As a young tadpole, growing up my parents raised me in a house filled with the sounds of blues music. It ranged from Jimmy Reed to Tab Benoit. No matter who it was on vinyl, CD or in concert, I was trained to seek out rhythm and blues music if it could be had within driving distance.
Recently, I was reviewing some Facebook posts and came across one from the Blue Moon Farms. They were advertising that they had a show coming up soon featuring, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Grayson Capps, Brian Stoltz and Corkey Hughes. Could not pass up the opportunity to see these folks play and check out this interesting venue.
You park in a cow field (I only knew this because of the circular prizes left behind), and walk up to a fence to pay two helpful volunteers. The minute you step out of the car the sound of the musicians is clear, the loveliness of the drive still lingering in your head and the beauty of the farm in your view.
What you do not hear, surprisingly, is the sound of people talking. It is such a treat to have complete silence while someone is playing music. It is a sign of respect and adoration of the music and the musicians. I knew at that moment we were dealing with real music fans and not those who show up to a show just to say they did, but they really care.
After you pay and enter through the picturesque wooden fence, you immediately see the fifty to seventy-five people who have set their chairs and blankets up under the majestic cypress and oaks, in front of the Frog Pond stage.
There are all age ranges present. A number of house dogs stroll past for an ear scratch or tummy rub.
To the left of the stage is the main house, a lovely farm house, strewn with found and antique objects. There are a series of wooden rooms and sheds for storage. Since it is a working farm there is a garden, barns, chicken coops and about three horses grazing in a field.
During a break in the music, my husband and I toured the farm, and ran across a snake tangled in some landscape fabric. My husband freed him and relocated him for his safety as well as those attending the show.
When dusk approaches, the owner Cathe Steele starts to light all the kerosene and candled chandeliers that hang out of the trees, and the lights surrounding the stage come on. Some are string lights and some are lamps meant for a living room. All of this creates a sense of intimacy that makes the music even more meaningful.
The musicians played a series of jams as well as popular blues tunes. The subtlety and care at which they were playing was noticeable, something you cannot get at a bar or concert hall.
It was a magical day filled with the beauty of the natural setting, cool people and great music. I recommend you pick a show and go the Blue Moon Farm; it is worth the trip to Silverhill, AL.
Here is the blurb from their site that explains a little bit more about the special place:
The Frog Pond is a private house concert, on a private farm that is over 100 years old. It is located just outside of Silverhill, Alabama. The stage sits under a 150-year-old Cedar tree that faces the old house. We are a member of the Folk Alliance, folkalliance.org. An RSVP is needed for all house concerts. Just email or message me though Facebook so I know you are coming for each Sunday Social you plan to attend. We are not an open to the public venue and “walk-in’s” are not allowed into the farm. So, if you are planning on attending any of the house concerts at the farm, you must make sure you’ve reserved a place on the guest list. Our capacity is limited and we want to keep our socials unique and intimate for all who come to share the fires, the music and the food. If you would like to bring a guest with you, email me their names so I can add them to the guest list at the farm gate under your name as your “guest.”
I recommend the following: bring a cooler with your favorite beverages, lawn chairs, bug spray, a covered dish to share with those in attendance, some cash for tipping the artists as well as possibly purchasing a t-shirt or two and a camera to catch some cool shots.
WHAT: BLUE MOON FARMS FROG POND SUNDAY SOCIAL
WHEN: Dates vary depending on when you want to go, check the calendar
WHERE: 19375 Rada Rd., Silverhill, Alabama 36576
COST: $20-$30 per person