Saturday July 14 @ Ziggys with Possum Jenkins

Poster design by Sanders Willis

Guitarist, songwriter, and guitar slinger Dave Willis also designs the posters for Possum Jenkins and Wurlitzer Prize. He’s a regular one-man Americana Renaissance.

Possum Jenkins & Wurlitzer Prize
Saturday July 14 @ Ziggy’s
Winston Salem

Tickets available online and at the door
$7 at the door
Doors at 8 pm

Turkey Red and High Plains John Deere Cowboy by Terry Sherman

The tune played on an old ’45 in a BMI jukebox in Dodge City, KS. And last week, it sprang to mind for John Deere’s 175th Anniversary Celebration in Cary, NC this week. Might even spring again for this weekend’s gig with Southern Culture on the Skids at Ziggy’s Saturday.

“High Planes John Deere Cowboy” was written by a Topeka, Kansas school teacher named Terry Sherman and it’s a fine piece of documentary-lyric-making about the Kansas cowboy circa 1970s.

This song is an historical redneck ballad to riding the combine. And eating pickled eggs. While wearing alligator boots. Other side is a surprisingly dirty outlaw-country fantasy. Here’s the kicker though. I am pretty sure sure that ‘Terry Sherman’ is a high school teach in Topeka. I don’t want to out the dude, so just trust me on this on. thempm.com

This little lyrical insight blew me away, though. He says in the tune “I’ve cut enough of that Turkey Red to feed China and a Russian brother.”

Here’s what it means.

Turkey Red Wheat

Children in Russia hand-picked the first seeds of this famous winter wheat for Kansas. They belonged to Mennonite Colonies preparing to emigrate from the steppes to the America prairies. A peace-loving sect, originally from Holland, the Mennonites had gone to the Crimea from Prussia in 1790 when Catherine the Great offered free lands, military exemption and religious freedom. They prospered until these privileges were threatened in 1871. Three years later they emigrated to Kansas, where the Santa Fe R.R. offered thousands of acres on good terms in McPherson, Harvey, Marion & Reno counties, and where the legislature passed a bill which exempted religious objectors from military service. Within a month after landing in New York the Mennonites planted the red~gold grains their children had selected. The harvest was the first of the great crops of hard Turkey Red and its derivatives that have made Kansas the Granary of the Nation.


Shows this week:

Thursday | Wurlitzer Prize at John Deere’s 175th Anniversary Celebration in Cary, NC
Friday | Primland Resort
Saturday | Opening for Southern Culture on the Skids at Ziggys

Harvest Festival | September 15 in Yadkinville, NC

“As the first vines began to grow in the Yadkin Valley, few people believed European wine grapes would make it in the clay loam of the foothills and Piedmont. A few pioneers took a chance, however, and a region’s farming heritage lives on.” Yadkin Valley Wine, Our State Magazine

Wurlitzer Prize at Harvest Fest
September 15, in Yadkinville, NC

Yadkin Arts Council celebrates the Piedmont’s music traditions and emerging wine industry with the annual arts event, Harvest Fest.

Information | www.yadkinarts.org

John Deere 175th Anniversary Celebration

Wurlitzer Prize at John Deere’s 175th Anniversary Celebration | Thursday, June 15

It’s been 175 years since John Deere changed the farming industry by introducing the first steel plow. We’re delighted to announce that we’ll perform at this private event for the families and John Deere dealers in North Carolina who keep this brand going green and strong.

When you can’t find a friend, you’ve still got the radio

Appalachian Voices is sending volunteers to the show Saturday to offer information and conversation about their work. Meantime you can hear a little about the upcoming show this week on Guilford College and UNCG radio.

Dave Willis on the North Carolina Show, Guilford College Radio, WQFS Wednesday at noon
90.9 FM or listen online

Members from both bands, plus a volunteer from App Voices, WUAG, Saturday at 6 pm
103.1 FM or listen online

And please, come to the show!

Possum Jenkins & Wurlitzer Prize
A special Appalachian Voices benefit, working to end Mountain Top Removal
Saturday, March 24 @ the Blind Tiger
Greensboro, NC

About Mountain Top Removal
To date, over 500 mountains have been leveled for coal mining, and nearly 2,000 miles of precious Appalachian headwater streams have been buried and polluted by mountaintop removal, according to Appalachian Voices Web site. To learn more about what’s been done and what you can do, visit appvoices.org

Appalachian Voices Benefit with Possum Jenkins at the Blind Tiger

Yes. That’s Sean Connery.

He played one of the Maquires in a movie about the underground Irish mining gang. And a few weeks ago I saw a play about the Maquire trial in Raleigh — “Molly Daughter.”

The gang was hanged in Pennsylvania for taking a stand against a powerful coal mining industrialist in the late 1870s. It’s damn too bad the 007 wasn’t around at that time.

Over time, the Maguires have come to represent the workingman’s grit in a vigilante’s battle between the union and the corporation. And in some parts of the Appalachian Mountains the Maguire spirit is still very much alive.

Appalachian Voices is an award-winning non-profit group working to end Mountain Top Removal. With a pending merger between North Carolina’s Duke and Progress Energy, which is expected to finalize in May, it’s a timely cause, once again.

That’s why we’re collaborating this month with Appalachian Voices on a special benefit show with Possum Jenkins. This band of musical brothers first formed about 8 years ago in Boone, NC.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Appalachian Voices. The group has teamed up with some creative projects in the past, such as musician and Kentuckian Yim Yames; as well as hosted screenings of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival winner, “The Last Mountain.”

Reps from Appalachian Voices will be at the Blind Tiger show with more information about their work and what can be done from here.

Hope to see you there.

Possum Jenkins & Wurlitzer Prize
A special Appalachian Voices benefit, working to end Mountain Top Removal
Saturday, March 24 @ the Blind Tiger
Greensboro, NC

About Mountain Top Removal
To date, over 500 mountains have been leveled for coal mining, and nearly 2,000 miles of precious Appalachian headwater streams have been buried and polluted by mountaintop removal, according to Appalachian Voices Web site. To learn more about what’s been done and what you can do, visit appvoices.org

Alleghany – Wurlitzer Prize

The band is currently working on some new recordings of their original music.

Co-written by Dave Willis and Molly McGinn about the Delta Queen and her journey from Scotland to the mighty rivers of the United States. Inspired by the online writings of Captain Mike, Delta Queen captain in 2002.

Don’t take much to push me off
Just a paddle wheel
Westward from my home life here

Scotland to Stockton
Even rode the San Joaquin
Until the Green Line brought her here

{ Chorus }

If you ask me where I’m bound
Ohio River runs down
through endless hills and
onward to Cairo

Don’t you know that we’ll be aimlessly
running through the silt and sand
peering round the corners
for a life that’s worth a damn

And all this time miss Alleghany

{ Verse }

6:30 in New Orleans
Walk around the Steamer Queen
This old girl need not bow and scrape to anything

She’s running high, her belly’s dry
Rubs against the creosote pier
Every creak’s been saying it that way for years

{ Chorus }

Photo | Pethier