A Time For Singing

I have spent these winter months with my feet up reading, writing and playing the plethora of instruments that clutter my little house here by the river.  How fortunate I am to have the will and leisure to immerse myself in the unique culture, the ballads, songs and stories, the rich history and the unparalleled beauty of my mountain home.

Like an island pristinely placed a forest sea than rolls up, over and down these craggy peaks and valleys, Madison, County North Carolina is constantly conjuring up revelations and memories of the magic that is here for the taking.  My own Isle of Patmos. (Without drugs, madness or Armageddon.)


Like every Spring for more years than I can count, I so excited to begin a new season, travelling near and far, to share these things with you.


First stop, as always, is at the Madison County Arts Center at 7:30 PM, Saturday April 22, 2017.  The Arts Center is located at 90 South Main Street in Marshall, N.C. 28753.  You can call them at (828) 649-1301 for tickets and information or visit them online at www.madisoncountyarts.com.

Many of you know of my fascination with the English folksong collector Cecil Sharp’s visit to our mountains in 1916,17 and 18.  A collection of Sharp’s photographs is presently on exhibit in MCAC’s main gallery and will be available to view the evening of my show.


Marshall has many fine establishments for food and beverage and lodging is available for those of you who would like to spend more time here along the river.  Loads of activities like hiking and white water rafting are minutes away.

You can be sure that I will be sharing some of my favorite stories of the great characters and personalities I have known while growing up in this beautiful little mountain town.  https://www.visitmadisoncounty.com

Come sit awhile with us.  I am pretty sure you will like it.:)


Until then, I remain,

Lovin’ly yourn,


A Fond Farewell

Join Cathy Arrowood and me tonight at the White Horse in Black Mountain as we put the 1916 Centennial Stories to bed.  It's been a wonderful year for us traveling and sharing the songs and stories of Madison County North Carolina during the great flood and the English Folk song Collector, Cecil Sharp's visit.  2017 will bring new stories and songs along with some "love songs" that you may not have heard. So if you want to take one more journey through this important year, come on down and bring a few friends.

The White Horse, 105 Montreal Rd., Black Mountain, N.C. 7ish, $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  For tickets and/or information call 828-669-0816 or www.whitehorseblackmountain.com.  Reserve your seat early.

Just to let you know

Dear Jo’folk,

Things are changing along the river.  The nights are cool and the trees are preparing for their extravagant fashion show.  I love these days and nights with my windows open to comforting sounds of the river mixed with the chill of Autumn’s warning of what is to come.

But what is coming up immediately is a concert tonight, October 6th,in Micaville, N.C. at 7:00 PM at the OOAK Gallery.

Tomorrow, October 7th, I’ll head down to the Midlands for a house concert in Rougemont, N.C. (near Durham.)  

Sunday October 9th, I ‘ll be in concert at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, N. C. at 4 PM.

On Sunday October 23rd I’ll be back in the mountains at the Whitehorse Music Hall in Black Mountain, N.C.

All the details are available on my website, www.joepenland.com on the tour dates page and I will attach a copy of the flyer for the Rougemont Concert below.

If you are moseying around these parts stop in and see us.

Much love,

Once upon a time evil entered

The ghost ship crept into Whitby Harbor with the mist.  Piloted by an unknown force, she gave no evidence of crew and continued until she ran aground beneath the ruins of the Abby.  Who could have imagined what dark mysterious evil lay sleeping beneath those decks?

Here you can sit on the bench and walk the very steps Bram Stoker described in the 1880's.  Creepily wonderful!  Don't let the bedbugs bite. XO

The Navy Again!!

I tried to sign on the HMS Victory, the world's oldest commissioned warship, today and was rejected for a variety of reasons, but mostly I didn't have the "proper form" in my saluting arm.  I was really surprised that my age, weight or nationality didn't come up in the conversation.  A pint of London Pride and a paper filled with fish and chips eased my disappointment.   XO