Slammin’ Into Summer with Farm and Fun Time! - Birthplace of Country Music

Slammin’ Into Summer with Farm and Fun Time!

From jug band blues to a tropical beat, June 13’s Farm and Fun Time was hotter than the approaching summer! Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol was able to bring Farm and Fun Time not only to those in the audience or tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers far and wide via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!

Left: Kalia on fiddle, Kris on guitar, and Helena on banjo sing and play around the Farm and Fun Time mic. Right: Andrew on bass.
Bill and the Belles brought the sweet sound of heartfelt tunes to the Farm and Fun Time stage. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Host band Bill and the Belles started the show off with some original tunes that showcased their always stellar harmonies. Our “Heirloom Recipe” segment this month was presented by Radio Bristol’s own Toni Doman. Growing up in West Virginia, Toni has fond memories of watching her grandmother make homemade pies. As her grandmother was never one to have too many cooks in the kitchen, Toni only observed the creation of these culinary delights. One Christmas, Toni received a book of her grandmother’s pie recipes – including raisin, which sounds odd but apparently is delicious! Toni shared a recipe for everyone’s summer staple, cherry pie, and the tale was made even better by Summer Apostol’s compelling sound effects. To show off just how great this recipe was, Toni baked a delicious cherry pie, complete with a Radio Bristol logo. Bill and the Belles then sang a tune about the perfect pairing of cherry pie and vanilla ice cream.  

Left: Summer Apostol smiling at the audience while holding up an "applause" sign.  Top right: Toni Doman talking into the mic. Bottom right: Close up of Toni's cherry pie with the Radio Bristol logo -- a mic with TN and VA on each side of it.
Melding old-fashioned radio play sound effects with audience participation and a wonderful homespun tale of grandma’s cooking, Toni and Summer brought lots of laughter to the crowd. Plus, look at that delicious and beautiful pie! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Our first musical guest of the evening was Birmingham, Alabama’s Steel City Jug Slammers. Inducted into the Jug Band Hall of Fame in 2017, the Steel City Jug Slammers capture the essence of the jug band music that would have filled the air of the American south during the early 1900s. Plucking on a washtub bass and blowing on kazoos and jugs, the band continues the jug band tradition of performing on improvised instruments. Though the band performed a rendition of “He’s in the Jailhouse Now,” much akin to the Memphis Jug Band’s classic version, the Jug Slammers write and perform much of their own music, which sounds like it could have appeared on a pre-war 78 record. The Jug Slammers high energy set moved the Farm and Fun Time audience to clap their hands and stomp their feet!

Top left: Musician playing the washtub bass and kazoo at the same time! Bottom left: Steel City Jug Band's mandolin player singing into the mic. Top right: Bearded musician with trucker's hat at the pedal steel. Bottom right: The band's guitar player singing into the mic.

The Steel City Jug Slammers, with their quirky tunes and instruments, were a big hit with the audience. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For this month’s “ASD Farm Report,” we visited Sweet Life Farm in Tazewell, Tennessee, to learn about beekeeping. Jay Heselschwerdt is a Tennessee State Bee Inspector and promotes a honey convention in Knoxville. Checkout this video to learn more about all the benefits of bees! 

Our last guest of the evening was West Virginia’s rising star, Sierra Ferrell. Though influenced heavily by the sounds of her native Appalachia, Sierra has woven the experience of suffering and triumph of common people everywhere into stories that she presents in a style that is all her own. Sierra’s voice weaves a sonic tapestry that takes listeners from a 1930s jazz club to a neon-lit honky tonk to a tropical island paradise and all the way back to the mountains of West Virginia. Not only a gifted vocalist, Sierra’s funky guitar lines backed by an all-star band create another phenomenal dimension of her music. Performing original tunes such as “Why’d You Do It?” and “In Dreams,” Sierra was one of the most compelling performers to grace our Farm and Fun Time stage. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for her!

Top left: Close up of Sierra Ferrell at the mic, wearing a sailor's hat and playing her guitar. Bottom left: The band's drummer in turquoise honky tonk-style shirt. Top right: The band's fiddler in a pale green Western shirt. Bottom right: The band's bass player in a waistcoat with eyes closed.
Sierra Ferrell’s haunting voice, wonderfully enhanced by her guitar skills and the talents of her backing band, brought goosebumps to the Farm and Fun Time crowd. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Thanks to everyone who came out and shared in this wonderful evening of music! Tickets are on sale for July’s show featuring Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys, Kelsey Rae, and host band Bill and the Belles, but they’re going fast. We hope to see you there!

Production Assistant at Radio Bristol

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