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TajMo: Autumn in the Ozarks.

It’s almost autumn in the Ozarks. Football, Fishing,  and Fantastic Music.

Two black men riding white horses down Dickson Street dismount in front of Walton Art Center. Together, they step on stage, pick up their guitars and start playing music and telling stories.

It’s a style Keb Mo and Taj Mahal have mastered, like no other in history. A decade of difference in age, the folkie blues & modern soul artists share striking similarities; mastering multiple instraments before guitar: piano, trombone, clarinet, French horn, steel drums, harmonica, and standup bass. Although both began their careers in California, they understand the deep south’s delta blues and modern soul.

 Taj and Mo

Taj Mahal started his career with Rising Sons, and Keb Mo played with famed violinist Papa John Creech of Jefferson Airplane. Both have reached the top of their respected art, as individuals, and now have partnered to create the duo, “TajMo” – a diverse platform of brilliant artistry. When playing acoustic, they drive us towards a deep emotional journey.

The two join forces September 19th, at Walton Arts Center on Fayetteville’s playful Dickson Street.

With your tank refilled by TajMo and the sophistication of Walton Art Center still lingering, ByrdFest peaks her bohemian head from around the mountain, inviting you, September 22 – 23, to kick off your birkenstocks, and enjoy all things outdoors.


One of the Ozarks prized festivals, ByrdFest offers an array of history, experience and tribute. The Grateful Dead Experience – The Schwag, Led Zeppelin Tribute: Hindenburg Project, Undertow: A tribute to Tool, The Driftaways, Molly Adamson, and one of Arkansas’ hometown favorites, Freeverse will all be on stage performing for hula hoopers, fire dancers, and disc throwing families.

Byrdfest is hosted by Byrd’s Adventure Center. This is a rain or shine event (oddly is seems many prefer the rain.) Camping and RV parking is available on the banks of aesthetically pleasing Mulberry River.

Fire Dance

Autumn in the Ozarks, it doesn’t get any better than this. Whether you’re into sophistication and deeply rooted acoustics, or psycho jams, we know one thing for sure. The Ozarks is the place to be in Autumn.

Turn off the TV (except for the Hogs game) and leave your phone in the VW van, because the fall is upon us and there is no other place I’d rather be, than right here at home, in the Ozarks.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel lives in the Illinois Watershed and fly fishes.

I write, play mandolin, and hang with my family. I don’t use the phone much, but often watch leaves float downstream.

The Ozarks have become home for me. I work here, play here, and raise my children as good bohemians.

The Broke Philanthropist

I’ve been asked, “Why do you do what you do?” This meaning – the amount of time and effort my community and I commit to local philanthropy. The answer, “because we can.”

People, leveraging business, as a force for good. It is our responsibility to seek and do more. Be the people going above and beyond the call of duty.

Corporations exist, by definition, to build shareholder wealth. Sometimes, we humans fail to realize a corporation has no heart, no soul, no mind, yet can sue and be sued, and directs most of the money in our world.

It’s people making a difference, not brands.

What we do for ourslevesWe believe in empowering people to Feel something. It’s not only what we say, nor what we do, but rather a combination making up who we are. The issue with the majority of philanthropic acts is one and done, a monetary donation, time spent helping non-profits…the list goes on, and this is good. But, when it’s over, we walk away. Seeking advocates to consistently help another without expectations of return on investment with infinite timelines is how to make the most impact.

Seeking advocacy, for all things good is not philanthropy, it’s a lifestyle.marcel proust

Our efforts this week, in the wake of the most racist America I’ve experienced in my life, is to bring to light the good in our world. In the past many days our teams, at WhyteSpyder, have teamed, with scores of local community to help raise funds and awareness through entertainment, educations, and inspiration: every waking hour we’ve spent helping the following organizations:

NWA Food Bank

Football Frankin
Bike Ride
      Economic Opportunity Agency, The Children’s House

Changing the world starts with the person looking back at you, in the mirror. Moving outwards, through our local community, one community at a time, we collaborate and work together to empower change. You don’t have to give money, some of us, just don’t have the time. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

As the media exposes hate and racism, we will stand strong and work, even harder, as people, leveraging business, as a force for good. For more information about how to help, feel free to contact me,


Charles Kochel serves as Director of Marketing for WhyteSpyder. You’ll find him wandering and fly fishing the Ozarks.

People need our help. Through people, working together, caring about quality of life in their community can make a difference.

It’s not about the money. It’s about advocacy. It’s about Love. Life is about giving back, without expectation of return. Make a difference. Carpe’ Diem.

Back to Your ‘Roots Festival’

The beauty is Roots deep. Poetic fusion.


Culinary magicians competing for “high-south cuisine” bragging rights coupled with life changing musicians moving mountains, in diversified venues throughout the cultural epicenter of the Ozark Mountains.

To coin Fayetteville Roots Festival is like describing God, with human features, no justice. The experience is a life event, moving, tasteful, and creative.

Collaboration of art decision makers in Northwest Arkansas have stretched ‘Roots’ geographically, further bleeding melting pots of diversified cultural interest in the festival. It’s like a fondue of good vibes.


Crystal Bridges kicks off the 5 day artistic revival, hosting 3 bands, in the aesthetically mind-blowing venue, nestled conveniently in the north hills of Bentonville, AR. Oddly, you can ride your bike from Fayetteville’s Dixon Street to Crystal Bridges and never touch a road, or dirt; thanks to the Razorback Greenway…it’s a breathtaking scenic tour of about 40 miles…one way.

Thursday, true to it’s roots, Garner Farm Homestead will host, VIP, some of the best musical talent in the world, featuring the Wood Brothers. Enough said.

Friday through Sunday are all-day affairs – gorgeous, orgasmic, feel good entertainment. Roots Fest has become well-known, nationally. A gathering of the ‘who’s who’ — best-of-the-best, from those listening, dancing, and playing, in intimate Ozark venues.

Iron and Wine, The Wood Brothers, John Paul White, Smokey and the Mirror, Blind Boy Paxton, The Honey Dewdrops, Nick Offerman, Dead Man Winter, Elephant Rival, a mere drop in the bucket of talent for this year’s Root’s Festival.

It’s mind-boggling what’s going on here. If it’s not obvious, by now, tickets are difficult to come by, so leverage your peeps and dig deep, because you can’t put a price on the journey of life, and this is it.

Community, defined. Being mindful, not everyone can afford this mega event, 40% of everything happening at Roots is free. Check out the Fayetteville Library for ongoing Roots entertainment, or the late night venues including ‘spiritual’ Nederland, CO based jam artist Elephant Revival and hometown favorites Arkansauce.


But, if you’re going to do it, might as well stay up late-night, with Maxine’s Tap Room and Kingfish Dive Bar. Epic is an understatement, life changing better aligns to Fayetteville Roots Festival. Intimate, urban, music and food take place in one of the best small cities in the world.

fayetteville roots