Appalachia Blog Music

The First Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot


Pap and Paul – 2008

Granny wasn’t the only one who had a birthday. Blind Pig and The Acorn turned eleven years old last week.

When I say eleven years out loud I wonder how in the world I’ve managed to keep blogging for so long. A fellow blogger sent me a congratulatory message: “You’ve been leading Blind Pig for 11 years?! That’s like a century in blog years. Huge congrats. Hope you’re well.”

He’s right, most blogs don’t last near as long as this one has. The reason behind the longevity of the Blind Pig and The Acorn is my great passion for Appalachia. I truly believe its the best place in the world and I feel a strong calling to make sure others know the real Appalachia instead of the cardboard cut out that’s often held up as an example.

The eleven years I’ve been blogging have flown by at warp speed. It seems only yesterday we were filming our first “Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot.”

The Deer Hunter and I got the girls a small digital camera for Christmas and by March of 2008 they were experts at using them. They slap wore out those cameras. They used them like folks do smart phones today. They were always taking photos and recording their own silliness.

I bought a camcorder and filmed a few videos of Pap and Paul singing. I still wasn’t sure how I wanted to proceed with the Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot, but I knew it would all fall into place eventually.

One Sunday afternoon I filmed a few songs and then sort of sat down to rest while Pap and Paul went over some other songs. Chatter and Chitter were there with their cameras and wanting to capture the music they both videoed the song “El Condor Pasa” with their small cameras. We all had a good laugh at how serious the girls were. Pap said he thought Chitter was going to put the camera up his nose before the song was over with.

After we were finished practicing we headed for home. Later that evening Chitter said “Momma you ought to look at my video it’s good.”

Chitter’s video was good! It captured us just as we were. Paul, Pap, Mark, and Ben playing music, Chatter walking around in one of Granny’s crocheted hats with her own camera and me sitting in the background.

Paul and I teased Chitter she must have been emulating a MTV videographer with all the shots of their feet. Yet along with the feet shots, she managed to get some good shots of Pap’s hands and face and of Paul’s picking.

I hope you enjoyed this peek back into the first days of the Blind Pig and The Acorn. In one way I wish Chitter’s video was filmed with a real camera so the quality would be better and that she hadn’t of swarped the camera around so much. But in another way I think the video is just perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Twelve year old Chitter captured a period in time that was remarkable. The kids were all still young and at home, the Blind Pig and The Acorn had just been born, and best of all we were all there together on a Sunday afternoon enjoying music and fellowship.


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.

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    March 14, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Tipper, I’m fairly new to your blog, maybe only a year or two….I share some of your email posts and some of your Facebook posts with family and friends…. I hope you keep sharing what you do so well!….As you may remember, Mary and I moved to the Georgia mountains southwest of Murphy, NC about 15 miles and same distance northwest of Blairsville, Georgia about six months ago….I hope we get to meet you one day…. I truly enjoyed 11 year old, Chitter’s video…. She did a good job that expressed the music and the musicians well!….Rick and Mary Shepherd

  • Reply
    Yecedrah Beth Higman
    March 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Tipper, this is my favorite blog spot!!!! I love all the things you put on it and I am an Arkansas girl. It just makes me feel good to read this every day. I hope you will be able to keep it up for years to come.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    I know I’m a day latr and a dollar short, but I must add my congratulations and appreciation for all you have shared and celebrated along with those of us who have been priveleged to participate with the Blind Pig Family!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Wonderful video, congratulations for 11 years of sharing so much for everyone to enjoy , learn from, and be encouraged by.. although I’ve only been reading a short while compared to others, it surely has been a day brightener for me.SusieQ

  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 10:58 am

    How quickly the time flies! And to think I’ve been reading most of those 11 years. Rarely does an evening go by that I don’t check in to see what is happening on the BPA blog and community. Happy Birthday Blind Pig and the Acorn. And many more!

  • Reply
    Donna W
    March 11, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I’ve been blogging a couple years longer than you, but I no longer do a daily post. I’m retired, and there isn’t as much to blog about these days. I try at least to do 2 or 3 entries weekly.

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Beautiful! Just beautiful! Flows like water.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 10, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    The video IS perfect! Beautiful! Congratulations on your anniversary — I only wish I had known about Blind Pig from the first. I love your “re-runs” because they give me many of the ones I missed initially.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Wow, 11yrs? I tried to remember when I first found the Blind Pig, I cannot remember, Congratulations, what an accomplishment, you have done very well.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 10, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Congradulations on making the Blind Pig one of the Best Blogs out there. When I first started reading your Blog, I thought you were down in Mississippi somewhere. Was I surprised to find out you were in the same county as me, less than 30 miles from me at Brasstown. I’m glad I got to know you and your Family. Youn’ze have really been a Blessing. …Ken

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Congratulations on 11 wonderful years! Your blog brightens my day. I found it a few years ago when I was looking up dew sores to see if there was such a thing and you had a post about it. Mama said if you went barefoot before the dew dried, you’d get dew sores. I learned from your blog that they do exist, but since we lived in the suburbs and there weren’t any cow droppings or other farm animal droppings, we couldn’t have had dew sores. I grew up with a lot of old wives’ tales that had no truth to them.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    March 10, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Congratulations on the Blind Pig’s longevity. Looking forward to many more mornings reading of Appalachia. And thank you for letting me participate by using my stories.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    March 10, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Happy Birthday to Blind Pig! For the last six years this blog has been the first thing I read every morning. I have learned so much from your work and research. You have a knack for finding the best sources…sources I take Indiana Jones like joy in tracking down and acquiring. Alex’s favorite song is still “Spotted Pony” (the one where “the girls laugh at the end”).

    You’ve also inspired me to do better. For the last two years I’ve been interviewing my great uncle. Getting all that family history has been a gift.

    Tipper, you keep me going. I hope you know how appreciated your efforts are and that you are doing the best work here. Thank you for welcoming us in every morning.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 10, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Congratulations to the Angel of Brasstown – and all of the Blindpig crew. You’ve brightened up many a day.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I couldn’t imagine starting my day without a hefty dose of Appalachia here on the Bling Pig & The Acorn. Hoping we are both still around for eleven more years.
    The video photographer did a great job! The time was share equally with all pickers and grinners.

  • Reply
    Patricia Small
    March 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Well, happy belated birthday!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Happy anniversary! Please keep up the great work. I so enjoy learning each day things I may have forgotten or reminded of Appalachian heritage.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Love it! Amazing talent, and I sure miss seeing and hearing Pap’s tenor in the new songs. Thank you so much for sharing your home, family, and your Appalachia life with us for all these years, and I hope the blogs keep coming for many, many more!
    May God Bless

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I like that Tipper as well as knowing you started 11 yrs. Thanks for your time an effort. I love reading your post every morning, it has become a habit. A good one. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Brian P.T. Blake
    March 10, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Happy anniversary to all the folks who make the Blind Pig possible! I don’t remember when I first subscribed, but I don’t remember a lot of things anymore and it doesn’t matter because this breath of down-home sanity makes my day. Thank you so much, Tipper, for your cheerful morning posts!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 10, 2019 at 8:50 am

    That was great, I really enjoyed the peek into the beginning and it sure is strange to see you sitting in the back instead of up front playing. Have you ever told us the story about how you came to play the bass guitar? If you have I don’t recall it.
    Your camera girl did a good job.
    Congratulations on 11 years! It seems like yesterday.
    A big ‘THANK YOU to you Tip, for showing the world out rich traditions!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Happy Birthday to the Blind Pig and Acorn too! I can’t remember when I stumbled across your blog but it wasn’t in 2008 and I am so glad I found you. I sure have enjoyed all the music and stories. God Bless.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Tipper–I trust, and I’m sure many other readers feel the same, that you are just getting warmed up with the blog. You’ve already passed the 4,000 mark and are steadily moving in on the total number of newspaper columns (just north of 6,500) the legendary John Parris penned. Keep it up, and I have no doubt you will catch and pass him. After all, you are still a young sprout.

    What I find most amazing is not the energy involved, although that’s remarkable, but the creativity. Sure you use the occasional guest columnist or re-run a blog, but the fact remains that you have to be cranking out new concepts to cover on a constant basis. I’ve piddled around the world of communications long enough to know that isn’t always easy, but it is a testament to your observational skills, your wide-ranging curiosity, and your abiding attachment to Appalachia. Congratulations, and keep it up.

    One final thought. I absolutely loved your using “swarped.” I haven’t encountered that perfectly serviceable bit of mountain English since Moby Dick was the size of a minnow.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Congratulations! I love the perspectives of a child for the birth of an Appalachian institution!

  • Reply
    Doug Sook
    March 10, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Congrats! It’s amazing and wonderful! You should be proud

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 10, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Love your blog. Please do at least eleven more years. I wouldn’t be able to start my day without you.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 7:42 am

    And I’m a newbie. Found you two years ago while searching for a pickle recipe of all things. God sure does work in mysterious ways. Happy Birthday BPA! May all your wishes come true!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    March 10, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    March 10, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Congratulations, I have been enjoying your blog for quite a few years no, from your 2008 date must have been close to when you started

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 5:30 am

    And I follow since 2010. Have a great time! Best wishes from Germany.

  • Leave a Reply