On the day after Thanksgiving, known in the retail reality as Black Friday, Debbie and I found our way back home to Indiana, where we wandered down to Metamora and met up with Rick and Holly Garrett and Brian Keith Wallen. Catrina Campbell opened up The Cat and the Fiddle, and we played music together for three hours.
It was a wonderful reunion and a great evening to reconnect with friends. You know you have close friends when you can be apart for eleven months and pick right back up where you left off. We did exactly that.
The hard part was paring down three hours of fun to a YouTube length video.
The folks at DisciplesNet Church keep finding gems from various sessions that I did with Twana Harris. They created this devotional video from our rendition of Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, which was recorded at the DisciplesNet studio and … Continue reading →
Ira Sankey was so moved by Elizabeth Clephane’s poem that he clipped it from a newspaper while on an evangelistic crusade with Dwight L. Moody. In that evening’s service, when Moody offered the invitation, he wanted a different hymn played. … Continue reading →
Charles E. Moody composed Drifting Too Far from the Shore in 1923 while directing music at a Methodist church in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. Along with Kneel at the Cross, it is one of Moody’s best known gospel songs. This recording … Continue reading →
I have met a lot of mighty fine pickers and mighty fine people by going to guitar contests. These contests provide a great opportunity for fellowship as well as for performing and learning. The International Finger Style Guitar Contest at … Continue reading →
I Am a Pilgrim is a folk hymn. It was one of many tunes that Merle Travis likely learned from listening to the singing of coal miners in west central Kentucky and has become a standard among thumbpickers playing the Travis style.
Hard to believe it’s been more than a year since the release concert for Picking the Faith. We closed out the show with this song, featuring Brian Keith Wallen on guitar, Rick Garrett on bass vocal, Holly Smith Garrett on fiddle and harmony vocal, Scott Nelson on bass and harmony vocal, and Jim Eads on drums.
Farther On appears to be a hymn out of the shape note tradition of the Southern singing schools; however, it’s origins are uncertain. Like many hymn texts of its time, Farther On is a song of perseverance, of keeping on in the face of adversity even to the end. As the last verse says:
At my grave, oh, still be singing,
Though you weep for one that’s gone.
Sing it as we once did sing it;
It is better farther on.
Written in 1921, I first heard this song as a parody on Chet Atkins’ and Mark Knopfler’s Neck and Neck album. When it showed up on Ben Hall‘s debut CD, I decided to learn the lyrics and add it to my repertoire.
Smile, Darn Ya, Smile is a song out of the Great Depression. It was written in 1931 and used in a cartoon short of the same name. It got its revival in the 1982 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. This was … Continue reading →