A good audience attended the Front Porch Stage this evening for the music of the Rose Family Gospel Show.
Many, many thanks to the Rose Family and to everyone who attended to support live music in Mount Ida.
Our Calendar of Events page has been updated for the 2017 season. Technical Director Jerry Babbitt has worked very hard to assemble a schedule of favorite performers from the past whom we all enjoyed, along with a number of musicians and bands new to the 'Stage. We're looking forward to this season! Check the Calendar of Events for possible schedule changes during the season.
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Note that The Montgomery County Front Porch Stage is listed on "The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture" website. Click on the link to have a look at our entry.
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A warm afternoon turned into a perfect evening for listening to some Common Ground at the ‘Porch! Common Ground are Steve Skubish from Hot Springs Village on guitar and vocals, Rhonda Reid from Little Rock on vocals, Mike Catlett, also from Hot Springs Village, on guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals and train whistle, Dan Chandler from Hot Springs Village on guitar, mandolin, vocals, washboard, kazoo and cow bell, and Gary McMoranfrom Hot Springs on bass, keyboard and fiddle.
As the name implies, there’s common ground among us all, and they just do it musically. Their sets are loaded with a little bit of everything from folk, folk rock, country, gospel and Celtic. The crowd was pleased from the git-go as they opened the show with “Me & Bobby McGee”. In the first set they did some Everly Brothers, The Band, Bob Dylan, Roger Miller, The Darling Family (The Dillards), and CCR. The set ended with a really great version of “Let It Be Me” by the Everly Brothers.
The second set got a little rowdy, and the crowd loved it. It was pretty much a sing along, with a lot of our friends and neighbors vocalizing along with the band on “Home Grown Tomatoes”. Dan made light of Mike’s origin, and there was some discussion about the difference in how Californians (Mike) and Arkansans (Dan) said “El Dorado”. Mike says it has to be the same as the Cadillac, but nobody went for that, as we all know that if you live in El Dorado, you don’t sound like a Cadillac …
In the second set, Common Ground featured some fine work on the Fretwah, cowbell and kazoo. Our crowd appreciated tunes like “Desperado”, “Mind Your Own Business”, “Margaritaville”, “Stand By Me”, “Unchained Melody”, and they finished the night with a rocker, Bruce Springstein’s “Pink Cadillac.”
Our sincere thanks to Common Ground for playing on The Front Porch Stage. We hope we’ll be
seeing them down the road.
Big thanks to all who came out for the show! Thanks once again to our all volunteer staff for making this all possible!
This evening’s show with Rough & Ready was a real delight for a good crowd!
Rough & Ready are anything but rough but they are everything when it comes to ready, Ready to play bluegrass! Their show on our porch was a flawless concert of traditional bluegrass, gospel and a couple of rare gems leaning towards country.
Rough & Ready are Ben Carden from Malvern on banjo and harmony vocals, David Mann from Hermitage on Guitar, Mandolin and lead and harmony vocals, Tommy Amos from Fordyce on The Doghouse bass, Michael Fagan from Watson on Guitar and lead and harmony vocals and Ralph Hunter from Monticello on the fiddle.
Rough & Ready threw in a few tunes you don’t hear very often, like The “Arkansas Traveler”, a great instrumental with everybody taking a lead. David Mann’s version of “Freeborn Man” was a real crowd pleaser, even though it’s far from bluegrass. Their sets were wonderfully arranged and full of traditional and not so traditional tunes. Tommy Amos was called upon, more or less forced to sing “I’m Back In the Saddle Again” and said they tricked him into doing it. It was great! They did some
great Jimmy Martin, Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe and others.
The second set was just as wonderful as the first and one on the highlights was David Mann and Ben Carden doing “Dueling Banjos” David took advantage of Ben’s good nature and threw in some notes and licks that certainly weren’t in the original version. Ben didn’t bat an eye, and they went on to do a real crowd pleasing version. We had a little sing along on the chorus of “Long Black Veil”. We won’t tell who was singing it. They wrapped up the night with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, and with some urging of the crowd, did an encore instrumental of “Old Joe Clark”
Many thanks again to Rough & Ready for coming to Mt Ida and playing on the Porch. We sure hope we’ll be seeing/hearing this band again.
And as always, here’s a big thanks to everyone who came out for the concert! Huge thanks to the volunteers who make it happen.
John Talley did a last minute fill-in for the Gable Bradley Band, who had to cancel. John did a great job!
Our show with John Talley was a little different to say the least. John arrived like a rock star, stepping off a huge RV, taking the stage to the theme of “The Andy Griffith Show,” and diving right into “Fine Fine Day”, a rock classic from the Eighties. John weaved his way around Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mike Nesmith, Tom Petty and a few others as well as some originals. He performed some great Dylan: “The Times They Are A Changin” and “Knockin on Heaven’s Door.” He got some cheers from the crowd doing “Rocky Raccoon.” John is always finding interesting tunes and “Ridem Cowboy” came off an album called “Then Came Bronson,” which was also a TV show. John did a great cover of Dave Almond’s “Less Than an Angel” and followed it up with a really good version of his song “Amy.” He got a bluesy groove going on “Crazy Mama” an old J. J. Cale tune. He described “Desperado” as a song that was like an old shirt. The crowd got into “Maybelline” and showed their appreciation for John doing this Chuck Berry song. “Lady Blue” was classic John being Leon Russell. The crowd loved it!
John unleashed a real country rock version of his song “Chain Gang” and said that he hoped it never became a true story. He immediately changed the pace with a love song, a great Dylan tune “Make You Feel My Love.” He really was having a good time, playing ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face” and Steve Earle’s “I’m Gonna Get Out of Here Someday.” John gave in to the crowds demands and did “Dead Skunk,” which got a great response. John ended his concert with another Bob Dylan classic, “Simple Twist of Fate”.
A very interesting evening indeed from our very own singing cowboy.
Fans of blues and blues/rock were not disappointed Saturday, enjoying some fine music from The Diamond Blues Band. We have enjoyed Diamond Blues’ music in the past, and this evening’s performance brought back memories, both in terms of the songs they played and in our enjoyment of their playing.
The Diamond Blues band are Lawrence Snowden, Donnell “Doonie” Williams, Ronnie Whisenhunt, Rickey Markham, Ryan Johnston, and Ed LaCerra.
We were worried about the weather for a while, but it turned into a wonderful evening, and everyone who came out was enthusiastic in support of this band and the songs they performed.
Many thanks to The Diamond Blues Band and to all who came out to support live music in Mount Ida!
We had a beautiful evening and a terrific turnout for Interstate Thirty this past Saturday. For anyone who loves great bluegrass music, this is one band you definitely want to hear whenever you can!
Interstate Thirty is a band with “a goal to create a hard driving sound that combined traditional, gospel, and non-traditional bluegrass.” And, they do just that. “If you like hard driving bluegrass, then buckle up and hang on tight! Interstate Thirty is going to crank up the speed!”
Interstate Thirty play their music gathered around a single vocals microphone in the style of the old bluegrass groups, and the action on stage as they move forward for a vocal or a solo is fun to watch and to hear. Great stuff!
Many thanks to Ben Cardin, Paul DeWeber, Peyton Murphy, Robert Stane, Darrell Drennan, and Steve Harper for a great evening at The Front Porch Stage!
Between the threats of rain and a couple of competing venues in Mount Ida this Saturday evening, there was an unfortunately light turnout to enjoy the music of Little Rock’s Liberty Bridge band (Neal Rawlings, Richard Gray, Sharon Gray, Roland Burnham, Ty Reid). But, for those who did turn out for this evening’s music, Liberty Bridge did not disappoint!
About themselves, Liberty Bridge says, “This band of aging hippies plays an ecclectic mix of folksy originals,classic rock covers, and a few surprises in between.” This exactly describes their performance on the ‘Stage this evening: great tunes that many of us know and that we enjoyed hearing again.
We very much enjoyed the evening and thank Liberty Bridge for coming to Mount Ida and treating us to their music. We’ll look forward to hearing them again!
Just as they did at last year’s Good Ol’ Days event, Mike Mayberry and the Slow Hands put on a terrific performance of a wide variety of country, rock, folk, and gospel.
These guys have a tremendous repertoire, and they go almost non-stop, arriving and getting started a bit early at 6:30 pm. and not stopping until well after 9. And, as for last year, our crowd didn’t thin out until they left the stage to a standing ovation.
Thank Y’all again and again for coming to Mount Ida for Good Ol’ Days!
The Front Porch Stage featured two “Good Ol’ Gospel” performances during Friday, May 26’s “Good Ol’ Days” in Mount Ida.
We all very much appreciate Robertson’s Tradition and The Garrett Sisters for their participation in this event.
Well, the weather was threatening all afternoon after a morning rain, but by showtime, the lawn at the Montgomery County Courthouse had dried a bit and was filling up with music-loving families and friends ready to enjoy Gator & Friends. We started the evening with a smallish crowd that steadily grew over the course of the evening.
We were very happy to have enjoyed Gator & Friends in the past, and this evening was no exception. These guys play some great Louisiana Cajun music, coupled with a bit of country, gospel, and even a rock cover here and there. Good stuff! And, it didn’t take long before dancers could no longer sit still and got up to dance in the “aisles” of the “stadium”!
Gator and Friends are: Jay “ Gator” Gisclair (Band Leader, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar), Lonnie Lance (Lead Guitar & Vocals), Kenneth “Butch” Rose (Drums), and Loren ? (Bass). [Sorry, Loren!]
After intermission, our friend Dewayne Hodges showed up, and Gator convinced Dewayne to sit in with the band for the second set. It’s amazing how “real” musicians can just show up and fit right in with a band, and this evening’s treat of having Dewayne playing along with Gator & Friends was no exception. At one point, Gator himself left the stage, saying “I’m going to go out into the audience to have a listen to the band to hear how good they sound!”
It’s stuff like this, along with friends and family enjoying the music, that makes live music on the Front Porch Stage special. Many thanks to Gator & Friends for a terrific performance, and thank you to all who come out to support the musicians who play on our stage.
See you next weekend for Montgomery County’s “Good Ol’ Days” on the Mount Ida Square!