On Thursday evening, I spoke at a library in Bristol, Virginia. But earlier that day, to help promote my appearance, I was interviewed on two of their daytime local news shows.
You can see me on Daytime Tri-Cities at WJHL here.
Then I headed over to The Noon Show at WCYB.
After lunch, I was given a tour of Bristol and told about it's remarkable history. If you know me, you know that I'm not a huge country music fan. (If you don't know me, now you know!) But I do appreciate it, and I'm fascinated by the origins of different musical styles. And that made Bristol a wonderful place to check out. As it reads on the back of a book I purchased, The Bristol Sessions: Writings About the Big Bang of Country Music:
In the summer of 1927, nineteen "hillbilly" bands gathered for a recording session in Bristol, on the Tennessee-Virginia border, including what would become some of the most influential names in American music -- the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman, and more. Organized by Ralph Peer for Victor records, the Bristol sessions were a key moment in country music's evolution. The musicians played a variety of styles largely endemic to the Appalachian region. Rather than traditional sounds, however, Peer sought a combination of musical elements, an amalgam that would form the backbone of modern country music. The reverberations of the Bristol sessions are still felt today.
See? Kind of a cool town to spend some time in! If you ever visit, you must take a picture with the guitar in front of the Chamber of Commerce. (No, seriously. They won't let you leave unless you take a picture with that guitar.)
But I wasn't in Bristol to tour the town and buy books and c.d. compilations of the Bristol sessions. I was in Bristol to speak as part of their 2012 Discovery Series.
Almost everyone who came to my presentation had run one of my books. Many had read both! And that always makes for a very fun event with very insightful questions.
While I'm already booked for September this year, Bristol has a great music-filled weekend called Rhythm & Roots Reunion. My family may be looking to come back in 2013 for their 13th annual festival. Yes, I know I said I'm not a country music fan, but that Bristol Sessions book is making me appreciate it even more. And people can change, y'all!