Oxford American Events

Joe Purdy & The Boundary [Archetypes & Troubadours Series]


THURSDAY, APR. 18, 2019 | SOUTH ON MAIN [1304 Main St., Little Rock]

8:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to welcome Joe Purdy & The Boundary to Little Rock! This is the fourth and final show in our 2018-19 Archetypes & Troubadours Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris & Jo Harkins and J. Mark & Christy Davis.

Additional season partners include UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, EVO Business Environments, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Margaret Ferguson Pope, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Capital Hotel, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery of Little Rock.

Tickets are $25 (General Admission), $32 (Reserved), and $34 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart). Full season ticket pricing and options are also available in a consolidated format, here.

A few years back, if someone had started giving him some lip in the middle of a gig, Joe Purdy might have left the stage and beat a little sense into the guy. Nowadays, he’s more likely to calm everybody down, assure the loudmouth that he was a welcome and important part of his audience, and through words and warmth talk him into sitting back down and join everyone else in enjoying Purdy’s extraordinary music.

What has happened to Joe Purdy? Some might call it growth, although he’s already grown a lot in wandering from his Arkansas home state to Los Angeles, and from there toward and beyond further horizons. Along the way he’s recorded a baker’s dozen worth of albums. His songs have turned up on numerous TV shows and film soundtracks. He even received a special request from Pete Townshend to join him onstage. Purdy said yes.

Even so, in recent years the singer, songwriter and self-described “hillbilly” has come to see the world and his role in it somewhat differently. His new views chart the direction on his latest album, Who Will Be Next?, which plants its feet deep in the tradition of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and others while addressing immediate transgressions. 

Purdy’s determination to honor the giants of American folk while applying his unique skills as writer and passionate vocalist reveal just how much he has achieved and evolved as an observer and participant in our times. In addition to his recording and touring, Joe recently made his acting debut starring in the new feature film, American Folk, which won a Best New Film award at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It will be released nationwide in 2018.

The Boundary is four voices, four songwriters, four friends. Laura Wortman & Kagey Parish (of The Honey Dewdrops from Baltimore, Maryland) and Bernice & Bryan Hembree (of Smokey & The Mirror from Fayetteville, Arkansas) met a decade ago at the famed Good Folk House in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a stop during The Honey Dewdrops’ first U.S. tour. In the ensuing years both duos touring constantly, crossed paths, shared shows, and co-wrote together. In August 2017, they all found themselves at the same festival for a three-day stint and played a full set as a four-piece band for the first time. The house was packed. Still buzzing the next day, they learned Rodney Crowell couldn’t make his main stage set, and the band was asked to fill in for him. The show was sold-out. It was friend and fellow songwriter, Joe Purdy, in the audience at the late-night show and backstage the next day, who deemed, “these bands will merge, it's the only right thing to do when you sound this good together.”