From his home state of Arkansas to his home in Los Angeles, Joe Purdy has recorded a baker’s dozen worth of albums. His songs have turned up on numerous TV shows and film soundtracks. Most notably, however, in recent years the singer, songwriter and self-described “hillbilly” has come to see the world and his role in it somewhat differently, charting this direction on his latest album, “Who Will Be Next?” Here he firmly plants his feet deep in the tradition of folk artists such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs, applying his unique skills as writer and vocalist as a passionate observer and participant of our times.
Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish are celebrating a decade of touring full time as The Honey Dewdrops, having played stages and festivals far and wide in North America and Europe. With tight harmonies and an musical ensemble that includes clawhammer banjo, mandolin and guitars, the effect is to leave listeners with only what matters: the heart of the song and clarity over ornamentation.
After leaving their home base of Virginia and living on the road for 2 years, Laura and Kagey now call Baltimore, Maryland home and it’s where they wrote and recorded their fourth full-length album, Tangled Country, released May 2015. Acoustic Guitar Magazine describes the set of songs as “a handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway.” And like their stage performance, these songs rock and reel, and then they console you when you come back down.
The Honey Dewdrops have a busy year ahead of them with a winter tour in the U.K. and the release of their 5th full-length album, Anyone Can See, out March 1st.
Smokey & The Mirror is husband+wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Smokey & The Mirror have toured nationally/internationally over the past decade. The band has supported tours for Old Crow Medicine Show, The Wood Brothers, I’m With Her, Elephant Revival, John Fullbright, and many of their musical heroes. They tour most often as a duo, but also plays many shows a year as a four-piece band. Whatever the configuration, the interplay of their two unique voices coupled with engaging, accessible songs form the foundation of Smokey & The Mirror.
The Hembrees work tirelessly on many musical and creative pursuits. They are committed to others’ music as much as their own. They have found that the most satisfying path to longevity in music is to put others’ art in the spotlight or to inspire others’ to find their voice. They believe that the future of music is not winning the “me first” battle, but rather building community. They are founders and co-creators of the Fayetteville Roots Festival (Arkansas). They also spent a year (2017) with Austin-based international songwriting collaborative, House of Songs, to pilot House of Songs Ozarks in Bentonville, Arkansas. Bernice is also a music educator and has worked in private instruction, with the I’ll Fly Away Foundation’s songwriting program for elementary students, and to develop a music curriculum for the Fayetteville Montessori School. Bryan co-founded the Crooked Crow Songwriting Retreat for working songwriters with good friend and fellow musician, J Wagner.