Sometime late in 2007 I met little Ethan Ferguson at a campfire at the Cove Lake State Park in Campbell County, TN. He was playing fiddle, I was playing dulcimer, and we mutually became each other’s biggest fans that day. I was lucky to run into Ethan again this past weekend at the Louie Bluie Festival, also at the park, and I took this video of him and his band stealing the show. It’s hard to believe Ethan’s only 10 years old. He plays fiddle like a champ, runs that band like a CEO, and talks to the crowd like he’s a star on the Grand Ole Opry. It’s exciting to imagine the musical path this kid’s life will take. I hope our paths cross again!
Well it sounded to me like they were all singin’ the blues tonight in Jellico. These sweet, slow songs (or maybe they just seemed slow because I was expecting bluegrass)… All these guys and a couple o’ gals sitting around in their circle in this medium-sized cream-colored cinderblock room with stacks of folding chairs for decoration. I’m here trying to discover, and exhibit, Campbell County’s roots music, so I figured I should check out this Monday night pickin’ in Jellico. It’s the hometown of Grace Moore, the opera singer who mentored Dorothy Kirsten, the opera singer my grandmother continues to work for even beyond Dorothy’s passing.