JOPLIN, Mo. —
Once a month, the Dunns rearrange their living room.
Reed and Lee Ann Dunn and their three children move furniture to specific places. One couch goes against a sideboard. Another gets moved up against a wall. Tables are moved to other rooms, as well as a TV. Two finches, a parakeet and a conure have their cages relocated to a room downstairs.
In place of all the comfy furniture and bird domiciles, including a particularly sturdy, heavy couch, are about 40 metal folding chairs arranged in rows.
It’s part of a process that transforms the Dunn’s living room into a cozy concert hall for the Joplin House Concert Series.
“We’ve thought about getting access to a storefront downtown on a one-night basis,” Reed said. “But there’s just something about music being in the home.”
“Music already sounds good in this house,” said Lee Ann, who pointed out the hardwood floors and open living room that connects to an open dining room with double doors. “When someone is really singing, with their real voice, it resonates.”
Reed and Lee Ann have hosted a series of house concerts at their home in the 500 block of North Moffet Ave. Since March, the couple has featured several singer-songwriters in the folk and acoustic genres, including Mark Bilyeu (formerly of Big Smith), Still on the Hill and Rachael Billingsley.
Concerts are booked for the next two months, including Eine Blume on Sept. 14 and Chad Elliot on Oct. 18. The Dunns have also booked a show for Christmas, and are planning a Valentine’s Day event.
Falling in love
The Dunns met while going to college at the University of Arkansas in Fayettville. They moved to Joplin about six years ago from Philadelphia. They found the house on Moffet and loved it and the neighborhood for its urban feel.
They never bought it with house concerts in mind, however. In fact, they didn’t even stumble upon such a thing until going to a house concert in Tulsa a few years ago.
“We fell in love with the idea,” Reed said. “Our first instinct was to bellyache about how Joplin didn’t have any of these, but then we decided to do it.”
Reed said his wife is a consummate host, who could make strangers feel at home with one hand tied behind her back. And the family’s love of music made the concerts a perfect match.
Music is important to the family. Reed, pastor of Christ the King Presbyterian Church, plays banjo, guitar and drums, and was in a touring band during his college days.
Their daughters are also learning music. Jennalee, 8, is learning guitar and piano. Adeline, 7, plays mandolin. Tiki, 4, hasn’t decided on an instrument yet, but she plays a child-sized violin, and the Dunns know she’ll be singing.
The first concert featured Billingsley, a friend from Fayetteville who agreed to do the first one for free. About 14 people showed up. Since then, attendance has grown, Reed said.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Once a month, the Dunns rearrange their living room.
Stretching out: Whiskey Dick's can do more in a bigger downtown location
For the Whiskey Dick's owners, it isn't a matter of what's in a name but more of a place where everybody knows your name.
Benji Tunnell: Great CGI, solid writing make 'Apes' a near-perfect blockbuster
A couple of weeks ago, we saw "Transformers 4," a big, computer-driven blockbuster film that was symbolic of all that is wrong with filmmaking today.
Marta Churchwell: New Mexico marimba group returns for concert Sunday
They're back. Polyphony Marimba, the Santa Fe, New Mexico, band that wowed the crowd with African music during a Downtown Joplin Third Thursday last summer, received such a response to that performance that they're coming back on Sunday.
Dave Woods: Nevada regatta makes for a birthday escape
In just three weeks, I'll spend my 50th birthday floating down the Colorado River with 35,000 of my closest friends.
New festival focuses on short independent films
As Jack Truman saw his films play in festivals around the world, one lingering thought persisted: He wished that such festivals existed in his hometown area.
Glory Days Music to resume weekly in-store concerts
The staff at Glory Days Music have been working their business as usual. Musicians demonstrate guitars, drums and other instruments. Music is sold; lessons are taught. But something has been missing.
Joe Hadsall: All the hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video
I sincerely believe the "Word Crimes" video will become the most important song in history, and the most mandatory-to-watch video in schools across the country.
Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X
It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.
Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.
Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)
The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.
Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.
AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.
Tantric tours in support of latest studio album
"37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.
New exhibit combines works of married couple
Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.
- More Enjoy Headlines
- Stretching out: Whiskey Dick's can do more in a bigger downtown location