Interview with Joshua Asante, Little Rock, Arkansas

Joshua Asante is a musician, writer, and photographer. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist/keyboardist for the Little Rock, Arkansas-based indie bands Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente. Asante has also toured extensively as a solo performer, sharing what he calls “astral soul,” a blend of electronic and soul music. Onstage, Joshua sings lyrics inspired by travel through space, the paintings of Hughie Lee Smith, and the literary work of Black speculative fiction giants Henry Dumas and Octavia Butler. For his live iterations of these ideas, Asante positions himself alone surrounded by synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, and a saxophone.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/14/2020.

Interview with Willi Carlisle, Izard County, Arkansas

Willi Carlisle is a folksinger and writer from the Ozark hills. He performs internationally at places like the Kennedy Center and the Ozark Folk Center and has spent many years living in an intentional community near Fox, Arkansas. With years of collecting folklore and playing/calling square dances, Willi is a multi-faceted writer, performer and instrumentalist. He plays banjo, accordion, fiddle and guitar, and has toured extensively and performed with Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Los Texmaniacs, Cory Branan, Carson McHone, and more. Willi prefers to perform songs for the oldest reasons: love, heartache, and joy. His albums, Too Nice to Mean Much and To Tell You the Truth have garnered critical success.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/04/2020.

Interview with Adam Faucett, Little Rock, Arkansas

Adam Faucett is a singer-songwriter born in Benton, Arkansas, and based out of Little Rock. Faucett was originally a member of the Russellville, Arkansas-based band, Taught the Rabbits, and has been performing solo since 2006. After the breakup of that band, Faucett relocated to Chicago, where he focused on folk music, writing his first album, The Great Basking Shark. Upon the release of a second album in 2008, Show Me Magic, Show Me Out, he toured the U.S. and Europe with acts including Lucero, Calexico, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Vetiver, and Damien Jurado. Faucett’s music has been described as “southern soul swamp opera,” blending experimental rock, psychedelic rock, and noise rock into his framework of singer-songwriter country music.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/14/2020.

Interview with Amy Garland, Fox, Arkansas

Fox, Arkansas-based musician and artist, Amy Garland, has spent many years serving as a mentor figure to other artists throughout the region. She also has her own show on the local public radio station, KABF, called Backroads, where she plays a variety of independent country/old-time/bluegrass/singer-songwriter musics to her local fanbase. Her all-girl group, The Wildflowers, performs regional shows, while she continues writing and performing her own compositions. Amy Garland is also a social worker and a guitar strap maker.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/18/2020.

Interview with Rachel Reynolds, Fox, Arkansas

Rachel is an artist and folklorist with a background in art and cultural policy and arts-focused grassroots organizing in underserved communities. Reynolds received a B.A. in American studies from the University of Arkansas and M.A. degrees in public history and heritage studies from Arkansas State University. She received a fellowship from the Southern Foodways Alliance to document Arkansas barbecue and was in the first cohort of Creative Community Fellows through National Arts Strategies. Her arts- and food-focused project, the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op, has been featured in Mother Earth News, Rural Missouri, Acres U.S.A., and others. In 2015, she founded the #NotMyOzarks campaign to counter anti-racial sentiment in the Ozarks region. Rachel is the Head Project Steward of Meadowcreek, Inc., a land- and art-based incubator in the Arkansas Ozarks, co-founder of the People’s Library Project, and the Executive Director of the Arkansas Craft School.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/11/2020.