A Baltimore native, Billy Kemp is a song and music maker, mostly roots music. Kemp has recorded six solo records and written over two hundred songs. He lives on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau in middle Tennessee with his wife, Sue and their cat Minnie. His latest record, The Craig Demos can be heard on Spotify: spotify:artist:0hrVTozNnJWc25wULwdj5n.
Greetings from Liberty, on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, where the ridge runner meets the flatlander. This post could get messy because we’re learning how to make black walnut ink, homemade ink from a single black walnut tree here on the top of the ridge where Sue and I live.
Sue thought of an idea while we were on the road touring in 2019. She thought wouldn’t it be fun to rescue an older dog and do a tour called The Old Dog Tour, giving an older dog a chance to kick out the jams one more time.
I played the guitar for what seemed like an hour and gave it a good test run. This Tele was doing the talking, and I was listening. When we emerged from the iso room, I knew I had found a guitar that I wanted. But this was not a Fender Telecaster, it was called an Ithacaster, and made in Ithaca, New York. This was a brand new guitar.
Greetings from Liberty. Live music is returning to public places. It certainly never left here at our home. The guitars and banjos have been picked, plucked and strummed on most days since the middle of March last year. They have helped deliver new songs, tunes and twangs. But much of the homebound music making is about to head back to public places. It’s gonna be sweet.
The last five miles or so was a one lane windy road, slow going. We stopped at a parking area just before we arrived and changed into our wedding clothes. Then it was back in the car and onward to our destination. “There it is.” Nestled in amongst the pines and parking lots, we found the Drive Thru I Do wedding chapel and parking lot.
That night, with the power out, we sat in the basement near the woodstove to stay warm. I decided to crack some of the black walnuts I had gathered last October that were used to make ink. I had about one hundred nuts to crack. They are a bit harder to crack than English walnuts. In fact, they make nut crackers specifically for black walnuts. Since we don’t have one of those I used a hammer, and it worked just fine. It was a crackin’ evening, the fire and the walnuts.
The music is going well with tracking new songs for a new record. I tracked last week with a drummer named Joe Allen and we had a big time. Joe played some great stuff on a song called, “Onions, Old Movies and You,” a song I co-wrote with Geoffrey Himes.
So if you are in need for a gift of song, stories and music, you needn’t look any further. Here on the LifeSaverBridge we are ready to send your holiday bundle of song to you or anyone who is lucky enough to know you. Just send an email to: email@example.com, let me know how many you would like and where to send them. I will send you an invoice from Paypal and your gift will be on its way. If you don’t use Paypal, we can find another way. I can even gift wrap it if you’d like. The holiday bundle for the three records will be $25 plus shipping and handling, which should’t be more than five dollars or so in the US.