Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MARCH 20-21, 2015
Spring arrives at Country Oaks BnB in Mountain View, AR

       WHEN PARLOR PICKIN' rolls around each year, this writer must ride over to Mountain View, Arkansas, and Country Oaks BnB, with hosts Jerry and Carole Weber, and their capable four-legged assistants, Dusty, Tinker, and Roscoe the dogs, and Pearl the cat. Two days of luxurious living by invitation only, great breakfasts, and wandering through the hills around Mountain View are just what the doctor ordered. Oh! And then there's the incredible sound of the popular group of locals known as Apple, Setser and Rounds! Brad Apple, Pam Setser, and Gary Rounds perform  in the parlor on special Saturday evenings a couple of times each year, and they bring along other fabulous musicians like Tim Crouch and Irl Hees. What a wonderful experience! If every weekend could be like this. . . .

Flatwoods MB Church
       This particular recent March weekend even offered a two-fer: We found out that Pam, Gary, and Irl were set to do a benefit at a local church, Flatwoods Missionary Baptist Church. A member of the congregation, Richard Hubberd, is battling cancer, and in typical fashion, Pam, Gary, and Irl were there to lend a hand in helping to raise funds for Mr. Hubberd's medical expenses. The church provided supper and a cake-and-pie auction to raise several thousand dollars toward those expenses.
Irl Hees, Pam Setser, Gary Rounds

        Pam, Gary and Irl performed the following set for those who attended the benefit: Keep on the Sunny Side, When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder, Walkin' in Jerusalem, Crooked Ridge, Darcy Farrow, Consider the Lilies, Amazing Grace (upright bass solo, Irl Hees), Last Letter Home (Rose in a Spanish Garden), You've Got a Friend, When You Say Nothing At All, Way Downtown, The Lighthouse, Beulah Land, and I'll Fly Away.

       Saturdays in Mountain View offer a treasure trove of just roaming and knocking around for a few hours before the evening Parlor Pickin'. At Country Oaks, we met some great new friends--the Canada's and the Canady's, who have experienced US Post Office mail problems back home due to their similar names. We also got reacquainted with our friends Frank and Mary Nell Thompson. We hit the square with some more new-found friends from the BnB, Chad and Tacie Johnson. We found youngsters at the Mountain View Music Store who are part of the Music Roots program headed by the amazing Shay Pool. Young kids with instruments can embarrass older pickers in a hurry. Bluegrass music training begins early in the hills of Arkansas. Several youngsters had auditioned and made the cut for appearances at the Ozark Folk Center. Boys and girls from ages eight or nine up to fifteen were wearing out banjos, fiddles, mandolins, guitars, and basses! We can report that bluegrass music is alive and well and in good young hands!

Music Store, Missile Silo and Possum Smoker
Jimmy Driftwood Barn near Ozark Folk Center

Ozark Folk Center atop a very steep hill
After working so hard at watching the kids perform, we felt duty-bound to hit JoJo's Catfish House down by the White River. It was our duty, since Chad and Tacie had never been to JoJo's. The food was just as good as ever--catfish, killer hushpuppies, green tomato pickles, beans, and good ol' iced tea made the afternoon complete. The sweet potato fries are to die for!

       The long-awaited Parlor Pickin' was next. Guests of the BnB and some from around town gathered in the parlor at Country Oaks at 7:00 PM to welcome Brad Apple (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Pam Setser (dulcimer, spoons, vocals), Gary Rounds (guitar, vocals), Tim Crouch (fiddle, mandolin), and Irl Hees (upright bass, vocals).

Brad Apple (guitar),
Pam Setser (dulcimer),
Gary Rounds (guitar)

Tim Crouch (fiddle),
 Irl Hees (upright bass),
Brad Apple(guitar)

Tim Crouch (fiddle),
Irl Hees (upright bass)
Tim Crouch and Brad Apple
perform "Liberty" on twin
mandolins, Irl Hees on bass
       The group chose the following songs to entertain the guests: Redwing, 8 More Miles to Louisville, Sweet Dreams, Long Hard Road, House Carpenter, Keep the Lamp on Sadie, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Darcy Farrow, Ragtime Annie, Way Downtown, Liberty, Born to Run, When Times Were Good and You Were Mine, Shipyard's Apprentice, Old Dangerfield, Crooked Ridge, When You Say Nothing At All, Green Light on the Southern, Sweet Georgia Brown, Amazing Grace, If I Needed You (performed by guests Chad and Tacie Johnson), Two More Bottles of Wine, Songbird, Fire on the Mountain, I Know Love Is All I Need, Every Day, Loretta, Help Me Make It Through the Night, Milk Cow Blues, Seeds My Daddy Sowed, Walkin' in Jerusalem, Magnolia Wind, Gone at Last, Any Old Time You Wanna Come Back Home, Red-Haired Boy, Beulah Land, Home, and the encore was Sally Goodin. What a night of music and fun! Somewhere in the middle of all that music was a brief break for coffee and delicious dessert prepared by our hosts, Jerry and Carole.

       We are so grateful to our hosts and the amazing artists who entertained us with music and their humorous stories! It was so good to meet new friends, too! Thanks, Y'all!

Tim Crouch's hands, Brad Apple, Pam Setser, Gary Rounds
Parlor Pickin; March 21, 2015