Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Celebration, Appalachian Style!

Stories. Music. Singing. Dancing. Good food. Fine people. It all adds up to a celebration of life in these Appalachian Mountains. Tipper Pressley of Blind Pig and the Acorn blog put together a fine event, and over 70 people turned out at the local community center to hear, laugh and enjoy the evening. Gail demonstrated how to play the spoons and was joined by a young guy who added washboard rhythms to the mix.

The music was by Tipper's family: her father Jerry Wilson, brother Paul Wilson, and her twin daughters who perform as The Pressley Girls (you can find them on Facebook), while Tipper herself played bass.

Young cloggers known as The Kudzu Kickers showed us just how mountain dancing is done. Look at those feet! Nothing but a blur! These kids can dance! Can you imagine the energy it takes to clog?

The twins did triple duty, not only singing and playing but also dancing with the Kickers.

Tipper's brother Steve did the introduction for the evening and I told stories, sang ballads and MC'd.

We. Had. Fun! Highlights for me were the girls singing and hearing Paul and Jerry ("Pap" on Tipper's blog) in person. I've listened to them for several years online and I can tell you that they're all even better in live performance. Family harmonies are known to be something special and the Wilsons prove that adage to be true.

Larry found several former Marines in the crowd--including Tipper's father Jerry Wilson. The two of them connected immediately and spent some good time sharing memories and experiences. There were two other Marines in attendance that evening and Larry enjoyed talking to them too.

People lingered long after the program was over, sampling the desserts and visiting. I heard several say that they thought this should be an annual event. What a great idea. This is the kind of thing that brings a community together and what better way to celebrate the uniqueness of this culture and heritage?

To hear the girls singing, check out Blind Pig's post. And to hear me telling the old favorite Rindercella the next morning in Tipper's kitchen (WARNING: I hadn't brushed my hair or put on makeup when we filmed this! Talk about natural storytelling!) you can find it in this post or on YouTube. Videos of my storytelling at the event didn't work out, but when I told the girls Rindercella the next morning, they immediately said, "We've got to film this!" So, here it is.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


The Awesome's said...

I clogged for many, many years growing up. Now that I look back, I don't know how an adult could have ever kept up with us energetic kids, but our wonderful instructor sure did.

Anonymous said...

Tipper's family has entertained us for years and continue through her twins girls and grandchildren of the Wilson brothers. I too have the name of a storyteller, thanks for such a good posts Granny Sue and Tippers

Mary Lou McKillip said...

enjoy your posts along with Tipper her family has entertained us for years and now the younger cousins. I have been deemed a storyteller too.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Sounds like a great event. I wanted to attend, but was feeling under the weather. I'm glad Tipper put on a great program. Sure wish I could have gone. I'm sure it was really good.

Susie Swanson said...

Awesome, so glad you shared it. I knew it would be a great success. I wanted so badly to be there and had planned to but I just couldn't drag a leg to get there. I just live a few miles from this. Maybe next time I can come, sure would love to meet you and get together with Tipper. She's a great gal.

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