This Saturday, February 5, I’ll be performing at Grinder House in Crossville, Tennessee. It will be for the 4th annual Tennessee Songwriters Week, a celebration of song, one of Tennessee’s greatest exports to the world. The performances of songwriters across the state will be judged with winners from six showcase events heading to The Bluebird Cafe on March 20.
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.