Ringing in the New Year with Farm and Fun Time - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Ringing in the New Year with Farm and Fun Time

Left-hand photo shows a close up of the Uncle Shuffelo band members; right-hand photo shows one of the band members dancing on stage.

Farm and Fun Time started 2018 off on the right foot with another excellent installment on January 11th! The show was something of a family affair featuring two bands that began as family bands, a long and storied tradition in country and bluegrass music.

January’s show started off with a set of favorites from host band Bill and the Belles including some new original tunes from their upcoming studio release. Following Bill and the Belles, the Kentucky Pie Queen Stephanie Jeter presented a special “Heirloom Recipe” segment about that all-around favorite, apple pie. Stephanie, an East Tennessee native who has relocated to Lexington, Kentucky, learned to bake pies the old-time mountain way…via the internet. After a less than perfect track record of ruined culinary projects, Stephanie decided to get serious about baking after learning to make Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie. While the mysterious figure of Grandma Ople is no relation to Stephanie, her recipe compelled Stephanie to pursue pie, an activity for which she has now won numerous awards. Stephanie, a fantastic musician in her own right, sang an “Ode to Apple Pie” with Bill and the Belles about the joys of the sometimes sweet, sometimes sour dessert.

Left-hand photo shows Bill and the Belles playing to a large audience in the museum's Performance Theater; the right-hand photo shows Bill and the Belles singing their "Heirloom Recipe" jingle with Stephanie Jeter
(Left) It was another full house for January’s Farm and Fun Time. (Right) Stephanie Jeter, musician and baker extraordinaire, sang the “Heirloom Recipe” with Bill and the Belles. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Our first musical guests of the evening were Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny. A Middle Tennessee band that draws heavily from the rowdy string band traditions of the American south, Uncle Shuffelo and company had our Farm and Fun Time audience enthralled with sounds that would have made the likes of Uncle Dave Macon and Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith proud. With fiddler Austin Derryberry, one of the finest up-and-coming fiddlers on the old-time music scene, leading this infectious band, it’s hard to believe that anyone in the audience remained in their seats during the driving dance tunes. Performing classics – from Uncle Dave’s “Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy” to Louis Laskey’s “How You Want Your Rollin’ Done?”– Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny captured the spirit of old-time music in a way that would have fit in perfectly with any of the bands that recorded at the 1927 Bristol Sessions.

Left-hand photo shows a close up of the Uncle Shuffelo band members; right-hand photo shows one of the band members dancing on stage.
While the audience had to stay in their seats, one of the band members danced during Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny’s energetic set. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For our “ASD Farm Report,” Radio Bristol visited Miller Hill Farm in Bristol, Tennessee. Living on the same family farm for generations, Jonathan McCrosky showed us the importance of preserving not only the farming traditions of his family, but also the equipment that was used by earlier generations. Check out the video from our trip featuring vintage tractors!

With our last musical guest of the evening, we had the privilege of having Flatt Lonesome – one of the most celebrated bluegrass bands around – join us on the Farm and Fun Time stage.  Exhibiting tight sibling harmony that can only come from years of performing together, it is no surprise that Flatt Lonesome has won IBMA’s “Vocal Group of the Year” award for two consecutive years. Performing songs from their new album Silence in These Walls and classics like “Jackson,” Flatt Lonesome performed a captivating set of music that blended the sounds of traditional bluegrass and classic country music with the contemporary flair for which this group has become so well known. We look forward to seeing them down the road again soon!

Three photos showing Flatt Lonesome in full and then details of various band members
Flatt Lonesome wowing the audience with their superb musicianship © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol was able to bring January’s Farm and Fun Time to not only those in the audience or listeners 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!

Though our February Farm and Fun Time featuring Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer, Willie Watson, and house band Bill and the Belles  is sold out, you can tune in via Facebook Live. And tickets are now on sale for our March 8 show featuring Roochie Toochie and the RagTime Shepherd Kings and Bumper Jacksons and our April 12 show featuring David Davis and the Warrior River Boys and Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys. For more information and to purchase tickets for these events, visit www.listenradiobristol.org.

Nathan Sykes is the Production Assistant at Radio Bristol – have a listen to hear him on air! 

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