It’s not too often we get bluegrass festivals around these parts. Why, I do not know, but, it’s true. The Armistead’s host a fantastic one every October up at Smiley Hollow in Ridgetop and that one’s worth putting on your calendar.

Smiley Hollow is the coolest place. I had heard about it for years but never had the opportunity to go until this past fall and I went twice in as many weeks, once for the Armistead’s festival and then a church thing. I think Smiley Hollow is one of the Nashville area’s best keep secrets.

Anyway, there is a bluegrass festival this weekend up the road in Franklin, Kentucky, hosted by James Monroe. The Grascals will be there and a bunch of other people, including, Larry Sparks, Leroy Troy , Bobby Osborne and Roni Stoneman. Yes, THAT Roni Stoneman…one half of “The Naggers” on “Hee Haw”. You know, the rather unkempt woman who beats her husband with the rolling pin. Mr. Smiff is somewhat looking forward to getting to see Roni again after working with her on an IBMA breakfast last fall. He said Roni is the only person he knows who talks about the Lord and sex all in one breath.

I thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest laughing today when he recollected Roni talking about the Lord and His will in one sentence, then picking up a sausage link she was serving and announcing “Now that right there wouldn’t do me a BIT of good!”

Speaking of Hee Haw, we had a Kornfield moment tonight at the Cracker Barrel on Music Valley Dr. Mr. Smiff, Grandma and #2 had finished eating and I saw Grandma speaking with an older gentleman and I didn’t know who it was until they started walking towards us and I recognized the great, most awesome-ist drummer ever in Nashville, Willie Ackerman. Willie was part of the legendary “A Team” of session musicians that included Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, etc. AND he was the drummer on Hee Haw for years.

#2 is a Hee Haw nut, thanks to the dvd’s we got for Christmas last year. This kid is just crazy about Roy Clark, Archie Campbell and Jimmy Riddle and Jackie Phelps (the eefin’ and eyefin’ guys). #2 has been known to run around chanting “We’ll be right back” like Jimmy, Jackie and Willie used to do when they were going to commercial. Willie, who is not quite as hyper and mobile as he was back in the day, due to a stroke and is now white headed, was not immediately recognized by #2 until I told him “It’s the ‘We’ll Be Right Back’ guy”. #2 lit up and and I thought he was going to melt when Willie shook his hand.

Willie got a huge kick out of #2’s demonstration of “eefin and eyefin”. Neat moment that I wished I’d have had the camera with me to snap a picture.

Nashville is so great…… I don’t care who ya are.