“The creativity and originality of these two blows through the stale air of singer-songwriters like a gale of genius.” — Rich Warren, Sing Out! magazine
The original four-piece Still on the Hill quartet is coming together Dec. 14 for a special reunion performance! It has been way too many years since the four of us have played together. Seventeen years ago, Kelly Mulhollan (guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and vocals), Phil Lancaster (banjo, guitar and vocal), John Johnston (upright bass and vocals) and I (Donna Stjerna – fiddle, mandolin and vocals) gravitated together to make music. We were a familiar sight on Dickson Street in the mid-90s.
The whole band soon headed down to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas (which is the premier songwriter festival) and discovered that we had some kinda chemistry going on. Kerrville inspired and solidified us. We ended up playing the main stage there three years in a row. We worked and played hard all across the country throughout the late 90s. During those years we recorded 2 CD’s together — in John Johnston’s studio, Melody Recording — and performed at prestigious festivals and venues all over the USA and Canada. We were thrilled and honored that we made it to the Hall of Fame in both the N.A.M.A. (Northwest Arkansas Music Awards) and O.M.A. (Ozark Music Awards) here at home.
I’m sure that everyone in the band would agree that of all the venues and gigs we performed at, none could compare to our yearly Winter Concert at Goodfolk, right here in our hometown. Well, Mike Shirkey’s Goodfolk Productions is in transition to a new venue (and will now be called Pickin’ Post Productions) but Mike has agreed to host a reunion concert for the original Still on the Hill quartet, and the Walton Arts Center has agreed to let their lovely Starr Theater be our venue. Kelly and I will open the show.
When the band broke up a decade ago, we kept the name and continued touring as a duo, which many of you know us as these days. We will be unveiling several brand new songs hot off the press. We have asked the amazing Crow Johnson to join us on a couple tunes.
Crow was an icon on the folk scene in the 70s & 80s performing coast-to-coast. She produced a publication called Zassafras News, which was the Facebook of the day. She single-handedly kept the folk scene connected. Crow also managed our original Still on the Hill group and took us from being a bar band to national prominence. We are eternally grateful for all her hard work and are thrilled to share the stage with her again for this event!
We promise a rip-roaring, foot-stomping, good time. We are looking forward to conjuring up some magic. The Starr Theater has limited seating and our Winter Concert usually sells out quick so call or come down to the Box Office and get your tickets early. 479-443-5600 or get ‘em online at waltonartscenter.org.
Hope to see you there with JINGLE BELLS ON!
— Donna Stjerna, Still on the Hill
Still On The Hill and The Free Weekly want to offer a lucky winner the chance to attend the Dec. 14 reunion on us. Just text (479-387-8794) or email (email@example.com) the answer to this question: What well-known bluegrass tune inspired the name Still on the Hill?