Classical music in New York City may mean Bach and Beethoven; but in Arkansas, classical music is gospel and blue grass.
The sound of guitars, mandolins, fiddles and a stand-up bass is the music of the south – particularly Arkansas.
In Ashley County, particularly in the Promise Land community, the Haley Creek Boys have long been spreading the word and playing the music that best represents classical southern culture – bluegrass and gospel.
The group came together in 1975 and will celebrate its 40th anniversary in just a few months.
Over the years, membership has changed and there have even been a few girls mixed in with the Boys; but the current 11-member singing group keeps alive the music and spirit that the original membership sought to represent.
The oldest member of the band is one of the original members, 83-year-old Ed Watt (mandolin, vocals).
The youngest is 37-year-old Jared Brooks (lead guitar, vocals). Despite being the youngest, Brooks knows the band’s legacy because he joined it as a youngster – 12-years-old.