Hardy not what I was expecting -
23.08.2014 - 24.08.2014 95 °F
A couple of weeks ago I headed to the Spring River to meet some folks for a morning of fly fishing. The fishing was uninspired - it was just too hot - but the town of Hardy offered up some pleasant surprises.
Northern Arkansas has a number of older towns that are now primarily tourist destinations. There's lots to bring tourists to the area- fishing, canoeing, scenery - and the economy of these old towns, Hardy included, is entertainment - old buildings retrofitted with ice cream parlors, gift shops and such. The Hardy Main Street is old stone storefronts with shops and restaurants. Since I didn't want to get up at 5am to drive over on Saturday, I came in ahead of the rest of the group and stayed in a Hardy B&B.
The B&B was overpriced and uninspiring. After the drive over, a glass of wine sounded good so I walked to the Price Chopper grocery to get a bottle of wine. They had four wines: white zin, sweet red table wine , muscadet and pinot noir. But they also had a gun store . . . in the grocery store!.
Nearby was a book store and coffee shop, Word Afterwords, with live music. I headed over to get a sandwich expecting they'd have maybe a guy playing the guitar and singing.
First surprise - I got the Friday night brisket special. $12.99 for brisket smoked out back that was really good.
The music was really good too. It was a group of three guys who were much better than the local amateur I had expected.
And then a murmur through the crowd when an older guy with a ponytail walks in with his wife. He and his wife ate dinner and afterwards he was invited up to join the guys on stage.
Turns out it was David Lynn Jones who wrote Living in a Promised Land (big Willie Nelson hit) among others, released his own albums and sang with the likes of Charlie Daniels and Johnny Cash. Not that I had any idea at the time. Had to go to Google for that. I just knew he was really good too. Apparently he and the other guys are professional musicians who had retired to Hardy. And they were playing for tips in a coffee shop - hopefully because they loved playing, not because they were hard up.
And confirmed by a reviewer:
If there were any justice in the universe, David Lynn Jones would be a household name. He would sell records like Neopolitan ice cream and be considered the natural heir to Bruce Springsteen, Arkansas-division. Because he’s that good. Instead, he’s among the countless Jonahs (John Brannen, Marty Brown, George Ducas, ad infinitum) that Nashville swallowed whole and spit out on the beach. They were too country, not country enough, not pretty enough, too edgy for the average housewife, and not conducive to line dancing. Check him out on YouTube:
Next day on the way back from the river I stopped at Pig and Whistle which in Arkansas one would expect to be BBQ, right? Nope - it was a British pub. Menu of fish and chips, bangers and mash, etc. A slate of British beers. Soccer on the tellie. (or I guess that's football on the tellie).
A very good "British" BLT which was I would call Canadian bacon sandwich. Anyway it went quite well with a cold beer after a morning not catching fish.