The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm: Friends Express Their Appreciation

a new banner for frog pond articleThe Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm has grown into something quite magical, now in its sixth and wonderful year. It provides proof that dreams can come true.

Music enthusiast Cathe Steele had a vision to open a place on her farm where musicians and fans could come together in an inviting environment free from the restraints common to this crazy old world. Regardless of economic means, amount of education, political views and religion, two or three hundred folks convene each Sunday at Steele’s picturesque farm in Silverhill, AL for what has been commonly called “The Frog Pond Sunday Social”.

After consistent encouragement from others including musician and friend Grayson Capps, Cathe opened her home to others in 2011. This has had a positive affect on so many lives.

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Inspired in part by Levon Helm’s “Midnight Rambles”, The Frog Pond brings an added southern charm, grace and hospitality unseen in my many years and miles of travel while following music.

The outstanding list of talent includes Tony Joe White, Steve Forbert, Willis Alan Ramsey, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathis, Webb Wilder, The Mulligan Brothers, Lisa Mills, Spencer Bohren, Sergio Webb, Eric Erdman, David Olney, Nikki Talley, Randall Bramblett, Colin Lake, Bill Kirchen, Colin Linden, Phil Madeira, Chris Mule, Lightnin’ Malcolm, John Mooney, Bridgette DeMeyer, Molly Thomas, Papa Mali, Andrew Duhon, Harrison McInnis, Mary Gauthier, Luther Dickinson, Dylan LeBlanc and many more who have been performing “in the round” setting since the very first show.

Songs have been written about the Frog Pond, albums have been recorded and videos filmed. The magazine “Southern Rambler” was formed at the Frog Pond as was the supergroup Willie Sugarcapps featuring the already established Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane, Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes.

11Willie Sugarcapps at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm (Painting by Robby Amonett; frame by Jay Everett.)

Sound man Andy Cannon has shown his remarkable skill working with the elements of an outdoor show and multiple musicians on stage. Grammy-winning Trina Shoemaker has also consistently proven to be amazing with her involvement with The Frog Pond.

Photographer-writer Chad Edwards wrote a beautiful article, “Down on Blue Moon Farm at a Place Called Frog Pond” in Legends magazine (page 20) that details this little of piece of heaven. Lynn Oldshue, writer and editor at Southern Rambler has also written several articles about the Frog Pond. We encourage you read their articles. (See links following comments)

When Stephen Anderson (photographer), Robby Amonett (artist) and I decided to do an article about “The Frog Pond” at The Southland Music Line, we didn’t want to repeat such outstanding thoughts about this magical place. We firmly believed this is place about the musicians, the friends, volunteers and fans who frequent the Frog Pond, and of course the one who made it all possible, Cathe Steele.

fpo09Cathe Steele at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm “It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This”.

Sure, it’s impossible to reach total perfection and every great place is always a work in progress. The Frog Pond is continuing to improve and make things even better with the upcoming building of a barn that will serve for multiple purposes including an indoor stage, recording studio and more -The anticipation is high!

We presented a question to approximately a hundred or more people who often verbally express a love for The Frog Pond and what Cathe has done for music in the region. Every single person we approached wanted to have a part, but due to time restraints all weren’t able to participate. The love shown for this incredible place and for Cathe Steele is abundant.

Thank you to The Frog Pond, Greg Syde, the volunteers, the musicians and most definitely Cathe Steele.

frog pond family

The following are a sample of the heart-warming things often said about The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm. Several have expressed a desire to comment and this is from the 40 or more who responded in time for this article. If time would have allowed the number would have easily surpassed a much higher number.  This is evidence of the love generated at The Frog Pond.

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 The Frog Pond at Blue Moon farm is a little bit of musical heaven on earth. Cathe has created a place for artists and music lovers, like no other! There is this feeling of pure magic when you are there, sitting under the massive cedar tree, listening to the amazing talents of various singer/songwriters/artists! The experience of being in this idyllic place with other like-minded, music loving friends each Sunday afternoon, is personally healing for me! That healing gives me nothing less than pure joy! For that feeling of joy and bliss Cathe Steele, I am eternally grateful.

Glenda Campbell
Pensacola, FL

27Frog Pond favorite Glenda Campbell before showtime at The Frog Pond.

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This may sound cliché but The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm changed our lives. It has inspired us to have house concerts, host musicians, and start a new business. We have always loved music, particularly live music, but we did not really experience the close connection between the audience and the artist until we came to The Frog Pond. Cathe Steele’s vision and attention to detail has created a truly magical place where each and every show is intimate, special, and unique. The Pond is a place of acceptance, spirituality, and community. The Sunday Socials are the highlight of our week!

 Jeffrey and Suzanne Zimmer
Baldwin County Public Records

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The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farms in Silverhill, AL is a 31 acre musical oasis in the competitive, repetitive, beer pushing, whiskey soaked, pig roasting, big screen tv watching desert of music venues throughout the world.  It is a place where the formative years of playing and singing on the porch with friends and family return to even the most seasoned veterans to provide a relaxed, poignant, unpretentious, empathetic musical experience for all.  The walls are smashed, the fences bulldozed, and the primordial ooze of connectivity is restored, reminding us every Sunday afternoon that we are all frogs in the same pond together as one on this strange orb soaring through the universe.

Grayson Capps
Musician
www.graysoncapps.com

fp03After consistent encouragement from others including musician and friend Grayson Capps (above), Cathe opened her home to others in 2011.

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It’s like going to a family reunion…unconditional friendship, music, food, sharing stories and nonjudgmental feelings. Cathe has evolved her home into a comfortable, peaceful, loving environment. It’s Zen at its best. Love her and all that support her passion…

Nancy Hughes

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Personally, what Cathe has done is hard to sum up in words. The magic of The Frog Pond really has to be experienced first-hand to truly be appreciated.  She opens her home to folks each week, some already friends, some strangers, and by the end of the evening, you have a whole bunch of new friends and you realize that we are all indeed part of something bigger and more important.  A lot of people have said that The Frog Pond is their church- I agree.

Ragan Workman Megginson
Fairhope, AL

 

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There are people in this world that think of others before themselves, none do so more genuinely than Cathe Steele There are a few places in this world that actually put music first, none do so more genuinely than the Frog Pond. There are communities that promote positivity and togetherness, none do so more genuinely than the community of music lovers and music makers who inhabit the Frog Pond. May the genuine positivity that flows from the Frog Pond flow forever. And long live Cathe Steele!

Eric Erdman
Musician
www.EricErdmanmusic.com

 

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Surely whenever a musician dies and goes to that Great Gig in the Sky, it’s gonna be a lot like the Frog Pond….smiling people gathered under a great tree to fellowship and groove to the music on a sunny afternoon. Thanks to Cathe and her crew for creating a little bit of heaven in lower Alabama!

Cary Hudson
Musician
www.CaryHudson.com

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The Frog Pond has exceptional meaning to Anthony and me, and to all of the members of Willie Sugarcapps. It is a part of us. It’s where we (Willie Sugarcapps) were created. It’s one of the places we derive our inspiration from. We have watched Cathe’s dream, with the help of Grayson Capps, Corky, Greg, and lots of volunteers, take a life of its own. A gathering place to socialize, breathe some fresh air and enjoy some of the finest music in the country. It’s a place where artists have an opportunity to meet each other, jam with each other, be completely spontaneous, all unrehearsed in front of hundreds of people. The anticipation of the season opening builds every year throughout the summer and we are honored to be the ones to welcome everyone back. She allows us all to take a piece of her paradise and claim it as our own. It is a beautiful thing.

Savana Crawford/Anthony Crawford
Members of Sugarcane Jane & Willie Sugarcapps
Admiral Bean Studios in Loxley, AL
www.sugarcanejane.com

04Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford aka Sugarcane Jane at the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

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I played the Baldwin County Public Records show with Anthony Crawford and my fellow ‘Label-ers”.  It’s another world–a step away from reality, and into an ethereal country backyard space of music lovers, fire kettles, and good food. The eyes are just as warm as the hearts. No “smoke and lights”, except for the occasional cigarette, and the strings of lights between the trees. It’s a church for some, and a family for everyone. Cathe has created a haven…a heaven on earth, if there could be one.

Lauren Kay
Music artist w/Baldwin County Public Records,

Asst. Worship Leader Northstar Church,
Midnight Confessions house band @ Nolan’s Restaurant and Lounge
www.LaurenKaymusic.com

 

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Why do I love The Frog Pond? Because it can’t be described.

 Sure, you can tell people about the mechanics of the place; tell them about the great food and wonderful people. You can tell them how at least one of the dogs (usually Doobie) ends up in a food coma by the end of the show. Tell them about the cabin, the chickens, the big tree, the Sugar Shack and the beautiful music that flows from the stage. Tell them how it is a place that is respectful to artists and fans alike, and folks of all colors and creeds are welcome. Tell them it is a sort of cathedral, and the music is the sacrament. Tell people all these things and more, but it won’t matter, because The Frog Pond can’t be described.

 No, The Frog Pond must be experienced.

 Only after sitting in The Listening Zone, experiencing the music under that grand old tree can a person really know what The Frog Pond is. It takes Bucket, the Three-Legged Dog stealing the rest of your sandwich after the set break (and he will if you look away for even a SECOND) to really know what The Frog Pond is. When you make friends based on mutual love of music, and nothing else, you will know what The Frog Pond is. And when you observe and become part of the community the place fosters you will not only know what The Frog Pond is, but will have become a part of it as well.

 So, if you’ve never been, get on the list, and come on out for a show. Friends are waiting for you!

Timothy Hickey
Mobile, AL

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Cathe Steele is an amazing spirit who has created a community of artists and music-lovers. She brings people together through music and inspires friendships that flourish and become bonds of genuine love. She is one of the most hard-working, caring, interesting, and loving people I know. The Frog Pond has made a significant impact in my life and those who I now consider family. We share a common bond of music, community, and love. Thank you, Cathe, for creating The Frog Pond. Earl blessed us when you were born.

Susie Hickey
Mobile, AL

 

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The Blue Moon Farm (in general) and the metaphor articulated in “The Frog Pond” specifically are probably enough to insure its fame and Campbell-esque assentation into the world of legend.  But there are many things that go into making legends.  Not only is there the epic story of Grayson (Capps) and Cathe (Steele) pushing each other to bring it into fruition, but there is the vision, the professionalism of all the craftsmen who have followed Greg and Cathe’s lead, the unique materials recycled, up-cycled or re-purposed, the art that is built into the place and added by so many talented supporters, the song writers and musicians, their music and accessibility …   The Frog Pond is in part a community denoted by the shared interest in music, craftsmanship and vision, part an expression of personalities, sensibilities and art.  But it is still more than that.  Somehow, someway, if ever a place could be said to have a soul it would have to be The Frog Pond.  If ever a place could be said to be inherently soothing, it would be The Frog Pond.  It most definitely is synergistic and it most definitely is Cathe.  Grayson once remarked that all we see at The Frog Pond was once just a dream in Cathe’s head and now how amazing it was to see how wonderful Cathe’s dreams are.  I couldn’t agree more.

William [Bill) Gosnell, Jr.
Daphne, AL

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The Frog Pond to me is my sanctuary. As soon as I turn in to park my car, it’s like being on sacred ground…my stress is gone and a smile is plastered on my face and heart.  There is no feeling to compare it too…its home, it’s family, it’s love.  I love music and Cathe always puts musicians together that are just out of this world wonderful.  When the music starts and the goose bumps on my body start, I’m swept away and my soul is smiling.  Cathe is a beautiful lady inside and out. She goes out of her way to welcome you to her home..it’s paradise.  I love all the friends I have met over the years at The Pond and once again I say it’s family.  I love The Pond and I could not even imagine life without it…the music, the people, the atmosphere…purely magical.  We are blessed that Cathe has turned her beautiful farm in to musical paradise.. I love you Cathe !

Cindy McNeil
Daphne, AL

SCA_5429Another beautiful evening of music at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm.

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A community created through music. What could be better? Cathe has created a place of magic infused with love.

Simone Lipscomb
Writer/Photographer

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The Frog Pond is our fairy-tale. When we arrive, it feels like we have stepped into a whole other dimension. All of our worries and stress disappear as we are taken on an enchanted journey of music with Cathe Steele as our narrator. There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Jason & Wendy Byrd

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Thanks to Cathe Steele who’s creation enables multiple afternoons filled with musical gumbo that combines soul-full talent so rich in our region in a mesmerizing rural setting simply called the Frog Pond.  If you haven’t been, you oughta….

Rick Hirsch
Musician
(Alabama & Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductee
as a member of Wet Willie)

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If there is a place where music and magic meet, it’s at the Frog Pond. Cathe makes the magic.

John Geppert

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In a nutshell the atmosphere and ambiance that radiates from the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm is so unique that you want to experience it again and again . And with such nuances it has restored my faith in singer/songwriter talent that real music still exists, I’m talking real good music!

Edie Ward
Fairhope, AL

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When we moved to L.A. from Texas three years ago Pat and I were a little down about leaving behind all of our music friends. It wasn’t long after we arrived that we met Suzanne and Jeff Zimmer and Molly and Richard Chin. Our wonderful new friends introduced us to the magic of Frog Pond and what Cathe Steele has done for musicians and music lovers in this community. It is truly a blessing and we are so thankful for Cathe and our Frog Pond Family!

Jenny Andrews
Fairhope, AL

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To me, the Frog Pond is not a place. It is a feeling. It is the embodiment of the feeling of: Acceptance… Support. A place where the love of real music can be touched. Music. Those who create it, and those who love it are side-by-side and hand in hand. It IS a place on the map, but more importantly, it is a home. It’s where Cathe lives. It’s where music lives. It’s where love resides. It is a Nation state of tangible dreams, and Cathe is our fearless leader.

Harrison McInnis
Musician
Mobile, AL

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The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm is a place of magic. From the time you are greeted at the fence… To walking through the yard as you approach the very welcoming farm home …. To the smells of the old fashioned “dinner on the ground” …. To the chandeliers hanging from the trees, the fire pits, the three legged dog, the strangers who by the end of the evening are newfound friends, and of course the music. Ahhhh how music brings us together … Which is the whole point right!!! Success Cathe!!! Thank you so much for opening your home and your heart to us!!! One of my favorite places on earth…. The Frog Pond!!!

Vickie Collier Newell
Mobile, AL

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20151214-SCA_3653(1)A Frog Pond favorite, Harry Stewart sharing his expression of appreciation on the fence at The Frog Pond.

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Cathe Steele is a force of Nature!  Her Frog Pond concert series at the Blue Moon Farm is a perfect example.  What kind of person would envision a live, all-acoustic, songwriter-centric, dedicated listening-room venue miles from any highway in rural Alabama and then invite not one, but three and four notable artists to perform every week during a long season of concerts and expect to generate enough income to pay everyone fairly?  Well, Cathe Steele, for one.  She has accomplished this seemingly impossible task with a laid-back approach to business and folks are just bustin’ to come to the shows and hear the music.

Oh, that’s the other thing . . . the Music!  The aforementioned artists, without exception, are known for performing full concerts, quite often in famous or legendary venues.  But not at the Frog Pond.  Cathe Steele requires them, no matter how well-known they may be, to share the stage with one another and “pass the songs around” whether they’ve ever met the other performers or not.  And that makes all the difference!  The musicians end up doing unpredictable things and singing unpredictable songs which in turn offers the audience a rare opportunity to witness great artists walk the tightrope with other great artists.  It’s a win/win. 
Additionally, Cathe’s enthusiasm and big heart inspires a community of volunteers, stage hands and technical assistants who welcome the musicians and audience into this special world they have created and curated strictly because of a love of great music.  Oh, and did I mention the pot luck dinners? 
 There’s just no place else quite like it!  Y’all come.
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Spencer Bohren
Musician

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Making the magic happen at the Frog Pond on a weekly basis is part crowd, part Cathe, part musicians and a healthy dose of worker bees.  On weekends from May through September volunteers gather to listen to Cathe’s ideas  for decks, rooms, walls and other structures and then turn those ideas into reality.  One summer the Sugar Shack sprang up, another saw the creation of the writer’s cabin.  This summer saw some major structural changes to the main house as well as a greatly expanded deck for conversations.During the season each Saturday is a day of mowing, raking, cleaning, pruning and tidying up.  Inventory is taken and provisions are gathered.  On the morning of each show folks drift in to blow and sweep the leaves away and start setting things up.  Firewood is gathered, Tables are covered with fresh cloths and  plates, bowls, forks, spoons and napkins are stacked.  The musicians and sound crew arrive.

About an hour before the gate opens Glenda arrives with delicious food for the musicians.  Phyllis puts the coffee on to brew.  Ragan settles in at the gate and the merchandise table gets set up.  Leslie goes scrambling for serving utensils and bowls to hold the boxes of chicken and wonderful dishes soon to arrive.

As the guests start to arrive, watchful eyes look for newbies and help them find their way to restrooms, food and good spots for their chairs.  Sweet and savory dishes are laid out.  During the show Tim will keep a watchful eye out and remove empty bowls and platters which magically get washed for their trip home.   Greg, Bill and Richard keep the garbage cans emptied.  Jay mans the fires.  Leslie shushes folks who forget about the listening zone.

There are many more folks doing jobs big and little who didn’t get named.  All are appreciated.  Anyone wanting to get more involved in our many projects should let Cathe or one of us know!

Leslie Mulcahy
Fairhope, AL

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The Frog Pond is a beautiful place where we have made many special friends. We were blessed to meet the person we would meant to marry. Before moving to North Carolina, we had the honor of being married at the farm. The Frog Pond is irreplaceable and cannot be copied. We look forward to returning to The Frog Pond and spending many Sundays to come in our future. Thank you, Cathe!

John and Michele Boland
Charlotte, NC

 

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It seems like a hundred years ago when Cathe Steele reached out to me about playing the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm.  I suppose because it’s become such a vital part of my life and work.

After all, I showed up down there on a cool afternoon, met Grayson Capps, Savana Lee Crawford, met Anthony Crawford again, gave my old friend Corky Hughes a hug, and we took the stage.  The Willie Sugarcapps phase of my life had begun, though I did not know it yet. 

Since then, I’ve looked forward to each Fall, Winter and Spring—Frog Pond season.

And while the Willie Sugarcapps thing is a huge part of why I love it down there, my other Frog Pond shows have been amazing, too.  I feel like I grow a little bit each time I’m there.  It’s kind of like my soul gets to stretch out and just be itself.  Maybe that’s it: it’s easy to be yourself at the Frog Pond.

But maybe getting to collaborate on the spot and improvise in real time with the likes of Eric Taylor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bill Kirchen, Webb Wilder, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Jimbo Mathus, Cary Hudson, Willis Alan Ramsey, Brigitte DeMeyer…and Willie Sugarcapps, among many others—maybe getting to do that is another big part of why I love playing the Frog Pond so much.

Maybe it’s all those soulful dogs and horses.  Maybe it’s the amazing volunteers.  Maybe it’s Cathe and Greg. Maybe it’s the beautiful Baldwin County setting, in Fall, Winter and Spring…the bonfires at night…the hula hoopers and dancers in moonlight and firelight. 

Maybe it’s all the friends I’ve made. 

I’m still sorting it out.  I guess there are just too many good things to say about Cathe Steele getting me together with my friends in Willie Sugarcapps and setting up such a truly sweet situations for both musical artists and also people who love musical art. 

I just love the people and the place.

Will Kimbrough
Musician
www.WillKimbrough.com
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20160208-SCA_3684Will Kimbrough at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm
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Frog Pond is one of my favorite venues… The Old School creative Vibe is great… The interaction between artists and crowd is genuine and impromptu. This is what America is all about!! Quote me on that! 🙂

Lightnin Malcolm
Musician
www.LightninMalcolm.com

 

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My first trip to the Frog Pond was Oct. 7, 2012. I was struggling to write a story for Sense magazine about the best ski resorts and went to the Frog Pond for inspiration or a distraction. I wrote a few lines about Jackson Hole, but took more notes about the Frog Pond for the story I would rather write.  The idea for The Southern Rambler and covering local music started that day under an oak tree in front of the stage as Grayson Capps made jokes about neighbors shooting squirrels for supper and Jon Cook sang about boats, Casey Jones and Alabama Girls. A few shows later, Cathe Steele introduced me to Michelle Stancil and I found my Rambler partner. It is where I met some of my closest friends–Eric Erdman, JD Crowe and The Zimmers. I can’t imagine my life without those people or Michelle and The Southern Rambler.

There are memories of Pirates Take the Pond fundraisers, watching Andrew Duhon sing “Beautiful Girls,” and The Mulligan Brothers and Willie Sugarcapps playing “Atlantic City” together.  

 There have been interviews with songwriters I would never have met. In our conversation after the show on the empty stage, Eric Taylor said, “There is a difference in the feeling between love and lust and writing is the same way. You know when you are blowing smoke up someone’s ass or really kissing them. Writing is very physical. It is about seeing someone’s eyes, or touching their lips, their face, their belly, or the top of their head.  It has to touch you in a way that makes a difference. It’s like touching someone’s lips or their belly.”
 
Cathe Steele created that place of real love with her Frog Pond. There is physical and emotional contact between music, musicians, and listeners. It is listening to music that is created in the moment and will never be made again. It is slowing down and seeing people for who they really are and it is volunteers who put others first. A Sunday at the Frog Pond touches, inspires and heals in ways that makes a difference. 

That little farm in the middle of nowhere with chandeliers hanging from trees, a three-legged dog, and a dreamer who opens up her farm to strangers and tells them to secretly do acts of kindness helped me find my purpose. Cathe Steele and the Frog Pond changed my life.
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Lynn Oldshue
Southern Rambler / Our Southern Souls
www.thesouthernrambler.com

06Southern Rambler’s Lynn Oldshue with legendary musician Bill Kirchen at The Frog Pond

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Richard and I love the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm because it’s such a unique music venue Cathe Steele established that really focuses on the artists coming together, complimenting one another, and delivering powerful shows that are different from week to week.

The fellowship, food and fun and homey vibe is such a delight! A true melting pot of folks come together (musicians and fans) for extraordinary Sunday’s that can’t be topped. A lot of hard work goes into making such a magical place and we are grateful for all the volunteers and Cathe and Greg for enriching our lives, and giving us such a positive place to meet folks that have become like family.

It’s also refreshing to hear the musicians in the listening zone where there are no outside distractions. Kudos Cathe Steele and all who make the season so great!!

Richard & Mollie Chin
Fairhope, AL

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The Frog Pond is an excellent place to enjoy live music on a Sunday afternoon.  The outdoor setting is relaxed as a picnic for two. At the same time has a family gathering type of vibe as well. Everyone brings food and treats to share while listening to some of their favorite musicians in the area. The Pond has some of the best music you can hear on the Eastern Shore and a great place to enjoy and relax on a Sunday afternoon.

Steven Lorenat
Mobile, AL

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The Frog Pond was one of the first places we visited shortly after moving down for our initial winter stay a few years back.  We instantly felt welcomed and loved the vibe.  It’s all about the tunes.  And that has everything to do with Cathe Steele.  She’s a true listener and champion of the song.  Thanks Cathe for the inspiration and all that you do!
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Ed & Kim Anderson
Musician
www.eddavidanderson.com

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I love walking through gates at The Frog Pond and feeling all the cares, worries and concerns of everyday life melt away and be replaced by peace, love and music.

Brenda Parsley Germany
Pascagoula, MS

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In the past, people lived, worked, shopped, attended church, and played with their neighbors.  Our lives now are fragmented, our activities may be miles apart and the people we know don’t know each other.  At the Frog Pond, Cathe Steele has recreated something we’ve almost lost – a real community.  Brought together by a love of music, whether as a performer or member of the audience, people convene on Sunday afternoons and share food and music. They may socialize or just listen and enjoy being outdoors in a convivial setting.  Most important is the concept of listening.  In establishing and maintaining a “Listening Zone”  people respect each other’s right to enjoy what brought us together:  musicians who enjoy really, really being heard.  And hopefully, this carries over into the rest of our lives where listening is also a lost art.  The Frog Pond is truly an oasis in the chaos, and music is definitely a universal language.  I love being part of this community;  it is a valuable part of my life.
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Julie F. Pittman
Fairhope, AL

 

line dividerWhat can I say about The Frog Pond Sunday Social at Cathe Steele’s Blue Moon Farm that hasn’t been said by others? My first experience at The Frog Pond was the Halloween party where it all started. I didn’t know anybody there except Grayson Capps and the band. There were familiar faces of people I would see at other Grayson shows, but nobody I really knew. That was an epic night! Many folks dressed up including the Band. I immediately felt an energy of what I wasn’t exactly sure, but it was like magic. I met Cathe Steele, who shared her home with complete strangers, and there was that feeling of love and peace. After the Frog Pond Sunday Socials officially opened, I was there at the beginning and it was like magic. I love music and that was my original thought when I came over from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I was there for the music. This was the best venue for live music, but it quickly became more than the music, it was a community of people who became like family. Where else could you go on a Sunday afternoon and break bread with others who were there for the music, the good food brought by all the visitors to share, and the fellowship. Cathe Steele put together the most magical experience I have ever had. Quickly, total strangers became friends and family. We all care for each other and the artists who played on that stage were not just amazing singers, musicians and songwriters, they were always very approachable and I have no doubt that The Frog is one of their favorite venues to play. Cathe Steele has created a one of a kind place on her beautiful farm where you hear awesome original music from the songwriters, who often tell you about their inspiration for writing their songs. This is my happy place. I feel so peaceful when I am there and it is because of the community of people who are there most every Sunday. I have met more people from Mississippi in Silverhill, Alabama through the Frog Pond. With every Sunday Social I attend, I meet someone new. It is my addiction, I don’t feel my week starts out right if I miss a Sunday. One thing that always happens at the end of the show is Cathe’s warm wishes for a good week ahead and her loving comment for everyone to do something nice for someone every day, and if you tell about it, it doesn’t count, I love and miss my Frog Pond family and can’t wait for the new season to begin. Thanks to Cathe Steele for sharing your home and working so hard to have this amazing place you share, I hope you feel the joy you bring to all who come there, and especially folks like me, who hate to have to drive home and leave this place. Cathe Steele, you are definitely my hero.

Cindy Sibley
Ocean Springs, MS

 

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The Frog Pond and Cathe Steele are very special to me. The first time I ever stepped foot on that property, I knew it was something special even before I ever stepped foot on that stage.

At first sight, you could just feel something come over you. As a musician, you get there early to set up, so not a lot of people are there other than the wonderful people who volunteer to help make things run smoothly. You kind of take it all in for its natural beauty.

Then slowly, as the musicians set up and people begin to arrive, something magical happens. All of a sudden there is this wonderful fellowship of like-minded individuals who are all there to share in this magnificent experience of music, stories, food and friendship…..and maybe a little wine! It’s a place where music, nature, animals and people all come together and for those few hours, nothing else in the world really seems to matter.

I love it because every time I have played there, I’ve sat in with a different line up of musicians and songwriters. I really enjoy being a part of musicians playing together for the first time and hearing the outcome.

The Frog Pond will forever be one of my all time favorite places to play and Cathe Steele will always hold a special place in my heart! What a beautiful venue and soul. Thanks for allowing me to experience it!

Gram Rea
Musician
Ocean Springs, MS

20151214-SCA_3614Gram Rea at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

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When I came upon The Frog Pond, I was going through a real struggle trying to help take care of my Mom (she died 2 years ago today) work a full time job and still find time for me & my family when I stumbled across a Frog Pond post shared by a FB friend.  I can’t remember who it was now but once I read about it and saw the pictures I decided right then and there that I would get on the list and go to “get away from it all” and enjoy a Sunday afternoon off from taking care of my Mom.

Little did I know I would immediately fall in love with Cathe, The Frog Pond atmosphere and every person I’ve met there.  It was like I was supposed to go there; especially when I met Cathe’s Mom, Memo.  She was such a wonderful, beautiful person to me; she gave me a big hug which was exactly what I needed at the time.  You see, my Mom couldn’t hug me anymore because she had the last stages of Alzheimer’s but Memo filled in for her that day in a big way.

The Frog Pond has and continues to touched me deep in my soul; I consider it a blessing to be able to attend each one.  Cathe is a wonderful person; I think she might get a little of that from her Mom but what she has done with The Frog Pond is amazing to me.  The farm setting is so peaceful, it’s decorated perfectly and the guest are so down to earth and loving.  It’s like Cathe hand picks her guests and the songwriters to be in “perfect harmony” every Sunday.  I believe it’s a labor of love for her; she is such a people and music lover it’s obvious she really enjoys hosting each one.  She is definitely the perfect Frog Pond hostess with all her music connections and friends.  The music and songwriters I’ve heard there have been amazing but of course my favorites are the members of Willie C. Sugarcapps!  I even traveled to Brewton to see them…not that I could ever keep up with the DUH’s!

I can’t make it there every Sunday but I hope to attend many more Sunday Socials with my Frog Pond friends/family.  I can’t wait for Sound Check Sunday to get here so we can raise some money for a new barn.

See you at the Sunday Social!
Oh, and don’t forget to bring a covered dish…I like all the good food too!

Christine (Chris) Kennedy
Mobile, AL

 

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The Frog Pond. What a magical place. Where else can you share the stage with fellow singer/songwriters swapping songs and sharing the love underneath a big ole tree in the backyard of a farm house surrounded by chickens, dogs and horses? Almost like “Supper on the ground” from my memories from growing up in church.  Thank you to Cathe and everyone at Blue Moon Farm for providing such an opportunity of fellowship. Amen and Hallelujah!

Lisa Mills
Musician
www.LisaMills.com

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Cathe, thank you for building a home for all of us wayward souls to come home to.  We are all your children.

Shannon Bottrell
Fairhope, AL

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Cathe Steele and The Frog Pond have affected me in so many ways but if I was to pick one example of what she has done for me then I would say that she put the music back into my soul!  My wife and I moved here about 10 months ago, we didn’t know anyone and didn’t know the trajectory of our new life.   Then the Frog Pond Tribe opened up their arms in a loving embrace of friendship and kinship to us.   We came from an area in Illinois where the music has been dulled and, over time, I stopped writing music and playing my guitar.  Little did I know that I was going to be thrust into a world of writers, musicians, producers and artists all of whom inspire me in so many amazing ways.   The love of music and the passion to create it is back in my heart and I am surrounded by some of the most interesting and amazing people.   Thank you Cathe Steele for creating a magical world filled with light, laughter. love and music!  

Scott Bottrell
Fairhope, AL                                                                                                                     

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Cathe Steele understands the power of music, and for those few hours of sharing it with friends and strangers we are of one heart. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Cathy Collins
Mobile, AL

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The Frog Pond is a magical place where musicians and music lovers commune. It is a place where you meet new and interesting people who share a common love and live music. There is nothing like it; it is spiritual, like going to church…no matter what your religion, music is the common denominator. It lets everyone expand their “circles” and in the expand their consciousness. Thank you to Cathe and her vision for affording us all the opportunity to be part of such a special community!!

Keith & Wendy Necaise
Mobile, AL

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What one sees through rose-colored glasses one day may appear in shades of gray the next. It’s a matter of perspective. This is what creates stories, music and songs with each one being totally unique depending on what glasses one is wearing at the time that it’s written.

Ron and I have never failed to see the wonder and appreciate the magic that happens at the Frog Pond…our perspective. There, we feel love and acceptance with lots of hugs and conversations with old friends and first-time time visitors.

I’m not the only one who has called The Frog Pond “heaven on earth”.  Many others have said the same…their perspective. It’s almost a spiritual experience, one that merges the body and soul and makes one feel “whole”. The rest of the world with it’s worries and burdens disappear. If there is truly a “heaven on earth”, this is the place.

Once the music starts we’re pulled into the musician’s world as we listen to sometimes wonderful, sometimes tragic, but always beautiful stories. We listen as the musicians share a their perspective of this world with us…such talent!

I think that anyone who has ever visited The Frog Pond, this magical place, can all agree that it’s a positive, rose-colored colored environment that no shades of gray can ever penetrate.

Ron and Cindy Thamert
Ocean Springs, MS

 

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I first experienced the Frog Pond but a short 6 months following my husband’s passing. The timing was impeccable. Pulling in, I immediately knew I was on hallowed ground. One could say, it’s a main reasons I uprooted my family from Ca. and moved. Cathe Steele is a natural Impresario’, and if the Frog Pond be my Church, she is The High Priestess. This September will be the 3rd time I’ve had the honor to be included in one of her magical rounds. Cathe has a way of connecting musicians who may not have met otherwise, but who naturally compliment one another, sometimes leading to the formation of new emerging acts or recording sessions. Anyone in the business, knows this feat takes near supernatural powers to accomplish. She hosts the best in local regional national, and at times, international talent, making for a kind of ‘magical musical stew’. When I’m not playing, being on the land is ‘soul medicine’, and the collaborations witnessed are many times mind-blowing.

Having spent near 2 decades in Ca. working & studying the West Coast style of “story-telling” and folk/rock, I also take the Frog Pond as “school”, where I can soak in & study the top ‘crafters’ in the arena of “Southern Song Writing”.  Above all, it is a safe haven that continues to selflessly give back to the community, filling Lower Alabama  hearts minds & ether with a tapestry of art and unity.

What would we ever do w/o you? Long Live the Frog Pond!

Lauren Murphy
Musician
www.LaurenMurphy.com
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We don’t really know where to begin. I have been the Head Sound Engineer for The Frog Pond since day one although I have worked with Cathe Steele for going on 10 years starting when she was handling the live music part of Pirate’s Cove. Workin’ with the writers and pickers that have graced the Frog Pond stage and workin’ with Cathe has  been an absolute delight. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Rhonda, my better half, doesn’t normally frequent situations like this as it’s normally not for everybody but, The Frog Pond bug bit her as it does many others. With the Frog Pond, we have yet to hear of anyone who hasn’t had a pleasant experience. We both realized early on that the atmosphere and the spirit of that place and what it is built around is UNMATCHED and seems to be UNWAVERING. We love everything about The Frog Pond and count down the days until next season. We love ALL of the volunteers and characters affiliated with that marvelous place and a big THANK YOU to Cathe Steele for asking us to be a part of The Frog Pond Family and for providing me the opportunity to continue doing what I love. Much Love to all from Big Andy’s Camp. May the Great Spirit bless each and every step and breath you all take and every note that’s played.

Rhonda and “Big Andy” Cannon
Big Andy is the Sound Engineer at The Frog Pond

SCA_4741Andy Cannon, sound engineer, at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm.

 

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I feel like there is a consciousness rising in our world. One where people are wanting to feel more connection between one another. A world where the sense of community is strong and people work together out of love to reach a common goal of joy and peace. This world is happening right now at The Frog Pond. A place where we come to celebrate music, food, people and the beauty of nature. That energy flows with grace right onto the stage because Ive got to say of course, there is a sense of Magic that happens between the musicians unlike any other place I have ever played. There is the innocence of not knowing whats going to happen next (musically speaking) but also a feeling of complete ease and trust in the moment. There is a presence between the band and the audience that allows the music to breathe and almost feel as if its “floating”.  As musicians, there really is no greater gift than to get to experience these moments on stage. We are all so fortunate for Cathe and Grayson for talking about this and making it a reality. The world is more connected because of it. Thank you both and everyone who helps to make this magic happen in our little corner of the world.

John Milham
Musician
Laurel, MS

 

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The Frog Pond means more to me than words could ever express…it’s a natural extension of myself. It’s the family, it’s the music, it’s the food, it’s the smell in the air of pastures, horses and cotton fields.  It’s the hugs from friends, it’s the campfires after the music, it’s the breakfast in the mornings after…It’s the dogs barking, it’s the annoying gnats, it’s the beer soaked memories of family brought together by music!! It’s more than I can ever explain in words. There’s a love in the air that’s thicker than the humidity will ever be…It’s a part of myself that will never fade away. It’s a part of all of us that brings us together 6 months out of the year….Thank you to Cathe, Greg, and everyone else who makes the Frog Pond Sunday Social  happen on those beautiful Sundays, cold and hot… – I Love you all more than words can ever tell. 🙂

Chad Edwards
Road Manager/Photographer/MCE Photography/Writer
Laurel, MS

32Chad Edwards at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm. In 2016, he wrote a spectacular article about the Frog Pond in Legends magazine. Click Here for article.

 

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The Frog Pond Sunday Social is how I charge my batteries for the next week. I just can’t get the greatness of it all off my mind. Oh, did I mention Grayson’s mother’s Banana Pudding, it is to die for?

Stephen “Andy” Anderson
Photographer with The Southland Music Line
Pascagoula, MS

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We discovered The Pond a few years ago and have tried to return every year. On a good year we might manage two trips, but it’s a long way from Northumberland UK. It’s like a pilgrimage, something that we need to do to recharge our batteries. We have made some wonderful friends over the years and are always made welcome. In fact, Cathe has assured us that we always have a place by the fire…….that means a so much.


Our admiration for Cathe and The whole Frog Pond family and what they have achieved is difficult to describe but we love them all and the musical oasis they have created…..and we are going back in six weeks for the last three shows of 2016!

Tina and David Short
Northumberland, U.K.

 

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The Frog Pond is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever painted. Nestled underneath shade trees, sits a little stage that the provides the purest example of southern culture. The music, the landscape, and the fellowship of amazing people give fodder for the souls. And I would like to thank “Earl” for the “Sugar Shack”.

Robby Amonett
Artist/Musician
The Southland Music Line

 

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It was a few years ago now when my love and roadtrip partner Ron and I decided to journey from Tallahassee to L.A. for a musical weekend.The plans centered around a triple-shot of Sugarcane Jane, the last show being at the Frog Pond Sunday Social. It was our first visit to Silverhill and the venue was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Listening to music under the beautiful trees, sharing food and sharing the music with others who love it as I do. I love the intimacy of the Frog Pond and the respect for the music and the artists. Sometimes I can hardly believe the artists I had the pleasure to enjoy at this exceptional place. Live music is better and at its best at the Frog Pond.

The Frog Pond is Music.
Music is Love.
The Frog Pond is Love.

Cathy Harris aka Neil Dancer
Tallahassee, FL

07Even cold temperatures couldn’t keep loyal Frog Pond fans from attending a show.

 

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Click Here to learn more about The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm, The Frog Pond Sunday Socials and how to become a guest at this “one of a kind” place.

SCA_5437Cathe Steele at the end of a beautiful evening at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

 

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The Frog Pond Sunday Socials
Photos by Stephen Anderson


Links:
Click Here for The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm’s Official Website.
Click Here for the article “”Down on Blue Moon Farm at a Place Called Frog Pond” by Chad Edwards in Legends Magazine (page 20)
Click Here for the fabulous articles at Southern Rambler.

Related Articles:
Willie Sugarcapps Returns with “Paradise Right Here”
Baldwin County Public Records Showcases Its Talent at The Frog at Blue Moon Farm
Why We Love Sugarcane Jane as Told by the Friends & Fans of Sugarcane Jane

 

© The Southland Music Line. 2016. All rights reserved

©The Southland Music Line

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