Appalachia Music Pap




Since I first started the Blind Pig and The Acorn we’ve put so many videos on Youtube that sometimes I forget which songs we’ve filmed and uploaded. Receiving comment notifications from Youtube is a daily occurrence. Folks are still finding the videos we’ve put up over the years and thankfully they still seem to be enjoying them.

Every once in a while I’ll get a comment on a song that I’d forgotten we put up. When that happens I always go watch the video. I guess as Pap used to say I see the video anew, almost like I’ve never seen it before even though I’m the person who put it on Youtube.

It’s been almost a year since Ron left this comment on the Roy Acuff song Branded. A video we uploaded in 2010.

Love it!! I believe that is my first listen for that song by anyone. I’ve been listening to Acuff since a boy in the 1940’s and can’t remember that one. Beautiful harmonizing by dad and son. thanks, Ron.

After reading Ron’s comment I jumped over and watched the video. Does it sound silly that I was totally blown away? I mean just wow. Pap and Paul’s harmony will give you chills; Paul’s lead has a longing that makes you want it to all be okay for the old boy; and the music ain’t half bad either.

See what you think:


Our music hasn’t ever been about trying to make a living nor even make much money from it. Oh don’t get me wrong we’d sure sign up for the money if it was knocking on the door but that hasn’t ever happened.

The music we made and make is about something more. What? I don’t know. I’ve tried to study on it. Of course there’s the pure enjoyment of making music, of being together as a family, but truthfully we enjoy many other activities and we could sit around and watch tv together as a family or do any other number of things that would be easier than picking a guitar. I don’t know if our music comes from a need, if it’s a creative outlet, or maybe it’s just a habit that keeps getting passed on to the next generation.

The things that I love about this video:

  • the smirk of smile on Mark’s face at the beginning-it makes me wish I remembered what that was about
  • Pap’s signature guitar runs
  • harmony so sweet it might make your ears melt
  • Paul’s flat-top picking that somehow makes the words seem even more lonesome and sad
  • the way Paul looks at Pap as though looking at him will make the harmony easier on them both
  • the way Paul sings In three years my sentence will be over the gates will swing open for me just after his guitar break
  • the way Mark nails his mandolin break and then looks like it was nothing
  • the way Pap really gives it his all on the last chorus and lets his tenor go even higher
  • Pap’s last pick of the strings



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  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    July 3, 2017 at 1:07 am

    I agree with all of your comments about the recording. I’ve never heard it done better. I still have somewhere the Roy Acuff version of it on the old 78RPM records. It was my grandmother’s, and we played a bunch of old records before the spring broke on the old Victrola. My sister got me a suitcase portable electric player, and we were on the road again.. It seems to me that the song on the back side of that record was “Pins and Needles.”

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    July 2, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    How I do love those kitchen crooners, and the pure joy of making music.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 2, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Jack Yates, I like your attitude!

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    July 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    For folks who can’t carry a tune or play, please realize what a treasure you are. Seeing what you enjoy in the music making is even more amazing. Thank you ever so much!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Your stuff just feels like home to me. It makes me feel like I could be right there amongst you singing along and not be out of place. Or, you all could be here.
    Your music may never “make the charts” in the business but its the charts in people’s hearts that have any lasting value.
    Your regular blog readers should all go to Youtube to view your music after they listen to it via the blog. That way they can leave comments, like and share it. The more attention it gets on Youtube the more Youtube pays attention to you and recommends you to others. Me, I am subscribed to The Blind Pig and the Pressley Girls. I can listen to any new stuff as soon as it is uploaded. I even get an email that tells me there is something new. Most of the time I have played the videos several times before I get the email.

  • Reply
    Jack Yates
    July 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve long admired Paul’s flat-pickin’ and the way his and Pap’s voices blend together, as much as I admire the twins’ abilities as they grew into the singing and playing of music. It’s a beautiful song!
    If the money ever finds Wilson Holler, think twice, long, and hard about it; I tried it and found that it took something that was a lot of fun and made it a job of work. It didn’t take long for me to turn my back to the stage and just enjoy the pickin’ with a few friends and make my living at something else.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    July 2, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Well Tipper: Your comments are so meaningful. When my Uncle Johnny Mull played fiddle he seemed to be a different person! He was so shy but when he stood with his buddies and made that mountain music, he was at his best. Also it probably was good medicine for him in his mountain way of life.
    HOPE YOU HAVE TIME TO LISTEN TO THE CD THAT COMES WITH MY BOOK “Fiddler of the Mountains: Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull” He never knew that our book received the NORTH CAROLINA SOCIETY OF HISTORIANS’ AWARD!
    After my brother, David, came back from Vietnam, he had a mighty close relationship with our Uncle Johnny! David explained that when he was younger, he was shy and Uncle Johnny was even shyer! But they discovered each other when he got back from the war! But they didn’t have long to play together! However they sure sounded great when I had the good fortune to listen at one of their events, over in the mountains.
    Hope your FOURTH OF JULY IS EXPLOSIVE! We will be with our THREE GROWN UP GRANDSONS! In the mean time, I will be ‘tending’ the flowers in the GARDEN OF EVA!! That amounts to keeping the deer OUT of our yard! Wish I had a mean dog!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    July 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I don’t know what it is, but I just love the way you all sing and play. And Mark sure chews the hound out of that gum. The whole Family is a blessing to us all. …Ken

  • Reply
    Allison P Britt
    July 2, 2017 at 9:17 am


  • Reply
    July 2, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I don’t know why the money hasn’t come knocking on the door. Pap’s tenor is amazing in that song. I have to say I’ve never heard him sing anything that wasn’t amazing. Paul is rated right up there with him.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 2, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Tipper–I hadn’t heard this one before and it was a fine way to start the day. I think I can offer some insight on why you make music as a family.
    *It’s an inner urge, almost a compulsion, deeply entrenched in your DNA. You could no more function as a family and as individuals without music than I could go along without reading almost obsessively and trying to write.
    *Music soothes the soul and is balm for the troubled mind, happiness for the heart, and something that mysteriously, almost inexplicably uplifts not only those who make the music but us lesser mortals who find it so mesmerizing. You folks are sharing your talent and bringing joy to others even as you fill an inner need that is easier observed than it is explained in words.
    *All of you have a gift, and failure to share it would be a sin. Whether there’s money involved or not, by sharing you are caring, and your family treasure gives others pleasure. To be able to share that treasure is a gift beyond monetary measure.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 2, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Beautiful song, very well done!
    Tip, the music is in your blood from generations of musicians. It isn’t about what you do, it’s about what you are and you are the music.

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