Friday, July 15, 2016

 
THE HONEY DEWDROPS:  
FROM THE COLLIERVILLE TOWN SQUARE 
TO MUSIC CITY ROOTS
WITH MORE THAN A FEW PLACES BETWEEN
JULY 15, 2016
 
The Honey Dewdrops - Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish
Collierville TN Historic Town Square Bluegrass &
Old-Time Music Jam - Summer, 2009
     THE HONEY DEWDROPS came by the Collierville (TN) Historic Town Square Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Jam just a few short years ago. We were thrilled! Has it really been seven years since they were passing through and heading to Midtown Memphis to play at Otherlands Coffee Bar? The photo we took said 2009, so yep, it has been seven years! My! How time does fly!
     This lovely, talented couple, Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish, has traveled many a mile since their last visit, and we were thrilled to learn that Music City Roots ('live from The Factory in Franklin, TN) has advanced to live-streaming and that The Honey Dewdrops were going to appear right here on my computer on the night of July 13, 2016. Oh! The miracles of modern technology!
     Originally from Virginia, the husband-wife team of Wortman and Parrish now call Baltimore, Maryland their home. Their style is simple; their message right out of the pages of American history. Their voices are as close as one is to two. Their vocal harmony is sublime, and their work on guitar, banjo, and harmonica is subtle and near-perfect.
     Honey Dewdrops is the perfect name for this delightful couple: Their music is as sweet as honey, and the entire experience is as fresh as the morning dew on my grandmother's red roses.
     The host for Music City Roots on July 13 was Mike Bub, another real favorite of this writer's. Mike is the "bass player's bass player" and he works at a feverish pace with the band 18 South and with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. Mike, Rob, and Trey laid down some serious music when they closed out the show that recent Wednesday evening
     When Mike Bub introduced The Honey Dewdrops, I was instantly taken back to memories of their stunning harmonies and simple tunes about everyday things that are familiar to each of us.
     Laura and Kagey chose these five songs to sing on their portion of the show: Lowlands, Loneliest Songs, One Kind Word, Horses, and Same Old. The reader can hear 'Same Old' by visiting The Honey Dewdrops website. You may also order the three most current CDs at the website.
     The Honey Dewdrops are at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR, as of this writing, and we only wish we were there to soak up the entire feel of that Mountain View "thing". There's no way to really explain The Honey Dewdrops or Mountain View, AR. You just have to be there to experience it for yourself. Be sure to catch Laura and Kagey the next time they come around. Check their performance schedule (cooler climes in the next couple of months...smart!), order some CDs, and take a pleasant trip back in time with The Honey Dewdrops! It will lift your soul in these troubled times!
 
For more information:
Music City Roots: www.musiccityroots.com
 
Pick away!
    
     
 
 


Monday, July 11, 2016

THE COUNTY LINE JAM
COLLIERVILLE, TN
 St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
July 10, 2016
 
The County Line Jam is a long-standing pleasant old-time music jam perfectly suited for a Sunday afternoon. Located at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, just off the Collierville, TN, Historic Town Square, the jam was begun by dulcimer player/instructor Lee Cagle. Lee and several of her musical friends gather on the second Sunday of each month from 2-4 PM Central. Visitors are invited to play or just listen and chat with the performers.
 
L to R: Karl Gray, Marshall Brown, Judy Brown,
Danny Autry, Hilary Scheel, Lee Cagle
On July 10, this writer dropped in and saw old friends like Karl Gray, Donna Gray, Valerie Gray, Yolanda Harper, Marshall Brown, Judy Brown, Danny Autry, Hilary Scheel, and Lee herself. Lee's son Nat J. Cagle dropped by before the session was over. My! How that child has grown!
 
L to R: Karl Gray, Donna Gray,
Yolanda Harper, Valerie Gray,
Marshall Brown
Nat J. Cagle
Hilary Scheel and Lee Cagle
 
 
 
 
 
On this particular Sunday afternoon, we were treated to several old-time tunes played on guitar, mandolin, autoharp, fiddle, and dulcimer. It's all-acoustic, meaning no amplifiers or microphones. Here are some of those tunes:  Poor Boys Delight, Long Black Train, What'll I Do with the Baby-o, Farther Along, Whiskey 'fore Breakfast, Soldier's Joy, Rosin the Beau (Bow?), There Is a Time, Georgiana Moon, Little Birdie, Bile Dem Cabbage Down, and Old Joe Clark. Some of the tunes originated in Scotland, Ireland, and in other sectors of the British Isles and Western Europe. The tunes have been passed down through generations, and folks who were new to America brought those tunes and many others with them when they came to this new land.
 
Lee Cagle
Karl Gray at right
We are thankful to Lee Cagle and the County Line players for helping to keep the old songs alive. Lee encourages other musicians to join the all-acoustic jam. Fans like this writer enjoy watching and listening to the tunes and hearing stories about those ancient melodies.
 
Contact Lee Cagle for instruction, McSpadden Dulcimers, CDs, and information about The Memphis Dulcimer Gathering, Inc.
 
For more information:
 
Pick away!
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

HIGH FIDELITY SPARKLES
AT BLUEGRASS MONDAY
THE COLLINS THEATRE, PARAGOULD, AR  
JUNE 27, 2016
 
     DR. RALPH STANLEY HAD IT, Coach Pat Summitt had it, and Coach Buddy Ryan had it! They all left us in the last 10 days. It's been quite a week for all of us in several genres. Smiles and tears everywhere! Dr. Ralph had it in bluegrass music as a member of the first generation, Pat Summitt had it in women's basketball, and Buddy Ryan surely had it in professional football. Each in his or her own way has taught us about high fidelity...top quality, the best, the tone that others strive  to achieve. *Note: Click on each photo to get a closer look!
Marquee of the Collins Theatre Welcomes High Fidelity
Now comes a band with the actual name HIGH FIDELITY. Imagine that! After performing for a short two years, this band, loaded with passion for traditional bluegrass music that takes the listener back to the 1950's and '60's, has put together an incredible sound and stage presence that many bands don't reach before 10 years or longer, if ever! This is no 'regional band' right here! The first thing the band did after getting together was to win the 2014 International Band Championship at the 40th Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) in Nashville, TN. That's huge! High Fidelity's appearance at KASU FM 91.9's Bluegrass Monday at the Collins Theatre in Paragould, AR, merely whetted our appetite to hear more. Thanks to KASU, their sponsors, and the Collins Theatre for having High Fidelity to perform. Special thanks to Marty Scarbrough for his MC work at all the Bluegrass Monday (4th Monday) events!
                      
Kurt Stephenson has a big hug for Mom during intermission
      KURT STEPHENSON is from Dyersburg, TN, and he has been working at this banjo thing for most of his young life. He hit the top in the banjo world in 2010 by winning the National Banjo Championship in Winfield, KS. Kurt is a graduate of Arkansas State University and is a radiation therapist. Fans will remember his fine work in the band Stone County Connection. Kurt also sings harmony vocals in this band. That smile on Kurt's face lights up a room...and a theatre!
 
     JEREMY STEPHENS comes into the band with at least 20 years' experience on guitar, old-time banjo, and lead vocals. His band credentials include the highly successful gospel group known as The Chuck Wagon Gang. His dead-pan expression and infectious ways are really appealing.
                                                                         
L to R: Corrina Rose Logston, Vickie Vaughn,
Jeremy Stephens, Kurt Stephenson
CORRINA ROSE LOGSTON is the fine fiddle players in High Fidelity. Her vocals are solid and spot-on! Her expressions, priceless! Her credits include outstanding groups such as Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, David Peterson and 1946, and Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass. She is such fun to watch.
 
     VICKIE VAUGHN stands behind the band with her upright bass, but man, does she let her presence be known! Besides wearing out the bass, Vickie has a voice that will compete with most any female bluegrass singer who is working today. She sings lead in her own bluegrass band and she has worked with country star Patty Loveless and bluegrass vocalist Valerie Smith.
                                                                         
L to R: Andrea Stephenson, Corrina Rose Logston,
Vickie Vaughn, Jeremy Stephens,
Kurt Stephenson
L to R: Andrea Stephenson, Corrina Rose Logston,
Vickie Vaughn, Jeremy Stephens,
Kurt Stephenson
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     High Fidelity's outstanding program is as follows, and we apologize for not catching some of the song titles.
 
     Set One: Another Day, It's Your Turn to Weep and Cry, I Ain't Got Time, Lost and I'll Never Find the Way (Kurt, from Stanley Bros.), Lost Indian (Corrina), Kneel at the Cross, That Glory Train, The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn, Bully of the Town (Kurt), My Empty Arms (with Andrea Stephenson on guitar, from Jim & Jesse), I Know You're Married But I Love You Still (from Reno & Smiley), Unwanted Love (from Pearl Bailey), The Cry from the Cross. 
 
     Set Two: Big Mon, Walking with You in My Dreams, Oh Mother Sweet Mother, I'm Happy to Know That You're Happy That Way (from the McCormick Brothers [William, Haskell, and Gerald] of Westmoreland, TN), Mountain Church, The Sunny Side of the Mountain (Vickie, from Jimmy Martin), Blame Game (Kurt, from Ralph Stanley), As Long as I Live (Corrina, from the Bailes Bros.), Feudin' Banjos (Kurt and Jeremy on banjos, the original version by Arthur Smith and Don Reno), Nobody's Love Is Like Mine (Stanley Bros.), Using My Bible for a Roadmap (from Don Reno), Lord Lead Me On (from The Chuck Wagon Gang), You Never Mentioned Him to Me, Sinner Read the Bible (from the Stewart Family of Blytheville, AR, radio fame), She Left Me Standing on the Mountain (from Jim & Jesse), Encore #1: Charlotte Breakdown (Kurt), and Encore #2: Love Please Come Home (all band members)
 
     As you can tell, the old saying "Everything old is new again" surely applies to High Fidelity. The entire band is focused on remembering where bluegrass originated, and they aim to keep it rolling right along. The enthusiastic, responsive audience was definitely into the instrumentation and vocals of this fine band.                                  
L to R: Corrina Rose Logston, Vickie Vaughn, Jeremy Stephens, Kurt Stephenson
     The High Fidelity performance will be repeated on Sunday, July 3, on radio at KASU-FM 91.9 and the Internet at www.kasu.org. The show is Down Home Harmonies, with Marty Scarbrough doing the MC work. The program begins at noon, and the featured band will begin at about 12:30 PM CDT. Tune in for High Fidelity this Sunday!
 
For more information:
 
KASU-FM 91.9   www.kasu.org or e-mail Marty Scarbrough at mscarbro@astate.edu
High Fidelity is on Facebook and at www.corrinacorrina.com
The Vickie Vaughn Band   www.vickievaughnband.com
 


Monday, June 20, 2016

MINTON SPARKS  
'LIGHTS UP' THE BASEMENT!
NASHVILLE, TN
JUNE 18, 2016
 
     NOBODY DOES IT QUITE LIKE MINTON SPARKS! YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY! She hits the stage at The Basement in Nashville, TN, or Rowan Oak (the William Faulkner home) or Off Square Books, both in Oxford, MS, or at the Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, and one begins to think, "Where am I, who is that up there, and what on Earth is she going to do?"
7 PM Minton Sparks $15
      Minton shows up in simple attire, her hair just out of those pink rollers, and she is carrying her now-famous rather ordinary-looking pocket book like your mama carried back in the 1950's.
 
Minton Sparks weaves a spell over the crowd at The Basement

     When she starts to spin a story, the listener is instantly drawn in, because here in the Deep South, we know these people she is talking about, or we know some like 'em. She brings along her enormously talented accompanist, John Jackson, who is at home on a guitar or two and even a banjo. His musical timing fits right into wherever Minton is in that tale she is spinning. It's a perfect match!
 
John Jackson warming up before the show
     Minton Sparks has been at this thing for probably 30 years now, and her stories are filled with gossipy women she knew, men who often were not very nice to their women, little children, gas station attendants, her mama's purse, an open casket at a Southern funeral, the dairy bar at the neighborhood swimming pool, and even kids on a school bus headed to a game somewhere.
 
Minton Sparks captivates her audience
Minton Sparks' purse, part of her wonderful stories about life
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     As a Nashville native, this writer couldn't help but smile when Minton mentioned Green Hills Village and Richard Jones Road in one story. My own father walked for exercise in that area a million miles or more when we lived there. Mama even worked at Castner-Knott, when there was a Castner-Knott in Green Hills. Oooh's and aaah's erupted again when Minton mentioned Pat Summitt, retired top-tier coach of the women's basketball team at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I told you that Minton knows our story!
 
     Our recent trip to hear Minton yet again brought us to The Basement, a three-story firetrap kind of a building across from Reservoir Park on 8th Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee. Development in the area has left the structure behind; however, Grimey's Record Shop still sells new and gently-used music on the main floor of the building. And there's The Basement where wonderful music and entertainment happens often. So, they're still carrying on and it's all OK by us!
The Basement, bottom floor at Grimey's Record Shop
     The opener for the show was Miss Lauren Pratt. Lauren pointed out that the 'Miss' sticker on the front of her guitar had fallen off, but she would go ahead and play. Lauren performed the following songs: Down in the Valley, Days Like Tonight, Cocaine Gospel, and Things Fall Apart. Lauren writes her own music, sings extremely well, and plays that guitar with or without the missing 'Miss' sticker. We look for her to do great things in singing and songwriting.                                
Miss Lauren Pratt opening for Minton Sparks

      Minton Sparks came on with John Jackson to accompany her. We will share her song list and throw in a few notes about a story or two:
If I Needed You (from the album "Gold Digger")
Desperation
Vicki Pickle's Mama (there was talk in town)
Cluck, Cackle, and Peck (family members who could gossip with the best)
Assisi (town, St. Francis County, AR, kids called a boy 'a sissy')
Where You From? (Tennessee and Pat Head Summitt)
Carnival
Granny Panties (Tom Jones concert)
The Streaker (in her family)
World Where Humans End and Birds Begin
Her Purse (the one you looked through at church when you were little and bored)
Hi, Helen (seniors who wave at someone and the arm jiggles a bit)
Giddy-Up Gibson (little boy and his mama's guitar) 
 

 
Catch Minton Sparks whenever and wherever you can. She has CDs and DVDs at her website. You can learn more about this amazing performer by going to www.mintonsparks.com


Monday, May 23, 2016

GARRISON KEILLOR'S
A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION
THE RYMAN AUDITORIUM
NASHVILLE, TN
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2016
(Photo credits with many thanks: Jim Oliver)
 
 
Garrison Keillor, creator and host of
A Prairie Home Companion for 40+ years
     SAY IT ISN'T SO, MR. KEILLOR! Tell us you're not really retiring from the show! Not yet! Noooooo! This is only your 1,462nd show! You must surely have another 40 years' worth of stories about the Lake Wobegon Whippets always losing to the Uppsala Uff-das, the Chatterbox Café where Dorothy presides, rhubarb pie, tuna hotdish, the Ketchup Advisory Board, Norwegian bachelor farmers, snow...always the snow, cats, the Bunsens, the Krebsbachs, Powdermilk Biscuits ("Heavens! They're tasty!"), the lives of the cowboys, Guy Noir Private Eye, the weather this past week up there in Lake Wobegon, the perfect voices and sound-effects that make the scene real (at least in the minds of your ardent fans) and your warm storyteller's voice we have come to know and love. Tell us, please, that you will stick around a few more years to tell us what happens at Bertha's Kitty Boutique ("In the Dalles...Roy and Dale, Airedale, Clydesdale, Teasdale, Chippendale, Mondale"...and so on).
    
 We felt an urgency to get tickets to see A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, the band and special guests, the sound effects folks, and all of it in the Ryman Auditorium just one more time. We started the process on December 1, 2015, working our way through the maze of Ticketmaster and ParkWhiz for tickets and parking near the Ryman. Done! Now, just five months 'til the show!
                                                                           
Set of A Prairie Home Companion, Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Our seats on the main floor were perfect. The weather for the drive into Nashville was perfect. The only downer was knowing that this could be the last time we would see master storyteller Garrison Keillor and the gang from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, "out on the prairie". The drive to the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul is a bit too 'fur and snakey' for us, so this was the closest and best opportunity to catch the show 'live and in person. And we did!
    
Garrison hit the stage a few minutes before air time on public radio. He has immersed himself in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Ryman since the 1970's, when he visited the Ryman and began forming ideas in his head about creating a radio show rather like the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, which originated there. Garrison is a huge fan of bluegrass and traditional music, for which we are extremely grateful! The result of his ponderings is, of course, A Prairie Home Companion. So, Keillor comes out to center stage and he feels like reflecting and singing old gospel tunes right there and then in the Ryman, which was used originally for church services and many gospel singings over the years. He started in and the audience joined him in one familiar hymn after another. He knew he had plenty of a cappella support from an audience filled with folks raised in churches of Christ and Baptist churches in the area. We could help him, and we did! We do a cappella! It was wonderful!
 
The two-hour show began precisely at 5 o'clock p.m. local time. The house band of amazing musicians was in position: Rich Dworsky, Bernie Dresel, Larry Kohut, Richard Kriehn, and Chris Siebold, along with our own Tennessean, Stuart Duncan, all of whom provide upbeat and incredible music. Heather Masse and Aoife O'Donovan charmed us with a duet of "Making Believe." Voiceover artist Sue Scott and Garrison followed with a bit about flowers for Mother's Day. Later, there was a similar conversation between them about calling Mother on Mother's Day.Then bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan, and the PHC house band performed "Left in this World All Alone" and "Wicked Path of Sin", with vocal backup from Garrison.
 
 
L to R: Heather Masse, Aoife O'Donovan
 
L to R: Stuart Duncan,Richard Kriehn,
Chris Siebold, Larry Kohut, Garrison Keillor,
Bernie Dresel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
Del McCoury
The scene moved to Guy Noir, Private Eye, along with some political jokes about the current crop of candidates in the coming 2016 election. Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Fred Newman are the  terrific sound effects and voiceover artists. Next up was country artist Brad Paisley, who is talented and completely funny! He did "You Oughta Be Ashamed" from his album "Moonshine in the Trunk". Paisley followed that song with an audience-participation number that is good to remember: "The Internet Is Forever". Yes, it is! Brad's song about a single mom, "He Didn't Have to Be", brought more than a few tears in the audience.
Brad Paisley, Garrison Keillor
Next, Heather Masse and Aoife O'Donovan performed "The Magic Hour", along with world-class fiddler, Stuart Duncan. Before singing, O'Donovan recalled that when she was a child, her family spent time in West Cork, Ireland, every summer.                                                                  

Aoife O'Donovan
 
[Time for an imaginary commercial for an imaginary product: Be-Bop-a-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie]
 
Stuart Duncan and Richard Kriehn performed a fiddle medley of "Orange Blossom Special" and Del McCoury joined them with "Footprints in the Snow".                                                                       
Del McCoury
The PHC truck driver, Russ Ringsak, performed "Six Days on the Road," which seemed quite fitting for his job. Even the truck driver gets in on the action onstage at A Prairie Home Companion!
 
Garrison reflected yet again on 'stories we could tell' about the Ryman, mentioning Chet Atkins, the Everly Brothers, Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, the Whites, Vince Gill, Roger Miller, Kate McKenzie and Stoney Lonesome, Robin and Linda Williams, Sarah Jarosz, choirs and chorales from everywhere, Lake Wobegon, the Chatterbox Café, Heather Masse, Aoife O'Donovan, and keyboardist-composer-arranger Rich Dworsky, who keeps the show on track, to name but a handful who have appeared on the show in the last 40+ years.
 
Brad Paisley returned to the stage to perform the funny "Buncha Lowlife Living the High Life". Garrison, Heather Masse, Aoife O'Donovan, Rich Dworsky and the band joined in for sweet recollections in "Sitting Alone in an Old Ricking Chair".
 
Garrison read some additional comments and messages from the crowd to friends and loved ones at home. The gentleman next to me was fortunate enough to have his message read. It was a quote from Mammaw, who said, "It is always wise to hold some advice back." (Good thinking, Mammaw!)
 
It will be interesting to see where A Prairie Home Companion will go from this point. We hear that talented mandolinist, Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers) is likely the chosen host. It is also likely that Garrison Keillor will be around the show in some capacity for a long time to come. Garrison turns 74 during the first week of August, and his many fans wish him Happy Birthday and a fond farewell.
 
"That's the news from Lake Wobegon." ~ Garrison Keillor
 
Additional information:  www.prairiehome.org
     
 


Sunday, May 8, 2016

 
JOHN JOHNS' GUITAR CONCERT
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
HICKMAN, KY
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016
  
     John Johns is a cousin in a roundabout sort of way, but mostly he is a dear and talented friend of many years. His roots are deep in the small town of Hickman, KY, alongside the Mississippi River. John took and interest in the classical guitar a long time ago. He wound up befriending other guitarists such as Chet Atkins. They swapped stories and music licks during most of their time together. At one point, Chet even took a lesson or two from John about a technique Chet was working on. Picture that, if you can...the great Chet Atkins taking lessons from John Johns. Oh, my! They remained friends until Chet passed away in 2001.
     Fast-forwarding to more recent times, John Johns and his wife and daughter moved to Nashville, and John began teaching at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. He taught, he toured on a limited basis, he appeared on WPLN-FM (public radio in Nashville) several times, and now after 40+ years of honing his craft, John is retiring to spend more time with his family.
     As a tribute to family and friends where John grew up in Hickman, KY, he was invited to perform one more concert for the hometown crowd. The First Methodist Church was filled that sunny and warm Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2016. The concert was magnificent, and there was a reception and presentation to John which followed the musical performance. It was a lovely way for John to close out his wonderful career and to salute those folks who supported him along the way.
     We should mention that the Saturday night before the concert, there was a fine gathering for a huge catfish dinner at Boyette's Restaurant in Tiptonville, TN, near Reelfoot Lake. Great food, family, and friends. You can't get much better than that!
     John's selections for the Sunday concert were: Aria detta "La Frescobalda" by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643); Prelude, Allemande, and Gavottes I and II by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750); Andante largo, Op. 5, No. 5 by Fernando Sor (1778-1839); Danza Espanola No. 5 (Andaluza) by Enrique Granados (1867-1916); and Five Preludes (1940) E minor, D major, A minor, E minor, and E major, by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959).
     Our congratulations and best wishes to John and his family as he moves into another phase of his life. We hope he will continue to play guitar well into the future.

 
John Johns on his Daryl Perry Classical Guitar
First Methodist Church, Hickman KY
May 1, 2016
 
John Johns and cousin Bill Bailey
First Methodist Church, Hickman, KY
May 1, 2016







Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 
SOMETHING'S ALWAYS COOKIN'
AT THE DIXIE CAFE
IN BROOKS SHAW'S OLD COUNTRY STORE
JACKSON, TN
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2016
 
 
     GOT A TASTE FOR SOME COUNTRY COOKIN'? How about some good ol' country and bluegrass music to go along with that great cookin' that many of us grew up on? You probably grew up on country-fried steak (and gravy), fried catfish, fried okra, beans, taters, and cornbread from a black cast-iron skillet. If you didn't, you should have! You missed some fine eatin'!
     All of that, plus the music, is still going strong at the legendary BROOKS SHAW'S OLD COUNTRY STORE in CASEY JONES VILLAGE, Jackson, TN, just off I-40 eastbound at exit 82-A. Right there, every Thursday night, there's country cooking in the main restaurant and in the charming annex called THE DIXIE CAFE. The Dixie Café has added a stage, a few tables and a mix of chairs, and local bluegrass and country music players show up to eat first (always important!) and then they climb onto the stage or sit in chairs around the edges of the stage stage, and it becomes a "country-dog good time" for the next few hours. Skill level doesn't matter all that much. The point is that everybody has a good time.
     The JACKSON AREA PLECTRAL SOCIETY musicians gather all over the Old Country Store to while away the hours every Thursday. They can be seen in the Dixie Café, in the old-fashioned ice cream parlor, outdoors in bunches, and even in the train museum across the parking lot. See the home of Casey Jones, see train memorabilia inside the train museum, and just enjoy a step back in time when trains were THE method of getting from here to there.
     On a recent trip to Jackson, we stopped in to listen and take pictures of the goings-on in the Dixie Café. We jotted down a bunch of names of the musicians and some of the songs they sang during the evening. We saw Joe and Sue Bone, Marilyn and Coley Graves, Don and Monda Horne, Wanda Davis, Pat Knight, Don Gentry, Joe Cupp, Jimmy Skiles, Fate Britt, Steve Benson, Paul Jackson, and Ricky Locke. Apologies to those whose names I missed. 
 
Players in the Dixie Café, Jackson, TN, April 28, 2016
 
Players and fans in the Dixie Café, Jackson, TN, April 28, 2016
      We heard so many songs that we can't remember them all, but here are some tunes you may remember from another day and time: You Are My Flower, Touched by the Blood of the Lord, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Who Will Watch the Home Place, Little White Church, Just Over in the Glory Land, The Way I Am, Worried Man Blues, This Little Light of Mine, Blue Ridge Mountain Blues, Red Wing, Blue Ridge Mountain Home, Unclouded Day, I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name, Cryin' My Heart Out Over You, Where the Soul Never Dies, Bile 'Em Cabbage Down, Ashokan Farewell, Rank Strangers, Somebody Touched Me, I'll Fly Away, Do Lord, This Little Light of Mine, Red River Valley, Where the Arkansas River Leaves Oklahoma, Old Joe Clark, and All the Good Times Are Past and Gone.
     Join the fans and musicians any Thursday evening around 6:00 PM Central at the Dixie Café inside or on the outside of The Old Country Store in Jackson, TN, taste the great Southern cookin' that the store is known for, and stick around for a little bluegrass and country music. You will leave feeling much better than when you came in!
 
Pick away!
 
For more information about The Old Country Store and Train Museum: