Posts Tagged ‘Appalachian’

One fine sparkl’n morn

November 27, 2014

I suggest listening to this tune from Jay Ungar while reading my poem below:

This sparkl’n morn

my mind got shorn

of modern stuff when

snowy fluff

flew in my head


I know I know

what memories these are I think I know

Pull out me ole buckboard wagon

while routine tasks  be laggin’

n sun-bright winter morn

of crisp cold sparkles leapin’

beneath them high-steppin’ hooves

it sho’ behooves

me here somehow in long gone valleys’ Appalachian

long lost memories a-hatchin’

buckboard dreams n

bak’n beans o’er the fire

n some long gone shire

I know I know

what flashes these be I think I see

me n thee trav’lin time and time agin

don’ know how don’ know when

but I know this I somehow know

Pull out me ole fiddle n

fiddle awhile sling out me ole singsong

n singalong tagalong we go

behind horse drawn in the snow

then sway’n ‘cross the kitchen flo’

while the ole fiddles wail

n horse’s whishin’ tail

where it come from I don’ know

yet I do know I know

I think I hear I hear it in the wind

same ole tune from long ago

maybe waltz

from mem’ries toss’d

them gran’pas have send

or gran’mas somehow do lend

to tune our imaginary ears

n sway away our twenty-first fears

how it was in that day n time

front porch boards whistlin’ in

winter wind while kickin’

snowy shoes at the door

before all this other stuff

come along I see

me an thee

when pony heals kick up fluff

cold n white n spark’n fine

n snowy valleys froze in time

in someone’s mind

I know it mine.

It sho’ do shine.

Glass half-Full

The Doc(torate) of Music

May 30, 2012

Although our hometown university, Appalachian State, never presented him with a Phy.D., most everyone in Boone would agree with the rest of world  that  Doc Watson was a true master of the art of music.

Now, I’ve only lived in Doc’s hometown since 1980, but my unforgettable first connection with his music began in 1972.  I was a junior, maybe a senior, at LSU then. My friends Bruce and Bob turned me on to an album that would become a classic of southern folk music–the Will the Circle Be Unbroken album by Nitty Gritty Dirt band.

Doc’s pickin’ and singin’  shone out on that studio gem like a Blue Ridge sunrise peeking over the mountain in Deep Gap. Doc’s raw Appalachian clarity grabbed the attention of this Louisiana boy like a turkey on a night-crawler.

Later, after I had moved here, at a concert in Farthing Auditorium  in Boone, I heard his music introduced as the “fastest, cleanest flat-pickin’ in the world. No doubt about it. The man was a local legend; we’ve got a sculpted bronze likeness  on a park bench here that, at first glance, seems to be an actual occurrence of Doc serenading the passersby in downtown Boone.

Which is something that he did do, with regularity, back in the day, before and after the world discovered his unique contribution to world music at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. The old-timers ’round here tell tales about this.

While I was painting an apartment today at work, I listened to an intimate interview between Doc and Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. I recommend you hear it, here:

But the tune that really started it for me was Tennessee Stud.

As Doc sings the story in the song, some adventurer from the way back took a journey on the Tennessee Stud over to Arkansas, and  on down to Mexico, but Tennessee  and a pretty little gal eventually  drew him back home. That’s a little bit like how this Louisiana boy ended up here in the North Carolina mountain town where Doc used to sing on the street, about ten miles from the Tennessee line.

Thanks for your amazing and musical legacy, Doc.

Glass half-Full