Guitar Pickers

picking and grinning in the kitchen in appalachia

Del McCoury has a song “Nashville Cats” about the abundance of guitar pickers in Nashville. When I was growing up I just assumed everyone heard non stop picking (you know the same song played at least 18 times during my favorite t.v. show). Even though it was sometimes annoying I wouldn’t trade my musical family for anything. My whole life has been colored by music. The little girl in the picture below is me. Absorbing it all.

It seems I can trace my life by songs. I can hear an old song that I haven’t thought about in years-and if I close my eyes the years fly backward and I’m a shy skinny little girl again. I can remember being fairly small about 5 or 6 and feeling really sad about one song Pap kept singing. It said something about  “my little pal going away”. My youngest brother is named Paul and I thought Pap was singing about Paul going away and I wasn’t happy about it.

Now my brothers and I are all grown up and Paul is the one doing most of the Pickin & Grinnin. I happen to think he is better than any Nashville Cat.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Abbey Jenkins
    November 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Tipper, you are still that skinny, shy little girl! Not shy as much, especially around my mom! I love learning about your family through the Blind Pig and the Acorn! I make sure that I read everything you put on the website, especially stuff that I find very interesting 😀 Unfortunately, Cade isn’t interested in music just yet. He want’s to play the fiddle though, so maybe corie will have to teach him some stuff! <3

  • Reply
    August 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    We didn’t play really any mountain music in our house (more of a Gordon Lightfoot/James Taylor kind of household), but I’d always go down to listen to my dad play songs in our basement, until my folks got me a 3/4 size guitar to play on. It’s this kind of experience that helped me end up as a professional singer. To this day, nothing relaxes me more than playing acoustic guitar.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Love your site. Followed like the others from Old Red Barn. My husband comes from a family of musicians and that is one of their favorite things to do. Play the guitar, mandoline and fiddle late at night. There are wonderful memories from those evenings. Music is such an awesome gift. I have to say that I too LOVE the name of your blog. Too cute, I could never come up with something creative.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I found your blog from Old Red Barn and I am really loving to read all you have to say. What a talented family and there is nothing better than music.

  • Reply
    Miss Jean
    March 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    By the way, I forgot to mention that Daddy was from one of the hollows in Pinevill, Bell County, Kentucky.

  • Reply
    Miss Jean
    March 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Yousa! You sound just like me. I would lay in bed at night and listen to the hillbilly music my Dad and brothers were playing coming up through the register grate. I didn’t like it then, but it stuck in my soul and that’s what I listen to now. I can still remember the words to those songs and that was 50+ years ago. My Dad would start to sing “Old Shep” and my sisters and I would cry “please don’t sing that Daddy!” It’s about someone’s old dog dieing. I don’t think he ever got to the end before he took pity on us!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    What a fun blog – thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I just found your site thru the old red barn, or something like that.. anyway.. love it.. LOVE the music.. I am going to add you to my sidebar, so I will be sure to make it back here…… I want to leave your site up, just to listen to the music!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2008 at 8:13 am

    I love your blog. I just found it this morning through the old barn blog.
    Love the music and the stories.
    Sittin here quiltin and listening to your music, awesome.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 18, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Is there a whole family of you talented people? Paul’s songs are great!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    wow. Wow. WOW. You come from a talented family. I didn’t know that was your brother’s music playing. He is a real live rock star! Does he have a tour bus and groupies?

  • Reply
    March 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Tipper, my son is now the picker around here. I love to sit and listen!!!

  • Leave a Reply