There are different kinds of bands out there. Many have really great guitar players. Others have vocalists that give you chills on your shoulders. Some make you walk back to the bar to tell your friends they really need to pay more attention to how great they are. And so on.
Then there are those that encapsulate it all. You know, the kind where every member seems like a piece of an intricate engine. And even though their songs might start with just one instrument at a time, once everything is working together you forget about members and who’s doing what or even about the fact that there are humans playing instruments in front of you at all. And then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t blinked or moved a muscle in about 6 minutes. “Or has it been longer?” you wonder.
If you haven’t been lucky enough to experience such a band, you might wanna reserve a spot at the GoodFolk house tonight because 3 Penny Acre is having its debut CD release party and you might miss your opportunity if you don’t call over there right now. (Hint: 521-1812)
We caught up with Shannon Wurst and she was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Fayetteville Flyer: What’ve you all been listening to lately?
Shannon Wurst: We just returned from the Folk Allianace Conference in Memphis where we got to play with some of our favorite artists like Johnathan Byrd, Raina Rose, J Wagner, and John Elliot.
FF: How did four musicians from four different places end up together in Fayetteville?
SW: Fate? Bryan and Bernice had a wedding gig and needed a last minute mandolin player. In enters Bayard Blain – straight from Montana. The three-piece formed and called themselves the Wildebees. I met the trio at a picking party when I moved back to Arkansas from North Carolina. We decided to get together and play one night. The next time we met, we decided on a name. The next time we met we booked our first show together at Goodfolk. This is our one-year anniversary as a band…ahh!
FF: Speaking of Fayetteville, what do you think of the music scene currently? Or do you?
SW: Music in Fayetteville is alive and well. This is evident by bands like Still on the Hill and Cletus Got Shot. We also have some great nationally touring acts in town this week like Lucinda Williams and Son Volt. We all know that times are hard for everyone, but music gives folks an outlet. So THANKS for supporting live music!
FF: Between all the bands that you guys have been in, would it be safe to call 3 Penny Acre a “Supergroup?”
SW: Call us what you will. We do have some experience under our belts. Between the four of us, we have played in Wildwood, Grandpa’s Good Time Fandango, Chris Hallow, The Good Fear, The Wildabees, and Shannon Wurst and the Best Boys. So, yes, 3 Penny Acre is a Supergroup!
FF: I realize that describing what your band sounds like is pretty awkward. If someone described you guys as a bluegrass-folk-acoustic band, would that be OK? Or do you have something else you use?
SW: Ahh yes, the question everyone wants answered: what are you? I think it would be accurate to call us bluegrass-folk-acoustic. I used to be really scared of the word FOLK. I thought people might mistakes us for the quirky-dressed-cheese-ball-singers. But FOLK is deeply rooted in tradition. We take pride in upholding traditions by using bluegrass instrumentation coupled with crafted songwriting and the sum of the whole is AMERICANA. 3 Penny Acre is true Americana!
FF: If someone were just entering the local folk music scene as either a musician or a fan, what other bands might you suggest they check out?
SW: We recommend Still on the Hill, Cletus Got Shot, Jack Williams, Candy Lee, Jeff Kearney, and anything at Goodfolk House Concerts on Block Street. In fact, if you do not have plans tonight, 3 Penny Acre will be releasing our CD at Goodfolk starting at 8PM! Reservations are strongly recommend by calling 521-1812.
FF: The sample tracks on your website sound really, really good. Where did you record your debut CD and where can we pick up a copy?
SW: Thanks! We had the greatest experience with Dwight Chalmers at Listen Labortory. He was very professional had great suggestions, easy to work with, and cost effective! The best place to pick up a 3 Penny Acre album is at one of our live shows. Second best places: Sound Warehouse, Terra Tots, or at www.3Pennyacre.com.
FF: Is “Dig a Little Deeper” on the CD? Because it’s awesome.
SW: Yes, Dig A Little Deeper is on the album! Not only is it awesome, it is award winning! This song was written by Bayard Blain and Bryan Hembree and won the spiritual catagory at the New Song Contest at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield Kansas. All three songs we entered placed and we performed on the main stage of the festival! We even have medals to prove it!
FF: Is playing at Greenhouse Grille a regular thing? Also, what’s it like playing music while people are eating free range chicken caesar wraps all around you?
SW: Yes, we play at the Greenhouse Grille the first Wednedsday of every month. (Come see us next Wed!) We believe in nourishing food and hope that our music helps to nourish the soul. We think it is a great combo!
FF: With its long-standing history as being a mecca for folk enthusiasts, the GoodFolk house seems like an intimidating place to play music. Is it?
SW: Well, it wasn’t until you mentioned it! It is an honor more than anything! GoodFolk has the best listening audiences! What is music without an audience? People show up to listen to the stories and lyrics of our songs. What more could a songwriter ask for? It feels great to be able to share music with people who really appreciate and understand it. We feel like it falls on the right ears when we play at Goodfolk!
Click below to hear “Diamond Joe” by 3 Penny Acre
3 Penny Acre is:
Bayard Blain – Guitar, Mandolin, Bouzouki, and Vocals
Bernice Hembree – Upright Bass and Vocals
Shannon Wurst – Guitar, Banjo, Vocals
Bryan Hembree – Guitar, Brush Bucket, Accordian, and Vocals