On The Old Kentucky Shore

I know it is cliche as all get out, but I do have a wide range in taste of music. On my Spotify, I have Prince, Rolling Stones, The Belle Brigade, Aqualung, Niyaz, Irfan, Tinariwen, Ryan Bingham, Crooked Still, Ricky Skaggs, et al. Despite this, I have a soulful connection to Bluegrass music. It is just in my blood and cannot help it.

I remember as a kid, going to Bluegrass festivals and kickin’ heels in the dust way past dusk. Bluegrass and flat footin’ is just as natural to me as breathing. I am not the best flat footer, but want to improve my skills. Anyway, our Uncle Johnny played in a Bluegrass band and we would go to see him play too. He was from my momma’s side of the family, however, we attended with my dad’s side of the family. They were much rowdier and always hell raising at any place that played our land’s tunes.

I went to a concert recently with one of my sisters and they did a rendition of my most favorite Bluegrass song: OThe Old Kentucky Shore. Oh how it makes my heart ache. It reaches down in me and strums all the unpleasant life away and takes me back to the time of nights back in the woods where we danced in the dirt while the deep inflection in voices accompanied by mandolins, banjos, and fiddles played chords that genuinely coaxed the spirits of our ancestors out of the hills and into our presence. I have to share two versions that I have found.


4 thoughts on “On The Old Kentucky Shore

      1. My father used to take us to hootenannies. There was always a fiddle, often a harmonice and occasionally even drums. There was laughing and talking and singing all night. I think the adults might have been drinking alcohol, but I was too young to know or care.

        My daughter’s paternal grandfather used to drags us around to laundry mats most often to play and listen to bluegrass and old gospel music. Lots of good memories of sitting on overturned 5 gallon buckets.

      2. Oh we kids knew there was drinking. The mason jars were off limits so we knew it was something; and then of course I had the cousin who ensured that I got a taste and well no secret then.

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