The Meadow Creek valley is deeply steeped in traditional Ozark folk music. An abandoned dog-trot cabin on the property once reverberated every Saturday night with “pickins” attended by highly talented lifelong musicians. Early settlers brought European folk songs to the mountains and added their own new world flavor to create original Ozark music. These songs are still being played today at our courthouse in Mountain View, and other venues throughout the region.
Add to this classic music style the sounds of the Delta blues that originated just downstream especially in Memphis. Blend in all the rock and roll, gospel, and country creations brought to the Ozarks by the back-to-the-landers in the 1960s and ’70s and you get a unique mixture of compositions to please every audience. The rich heritage of music in our region sparks incredible performances by solo artists and bands that probably got their start on someone’s front porch. This talent is generating a whole new audience base for live concerts, especially in unique venues.
Two years ago, our large cathedral-like barn housed a horse rescue operation. When the manager moved to Fayetteville, we decided to see if we could use the barn for events. A week after the last horse moved out, we organized a concert, outside the barn because we did not have time to clean the floor. The Covid-19 pandemic had its first Stone County patients just then so we carefully marked off spaces outside on a hill for social distancing and built a stage for two local bands. Just before the concert, it started to rain so everyone ran to the barn, spread out on lawn chairs and the bands were able to perform. Audience members told us the smells and droppings left by the horses gave a realistic ambiance to the setting. The bands loved the acoustics of the high wood ceilings and our venture into barn concerts was born.
We continued to hold concerts once a month from late Spring to early Fall. In September 2021 we had our first major event when the annual Arkansas Traditional Fiddlers contest was held in the barn. By then we had a stage, a dance floor, festival lighting, sound system, AND A NEW FLOOR to accommodate the event. The Gathering Place food kitchen operated a concession stand. As a result, the fiddlers and other groups are booking future events in the barn. Several bands from all over the state have requested bookings. Two groups came back after their concerts to do recordings because of the acoustics. The music reflects the unique blend of styles that reflect old traditions, recent imports, and contemporary creativity. Once again, great music reverberates through the Meadow Creek valley.