Appalachia Music

Favorite Pickin & Grinnin In The Kitchen Spots


The Blind Pig and The Acorn’s recent birthday got me to thinking all the “Pickin & Grinnin’ in the Kitchen Spots” I’ve shared over the years. Obviously I enjoy all of them or I wouldn’t have shared them, yet there are posts that stick out above the rest. Over the next few months I’m going to highlight some of my favorite “Pickin & Grinnin in the Kitchen Spots.”

The Front Range song “Fergus County Jail” is right at the top of my list of favorites. It’s wonderfully written. The words tell a story that draw you in until you feel like you’re right there in the room holding your breath along with everyone else.

Pap, Paul, and the boys do an outstanding job on the song. I don’t think we could have captured it as good if we had tried it another hundred times. The music and the singing is just spot on.

“Fergus County Jail”

I pulled into Lodge Pole on a snowy winter’s eve
Coming home from the California gold
In the tavern of the town while the sun was sinking down
I stopped to drive away the cold
Rye whiskey to drive away the cold

In the corner of the room set a man with hardened eyes
And he called for to drink another round
But the whiskey came to slow and he rose as if to go
And he knocked that old bar keep down
Pistol whipped that old man to the ground

When that scoundrel turned around with a smile on his face
He started slowly walking to the door
So I turned and asked him when he started beating helpless men
And he paused there in the middle of the floor
And somebody hollered even up the score

He turned around to me with that gun still in his hand
And I swear I saw the hammer coming down
Next thing that I knew when the smoke had cleared the room
He was lying dead upon the ground
And the law man of the town was coming round

I wish that I was home in old Virginia on the farm
Whippoorwills singing on the dell
But the wind is blowing cold across the high Montana plains
And I’m lying in the Fergus County jail

Yes I’m lying here tonight with these shackles on my feet
And that winter wind is screaming neath the moon
I know I should have run instead of fighting with a gun
I’m much to young to die this soon
That night in Fergus County’s been my doom

I wish that I was home in old Virginia on the farm
Whippoorwills singing on the dell
But the wind is blowing cold across the high Montana plains
And I’m lying in the Fergus County jail

There’s one more reason I’m partial to the song. One of my best friends in the whole wide world, a Brasstown girl like me, moved out to those high Montana plains over twenty years ago. The song always makes me think of her.


Appalachian Cooking Class details

Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Wow , played so well, love the tune, though sad 🙂

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    April 7, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I always loved that song too, actually all the Front Range songs. They did a fantastic job on it. Paul has a knack for remembering lyrics; I don’t recall ever seeing him looking at the words on paper while they are playing.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 10:51 am

    One of your best songs. I like it.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I love to hear the guys sing anything, even sad songs.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Yall have such talent running thru your veins, nicely done, and the videos are priceless.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 7, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Yep, that’s a fine song and well done!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 7, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Paul has a wonderful voice, so much talent in one family!

  • Leave a Reply