Another summer music festival: National Jug Band Jubilee

Since the Washboard Festival won’t be around again until next year, here’s another one that looks to be its rival. The National Jug Band Jubilee in Louisville, Kentucky on August 23 is a gathering of jug bands from various states.

Why Louisville? The jug band was founded here more than 100 years ago.

Back then, clay jugs were used to hold bourbon whiskey. When the whiskey was gone, there was an empty jug in need of a use. Blow some air across the mouth in just the right way, and there’s music. The first band appeared in 1903.

Festivals like this one give me the idea that I like people. I actually do like people, which is one reason why I travel, but washboards and jug bands are happy music–perfect for summer. Perfect for creating the feeling that people are neat.

I mentioned this festival to someone who I met who lives in Louisville and she swore that this was a well worth it event, and one that gets rave reviews. She did admit she’s been out of town each time it has occurred, but still swears by it–and she’s a music sort who travels in the circle of people who know something about music.

In case you think you might go, Friday night at the Frazier International History Museum, there’s a jug band concert featuring the Juggernaut Jug Band and the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. Afterwards there’s a showing of the documentary, “Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost” that traces the history of jug band music.

The Dirdy Birdies Jug Band will be performing. If their music is anything like the video on YouTube, I’d say you’ll be in for a good time.

Columbus snow storm from an art car perspective

Yowza! It really did snow! When the flurries first started to fly, then thicken, I wrote about the leming-like trail to grocery stores. Yesterday, as one thing after another canceled, Greg Phelps, an art car celebrity of Columbus, took some photos from his car and kindly sent a link to one of them.

Every so often, I see Greg driving down the street. Seeing his car is similar to a movie star sighting. These photos give an unusual perspective of what the most snow Columbus has seen in years looks like. These guys are waving high and if you look carefully, you can see a pig snout.

Can you find the pig snout now?

An inside view before the car was parked and buried. Today was a real dig-out fest.

One of Greg’s cars is now a permanent addition to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville, Kentucky. Greg has also been a feature of the Car Art Show in Baltimore and is a regular fixture at ComFEST–and any other neighborhood art event in the area.

This is the car without the snow. It was posted on Flickr just a week ago during the Arnold Sports Festival weekend.

Trip to and from a funeral: White knuckle road

We’ve written posts about dastardly roads before. (Martha’s, Justin’s , Willy’s, Mine) Many are windy, narrow ones that snake around mountains. One of my worst stretches of road, I’ve decided is I-75 between Lexington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. I drove along a several mile unlit portion of the highway after dark, not once but twice (!)this past weekend.

A relative of mine died earlier in the week, and with the funeral south of Hazard, I corralled my daughter into this impromptu road trip. With a full day of things that needed to be done on Saturday, we left Columbus at 5:30 PM for a night at my aunt and uncle’s house in Lexington, Kentucky in order to make it to the Sunday funeral. No problems until we reached south of Florence. Northern Kentucky is fairly populated with many exits. There is a sense that people are tucked in their homes not too far away–plus the road is straight and easy to follow. Then, about the I-71, I-75 split with I-71 heading to Louisville and I-75 continuing to Lexington, the scenery changed and I began to wonder where every one went. It didn’t help that it was pouring rain, and the road, from what I could see of it, started to have curves. Each curve seemed to come up at the last second before I needed to turn the wheel to not go careening off into a field or forest. I don’t know which; I couldn’t see.

Without many cars out on a Saturday night, there weren’t any tail lights to use as markers to locate where I was heading. I kept thinking that certainly Kentucky couldn’t be that broke of a state that there weren’t enough funds to do a better job showing the edge of the road. Guard rails were also few and far between. The numerous deer crossing signs reminded me to be on the alert for Bambi or his mother. I kept thinking about the news articles I’ve read lately about the number of cars that hit deer this time of year.

When we finally reached my aunt’s and uncle’s house, after I unclenched my fingers from the steering wheel, I was so happy to drink that glass of wine they offered me, that I had two. The funeral was worth the trip, but when I reached that stretch of road going the opposite direction back to Columbus, in the dark and pouring rain–with some fog mixed in, I envisioned a glass of wine waiting for me at the other end.

If Kentucky, or any other place with unlit roads wants to help drivers feel a bit more relaxed after dark, there is a solution. At Intelligent Traveler there is a story about Astucia SolarLite road studs in Great Britain that are solar powered panels that light up at night. From the picture they look a bit like bicycle reflector lights. It seems to me that on major highways in particular, having some method to light the roads is worth the expense.

The photo of the deer with a red blinking light was taken by Kate Shepard and posted on Flickr. She lives in Austin, Texas where someone was putting Rudolf noses on signs. It kind of fits the season, and the post, so there you have it.

Kentucky Car Art Weekend

A friend of mine Greg Phelps, whose art car “That Car” has made it in previous years to Baltimore for the Annual Car Art Show, told me about the Kentucky Car Art Weekend, August 3-4. Held at various venues in Louisville, this is a Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft sponsored event that is considered, according to Greg, the Midwest’s most fabulous of art car shows. From the looks of the various happenings about town, he knows what he’s talking about.

There’s a Drive-in movie complete with concession stand, a parade, a gallery hop, an art car lecture, and the KY Art Car Hoedown for starters. If you want to create an art car yourself, there’s a miniature car art workshop. [See event schedule.]

If you go, look for Greg. He loves Louisville and can clue you into the hotspots. Also look for my Greg Phelps’s Louisville recommendations in the future. He sent me some great info.