from Oregon, West Virginia, Michigan, Colorado,Texas and Louisiana.

The Prairie Grove Band Kicks off the 2016 music season on the Front Porch Stage

The Prairie Grove Band Kicks off the 2016 music season on the Front Porch Stage
(Click on this image to view photos from May 7, 2016)

The Prairie Grove Band are Mark Wilborg on vocals, Tommy Johnston on bass and vocals, Jerry Lambert on keyboards and vocals, Terry Kinsey on drums and vocals, “Jake” Powell on vocals and acoustic, Doyle Roland on guitar and harmony vocals, Joe Carmack on vocals and lead guitar, and last but least, the newest member, Hayden Powell on vocals and guitar.  Hayden is “Hayti” to his friends and family and we will watch his musical career grow.

Special Guests Melissa Lewis and her daughter Breanna teamed up on a couple of fine tunes. The band started their set with a couple of gospel tunes and put on a great show from start to finish.

Here’s the set list for The Prairie Grove concert:

First set:  Feed My Sheep, Uncloudy Day, I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You, Wrapped, Two Dollars, Delta Dawn (Melissa and Breanna), Today I Started Loving You Again, Mustang Sally, Walk on By, Who Do You Know In California, Tennessee Waltz, Trashy Women, A Man This Lonely, Don’t Worry about Me, Fire On the Mountain.

Second Set: All My Exes, He Stopped Loving Her Today, Silver Wings, Suds In the Bucket (Melissa & Breanna), She Thinks I Still Care, Livin’ on Love, Smokey Mountain Memories, Do You Love As Good As You Look,To Make You Feel My Love, We Believe in Happy Endings. Rodeo Romeo, Walk Softly

Many thanks to the Prairie Grove Band and all their fans, and thanks to all our visitors – Y’all come back again! Thanks to our volunteers who make it happen, and to everyone who came our to celebrate our new season. We had a good time and look forward to our future shows with Prairie Grove!!!

A Special Event in Mount Ida Recognizing Volunteers – May 1, 2016

Join us May 1, 2016, on the Montgomery County Courthouse lawn in Mount Ida for a special celebration of Volunteer Spirit in our community.

At 1:00 pm, the Ouachita Volunteer Association is hosting a community event to celebrate with some of the great volunteers who set our community apart from so many other places.

We will dedicate the “Eminent Domain” Marker, present awards of recognition to some outstanding members of our community, and the Stitchin’ Friends
will present more veterans quilts to former service men and women.

A free meal will be served at 1:30, followed by a concert on the Front Porch Stage featuring The Prestons. Bring your lawn chairs!

Make plans to share some of your Sunday afternoon with your friends and neighbors,and find out about the great things that are being accomplished by volunteers.

Making our world a little better, one volunteer at a time!

Rodger King – October 10, 2015

Our show this week featured one of the really great performing song writers, as Rodger King returned to our stage in a solo show. Early in the season, Rodger appeared with Casey Penn in August. Rodger is originally from Humnoke, AR, and now resides in Lonoke.  He played two great sets of mostly originals, and his writing talents shined. Rodger is an accomplished guitarist and Dobro player.

Rodger King performs on the Front Porch Stage

Rodger King performs on the Front Porch Stage
(Click on this image to view photos from Sept. 10, 2015)

Our smaller audience was enthusiastic about Rodger’s performance.

The setlist for Rodger’s first set included “Hang My Head in Sorrow”, “When It Rains It Pours”, “Always Something”, “You and I”, “Letter Full of Lies”, “Circuit Riding Preacher”, “Arkansas”, “Freeborn Man”, “I’m Keeping My Eyes On Jesus”, and “Snake Island, Arkansas”.

For his second set, Rodger performed “Little Sister”, “The Arkansas River”, “Miss the Mississippi”, “You,Half the Man My Daddy Was”, “Grandpa and Me”, “This Here Bottle”, “Work Through Me”, and “Hello On the Other Side”.

Huge thanks to Rodger for coming all the way from Lonoke on a cool October evening. A great showcase of some great songs!

Thanks to all the volunteers who make it happen, and Biggest Thanks
to all the kind folk who come for our shows!

Until next week…

The Prairie Grove Band – October 3, 2015

October started with the cancellation of the Community Outreach Ministry’s annual Game Dinner on October 3rd, and fortunately, our home town guys were able to put together a good show. The Prairie Grove Band and some good friends came out on a very cool evening on short notice and performed two great sets.

Loyal and Margie Rowland, Melissa Carmack Lewis, and Mark’s grandson Jed Willborg all participated in the show. The Prairie Grove Band are Mark Willborg, band leader on vocals and guitar, Joe Carmack on lead guitar and vocals, Terry Kinsey on drums and vocals, Doyle Rowland on guitar and harmony vocals, Tommy Johnston on Bass and vocals, Travis “Dart” Stapp on banjo, guitar, dobro, and vocal harmony, Jerry Lambert on keyboard, guitar and vocals and Jason “Jake” Powell on acoustic rhythm and vocals. They live all over the county, and we’re proud to have them!

The Prairie Grove Band with Margie and Loyal Rowland

The Prairie Grove Band with Margie and Loyal Rowland
(Click on this image to view more photos from Oct. 3, 2015)

It was a very cool evening, and it was mostly a family crowd and good friends who gathered on short notice. There was a lot of visiting going on all evening. There was a future Possum Queen, the reigning Possum Queen running the Possum Store, a Has-been Queen running the Back Porch, and
our crew of volunteers, including our great photographer, wandering around visiting with our regulars.

We want to thank The Prairie Grove Band, their special guests, the band family and all our friends, old and new, for coming out on such short notice.

Again big thanks to the volunteers that make it happen.

Seeya next week…

Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey – The Possum Picnic – September 26, 2015

Our Possum Picnic and Parade is always a special event with the crowning of the new Possum Queen! This year was our 10th Picnic and Parade, and it was a good time from start to finish.

Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey - A Great Performance for our Possum Picnic Crowd!

Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey – A Great Performance for our Possum Picnic Crowd!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Possum Queen for Life, Janet Capua of Z's Cafe in Fort Worth, TX

Possum Queen for Life, Janet Capua of Z’s Cafe in Fort Worth, TX

Our friend  and Honorary Possum Queen for life, Janet Z. Capua, again brought her talents and energy to Mount Ida for a “Vacation”, helping to create a fabulous box lunch fundraiser for the ‘Stage. This year’s Picnic started on Friday with a brown bag lunch and a little lawn concert with our good friends John Talley and Mike Adams. We had a few folks take advantage of the picnic tables and a few hung out for the music. Local artists, Raenette Ellison and Barbara Holt, members of the Ouachita Artists, were on hand, painting and drawing. It was a fine afternoon on the Square for everyone.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Our Picnic continues on Saturday morning with the sale of the super deluxe Box Lunches.

2010 Possum Queen and Queen of the Back Porch Kitchen, Jane Babbitt, shows off one of the box lunches prepared by the team, led by Honorary Possum Queen Janet Z. Capua. The best chicken salad you've ever had!

2010 Possum Queen and Queen of the Back Porch Kitchen, Jane Babbitt, shows off one of the box lunches prepared by the team, led by Honorary Possum Queen Janet Z. Capua. The best chicken salad you’ve ever had!

Our wonderful volunteers all got together over in the kitchen of the First Baptist Church and went to town putting together a real nice lunch or dinner, depending on when you eat it! We sold lunches from the Back Porch Kitchen, and everyone had a good time.

We then spent the afternoon preparing for the evening’s events: the parade, the procession, the coronation, and, of course, the music. Our guest artists and Masters of Ceremony for the evening – Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey – arrived early and were coached on the proceedings by our Possum Potentate, John Henderson and myself.

Promptly at 6 p.m., Possum Sheriff David White led the parade on the intricate route that eventually brings the Reigning Queen, the Honorary Queens, the Has-been Queens, the Princesses, and the Wanna-bees back to the Square.

The Mount Ida Peewee Cheerleaders lead the Possum Picnic crowd in a cheer!

The Mount Ida Peewee Cheerleaders lead the Possum Picnic crowd in a cheer!

This year’s parade was special with the addition of the Mount Ida Peewee Cheerleaders, and

The Mount Ida Lions Marching Band was represented well and stopped along the route to play the Mount Ida High School Fight Song.  Thank you all for participating!

Members of the Mount Ida Lions Marching Band participating in the Possum Parade!

Members of the Mount Ida Lions Marching Band participating in the Possum Parade!

Along with the cheerleaders and the band, we happily welcomed the Oden Woods and Water Club to the parade, and most notable to our parade this year was the firetruck from the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department. There was enough candy thrown to make any dentist happy!

Possum Potentate John and 2015 Possum Queen Donna lead the procession for the crowning of the 2016 Possum Queen.

Possum Potentate John and 2015 Possum Queen Donna lead the procession for the crowning of the 2016 Possum Queen.

When the sheriff got the parade back to the Square, the dignitaries were led in the procession by Possum Potentate John Henderson, pausing along the way only to get the “official envelope” containing the name of the Possum Queen for 2016. The 2015 Reigning Queen, Donna Willburn, was seated on the throne and received the royal scepter. Each Queen then introduced themselves. Donna is Possum Queen XX, the new queen will be Queen XXI for the year 2016. Potentate Henderson then opened the official envelope, and with much aplomb, announced that Barbara Sprague had been chosen as next year’s Montgomery County Possum Queen! As retiring queen Donna made a wonderful statement and then placed the new crown on Barbara, attached her Possum Queen Sash, and presented her with the Possum Queen Trophy and the Royal Scepters.

The crowning was complete and Amy and Mark both did some great tunes and duets. We tremendously appreciated their performance this evening and thank them for having been here!

Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey perform - Thank you for being here!

Amy Garland Angel and Mark Currey perform – Thank you for being here!

We all had a fine day at the 10th annual Possum Picnic and Parade on a beautiful September day!

Possum Picnic Weekend Photos (Captions TBD):

Dewayne Hodges – September 19, 2015

It was another fine evening for a great concert from our long time friend Dewayne Hodges.
 Dewayne is a native son of Montgomery County from Black Springs, now living in Hot Springs.
 He is blind, but that doesn’t deter him for even a second. As a one-man show, Dewayne plays
 piano and uses a keyboard sequencer for back up music. We set Dewayne up, and it is totally
 amazing to watch him as he feels his way around and makes every connection on his keyboards.
 His show is one of the most requested, and he often plays at other events in Montgomery County.

Dewayne Hodges - Always Welcome on the Front Porch Stage!

Dewayne Hodges – Always Welcome on the Front Porch Stage!
(Click on this image to view more photos from Sept. 19, 2015)

Dewayne opened his first set with a Dean Martin song, “You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You”, and when the song ended, Dewayne remarked that his equipment was getting old and he had to jiggle a wire or two. He played some requests and did a great version of “Rockytop”. Dewayne told us that “Suppertime” was one of the most requested tunes, and he did a fine job playing it.

Dewayne 
had some special friends show up, Freddy and Mary Jo Willis, a couple who helped him get to shows 
for many years. He learned “The Warning Song” after Freddy and Mary Jo had him listen to it. He dedicated it to them and thanked them again for being loving friends.

His set included “Ouachita Ladies”, a song written by his old musical partner, Stan “Catfish” Lefevre. Dewayne explained how 
one of our local churches made it possible for him to record an album, and “Sweet Beulah Land” was 
the very first gospel song that he ever recorded. He ended the first set with a great version of Marty
 Robbins’ “A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation”; the crowd loved it.

Dewayne is always springing a surprise, and he opened his second set with a tune nobody expected when he did “Rawhide”.  He remarked “fooled you there, didn’t I”? Yes. He then played a song titled 
”The Front Porch”, remarking “imagine that”.

Dewayne dedicated “I Can Almost See Houston” to Mary Jo 
Willis. The rest of his set was a mix of country, gospel and oldies that everyone enjoyed. He pulled another surprise by playing “Save The Last Dance For Me” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. He ended the evening in an unusual fashion, performing Floyd Cramers’ classic “Last Date”.

Big Thanks to Dewayne for coming out to visit and play for us. Thanks Shirley Williamson for helping get Dewayne to his show!

And, of course, a big thanks to all the volunteers that make it possible.

Biggest thanks 
to everyone who comes out to support live music in a little town on Saturday night!

Seeya soon.

Interstate Thirty – September 12, 2015

Somehow we had yet another beautiful Saturday night on the Courthouse Square in Mount Ida, and Interstate Thirty provided us with a great bluegrass show from Interstate Thirty. They all live up and down I-30, and they all have to use it to get to practice, hence the name.

Driving bluegrass from Interstate Thirty!

Driving bluegrass from Interstate Thirty!
(Click on this image to view more photos from Sept. 12, 2015)

Our history with members of Intertate Thirty goes back years, and most all band members have played on the Front Porch Stage with other bands. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting them as Interstate Thirty for four years, and we’ll always look forward to more of their fine music here as long as they want to come to Mount Ida.

Interstate Thirty are Derrick Ball on guitar,  Ben Cardin on banjo and bass, Paul DeWeber on the fiddle, Darrell Drennan on the bass and guitar, Peyton Murphy on the mandolin and Robert Stane on the guitar and banjo.

Their show in Mount Ida was a mix of bluegrass standards, some gospel and a little country.  The crowd thoroughly enjoyed it all.

The Robertson Tradition! You'll be seeing and hearing more of these Girls!

Robertson’s Tradition! You’ll be seeing and hearing more of these Girls!

We were also treated just a glimpse of the future at intermission when “Robertson’s Tradition” took the stage for some quick songs. Three young ladies from the Robertson family, accompanied by some old Robertsons we all know, rendered a terrific performance. It was their first public appearance, but it undoubtedly won’t be their last.

Interstate Thirty’s second set was a great mix of tunes and humor. Darkness set in just as they started, and at one point they asked, “Are Y’all still out there?” One of the great highlights of the show was Paul on the fiddle doing a tremendous version of “Ashokan Farewell”; they got a standing ovation, which they couldn’t see. They also got really great response for “52 Vincent Black Lightning”, and they closed their show with a classic version of “Orange Blossom Special”.

Interstate Thirty. A great bluegrass band on the Front Porch Stage

Interstate Thirty
A great bluegrass band on the Front Porch Stage
(Click on this image to view more photos from September 12, 2015)

We send a HUGE thanks to Interstate Thirty; we’re really looking forward to their appearance here next year!

Also, a Giant Thank You to all the volunteers, The Back Porch Kitchen crew, The Possum Store crew, the sound crew, and our camera guru! Couldn’t happen without you. Biggest thanks to everyone who came out to our Saturday night bluegrass show!

SeeYa next time!