5 Questions with Stefan Szabo of National Park Radio

Out of Harrison, Ark., National Park Radio has become a modern-folk sensation. Remarkably,
Stefan Szabo, the band’s bedrock, didn’t begin writing tunes until his late 20s. His music feels timeless and leaves no doubt it came from the Ozark Mountains. National Park Radio played Tie & Timber Beer Co. in July. Compass Rose connected with Szabo, as he and the band exited the Grand Tetons on the way to Missoula, Montana.

1) What’s your favorite river to float? Sub-question: Kayak, Canoe or Raft?
Buffalo National River, I live 10 minutes aways. We have these pretty nice inflatable kayaks and we can pack them easy, take them on the road with us.

2) Better party: a hootenanny or hoedown?
They’re both good, probably a hootenanny.

3) What was your musical “aha” moment?
I was getting up there in age and I had always kind of wanted to do music, figured if I was going to try it I’d better try it [then] before I turned 30. We already had kids, had a family; did it a little bit backward, skipped the adventurous part of our lives. The kids were getting older too and that probably played a factor.

4) How do you maintain the beard? Conditioner? Other Products?
[I use] pretty much nothing. I wash it like I do my hair and I style it like I do my hair; a little bit of product to keep it from being fuzzy, but I never trim it, though I probably need to soon. It’s been since last September when any hair has been cut on my beard.

5) If you could share a bill with any band in history, which would it be, and what venue would you play?
The Avett Brothers, Red Rocks; I think we could open for them there in the next couple years.

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