It was an unavoidable late start for the Cleverlys, but the additional 30 minutes was worth the wait Thursday night at the Warren County A&L Fair.
The Cleverlys are a one-of-a-kind comedy/ music blend coming from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas. Accomplished musicians, they put their unique bluegrass spin on cover songs from any genre.
The set included Psy’s “Gangnam Style” a medley of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” and Flo Rida’s “Low,” as well as “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “What’s Up?” from 4 Non Blondes, and Lady Gaga’s “I Want Your Love.”
Digger Cleverly introduced the band members.
“My brother, Vernon Dale, is no longer with us,” said Digger. “We called him VD. He played the banjo with the group for many, many years. He’s retired now and lives in a teepee out behind grandma’s old house. He makes dream catchers out of cat hair, but his son is with us now. That’s Dale Vernon Dale, DVD Cleverly. We’re sorry his brother STD couldn’t be here tonight. He had a test he had to take tomorrow.”
Next to DVD was Digger’s nephew, Ricky Lloyd.
“I want to brag on Ricky for a minute. He’s got a big heart. He loves animals and believes all animals are sacred. That’s why we have a benefit for Save the Whales out at Cleverly Mountain every year. The third week in October we have a benefit squirrel hunt for Save the Whales. For every squirrel you kill, 11 cents is donated to the Save the Whales foundation. For three days we kill anything that moves. If it’s brown, it’s down. That’s just how we were raised. We give, because we care. Kill a squirrel and save a whale.”
On the left of the stage was Sock Cleverly and Cub Cleverly.
“This man to my right I’ve also known my whole life,” said Digger. “This is Cub Cleverly. He also happens to be my brother VD’s boy. He’s DVD’s twin brother. I know some of you are asking. No, they aren’t identical. On the end we have a great fiddle player. He’s a great boy and I love him to death. That’s Sock Cleverly.”
The crowd displayed its approval for the songs and comedy with laughter, applause, clapping and occasionally, a sing-along with the band.
“You people in Warren County are buttery and smooth,” said Digger, after one sing-along. “You people need to help us out. We want to legalize okra. I want to make sure that every home in America has okra in it. I know what some of you are saying, ‘Okra isn’t illegal.’ It’s not illegal, but it ain’t legal either. I’ve looked. There are laws legalizing okra, but I’ve made it a personal mission to pass some.”
Digger expressed appreciation for being invited to perform among country people like himself.
“Tornados come after people like you and me,” he said. “We’re the only ones you ever see on TV describing them. Ever notice that? Ever wonder why that is? I think the media gets that guy because they know it’s going to be a colorful interview.”
“Man, it was terrible. I was on the couch watching Dog the Bounty Hunter. My old lady was outside changing the brake shoes on the truck. Everything started to shake. It was terrifying.”
The TC Bryant Band was the opening act for The Cleverlys.