Monday, July 25, 2005

Zoe Speaks

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

This last weekend was the 30th annual Kentucky Music Weekend, an event that my family has been attending for at least 15 years. KMW is an outdoor festival featuring musicians playing a mix of folk, bluegrass, celtic and all around great acoustic music. The setting is at the beautiful Iroquois Amphitheater in South Louisville and it is always a delight.

One of the newer acts that played is a Berea, Kentucky duo called Zoe Speaks that Donna and I just love. They're pictured above (sorry about the quality of the photos – it was getting dark). For more info on them:

One of the coolest treats at KMW is that Kentucky's own Jean Ritchie usually shows up to play and sing. Jean Ritchie has been a collector of Appalachian music and its Old World roots for nearly all her 80+ years. When she sings, she needlessly warns us that her voice doesn't always cooperate any more. “I can't guarantee that it'll be pretty,” she told us again Saturday night, “but it'll be authentic.”

Her warning notwithstanding, she sang, as always, with a bone-chilling glory. There is a clear beauty in an authentic voice that can't be compared to the most trained and perfect vocals.

And there with the crickets chirping and the bats swinging over our heads in the slight cool of a hot July day's end, she sang again:

My Lord, he said unto me
Do you like my garden so fair?
You may live in this garden if you'll keep the grasses green
And I'll return in the cool of the day .

Now is the cool of the day,
Now is the cool of the day
Oh, the Earth is the garden, the garden of the Lord
And he walks in the garden
In the cool of the day.

You can see Jean on the right in the picture below.


Kim said...

We didn't make it this year - the heat got to the old pregnant lady. :) Next year for sure!

Zoe Speaks is cool, they are also a homeschooling family. :)

Glad you had a good time. When ya coming out to the farm anyway?


Dan Trabue said...

Actually, if you can sit down relatively close to the front rows (which you can if you get there just a few minutes early), the a/c that cools the stage for the players reaches you. It was not at all uncomfortable Friday night and only slightly warm Saturday.

Of course, I'm not packing 50 pounds of baby in my belly...

We'll get out there one of these days, I promise.

Deb said...

That sounds like a good time. It's been way too long since I've been to a music festival like that!

Kim said...

No rush, Dan, we take things pretty slow out here these days. :)

I think we are planning a shindig 'round September - might get a local neighbor to play some music and sing.

We plan on being here for awhile, so stop by anytime. The girls will walk 'round the spiral labryinth looking for unicorns. The back deck is a great place to get hummingbird pictures.

Just let us know. We'll put the tea on for ya.

Oh, and if I'd a'known they had A/C, I'd a'been there pronto! :)

NYgirl said...

How cool. Sounds like you guys had a great time. As a New Yorker, I can't say I've had much exposure to blue grass music. Most of our outdoor summer music events tend to be with the Philharmonic.

I should visit your area during one of these festivals.

Sky Niangua said...

Berea Kentucky...I had forgotten about that place. :O)
Dan, is Berea college still there?When I was a young woman and visiting there I was overwhelmed by the art the students created.

Anyway, sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Dan Trabue said...

Berea college is indeed still there and it is a great Kentucky institution. [educational moment alert!]

Berea college was started with and continues to have the mission to educate especially the poor (and especially appalachians in need). Their tuition is based upon every student having a job at the school that meshes with their classload and thereby working to pay their own way through school.

Very cool. Very artsy. Beautiful location. And environmentally conscious, to boot! If you're ever near South Central Kentucky, be sure to work in a visit to Berea.

whollyman said...

You make my heart sad and joyful all at once. JOyful in knowing there are people and music out there like this. Sad, because I was not there.