The Untitled Interview #50 – Whispering Beard Edition: Starring Travis Talbert (Frontier Folk Nebraska)

Hot diggity dog, y’all. This weekend marks the happening of a very, very special festival, and while I’ll be in Baltimore I highly recommend that if you can you make your way down to the wilds of Kentucky (Thorn Hill farm in Morning View, to be exact, which is a paltry 23 miles from Cincinnati!), for the best-named festival around: Whispering Beard. There’s gonna be more awesomeness than you can shake a stick at out there this year, so get your skates on. And your beards, of course.

I owe my affection for Frontier Folk Nebraska to WOXY (man alive, I miss that station). Something about the so very pretty grounded, glorious, earthy twang the band makes soothed my soul as I sat at my desk in a very, very soulless office job. And I suspect this is a band that is even better, somehow, live than on record. Lead axeman Travis Talbert took time out from preparing for the Beard to answer some questions, scroll on down and take a peek. And if you’re headed to the Beard, bring the boys some hats, just in case they forget theirs.

Les Enfants Terribles: How are you getting to Whispering Beard: plane, train, or automobile?
Travis Talbert: Automobile for sure. We travel in a 1999 Ford F-150, the Whispering Beard Festival is located in Morning View, KY, which is only about a half hour from our hometown of Covington, KY.

LET: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:
TT: I'd have to say we'll forget to pack a hat. This is a band that has taken good shots at being a band that wears hats, but we always forget them after a show or two.

LET: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
TT: Without a doubt this one goes to the legendary Mr. Guy Clark. We just want to figure out a way to get him to sit and talk to us, tell stories, but that's a real long shot. It would be great though. Mike did some chatting with Peter Rowan last year, so hopefully that tradition carries on.

LET: You've played the Beard before. What do you dig most about it?
TT: We absolutely love the guys that put this festival on. They're real people, and by far some of the most genuine guys we've run into. Not just in music, but in general. They're great dudes and they've never hesitated to help us out. We can't say enough good things about them.

LET: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival at the festival site?
TT: Parking and unloading, and for myself, I may go find whoever has the gallon jug backstage for some refreshments.

LET: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
TT: The first one I ever attended was probably the Cincinnati Blues Festival on Sawyer Point on the Ohio River. Went with my dad, can't remember who played honestly, but a few years later some friends and I saw Bobby Rush. Lots of big butts on his stage. Awesome show.

LET: Favorite thing about festivals?
TT: I love festivals for the community feel. You get to play outside, see a bunch of other bands, and hopefully hang out and just talk about music all day. There's a feeling of ease that you don't have in a bar. And a bit of the unknown. The first WBFF threw a crazy storm on us just a few minutes before our set. We waited it out, and we still talk about how that night was one of our favorite moments playing ever.

mp3: Ballad of a Dead Man (Frontier Folk Nebraska live in the WOXY Lounge)

[photo by Roman Titus]


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