Legacy of Songwriting Takes Center Stage at Event Hosted by Historic Dyess Colony

JONESBORO – The Sunken Lands Songwriting Circle is a new endeavor presented by the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The concert will be held in Riceland Hall at Fowler Center, located at 201 Olympic Dr., Saturday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m.

The event, hosted by Rosanne Cash, will also feature two other masterful singer-songwriters, Rodney Crowell and Sarah Jarosz, with accompaniment by the acclaimed guitarist and songwriter John Leventhal.

This is the latest in a series of concert events hosted in honor of Johnny Cash and his legacy.

“It all begins with a song. Songs come from deep places in the heart and soul, they make characters come alive, and they resonate with lives lived, past and present,” said Rosanne Cash.

“We honor the legacy of songwriting as a noble calling, both in our own songs, and in the pure and lasting resonance of the songs of my dad. Many of which were taken straight from the gumbo soil of Dyess, where his own life and experience, and the characters he knew, were given a rhyme scheme and a melody, and which have become part of the essential fabric of the American Songbook.”

“I’ve invited Rodney, Sarah, and John to join me because their music comes from the same place, not from Dyess specifically, but from the creative soil of their own lives, grounded in their own deep poetry and rhythm,” said Cash.

This event is for anyone who enjoys music, storytelling and songwriting. Cash said that events like this are vital for future songwriters and for those who believe in the real depth that comes from putting words, thoughts and heart into song.

“We are in a rapidly changing world of virtual content and I believe that a real person’s song, dredged from their own experience and feeling, is of more value than ever. I hope young songwriters don’t get discouraged by the shifting playing field of artificial intelligence and computer-generated music,” said Cash.

The Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, which preserves the 1935 home of the Cash family, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2018 and celebrates Cash’s life and music.

Restoration of the New Deal era home was made possible through a series of music festival benefits held at A-State beginning in 2011. In 2017, the festival was relocated to the grounds of the boyhood home and expanded beyond music to include programs about the New Deal heritage that is part of the Dyess and Cash family stories.

“We hope that this event, and the full schedule of cultural events that the Boyhood Home offers, will inspire tomorrow’s songwriters to bring their own unique experiences and add their own songs to the American Songbook,” added Cash.

She added that there are many reasons to attend.

“See some great songwriters play their songs honestly and intimately, as well as be part of the camaraderie of four friends who respect and love each other,” she said.

She added that the legacy of her father is one of true art and authenticity and those things will always be something people long for and connect with.

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Tickets are available through the A-State box office, AState.edu/Tickets.

Press Release

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