For our final episode of BPoA, we follow Matt’s friend Jonathan Ferrell, a young man who keeps the traditions and skills of the late nineteenth century alive at The Homeplace — a working living-history farm outside of Dover, Tennessee.
Very exciting to be releasing our third episode of The Back Porch of America! This time we join Matt Kinman as he visits with the late Audrey Hash Ham, fiddle builder from Whitetop, Virginia. Audrey, and her late father Albert Hash, were exquisite fiddle builders in the area. We hope you enjoy it!
We are very happy to announce that the first episode of The Back Porch of America has been posted at thebluegrasssituation.com. It’s real exciting to be putting it out there for the first time! I have to give big thanks to my crew – Ian Arthur (Camera/Editor), Nick Weidner (Camera), Olivia Mori (Sound), our BACKBONE Jeremiah Campbell, and a dear friend who traveled with us, Gary Hamilton.
We drove all day from Paris, TN, to reach our new base camp down on Beaver Dam Road in the community of Vilas, NC.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
That was a very fun day – and man did we eat good that night!
Our last stop on the trip was to the Phipps Country Store out in Lancing, NC. 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).
For the last handful of years the store has been hosting a weekly music jam.
We heard some GREAT music – and met some friendly folks…oh and Levniavell and Martha were there too!