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Kentucky Trip 09

Posted by killerbanjo on Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tuesday 11th August:

Flew to Cincinnati, where our friends picked us up and drove us the two and a half hours to their home in Frankfort, KY.

Wednesday 12th

My family and I took a trip down to a town called Louisville about forty five minutes from Frankfort where we were staying, to see the Old Crow Medicine Show, a type of modern day country/old-time band. Accompanying the Old Crow were a surprise mix of artists who are famous in their own right including the Avet Brothers, Justin Townes Earle (Steve Earls son), Dave Rawlings Machine and Gillian Walsh. The concert was held right next to the Ohio River at a venue called The Waterfront. Unfortunately the security weren't as welcoming as we had hoped, as they told us that we couldn’t take our camera on the grounds, so that annoyed Dad a bit.

The concert started well with the support bands and the atmosphere grew to the time the Old Crow came onto the stage. Within a short period the crowd were all singing along to their favorite Old Crow songs. Although we were to the front of the audience, I did not get a good view until a lady let me in right by the security fence, which gave me an unobstructed front row view of the band. The whole show was great and of course ended the classic song, Wagon Wheel. (one of my favorites)


After the Show we pulled onto the main road to head for Frankfort, when we were surprised to see the tour bus pull up alongside us! This made the trip home a lot more fun. However the Tour Bus overtook us as we turned off left and that was the last we saw of the band.

Thursday 13th

I went to the first Old Time session at the Coffee Tree, a cafe in downtown Frankfort. Many musicians were there including Anna Roberts Gevalt, John Harrod and his wife Tona Barkley, Jeri Cathrine Howle and Bill on the banjo. It went really well and was one of my favorite sessions ever! I recorded all of it and still listen to the songs that were played that night

Friday 14th


We went to the Banjo Masters concert which was being held at the Frankfort Museum, where we had a talk on making banjos and dulcimers which was very interesting. After that we had a concert performance by 5 musicians (4 on banjo and 1 on fiddle) and we all sat there mesmerized for two hours. Unfortunately the Banjo Masters came to an end but not the music. All of the players went down and sat in front of the Old Capital building and had a good old' jam!

Saturday 15th

Went kayaking down the Kentucky River and went up a small creek where we got to a point where we had to carry the canoes, only to find out that it never got any deeper. It was worth it to see the giant trout and terrapins. On the way back, we stopped at a little dockside cafe and all had a well deserved drink.

Sunday 16th

It felt like a bit of a breezy day so we headed up to a nearby lake and after feeding the giant fish by the dock, we all had lunch. After, we went sailing and kayaking on the lake and a friend and I went for a bit of a swim and started to build a raft out of fallen trees but sadly had to abandon it due to having to get back to the house.

Monday 17th

Drove to Berea, about two hours drive and went to The Hot Bead Shop, when we were speaking to one of the owners we found out that there was a music session there every Thursday at 7:30 . After the Banjo Masters, we knew that a man called Warren May; a Dulcimer maker had a shop here, so we headed down there for a little look and even got a demonstration on one of his wonderful instruments.

Tuesday 18th

We had a tour of Berea College by a student called Rebecca, and then we looked around the town. After that, we drove down to Hayden but it turned out to be a small town with little to see, so we drove back to a place called Hazzard and stayed in a Super 8 motel. We eat at Taco Bell which was surprisingly good! Went to the Renfro Valley Music Centre but it was shut!

Wednesday 19th

Drove from Hazard to Clintwood, on the way there the GPS led us into a coal yard. Saw Mountain Top removal (strip mining for coal) and it was raining hard. Warning lights on the car told us to check tire pressures and airbags. (Which we did). We then drove to the Ralph Stanley museum and Elizabeth Stanley on the reception was very knowledgeable about Ralph’s life. Ate at a local diner and was told by a waitress that we just missed Ralph by a day. We then drove to Jackson and stayed at the Jackson inn. Went to pizza hut and got a free apple pie by one of the lovely waitresses.

Thursday 20th

Drove from Jackson back to Berea and had a great drive through the Appalachian Mountains, then ended up on some amazing country roads, we could not believe the amount of poverty in the area and saw many homes that were no more than rustic wooden shacks. We also saw signs for the Crooked Trail which is a music tour of Kentucky and Virginia When we got to Berea we went o a shop that made gourd banjos and cardboard dulcimers called Music Makers. Dad bought a table lamp in a shop called I Love My Stuff. And we all spent a interesting half an hour talking to the owner of a chocolate shop who had been brought up and trained to make chocolate at Hershey’s Orphanage. Later I had a cool session in ..Berea..’s Tourist information office of Bluegrass, Old-time and American Folk Songs.


Friday 21st

Headed off to Morehead to see Jesse Wells ( Once we got there Jesse showed us around the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music which is a wonderful musical resource. After the tour we headed upstairs for a Jam. I have a cheap £80 banjo at the moment so when I entered the room; it was like Aladdin’s cave of instruments! I picked my banjo and several more, then that was it for the next two hours, more banjo heaven with Jesse on Fiddle. I later found out that it was Jesse's day off and came in just to see me! Thanks Jesse. Sadly, all good things come to an end so off we were again, heading back to Frankfort where we were to spend the rest of the holiday.


5 comments on “Kentucky Trip 09”

pete hobbie Says:
Saturday, September 26, 2009 @6:48:26 AM

Sounds like a great trip and you packed alot of fun into, be good memories had there for years to come.

dbrooks Says:
Saturday, September 26, 2009 @8:34:06 AM

Edward, I live in Louisville, and you saw more of Kentucky in a week than I have seen in the past 20 years. Welcome to the Hangout. I like the tunes you have posted on your home page.

killerbanjo Says:
Saturday, September 26, 2009 @9:13:53 AM

Thanks guys.

tom robarts Says:
Saturday, September 26, 2009 @10:11:59 AM

That was a good read, sounds like the best holiday ever !

TopCat Says:
Monday, September 28, 2009 @11:51:32 AM

Thanks for taking the time to write up your blog. Sounds like a great trip - I'm jealous!

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