Grits & Soul

Spreading the Gospel of Southern Sound

Jim Ford Segment on KET's Kentucky Life

Last summer my buddy, Linda Jean Stokley of The Local Honeys, asked me to work on a song with her for an upcoming project on KET’s (Kentucky Educational Television) Kentucky Life . Travis Kitchens of Emperor Records had been working up a segment on East Kentucky songwriter, Jim Ford. Game changer, y’all.

Taken from Travis Kitchens’ article on the  Kentucky for Kentucky blog .

Taken from Travis Kitchens’ article on the Kentucky for Kentucky blog.

Ford is a mysterious guy and from all accounts was always and ever a wild card, both as a songwriter and in real time. He went out to L.A. in the late 60s and recorded a couple of albums with the Wrecking Crew. There’s also a rumor that he actually wrote Ode to Billy Joe and gave it Bobbie Gentry. He passed away in 2006 and though not many people know who he is, we are lucky he left a hell of a legacy of fantastic, funky music—and there are people out there making sure he is rediscovered.

Here’s how it went down: Jim Ford, a musically minded country boy from rural Kentucky heads to the Golden State with dreams of making it. Making the scene in Los Angeles, he befriends and writes songs for such artists as Bobby Womack(“Harry Hippie”), Aretha FranklinP.J. ProbyThe Temptations, and even appears on Sly & the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On. He eventually hooks up with legendary session players Dr. JohnJim Keltner (John Lennon), and James Burton (Elvis Presley) and books into the equally legendary Wally Heider Recording Studios to cut an album of blue-eyed country-funk and soul. The year is 1969.

Linda called me just a few days before she was going into the KET studios to perform the song. She sent me her arrangement and we had a couple of practice sessions to get it like we wanted it. We went into the studio and sang the song through three times. It was the 3rd take that we hit a sweet spot and got the take they used for the show.

CLICK RIGHT CHERE to watch the Kentucky Life episode!

Born in Gossip County in Big Mouth, USA
Where the hypocrites preach in the streets all week
And they all meet in church on Sunday

The afterglow, as Colonel Sanders looks on. KET Studios. Director Tom Thurmon snapped this one for us.

The afterglow, as Colonel Sanders looks on. KET Studios. Director Tom Thurmon snapped this one for us.

Do me a favor. Just listen to Capitol album and see what you think (it’s my personal favorite):

jim ford capitol.jpg


Here’s some reading material if you’d like to dig a little deeper into Ford’s story:

Jim Ford: The Baddest Man on the Planet

Jim Ford | Dusted Magazine Reviews

Jim Ford | Harlan County

Enjoy!



The Mountain Workshops in Mt. Sterling


The Mountain Workshops
 was in Mt. Sterling last week & we had the honor to be a part of Will Parson's project. Will birthed such an incredible piece!! We are always open to sharing John's story, even if it helps just one person find peace in their struggle with addiction. It was such a powerful experience working with Will, telling a part of our story & seeing the end result. Thank you for such a beautiful video, Will, & many thanks for The Mountain Workshops' continued dedication to this yearly project in Kentucky! 

Summer Shows

Hey friends,

As you may know, for the past year we've been busy renovating an old house in Kentucky. After a solid 14 months of the ups and downs, the excitement, and impatiently waiting, we've finally moved in! 

If you'd like to see what all we got ourselves into, visit our house blog here or jump over to our Instagram account for the fast-track version. It feels both good and a little weird to finally be in the house. John and I are so happy to be in a place where we can look forward to enjoying our home instead of wondering what in the world is going to pop up next. She's done (for the most part) and now we get to live it up!

Our grand ol' lady, circa 1871. Visit us on  Instagram  for all the details!

Our grand ol' lady, circa 1871. Visit us on Instagram for all the details!

The most important room of the house: our music room!

The most important room of the house: our music room!

In the meantime, we've been working on new songs, collaborating with our friends here in the Bluegrass state and looking ahead to new musical projects!

We can't wait to share our new music with you! Over the past year, our focus has been our first loves: electric guitar, country blues & soul music. We still play a lot of acoustic music and bluegrass, but going back to what we grew up on has felt like home. It's like they say, it feels good to leave but it feels even better to come back.

Below is a list of the summer shows we're excited to have on the calendar!

Be sure to check our calendar here or on Instagram from time to time, because there's always something added to the mix last minute. You never know...

Like this'un...comin' in hot! July 14 & 15.

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We're looking forward to August, where we have the honor to perform at the Ralph Stanley Museum for their Home in the Hills concert series. John and I have been working up one of our favorite Stanley Brothers tune. Who's to say which one we love the most? Virginia is for lovers and we love it all.

In September, we're going on tour in North Carolina with our good friends, The Local Honeys. If you haven't heard them yet, you better hop on it!! They are two musical powerhouses and we can't wait to scorch the asphalt in the Tar Heel state. Watch out! You don't want to miss this.

See you on down the road --


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