Appalachia Music

Picking & Grinning In The Kitchen – 6 Years Later – Rock of Ages

Picking and grinning with the blind pig gang

Getting together to make music on Sunday afternoons is something we’ve been doing for years-something we did even before the Blind Pig & the Acorn existed.

Time gets away from you-even when you’re right in the middle of the hours and minutes that fly by.

If you’ve been a Blind Pig reader from the beginning you’ll remember in our first pickin’ and grinnin’ videos my nephews Ben and Mark were young boys. Ben was barely in high school and Mark was still in middle school. Then there was Chatter and Chitter.

The girls didn’t show up in the videos much back in the early days and when they did sometimes we wished they didn’t. I’m only kidding-but in those days the girls were hard to wrangle when it came to pickin’ and grinnin’.

Truthfully-it was both of them. Chatter would be gun-ho ready to go and really give it her best-and Chitter would stub up and give nothing but eye rolls and shrugs. Then next Sunday would arrive and Chitter would be all ready to sing-fully repentant for how she’d acted at the last practice and then I swear Chatter would be stubbed up and refusing to do her part.

People used to tell me “You should get the girls to smile more in your videos.” I’d tell them “If you knew how much effort it took to get them both in the video you wouldn’t worry about the smiling.”

For a long time Ben was the only one who had a cell phone. We all gave him grief about texting in between every song…none of us aggravated him more than his brother Mark. But it wasn’t long before Mark had his own phone and we were teasing him about texting. These days it’s the girls and those blasted phones (as Pap says).

Somewhere along the way Chatter and Chitter added their instruments into the mix and Ben left us for college way up north with Mark following along after him soon thereafter. When the boys come home to visit we pull out all the old songs they played breaks on and do them. We don’t play the songs when they’re gone even though we could.

I don’t force the girls to go every Sunday-but I highly encourage it and they know I’ll be sore about them missing the picking at Paul’s unless they have a real good reason for it. I tell them-someday these Sunday afternoons will be among your favorite memories and you’ll be glad I encouraged you to be part of it. I’m sure Ben and Mark already realize that…and before long Chatter and Chitter will too.

With the boys gone and the girls really coming into their own in their musical endeavors we’ve been trying out new arrangements-one of which is a trio made up of Pap, Paul and Chatter. Check out one of their latest songs and see what you think about their 3 part harmony.

These days its just Pap, Paul, the girls and me. There’s still some eye-rolling and shrugging but there’s also some amazing music coming out of Paul’s little kitchen if I do say so myself. But then again there always has been.


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  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    January 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    so beautiful to hear this singing all together again love it thanks

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    August 26, 2014 at 3:33 am

    This was one of my all time favorites so far. Beautifully performed.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    August 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks for the beautiful song. One of my favorites.

  • Reply
    Teresa Atkinson
    August 25, 2014 at 10:05 am


  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 1:26 am

    So lovely, a family or group being able to make music together, so positive and uplifting.
    I remember us sibs doing it when young, singing to the radio with our Mom. I remember having a fairly good voice in high school and beyond. And I remember my first husband saying, when I sang to Streisand when cleaning house, that he couldn’t tell where her voice ended and mine began. What a great compliment, hey!?!
    One’s voice though is an instrument though, and if not used, it gets rusty. I haven’t sung in ages, and nowadays when I start to sing, the cats run to hide and Bro Tom mumbles…
    “Someone please shoot me.”
    Such is life!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Inoma Rolle
    August 25, 2014 at 12:09 am

    May I speak those of us who for reasons beyond our control will never ever be able to do and see the things we wish we could in person. We must rely on TVs, CDs, DVDs, YouTube and our imaginations to experience those things that the more fortunate take for granted.
    If our lack of the ability to make physical contact or to at least be in close proximity makes us less of a friend then I suppose we are stuck with that classification.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Great sound and perfect harmony.
    Easy listening & so enjoyable.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    So beautiful. Your family’s talent is so inspiring to us all and I absolutely could listen to them all the time. Sorry I haven’t been around lately or got to see them in person, maybe soon. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Ah! Such a beautiful get together in the kitchen. Loved listening to the harmony and music. More, more, more, please!

  • Reply
    Joyce Heishman
    August 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for the Sunday blessing

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Did you realize that in using “Stub Up” that you are using a phrase that might be unique to Appalachia? Google doesn’t find it, at least not in the first 50 or so definitions.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    August 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    What a blessed tradition y’all have of making music every Sunday. I admire that so much! I love your choice of music. I read somewhere that all humans have music within them, and it is their calling to get it out whether by playin an instrument, singing, composing, dancing, or a combination of those. It satisfies an inner need. I still would love to join y’all sometimes or just listen in person, but alas, it’s a long way from East Texas to your mountains. Maybe some day.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Talk about multi-tasking, both girls can play, sing, and chew gum
    at the same time and never miss a
    beat. Looks like Chitter would like
    to have an even bigger part, but
    I think this is one of the best
    videos you’ve shared…thanks…Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I think you’ve just found another
    way of sounding great. I always
    wondered why the girls didn’t join in with Paul and Pap sometimes.
    Now all we need is to hear you,
    cause Pap done told me you mastered the bass faster than anyone he’d ever seen.
    We all love the insight and the
    trying times to pull this off.
    Thank you all for such wonderful

  • Reply
    José Luis
    August 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Hi Tipper
    Lovely and so real that you have written and commented.
    Every day I realize the same situations as families live moral and religious principles of the same level.
    I am totally agree with Pap, as if we lived the same experiences, DAMN CELL PHONES !, tikytikytiky guys all day, texting, even if they are doing it with who is on the other side of the table, hahaha !.
    I also took my daughters and my granddaughter be encouraged to join the group and sing, and also when they grow are leaving to attend, for their studies.
    And also I think, and I tell to my children, these family gatherings will be one of the things you most fondly, and perhaps with much sadness will remember as the years pass.
    But that is the law of life, do not you think so?
    I send to you and all your neighbors in a Appalachian Greetings from the other side of our America, Argentina, José Luis.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I am looking forward to the day all four sing together. Which, I am sure they do now off camera. Loved, loved this rendition of Rock of Ages.
    I don’t think I heard any cell phone or text beeps. I understand where you’re coming from Tipper. It seems, my grandchildren included, that the phone is an extension of their hands…
    Maybe around the Thanksgiving holidays, all can be together and play and sing. Is Mark and Ben pursuing music as well?
    Loved this post, Tipper
    Well done gang!
    Thanks Tipper
    PS…Pap and Paul have been wonderful mentors for all of them!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 24, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I must confess. I am a cheater. I subscribe to their channel and get an email when they publish something new. I saw this first on August 5th. I make a comment at that time that still applies.
    “That is beautiful! Mamma needs to put it on her website and share it with world. Chatter, your voice adds a dimension to Pap and Pauls harmony I’ve not heard before. One day they are going to brag about when you used to sing with them. Chitter, don’t stand in the background. Your fiddle can play a much bigger part. Your voice is as good or better than any, yet I heard not a peep from you. Hopefully you are saving it for the next release. Thank you both! You have made my day!”
    I must also confess, I have seen the girl twins’ next release already and Chitter does play a bigger role. In a word, I had sworn not to use, it is awesome! Sorry, I guess all your readers will have to wait for you to invite them.
    Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Love it. Great harmony. Very talented family.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

    What a lovely family activity and tradition. You’re right, I’m sure, that the younger generation will treasure these times in years to come.
    Say, Tipper…yesterday I cooked up the first acorn squash, and last night I poked around in the jungles (squash patches) and counted 6 baby squash coming on, 2 of each variety! Sure hope they continue to grow and survive the cool weather, the goats, and whatever horde of insects happens along this week! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Wow that gave me goose bumps,, knocked it out of the park.. good job.. I got a new favorite of yalls..

  • Reply
    Glynda Chambers
    August 24, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Tipper, Love the song. I always thought this was your kitchen where the music sessions were held. Also wondering about Chatter and Chitter, what college did they decide to go to and have they started yet.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    August 24, 2014 at 9:28 am

    What a way to start my Sunday morning . what a blessing . Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    August 24, 2014 at 9:28 am

    What a way to start my Sunday morning . what a blessing . Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    August 24, 2014 at 9:28 am

    What a way to start my Sunday morning . what a blessing . Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 24, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Thank you for “Rock of Ages” so well harmonized and so humbly presented from Paul’s kitchen! I also liked the story leading up to today’s production. It’s been a wonderful time to travel through the Blind Pig Gang’s six years with us! I’ll be glad to listen to the big “reunion” issue–and want it to happen!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 24, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Wow, very nice! Chatter is singing deeper than usual. They are great together, blending, harminizing beautifully.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 7:18 am

    You have such a talented family! I’m sure the girls will look back on these times and treasure them. ( I liked watching those fingers keeping the beat on the fiddle 🙂 )

  • Reply
    August 24, 2014 at 7:06 am

    i love this. just like at my cousins on monday nights. just love!!!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 24, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I’ve been waiting for this to happen and knew it couldn’t be long in coming when I recently heard Chatter extemporaneously harmonizing during a group singing of Amazing Grace.
    Folks, even though I thoroughly enjoy Tipper’s videos, let me tell you that really need to look for – or make – an opportunity to listen to the whole gang in person.

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