Pork-estras, Whiskey and song...Putting the FUN in Farm and Fun Time! - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Pork-estras, Whiskey and song…Putting the FUN in Farm and Fun Time!

Three images showing the two female singers from Rootchie Tootchie wearing their funny hats and singing; one female Rootchie Tootchie member playing the pork-astra, a variety of squeaking rubber pigs;, and the full band on stage.

Spring was in the air for another thrilling installment of Farm and Fun Time on the evening of March 8! This month’s show was full of all sorts of surprises from singing pigs to tell-all tales of whiskey rebellion.

The four members of Bill and the Belles playing fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass while singing the opening numbers at Farm and Fun Time.
Bill and the Belles get the crowd going at the beginning of Farm and Fun Time. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Kicking things off with a real barn burner – the “Three-in-One Two-Step” – host band Bill and the Belles set the mood for a fun-filled evening of music. Month in and month out, Bill and the Belles never cease to enthrall the packed house! Next up was our “Heirloom Recipe” presenter Denise Smith. Denise, a native of Bland County, Virginia, is the granddaughter of fiddler Wesley Bain Boyles, who recorded with the West Virginia Coon Hunters at the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Telling stories about her family’s past in distilling, Denise not only informed the audience about making Dandelion Wine, but also her grandfather’s life after the Bristol Sessions, including a stay in federal prison for bootlegging and an even briefer stint as one Bill Monroe’s first Bluegrass Boys. After hearing the story of one Appalachian family’s distinct history, Bill and the Belles sang an inspired tribute to Denise’s recipe, “Baby’s Dandelion Wine,” about picking weeds in the neighbor’s garden all for the sake of wine.

Denise Smith tells the audience all about her family history and dandelion wine.
Denise Smith’s “Heirloom Recipe” segment was full of family history – and laughs! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Our first musical guests of the evening were the wild and wooly Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings!  A grouping of world-class musicians from New Orleans to Maine, Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings put on a show that is as fun as their name is to say. Drawing from the zaniest and most obscure corners of early American song, this band put on one of the most entertaining performances we’ve seen yet, singing songs about topics ranging from salami to red hot mamas to wildcats. Roochie Toochie included theatrical elements that were unlike anything ever seen on Farm and Fun Time, including a pork-estra – a symphony squeaking pigs – and a crashing applause sign that brought a dramatic end to their performance. This grand finale was as unpredictably fun as their entire set.

Three images showing the two female singers from Rootchie Tootchie wearing their funny hats and singing; one female Rootchie Tootchie member playing the pork-astra, a variety of squeaking rubber pigs;, and the full band on stage.
Everything about Rootchie Tootchie was fun – from the hats to the pigs to the active participation songs! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For our “ASD Farm Report,” Radio Bristol visited David Lay Farm in Rogersville, Tennessee. David showed us his greenhouse, but most importantly he talked to us about CSA, Community Sponsored Agriculture. Community Sponsored Agriculture is a way that consumers can support local farmers and get a share of the harvest throughout the growing season. Here is a video from our trip to David Lay Farm:

After spinning their new record “I’ve Never Met A Stranger” heavily since its release, we were thrilled to have the Bumper Jacksons rounding out the music for the evening! Combining the sounds of the Appalachian holler and the streets of New Orleans, Bumper Jacksons perform a distinctly American style of music. With honking horns and twanging telecaster and steel guitar, the Bumper Jacksons rocked the Farm and Fun Time audience with their first appearance in Bristol. Performing songs from Hank Williams and Bob Dylan to original compositions, this was a top-notch set of music that felt right at home in the Birthplace of Country Music. We hope to see the Bumper Jacksons back in Bristol soon!

Three pics: Member of Bumper Jacksons on trumpet; two band members doing a clapping song; and the full band on stage.
The Bumper Jackson shared high-energy music, amazing vocals, and – best of all – a nostalgic clapping song. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Tickets are going fast for our April 12 show featuring David Davis and the Warrior River Boys and Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys, so grab them while you can! May’s show featuring Roy Bookbinder and Traveller with Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis, and Cory Chisel are available now. For more information and to purchase tickets for these events, visit www.listenradiobristol.org!

And remember: Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol is able to bring Farm and Fun Time to not only those in the audience or tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers far and wide via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!

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