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Band Americana Folk




"Quick Picks"

"It's gonna get a little weird at The Afterthought as the Mockingbird Hillbilly Band visits. Proving that birds of the weird flock together, the six members of the band are equally influenced by Ozark folk music and inspired by 'flying saucers and little green men, dirigibles, country cooking and country living, lightening bugs, J.R. Bob Dobbs' and other weird things in creating their hillbilly psychedelia. But don't let all that scare you. It might be a little strange, but it'll be a whole lot of fun. And you dance to it!" - Sync/Arkansas-Democrat Gazette

"Mockingbird: Arkansas Band Making Waves"

---Curtis Copeland
The mountains of Central Arkansas are home to a great
band that is not only a feast for the ears, but ultra-entertaining,
and amazing to see live! The band, which has been in existence
about two years, and has been gigging locally around the Little
Rock/Central Arkansas area, is comprised of six fun and inter-
esting individuals that refer to themselves collectively as Mock-
ingbird. The musical influence of the true Arkansas mountain
folk music of their roots is apparent, but, is also infused with
high energy and a big dose of fun. The lead vocals of Mike and
Jessica Crenshaw are backed up by a gamut of instrumentation,
with traditional string instruments, percussion, and a virtual
yard sale of noise-making gadgets.
Jessica and Michael Crenshaw have been performing
together for over ten years. In addition to his vocals, Michael
plays rhythm guitar, mouth harp, nose flute and kazoo. Jessica
Crenshaw has amazing lead vocals with the folky touch that
just grips you. Jessica plays the autoharp, slide whistle and
kazoo in addition to her vocals.
Byron Werner, who founded Mockingbird, along with
Michael and Jessica, has the most wonderfully bizarre arsenal
of musical trinkets. This arsenal includes a 78-speed record
player, grunt horn, hawg call, Flexitone, miscellaneous game
calls, shakers, light percussion, a bowl of water & mallet, and
of course, the kazoo.
Michael Crenshaw relates an amusing story about Byron,
and the beginnings of Mockingbird:
“ The founding members of Mockingbird are Byron, Jes-
sica and myself. We were sitting around my workshop one day
just shootin’ the shit about music and playing. Byron stated
that if we learned the song “Coconut Grove” by the Lovin’
Spoonful that he would accompany us playing a bowl of water
with a mallet. Of course we couldn’t pass this up. So we started
off calling ourselves a Lovin’ Spoonful cover band, which was
far from true as we were only playing one Lovin’ Spoonful
song. We started off as a trio, sounding a lot like the bastard
children of the Holy Modal Rounders. Erratic, traditional folk
songs, damn-near-destroyed with over-stimulated silliness!
This happened in 2009.”
Jeff Clanton plays lead guitar, mandolin and kazoo as
Says Michael Crenshaw:
“Jeff Clanton joined the band as a bass player replace-
ment, even though he was a lead guitarist. He was still an
amazing bass player, and played live with the band after only
two days of rehearsal. It wasn’t long before his lead pickin’
prowess moved him away from the bass and into the guitar
player position. Mockingbird has had as many bass players as
Spinal Tap has had drummers... We’ve considered a bass player
curse, but we don’t buy into it - that’s a bunch of hooey.”
Geoffrey Myers, who considers his musical influences to
be the Grateful Dead, Nick Drake, Jefferson Airplane, Moody
Blues, Keller Williams and Stardust Output, plays the bass,
percussion, Native -American flute and kazoo as well (see the
pattern developing?)
Geoffrey “Doc” Myers is a musician, artist, speaker and
dime-store philosopher. He lives in the forest on a rocky hill
called Stone Mountain, outside of Mayflower, Arkansas, along
some of the last ridges before the delta begins just north and
west of Jacksonville. He has played music professionally for
about seven years with bands like The Stone Mountain Crew
and as a solo act with his sister April. He was taught how to
play by his porch swing. When Doc’s not playing music he is
tending the seventy acres he lives on.
April Myers, whose musical influences include Bob Mar-
ley and the Grateful Dead, plays Djembe, bongos, wood frog,
other percussion and, of course, kazoo...
Geoffrey “Doc” Myers, lovingly known as “Fart Taco”,
had this to say about the initial formation of Mockingbird:
“Through cosmic events that never need explanation, the
Mockingbird family was formed through a series of serendipi-
tous shows and undeniable coincidences. After we agreed to
the whims of the great magnet, our solid family was formed of
this nebulae. Keep in mind, this family includes not only our
band, but our whole troupe of merry travelers. These are all
kinds of people, young and old, who gather together for cre-
ativity and positive energy. This common thread of positivity
runs through our music, ourselves and our audience. It makes
for one hell of a good time.”
Geoffrey brings up a very good point about the effect of
Mockingbird’s music and its creation of not only its own life-
style, but a dedicated group of followers...which is really quite
amazing in the group’s two short years of existence.
Michael Crenshaw has this to say about them:“As for the
followers of Mockingbird, we have a lot of open-minded, free-
thinking hippy and hillbilly types, as well as an older crowd of
the same ilk. They have contributed everything from pictures,
videos, instruments, articles of clothing, hula-hooping, plenty
of dancing, and even some under-aged or fund-less fans stand
outside the door for entire shows. Many of our friends and fans
come out and see us play on the mountain and in town, which
further strengthens the feeling of family that we all share. A
Mockingbird show is a family affair - everybody gets down!”
Michael also mentions his take on the lifestyle associated
with the band: “As far as the “Mockingbird Lifestyle” goes,
we’re all free people who love each other. We live together,
work together, play music together, and we share through
good or bad. We like gathering around campfires in the for-
est, to play music, tell stories and laugh. We like traveling on
the road, staying in tents. We have home-bases, but we move
around a lot. The mockingbird makes many nests throughout
the forest.”
The “Mountain” has been mentioned by every member of
Mockingbird, as not only a home, or home-base between tours
and gigs, but a special place where the band members, friends,
family, and other musicians gather to make art, music, and
have fellowship. It is a secluded mountain top area of a few
houses and habitations that serves as a creative incubator.
“We had all known each other from around the scene, but
we really came together at the Sunshine Music Festival outside
of Morrilton, Arkansas in October 2010, where I was returning
a guitar stand to Geoffrey. Through some very strange circum-
stances, we are all still hanging out together today. Geoffrey,
April, Mary, Shane and Mom (Laura Keeler our videographer)
already lived on the mountain - outside of Mayflower - and
Jessica and I moved out to the mountain after a house fire
in downtown Little Rock about a year ago, when the family
graciously welcomed us onto their land and deeper into their
lives. Jessica and I moved a 1973 Nomad camper out onto the
mountain, remodeled it, and decided to stay in it.
Staying together allows us to play a lot of music together.”
said Michael, when asked about the“Mountain”.
“The mountain is a family and community of free-
thinking people that strive together for self-sufficiency and
ecologically friendly methods of living. We are a tree farm
and a wildlife preserve, as well as active conservationists. The
mountain is all about good times, good energy, and really com-
muning with nature. Doc and Squeaky Doodle have lived on
Stone Mountain for almost 20 years. In this time, the family has
grown and grown, to a giant family of friends, fans, and musi-
cians alike. We have lots of chickens, a very large and produc-
tive garden, many cats and dogs, a lake to swim in and hills
and rocks to roam all over. We don’t live a glamorous lifestyle,
we live to help each other,” says Geoffrey on his take of living
on the Mountain.
Another part of the Mockingbird story that I find inter-
esting and dear to me because of my fondness for authentic
Ozarks folksongs and lore, is the extensive collecting of folk
music by Michael and Jessica in particular. The influences on
Mockingbird resulting from these collections and experiences,
adds special flavor and dimension to the Mockingbird sound.
Michael related this: “Jessica and I have been playing to-
gether for ten years. Many of the songs we know and still play
are authentic Ozark Mountain folk songs, play party songs and
ballads. Jessica had a Great Aunt named Nobel Cowden from
Cushman, Arkansas who was a pretty famous folk singer. A
lot of the songs we do came from her. Other songs came from a
few other folks in the mountains and various collections we’ve
found. We have a large collection of recordings from the ‘20s
and ‘30s that we’ve drawn on for song material. We also write
and/or arrange songs in the traditional vein or with traditional
stylings. Vance Randolph collected a lot of folk songs that
we’ve touched upon. Max Hunter has a great folk song collec-
tion that we’ve drawn from. Leo Rainey has a great Arkansas
folk collection at Lion College in Batesville, Arkansas. Some
of our favorite experiences with learning some of these songs
have been with Nobel Cowden’s daughter Lina “Lenny” Lee,
who accompanied Nobel on the guitar for decades. She was a
very sweet and interesting lady with a very interesting moun-
tain playing style that mixed in some country blues stylings
that were not exactly familiar to traditional Ozark mountain
folk music. We learned a lot from her about playing folk music,
just for fun and togetherness. Her husband Elvis had a giant
tobacco patch next to their if you ever wondered
what happened to Elvis... Another interesting song-collecting
experience was a recent one with a minstrel named Ky Hote
from Austin, Texas. He’s played thousands of festivals and
fairs across the country and is an eccentric, super-nice guy who
writes a lot of quirky and fun folk tunes, a couple of which we
are working up to play. We met Ky at the Woodie Guthrie Folk
Festival, and we just jived the way family jives.”
To see Mockingbird perform is an unforgettable experi-
ence. This is a group of unique individuals that truly love to
play music, and have fun. They love the crowd and the hap-
piness and fun that pours out of Mockingbird, envelopes the
audience like an enormous hug.
Mockingbird sums it up best: “If there is a “Mockingbird”
philosophy then it would have to be fun! We have fun first! It is
important to us to provide the musical escape that people need
in order to let go, relax, smile and come closer together. This
is a vital part of the musical language, to bring us together, for
peace and for a party! It is also important to consider the sum
of the parts being much greater than the individual parts. We
think of ourselves as a family and we try to make everyone
part of that...”
For the booking for Mockingbird, please contact Curtis
Copeland,, (417)339-6882.
Their website is
- Nightflying


"I loved your album [Euphoria!]...really cool stuff..." - Gary Lucas, an American guitarist, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, a soundtrack composer for film and

"Woody Guthrie Folk Festival: A Brief Recap"

"After the stage shows, the music in the campgrounds goes on until dawn and beyond. At the campfire circle where I spent most my time I heard Randy Crouch, Jonathan Byrd, Michael Blackwell, Nancy Apple, and and amazing little band called Mockingbird from Little Rock..." --Nancy Paddock - Nightflying

"Thursday To-Do"

A folkbilly act only describable as “the Holy Modal Rounders of Little Rock,” Mockingbird Hillbilly Band plays Town Pump, 10 p.m. - Arkansas Times/ Rock Candy

"Big Smith Endorsement"

"If the Holy Modal Rounders and the Carter Family had a baby, it would be MOCKINGBIRD!" --Jody Bilyeu of BIG SMITH

"Random Audience Member"

"They're good!" She sounded surprised! :) - From a bootleg recording

"Music Briefs"

"Texas two-steppers, Two Tons of Steel, play along side the Holy Modal Rounders of Pulaski County, Mockingbird Hillbilly Band..." - Arkansas Times


Live @ The Colony, Tulsa (Coming Soon!)
Live @ The Cove, Memphis 2012
"Euphoria!" 2010
"A Kind Heart Butters No Parsnips" 2010
"Practice Makes Perfect: A Live Session"2009
"What We Do For $$: An Audience Bootleg" 2009



Birds of a feather flock together. That's what happened in Central Arkansas three years ago when Mockingbird was formed. Fun has been the group's musical drive since that day in October when the world's first wobble bowl solo was played to the tune of Coconut Grove by the Lovin' Spoonful. The fun—for both the band and their audiences— just keeps getting bigger and better. With a rich background in old Ozark Folk tunes, the band enjoys twisting it all up in a post-modern Ragtime, Americana, electric jug band flair. The group has played alongside the likes of Big Smith, Mountain Sprout, Ben Miller Band, Dirtfoot, Two Tons of Steel and Tony Furtado, among others.

Mockingbird is: Michael, Jessica and April.

Mockingbird is honored to be a member of the Arkansas Arts Council's Artists on Tour roster. Visit for more information about the program.

The Incredible Mockingbird Hillbilly Band was the first ever house band for "Tales from the South" radio show for 15 consecutive weeks. The show is currently aired on KUAR Public Radio in Arkansas and is heard on other regional and national Public Radio stations with worldwide distribution on Internet and Satellite Radio stations.