Justin Farren, Wes Collins doing a front porch-style concert at KVMR | TheUnion.com

Justin Farren, Wes Collins doing a front porch-style concert at KVMR

Sacramento's Justin Farren plays KVMR's Community Room Sunday, April 7.
Submitted Photo

WHAT: KVMR 89.5 FM presents an intimate house concert featuring singer/songwriters Justin Farren (Sacramento) and Wes Collins (North Carolina)

WHERE: KVMR Miss Rumphius Community Room, 120 Bridge Street at Spring Street, across from the Miners Foundry, downtown Nevada City.

WHEN: Sunday, April 7, 3:00 p.m.

TICKETS: $15 KVMR members, $18 general public, available online at kvmr.org/events

BROADCAST: Live on KVMR 89.5 FM, kvmr.streaming, 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

INFO: kvmr.org/events or 530-265-9073

The organizers of an upcoming KVMR 89.5 FM house concert are inviting music fans to “join us on the front porch,” according to co-producer Cheri Snook.

No, that’s not exactly true about the Sunday afternoon, April 7 performance of singer-songwriters Justin Farren from Sacramento and Wes Collins coming all the way from North Carolina.

But KVMR’s aptly named Miss Rumphius’ Community Room has such an intimate feel (and only 30 seats) that it feels like you’re watching somebody up close on a front porch.

And these two award-winners may just be the right delightful combination for the afternoon show at the Nevada City community radio station’s new building, located at 120 Bridge Street at Spring Street, across from the Miner’s Foundry. Advance tickets are now available for $18 general public, $15 KVMR members at kvmr.org.

“Together they’ll present an afternoon of enchanting music,” predicted show co-producer Laurie DesJardin, “humorous songs delivered with warmth and cleverness.”


Take Justin Farren, for instance, and “his unique lyrics and intriguing presence in performances,” noted Snook.

And winner of the Kerrville New Folk award in 2016 even though his goal in high school was pursuing an athletic career, until he and his brother decided to start a rock band.

“His master focus shifted from sports to songs,” said his wife Kerry, “and since then songs have been what mattered most.”

Along with the singer-songwriter lifestyle, he’s also a recording engineer (someone, duh, had to record his songs), house builder, 1982 Toyota truck whisperer and family man.

“Justin approaches songwriting with intense focus,” said Kerry. “The end result is a multidimensional creation that is enchanting, and also seems effortless.”

Farren’s songs, although uniquely him, are also highly relatable.

“You may find yourself thinking Justin can make a song out of any topic,” added Kerry. “His fans have been known to say, ‘There’s your next song right there, Justin!’ in reference to almost anything.”

OK, OK, but let’s leave it to the legendary host of “The Midnight Special,” perhaps the best known folk music radio show in the country during its run.

That’d be Rich Warren from WFMU and now Folk Stage Chicago.

“(Farren) is an incredibly original artist with a lot of verve and energy, and a terrific guitarist. He will absolutely charm you with the strange humor and cleverness of his lyrics,” said Warren.



Well, it’s apparent his partner that afternoon, Wes Collins, fits right into that mold.

Only he’s a librarian.

What? You can’t sing songs in a library.

But Wes probably could get away with it.

“He’s been acknowledged as a skillful guitarist with imaginative arrangements and subtle and creative lyrics,” said show co-producer Snook. “Wes’ songs are like a spring bouquet of lyrics of loveliness of subtle truth to his soul.”

“I got a late start to songwriting,” Collins acknowledged. “But I’m all about it now.”

That’s for sure.

With a first place finish in the state songwriters contest and also a Kerrville winner, Collins is definitely in the emerging lane.

In fact, listen to what the North Carolina Arts Council has to say about him:

“His skill with the guitar makes the most of his imaginative arrangements and nuanced control of cadence and phrasing, underscoring the subtlety and bite of his lyrics. He credits many other singer/songwriters in his musical tent as inspiration, including Neil Finn, Gillian Welch, Bruce Cockburn and Patty Griffin, but Collins is well on his way to establishing his own voice as one we should value.”

In fact, he’s played Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, The Threadgill Stage in Kerrville and the Blue Rock Studio Stage in Wimberly, Texas, among others, in the past year.

“And I’m hard at work writing my second album, and I’m excited about how it’s turning out,” he’s said.

Sounds like a real pair of characters will be on that “front porch.” And with KVMR’s “Art In The Garden” show and silent auction taking place that very same afternoon at the Miners Foundry, it’s going to be quite the day.


Longtime KVMR favorites Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours return to the station’s airwaves this Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m. (89.5 FM, 105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org streaming).

Antsy and gang will be bringing their proverbial “humor with heart” when they perform at the Palms Playhouse in Winters and on KVMR via a live remote broadcast.

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City’s volunteer-driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org. The station now offers national and regional public radio programming by day at The Bridge 105.7 FM, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Complete schedules available at the station’s website, http://www.kvmr.org. The station now features an easy-to-use archive of all shows at archive.kvmr.org.

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