I was flattered several weeks ago, when Tipper, of The Blind Pig and the Acorn, asked me to write a guest post for her blog. To lay the groundwork, let me tell you a bit about Tipper, and her blog. Tipper’s writing focuses on Appalachian culture, her art work, and the music her family makes. She offers a view of life in her section of Appalachia, a place secure and familiar to her, but perhaps not as familiar to some of her readers.
I have been reading Tipper’s blog for quite some time, it was suggested to me by one of my genealogy blogging buddies, Apple. Apple writes the very interesting Apple’s Tree. Ya gotta hand it to her, her creative title beats the dickens out of “Granny’s Genealogy”.
One thing that you learn very quickly after you begin blogging is about the community of bloggers, based on common interests and goals. Thus, it does not seem to much a stretch that a fellow genealogist might also read my personal blog, note my interest in music, and suggest I would enjoy Tipper’s blog. Enjoy it I do; especially like her Appalachian Vocabulary Test posts. Language is an important part of how we live, and tells a lot about us, our culture and our feelings. It has been interesting for me to see how many of the phrases used in Tipper’s neck of the woods also are used, or have been used by people in Michigan.
In addition, there are many things about the rural life in the Appalachians which have parallels to my own small town and rural Michigan home. That place where I lived for over forty years, and raised my children, is never far from me, and is very responsible for who I am. I do not see a lot of difference from the rural experience from one place in the country to another; or perhaps I especially notice the similarities between Tipper’s Appalachian world and my northern Michigan home.
Back to the guest post, what an honor to be asked to write about music, especially about the music of the mountains. Papa and I have spent a substantial part of our forty-year marriage following, listening to, and learning about folk music. Bluegrass is our favorite, but we would have never heard any bluegrass without the folk movement of the ’60’s, which helped spread string band and bluegrass music to a wider audience.
For the post, I chose to relate a little of how a girl from northern Michigan could have heard or found an interest in the music tradition of the Appalachians , and to include interviews with two gentleman who are involved in keeping the music alive. A tip of the hat to Big Mike Ramsey (Son!) and Dr. Everett Lilly, of the Songcatchers, who both generously assisted me, put up with my pestering and questions, and gave me some insight into their efforts to bring the music of Appalachia to a wider audience.
Now, the best part, my post is part of a series on the Music of Appalachia, and there is a big giveaway to go along with the series. I know you are going to want to enter to win the beautiful guitar Tipper is giving away as a part of it all. So hop on over to The Blind Pig and the Acorn this morning, and give my little effort a read, leave a comment. Then, enter to win the guitar, and continue to drop by Tipper’s blog often.
Thanks to Tipper, to Big Mike, to Dr. Lilly, and to all of you who will rush over, read my post, discover Tipper’s great writing, and enter to win the guitar!