Appalachia Music

The World And Brasstown


The Pressley Girls at JCCFS

Photo from The Pressley Girls’ cd cover shoot at the John C. Campbell Folk School

If you’ve been reading the Blind Pig and The Acorn for a good while you already know what an important role the John C. Campbell Folk School plays in our lives. Several recent happenings have made me dwell on the way the folk school has shaped the girls’ lives and mine too.

For well over five years the girls and I spent every Monday afternoon at the folk school. During the winter clogging practice was inside the historic Keith House and during the summer it was in the open barn.

The folk school’s annual fall festival was the very first outing of that sort that I took the girls to by myself. They were probably three years old. The Deer Hunter was busy but I wanted to go! So go I did making the girls promise they’d never let go of my hand for one minute and they didn’t. They’ve been to every fall festival since-other than the one it rained out.

From May Day Parades to contra dancing to concerts there have been lots of other functions at the folk school that we’ve participated in.

I’ve never asked the girls but I’m positive they’d agree with me when I say their largest musical influence is Pap and Paul, but coming in a close second are the various musicians who are part of the John C. Campbell Folk School community. From the time the girls first starting playing instruments till now there’s always someone willing to give an impromptu music lesson or teach them a new song.

The folk school is a store-house of folk ways, folk ways that are directly related in an intimate way to our heritage and culture. But the folk school also has a way of bringing the world at large to Brasstown. The school welcomes other cultures and shares them with whoever might want to take part.

At last summer’s Dance Musicians Week the girls came home playing a French tune called Aimee Gagnon.  They’ve since taught it to Paul and me. We’ve had a ton of fun playing it around the house. At last week’s practice Paul said “Now what’a you bet I wake up in the middle of the night with that in my head?” I said “We all will!”

Its a great song, take a listen and see if you don’t agree.


I hope you enjoyed the song-you may have it in your head now!

The girls’s debut cd was supposed to ship on Friday, but now it looks like it’ll be next Wednesday. I’ll let you know when it finally gets here!

*UPDATE!! The cd arrived! Go here to pick up your own copy!



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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I am glad that Katie has adopted a cross section of fiddle music. Not just that string sawing, bow bouncing, Nashville noise. She has become quite the artist in her music and in her jewelry designs. I am thoroughly impressed by both! Add to that, she has the personality to match. I hope I get to meet her and Corie some day. The problem is, I am rapidly running out of somedays.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    October 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    A jaunty little tune very well played.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    There are some tunes that’ll make you tap your toe and this is one, nicely done.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I love the JCCFS with it’s Slant on Danish music. Chitter and Chatter have become really good musicians and I love their Harmony singing. What a way to start Sunday! …Ken

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I am very impressed at the thought of two 3-year-olds who promise not to let go of mama’s hand for one minute…and keep that promise!
    Congratulations on the new CD 🙂

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Très Bien!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

    That’s a great, peppy song. I love the skill that Katie uses handling that fiddle, like she’s been doing it for 20 years!

  • Reply
    eva m. wike
    October 15, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Hey Tipper: AGAIN we enjoyed your wonderful post as well as the girls’ music. I wish they were over here in the EXPO CENTER in Knoxville today. We are attending a three day event. Yesterday I SOLD THREE COPIES OF “Fiddler of the Mountains” and today I HOPE to sell MORE! Jim is NOT SHY ABOUT SHARING “FIDDLER of the MOUNTAINS” with everyone!
    The group that was playing on stage yesterday would have enjoyed ‘A BEAUTIFUL DUO BY YOUR GIRLS!
    They seemed DOWN as NO ONE was sitting down near their stage to enjoy their mountain music! Sometimes the music is the BEST part of an event! But that is just my opinion and I am sure all my ‘exposure’ to “Fiddler of the Mountain” has influenced my perception! Bull I still love it!
    Hope you have a sunny day! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    larry griffith
    October 15, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I hope this Frernch tune sticks in this old head. Tunes I learned as a child like Alouette and Frere Jacques I still remember.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    October 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Alex just passed out at the news of the CD! She can’t wait and has it on her list as a birthday present!
    Great tune, too. We look forward to Sunday music with you and your family.
    I deeply appreciate those people and places that preserve our culture as it is not as someone else wants it to be. If we don’t speak for ourselves, God only knows who might.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos, Columbia Station Ohio
    October 15, 2017 at 8:44 am

    What a fun song! I sit here at my computer “tapping” on my knees as I play along with the girls.
    I love to see a glimmer of a smile as they play their instruments. This was fun to hear before Sunday morning worship time.

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