Sunday, April 3, 2011


Well, Kind Hearts, the Liars Bench is touring! Several weeks ago, Elizabeth Hay asked for a Liars Bench show for the opening of Andrews annual AVE Festival. As a result, Dave Waldrop, Steve Brady, Barbara Duncan and I loaded up our bench and Bodine, our mascot and drove to the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center on Friday, April 1st. We had a fantastic audience and even got a standing ovation.

Steve Brady not only played 1940's favorites but doubled as a storyteller and did a repeat of comic piece, "Carmen" (based on the opera). Dave Waldrop did his "Smoky Mountain Home" and launched a bit of audience participation with a piece that required a half-dozen members of the audience to become turkey buzzards. I did a history of the Liars Bench (both the traditional one and our own version), informed the audience about how Bodine, our mascot came to be a part of the show, told a few "tall tales" and told an old story about an infamous preacher in Cashiers Valley. Barbara Duncan delivered a haunting version of "Pretty Polly" as well as a rendition of her new song, "Junaluska. Before the night was over, the performers entered into a dialogue with the audience that dealt with topics as diverse as the meaning of "Tradition," the old mountain phrase, "a sense of place," oral history and leaving and returning to the mountains. We ended up with a rousing rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" lead by Barbara with the chorus repeated by the audience. We should be so lucky at any future touring program!

Photos by Carl Iobst.