5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. The girls finished up another amazing week at  John C. Campbell Folk School’s annual Dance Musicians Week. They were able to take the class because of the generosity of an anonymous person or persons. This is the fourth year the girls have been blessed by the bountiful generosity of that kind good soul. As always the class was full of fun and lots of learning too. In the coming weeks I’m sure they’ll share some of the tunes they learned in the class with you.


2. The Deer Hunter is enjoying his new job and especially liked getting to try out their new lift this week.

3. Remember when Chitter was wishing she had some wild apricots? Well the girl pretty much has them taking over the entire backyard this year.

4. Did you know I sometimes dream about you? The other night I dreamed it snowed-in JULY! As I was walking through the snow to the chicken coop I was thinking I needed to come up with something to talk to you about on the following day. Suddenly I thought I know they’d like to know it snowed five inches in July! Now that I think about it, if it snowed five inches in Brasstown during the month of July the whole world would want to know about it!

5. The girls have been trying to learn Ashokan Farewell. If you’ve never heard it you need to! Don’t wait on the girls go here to hear it for yourself and then you can have it going round and round in your head like I have for the last few weeks. So breathtakingly beautiful that it almost makes me cry with happiness.



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  • Reply
    August 2, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I like heights if there’s something solid to lean on or cling to. When I regretfully had some huge white pines taken down right next to my house, part of the deal was that the arborists would let me go up in the bucket at some point during the job. I took pictures of the forest canopy from a new angle, and the roof of my little house, too.
    You are so right about Ashokan Farewell…I had it playing in my mind for weeks after posting it (Ken Burns’ background music to the reading of Sullivan Ballou’s letter) on Memorial Day on my blog. I think that tune is played on heartstrings.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I have loved “Ashokan Farewell” since Ken Burn’s Civil War series. I’m really looking forward to hearing the girls play it!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Beautiful day here in New Brunswick ,Canada,In need of rain very badly. Your girls are like sponges, Tipper. Soaking up all the music they can! Bravo for them. Music is a wonderful thing. My husband, Bob, learned Ashoken Farewell some time ago. It is a haunting melody but very beautiful. He has played it at weddings and I think once at a funeral. I’m sure the girls will conquer this fiddle tune plus many, many more. Bob always says-“so many tunes and only so much time”. A musician is always learning and challenging themselves. Keep on learning , girls! The best to you Tipper and family. Bob & Inez

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    That’s a very good tune. I just love Folk Music! Can’t wait for Chitter and Chatter to learn this. When I call our Christian Radio Station and request songs, Donna Lynn usually asks, “Which can I play for you by Chitter and Chatter?” She plays a lot of Ray and Pap too. …Ken

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    August 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Oh Tipper: Tell that Ron I wish his son WELL in New Paltz, New York! Maybe the WINTERS WILL BE BRIEF!!!!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Any seeds to share? They should be abundantly available but I keep finding hybridized versions. I’d love some native types.
    I couldn’t get the video to play either but did find a version with Jay Unger and Molly Mason on YouTube. He makes the fiddle sing in a warm, almost melancholy way, and Molly is so good because she understands the collaboration of ensemble music and provides a gentle yet firm support for the violin until it’s time for the guitar voice to lead. Just Lovely! The whole group interaction so well together musically.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Congratulations the girls were gifted classes again!
    So you and the deer hunter have parted working together?! Congratulations to him on “moving” up.
    Take care, my friends.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 1, 2017 at 11:39 am

    1. Chitter looks like a little bitty thing in that picture. How tall are your girls?
    2. Dusty gets high at work all the time. He works for an equipment rental place. He has to service lifts and check their safety features all the time. He has a fear of heights too so he don’t like to go up in the taller lifts. They have a 135 foot Genie Boom he refuses to get in.
    3. Maypop!
    4. It’s winter in Argentina where José Luis Gómez lives. Maybe it is his snow in your dreams.
    5. That is what I call soul music. It starts in your soul and comes out through your fingers. It makes you close your eyes to listen. Put your cheek against the instrument so you can feel as well as hear it music. Pure sweet unadulterated music! I hope your girls learn Ashokan Farewell and many more songs like it.

  • Reply
    Terry Stites
    August 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I always thought the flower was called Passion Flower. I was blessed with them at the old home place.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

    #5, Ashokan Farewell: The girls have certainly set a high goal to attain; playing this tune is much more than hitting the right string and note at the right time, it’s getting the right feeling from the instrument as well. I’ve listened to this song for years, having first heard Ungar play it at a “Transatlantic Sessions” several years ago and for years since had no knowledge of it being associated with Our Late Unpleasantness With The Yankees.
    The unsung hero(ine) of the piece is Molly Mason, whose guitar-playing is flawless. As someone remarked in the comments in another Youtube clip: “There’s back-up guitarists, and there’s what Molly Mason does.”

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    August 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I used to go to Ashoken Resevoir Camp in New York state back in the 70’s. It was a place just like the folk school. I took banjo classes and they had clogging with the Green Grass Cloggers. Lots of folk dancing every night.
    Jay Ungar and Molly Mason were there at that time. I hope the Ashoken Farewell doesn’t mean it is no longer in business.
    Lots of great memories from there.
    I could not get it to play. Will keep trying.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Oh my, you nailed it. “A Shokan Farewell” is indeed such a haunting tune and my favorite. Someday when you are ready to post the girls playing it, maybe you will tell us the backstory. I forget how it was that Ken Burns & Co. matched it with the Civil War series.
    Our son is moving today from Knoxville to New Paltz, NY. I do not know if it is the same place, but there is a ‘Shokan’ community almost due west of New Paltz.
    I had never thought of it till now, but I would like ‘A Shokan Farewell’ to be played at my graveside. It would be though, rather hard on whoever was there.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Ahh, I don’t see any safety harness, hope the O.S.H.A dude don’t come by, any higher than I think 5 or 6 ft requires fall protection, one of our guys got caught without a harness, rebulbing street lights, O.S.H.A happened by and shut the job down, checked all safety equipment and gave a stiff warning and made a report sent it to his supervisor. I was actually in one of those very lifts, only about 120ft in the air working on some of our remote communication antennas, for no reason the platform tilted downward don’t know why till this day , thinking hydraulics leaked past a cylinder but without the harness could have fell out, except I had a death grip on the railing, managed to get it to the ground. Forgive me but Safety First.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Beautiful, though mournful song!
    The Deer Hunter moving up in the world!
    Never heard of wild apricots, they are absolutely stunning!
    Dance Musicians week is always a big event for the girls. They have learned so much there and met such nice people!
    Snow in July as likely as full dark in the middle of the day in August , oh wait a minute that’s this month and we are the epicenter!

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