Appalachia Music

The Pressley Girls Perform @ Martins Creek Community Center

The pressley girls play at martins creek community center

Last weekend The Pressley Girls took the stage at Martins Creek Community Center. Playing at the community center is always a good experience because there is a sweet spirit about the place and more importantly the people who are connected to the center are some of the finest people who walk the face of this Earth.

This performance was especially neat for Chatter and Chitter because they had their two cousins playing with them and since we all knew the boys would be heading back to college the following Monday-it made it even more special.

The community singings are typically filled with Gospel music. But there was one other song Pap really wanted the girls to do – The Once and Future Carpenter.

The song is an original Avett Brothers song. It always makes me smile when I hear Pap talk about The Avett Brothers – because – if you didn’t know already, The Avett Brothers are modern day rock n rollers.

Its been almost a year since I first stumbled onto the music of The Avett Brothers. I believe the first video I seen of the Avetts was Blue Ridge Mountain Blues. After watching several more of their videos I decided I really liked them-even though they were completely different from the people I usually listened too.

I showed them to Paul and he was equally intrigued with The Avett Brothers. Once we shared them with our nephews they told us-all the cool people know about the Avetts-and they had been fans of them forever-because you know they are part of the cool people.

Anyway it wasn’t long before we got Pap to liking The Avett Brothers too. Pap cracked me up one day when he said “I asked this young girl at church is she knew who The Avett Brothers were. And when she said no, I said well you will before long cause those boys are going to make it big.”

A few months later we discovered The Avett Brothers were Wally Avett’s nephews. It seemed so funny – we had become slightly obsessed with these big superstars only to find out their Uncle was one of Pap’s close friends and I went to school with their cousins. It really is a small world.

When Pap said he wanted the girls to sing the song at the community center I said “Are you sure I thought it had to be all Gospel music?” Pap said “If people don’t think the meaning behind that song is Gospel I don’t know what they would think is!”

Like Pap, I think the song is meaningful in a Gospel sort of way because it talks of our lives and the way we live them. Paul says The Avett Brothers original songs are so popular because they are vague enough that people can derive their own meanings from them and therefore appeal to a broader audience.

You can check out the song yourself by watching the video below. Wally came to the community center just to hear The Pressley Girls -and as you can see in the video the girls dedicated The Avett Brothers song to their Uncle Wally Avett. (*Before you watch the video you need to stop the music player-the music controls are along the top of this page on the far left side-just under the Blind Pig logo. Click the center round button to stop the player.) *For those of you who have trouble viewing the video-go straight to youtube to see it by clicking here.

You can go here to see the lyrics from the song. A few of my favorite lines:


I ain’t a gambler, but I can recognize a hand
And when to hold, when the queens are staring back at me

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I’ll look up to the sky
And when the black cloak drags upon the ground
I’ll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we’re all in this together
If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die

And now I spend my days in search of a woman we called purpose
And if I ever pass back through her town I’ll stay

And my life is but a coin, pulled from an empty pocket
Dropped into a slot with dreams of sevens close behind
And hope and fear go with it, and moon and the sun go spinning
Like the numbers and fruits before our eyes

Sometimes I hit, sometimes it robs me blind
Sometimes I hit, sometimes it robs me blind


I hope you enjoyed the song as much as me and Pap did!


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  • Reply
    Dona DiBernardo Silver
    March 17, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Tipper your daughters are very talented.
    You must be very proud and thankful for their gifts.
    God is really wonderful. I enjoyed watching this video.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2013 at 11:13 am

    WOW!! As I have said many times before, what a very talented family! I LOVED this version of the song and absolutely love seeing the four cousins together on one stage. The blended voices, the string playing, and the sweet sound of the fiddle. I agree, so hope that these four continue on their musical journey. They are such a gift and surely have the talent to make it big. Thank you for sharing this gift with us!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Love the Avetts. Lol-had no idea I was cool!

  • Reply
    Nina Chastain
    September 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I enjoyed those sweet young people so much. The girls are always awesome and we were so happy to get to hear the boys playing with them before they go back to school. It is special when we get to hear “our young folks from our own community ” sing( As well as all the others ). I know you and Matt are so proud of them as well.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    The girls did a wonderful job on the Avett Brothers song.
    You can’t imagine how the chorus touched us here this morning.
    As, my husbands brother was killed on a motorcycle this past Friday evening on his way home from work. It was a terrible shock! He sort of lived a life where the world turned beneath him.
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    The girls were great as usual. I hope they will continue this route when they finish high school. Such wonderful talent!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Since I couldn’t be at Martin’s Creek to hear Chitter and Chatter and their musical cousins in person, this was “next best”! Thanks for posting. I enjoyed tremendously–and enjoyed being introduced to the Avett Brothers song. I was not familiar with it before. Thanks, girls; your harmony is beautiful and your playing superb (and thanks to the guys, too!) Looking forward to more!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I never heard of the Avetts’, but
    Chitter and Chatter can really do
    Justice to a song. Their blended
    voices compliment each other so
    well. You and the Deer Hunter have
    a reason to be proud! …Ken

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Enjoyed the song. Four very talented young folks.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    September 1, 2013 at 10:56 am

    It was a wonderful experience to see the girls perform and they did a great job on this song, love it. I’ve heard of The Avett Brothers and love their music.. Your girls are awesome and can sing anything. Looking forward to seeing them again..

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    September 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

    It was beautiful girls!! Thanks for introducing me to the Avett Brothers!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I have never heard of the Avett Brothers. Guess that means I am not one of the cool people your nephew speaks of. Those brothers couldn’t possibly do the song any better than the Pressley girls and their cousins.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Small World Surprises make my day. I have a feeling, one day when you and I meet, we’ll find out that we are cousins. It really is a small world.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 1, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I been watching this on youtube for several days and wondering when you were going to post it. In a word Excellent! The bookends were ok too.
    When you only had one shot at it, you produced a perfect pair!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Lovely – Chitter and Chatter’s voices continue to improve as does their harmony. It’s so wonderful to have family music for personal enjoyment and for performance.
    Great selection!
    P.S. In my response to yesterday’s blog I used the word “gossiping” – it was completely the wrong word: “visiting” is the correct word, like neighbors visiting across a fence – eavesdropping on these “visits” gives the listener (reader) a warm feeling.
    Thanks for lots of warm feelings.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2013 at 8:38 am

    That was a great song. They did a great job on it. I too have a wide range of different art and music that I enjoy. When some of my relatives hear of some music I like they roll their eyes. Old and new I like. That fiddle she plays gets better and better. That song is a nice piece of poetry. Some great metaphor and simile in it. I enjoy hearing something with a message that has a nice melody.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 1, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Yes, that’s a very nice song and fits in perfectly with the girl’s style.
    You and the Deer Hunter have really done a fine job of leading and teaching the girls.
    I look at them now and I don’t see children, I see young women….fine young women!

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