Traveling from Mountain View, Arkansas and LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the sounds of dulcimer, penny whistle, claw-hammer banjo, and hauntingly beautiful vocals will descend upon Southeast Arkansas the week of February 18, 2019; the group, Common Folk, which formed through an event at the Ozark Folk Center, will provide multiple performances for children and adults in communities across Southeast Arkansas.
Through the SMARTS program of SEARK Concert Association, school-age children from SEARK’s seven counties will attend performances during their normal school day throughout the week of the tour. In the evenings, Common Folk will perform at various venues for the general public including the Crossett Public Library (February 19 at 4-5pm), Paul Michaels in Lake Village (February 20, 4-6pm), Rob Reep’s Art Studio on Main Street in Warren (February 21, 5-6pm), and the Monticello Coffee Company (February 22 at 4:30-5:30pm).
Common Folk is comprised of three phenomenal musicians who met and first performed together at the Ozark Folk Center, where they were each teaching and performing. Judson Steinback (dulcimer, percussion, penny whistle) grew up in Chicago but spent his summers in Mountain Home, Arkansas visiting his grandparents with many fond memories of old-time music on town squares and time spent on the Buffalo River. Now a resident of Wisconsin, he teaches music and performs across the country. Dwayne Porterfield (dulcimer, guitar, claw-hammered banjo) is the former National Champion Mountain Dulcimer Player and has retired to Mountain View, Arkansas from Kansas City. Grace Stormont (guitar, claw-hammered banjo, vocals) is a full-time, professional musician for the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, her hometown. She has a recording history (check her out on youtube), as well as a passion for teaching and performing music.
At their core, the group says they love playing traditional music and are thrilled with the opportunity to share their collaborative efforts in carrying on the traditional music of the Ozarks with influences of Appalachia and the earlier Irish and African music that influenced traditional American folk music. Sharing cultural Arkansas history through traditional, old-time Ozark music is the heartbeat of their work.