A Great Week in North Carolina

We drove all day from Paris, TN, to reach our new base camp down on Beaver Dam Road in the community of Vilas, NC.Beaver Dam
Our first visit was with Audrey Ham Hash, of Whitetop Mountain area of, VA. She is, and her father Albert Hash was, some of the finest fiddle builders in the area.
Audrey Hash in her shop
We were shown the process of fiddle building and the many of the tools in the shop that were built by Audrey’s father Albert – a truly ingenious man.  We were even treated to some great music in the afternoon from Martha Spencer and Matt Kinman.Martha Spencer and Matt Kinman
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Our next visit was with Leniavell Trivette of Beech Mountain, NC.  She and her mother and sister had been making rugs, clothes, fabrics and all kind of hand sewn items since the depression.  She is truly a one of a kind woman, full of kindness and tales life and growing up in the area.Leniavell Trivette and Matt Kinman
Leniavell saved a great surprise for last.  While we were leaving she declared we needed to see her hot rod.  We were all expecting a classic car – but no – she knows no boundaries – we heard the revving of the engine and there she was with her Mustang!liniavell-and-her-car
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The next day we drove into Boone, NC, and stopped by the coffee shop downtown to meet Arthur Grimes – a Boone native and an exceptional clogger.Doc Arthur and Matt
Arthur told us about growing up in Boone, and how Doc Watson had inspired much of his life, and definitely his dancing and love of music.  We asked Arthur back to Beaver Dam with us for some demonstrations of his steps, and we were joined by Josh Hayes and Trevor McKenzie to help out with the music.Arthur Grimes Dancing
That was a very fun day – and man did we eat good that night!
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Our last stop on the trip was to the Phipps Country Store out in Lancing, NC.Phipps Country Store
The store has been in the family for years and we got to meet Rita, her mother Robertine who grew up on the farm, and Rita’s husband Dawg (who is a great artist and sells his prints and t-shirts there).Rita_Dawg_Robertine_Matt

For the last handful of years the store has been hosting a weekly music jam. Phipps Store Jam
We heard some GREAT music – and met some friendly folks…oh and Levniavell and Martha were there too!
Leniavell Martha and Matt

A Great Week of Visiting

We landed in Nashville, met up with Matt Kinman and our crew (Ben, Ian, Nick, Olivia, Gary and our backbone Jeremiah) and headed out.20130526-100740.jpg
Our first stop took us to the Newberry Farm down in Jennings Creek near Red Boiling Spring, TN.
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Spending time with Mark Newberry at his family’s place was a true joy. Hearing the families history and making a crooked back chair from a hickory pole we pulled out of the forest, exactly how his family has been making them for five generations, was really special. 20130526-101247.jpg
Please check out their website, take a look at their chairs and read about the family’s history: http://www.newberryandsonschairs.com/. True American craftspeople.20130526-101718.jpg

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Our next stop was Paris, TN to visit with Jonathan Ferrell, wood worker, farmer and blacksmith. Jonathan showed us where he works at The Homeplace at the Land Between the Lakes (http://www.lbl.org/HPGate.html). 20130526-102800.jpg
The Homeplace is an 1850s working farm with historic cabins, barns, and outbuildings – there is no electricity on the farm. We had the pleasure of cooking stew on the open fire, plowing with Proctor the mule , and smithing chain to be used hauling logs from the forest.20130526-103029.jpg
Dan Wallace, a tobacco farmer, of Bumpus Mills, TN, stopped by and we got to enjoy some great southern fiddle and banjo music with Jonathan and Matt.20130526-102233.jpg
Now, it’s back to the road and down to North Carolina for more stories from the Back Porch of America.

We’ve Done It! We’ve reached our goal!

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!

Today we crossed the threshold and we are now fully funded!  We will be headed out to Tennessee on Monday, May 20th, and we’ll be in the area for just over two weeks shooting!  This project is still open for pledges – the extra funds will help us cover costs when we return and get into editorial.

Matt and I can’t say thank you enough – so thanks, we appreciate the support!

Please check out the website for the show and follow what we are up to there:  http://thebackporchofamerica.com/.  We’ll be posting updates, photos and more from the road.

Thank you everyone!  See you down the road!

Ben GuzmanMatt's Happy