Appalachia Music

I’m Giving Away Tickets For Fall Festival – Because My Heart’s In Brasstown

It’s almost time for the John C. Campbell Folk School’s Annual Fall Festival. The folk school has been holding the festival for 40 years-that’s a whole lot of crafting, music making, and dancing. Once September rolls around every year-Brasstown begins to hum with the busyness and excitement of getting ready for another fall festival-which is always held the first weekend in October.

In 1960 the JCCFS published a small book titled the Story of the Brasstown Carvers…the Oldest and the Youngest. The first page of the book describes Brasstown in this manner:

The story really begins when the first sturdy pioneers settled in this rolling valley of the mountains of western North Carolina. Known as “Isteyi” by the Cherokees or “A Place of Fresh Green” through misinterpretation the little village was called Brasstown, located between Big and Little Brasstown Creeks.

Descendants of fine English and Scots-Irish stock these early settlers brought a rich heritage of folk songs and tales, indomitable courage in the face of many hardships, and an inherent love of the land, to their new home.

The quote rings true for the Brasstown I live in today and it calls to mind a song the girls have been singing for the last year: My Heart’s In Brasstown. Chatter co-wrote the song with one of her musical mentors, Peter Siegel.

My Heart’s In Brasstown

Down in the city where the skies are gray
People are
bustling every day
Down in the flatlands is not for me
Up in the mountains is where I’d rather be.

In Brasstown where I’ve lived all my days
Back in the
mountains raised on old timey ways

The kindness of family the wise and the old
Strength and
character quiet and bold
If you want something done you do it yourself

Surrounded by love its own source of wealth

In Brasstown where I’ve lived all my days
Back in the
mountains raised on old timey ways

Hills Spread out Time goes on
Our past is carved in wood

Nothing lasts forever and nothing really should

I may ramble, and I may roam
But in Brasstown will always be
my home
Down in the flatlands is not for me
Up in the mountains my heart will always be
In Brasstown My heart will always be

I hope you enjoyed the song-and if you live close enough to come-I’m sending you a personal invitation to this year’s JCCFS Fall Festival!

Thanks to the generosity of the folk school-I even have a few Fall Festival tickets to giveaway. Interested in winning one? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post saying you’d like to win a ticket.


p.s. Giveaway ends Wednesday September 18, 2013.

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  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    September 18, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I talked with my wife and we are going to make the trip over from Knoxville. A free ticket would be a nice bonus! Love your blog. It is fresh, wholesome, informative and fun! I thank Don Casada for introducing me!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    September 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Kempie Rackley
    September 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I would love to win a ticket.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Love the video. Sounds like the festival would be a lot of fun and would love to win ticktes.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Yea Tipper I want to come this year and hear those girls play!!!! Hopefully Landon will be with me when we come !!!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I am planning on coming to the festival for the first time. Would love to have a freebie ticket.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Bob-We’ll take the stage at 2:00 in the Festival Barn. See you there!!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    September 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Tamela-Peter and Chatter wrote the song during a Musicians Dance Class at the folk school : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Linda Mercer
    September 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I would love to win tickets to Fall Festival. My daughter works in South Carolina and is making a special trip to Brasstown so she can attend Fall Festival. This will be her lst time to attend the festival (although she has heard a lot about it) and she is excited!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    No tickets for me, I’ll be out of town. Just wanted to say I loved, loved the lyrics to the song. Heartfelt and true!

  • Reply
    BJ Moore
    September 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I would love to come to fall festival.

  • Reply
    Donna O
    September 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Would love to win tickets… I have never been always wanted to go… Hopefully this year…

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    My heart is in Brasstown too, but my butt in stuck in Burke. If you draw my name out of the hat go ahead and toss it. I wouldn’t mind having the hat though, when the drawing is over.

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    September 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Would love to go, so throw my name in the hat.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Great! The Pressley girls just have the rhythm to present a fine tune. Thanks for sharing with all your readers!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I would need two tickets if I win. Maybe if I only win one I can get my wife to up my allowance so I can buy one for her.

  • Reply
    Dee Kimsey
    September 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I would love to receive free tickets to the JCCFS Fall Festival! The first time I went was in the mid 70’s & it was there that I first tasted Hominy that a women dressed in olden times was making in a big black pot over a fire! It was delicious!! Last year we took our grandson & he fell in love with the horses! I enjoy going to the folk school to see all the homemade items made by the school!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Gosh, how could you hold still? I
    could see Chatter’s beautiful smile
    knowing that was HER song. Chitter
    has that strong lead voice that
    blends so nice. I have went back
    and listened several times and it
    makes me proud to see and hear the
    pride in their voices, singing of
    Home. Our Appalachian Girls!…Ken

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Sounds like a great event — I haven’t such a get away in a long time. Will the Blind Pig Gang be performing?

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Lovely song and the girls sound so good! I can really tell that their hearts are in this one. It’s really nice to see their smiles and shared glances as they perform together.
    Nice song Chatter. How did the collaboration with Peter Seigel come about?
    I’ll have to pass on the ticket opportunity but attending JCCFS one way or the other is on my bucket list.

  • Reply
    Bob in Young Harris
    September 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I will be there Sunday with or without free tickets. When will you be on stage?

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    The girls have done a great job with the song! We’re planning on attending the festival, maybe I’ll get to meet you this trip!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

    That was great girls!!!! I read somewhere that (I think it was in 1953 or 54) a young Elvis Presley walked into The Sun Records Studio and sat himself down and the receptionist asked him, “Who do you sound like?” He quickly replied with that curled up lip of his, “I don’t sound like nobody, I just sound like myself!” They say that’s what you have to do. You can’t imitate anyone, you must have your own style. Once heard an art teacher say that we can learn from other artists but, in the end we must have a style of our own. If we imitate other artists we won’t ever make it. Well, guess what, I think those girls have their own style. They just sound like the Pressley girls, they have their own style and a rather good one, I might add!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    September 15, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Your note this morning reminded me of a “Pete Siegel” moment in my teaching career. Maybe in the early ’80’s when I was serving of the American Field Service Board in New York, Pete ‘offered’ to come to my school and do a concert to help us raise money for our AFS fund so we could send a student abroad. HE DID IT AND WE DID IT! He was so delightful sitting there in our school cafeteria just playing and singing in great style! And he was so understanding of our way of poverty in the coal mining community! The lyrics of “My Hearts in Brasstown are very beautiful! Please give Chatter our CONGRATULATIONS! Maybe soon we will make another of her performances!
    Regards, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Sandra Hogsed
    September 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I would love to win tickets also! Loved the video of the girls!

  • Reply
    Dean Fletcher
    September 15, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I’ll take one off your hands.

  • Reply
    Marcia Campbell
    September 15, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Love this song, great job girls! Would like tickets to Fall Festival this year.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I love your girls. And you too. See you in a couple weeks.

  • Reply
    Dulcie-Wish I played the dulcimer
    September 15, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I so enjoy reading your posts….What a professional and informational blog…Would like a pin for JCFS if you have one.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Baker
    September 15, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I would love to win a ticket!

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