“[Purdy] evokes the emotion and fragility that make him a great songwriter.... In the end, you are left with wanting to hear more.”
8:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to welcome Joe Purdy with The Honey Dewdrops and Smokey & The Mirror to Little Rock! This is the fourth and final show in their 2018-19 Archetypes & Troubadours Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris & Jo Harkins and J. Mark & Christy Davis.
Additional season partners include UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, EVO Business Environments, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Margaret Ferguson Pope, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Capital Hotel, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery of Little Rock.
Tickets are $25 (General Admission), $32 (Reserved), and $34 (Premium Reserved). There are currently no tickets available for this event. Please visit the venue on the night of the show when doors open to inquire about any potential ticket releases.
A few years back, if someone had started giving him some lip in the middle of a gig, Joe Purdy might have left the stage and beat a little sense into the guy. Nowadays, he’s more likely to calm everybody down, assure the loudmouth that he was a welcome and important part of his audience, and through words and warmth talk him into sitting back down and join everyone else in enjoying Purdy’s extraordinary music.
What has happened to Joe Purdy? Some might call it growth, although he’s already grown a lot in wandering from his Arkansas home state to Los Angeles, and from there toward and beyond further horizons. Along the way he’s recorded a baker’s dozen worth of albums. His songs have turned up on numerous TV shows and film soundtracks. He even received a special request from Pete Townshend to join him onstage. Purdy said yes.
Even so, in recent years the singer, songwriter and self-described “hillbilly” has come to see the world and his role in it somewhat differently. His new views chart the direction on his latest album, Who Will Be Next?, which plants its feet deep in the tradition of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and others while addressing immediate transgressions.
Purdy’s determination to honor the giants of American folk while applying his unique skills as writer and passionate vocalist reveal just how much he has achieved and evolved as an observer and participant in our times. In addition to his recording and touring, Joe recently made his acting debut starring in the new feature film, American Folk, which won a Best New Film award at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It will be released nationwide in 2018.
Smokey & The Mirror is husband + wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree. Based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Smokey & The Mirror has toured nationally and 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 play many shows each 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 the music business 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. They also spent a year with Austin-based international songwriting collaborative, House of Songs, to pilot House of Songs Ozarks in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Smokey & The Mirror release their fourth record, Here & Now, on March 15th, 2019.
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 a 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 two years, Laura and Kagey now call Baltimore, Maryland home. In fact, 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 fifth full-length album, Anyone Can See, out March 1st.