“Come ye who labor…”

A good Labor Day to all of you from the Big Front Porch!

I confess that I’m ashamed to see that my last post was back during the spring, so I figure I owe you BFP fans some summertime catching up, in you’ll indulge me:)

The summer somehow, as summers seem to do, FLEW by, and we’re already two weeks into the fall semester…how did that happen? But the farmers are fully into the harvest and the sounds of football teams and high school bands fills the air on Friday nights, so it must be fall…..even if the actually temperature today in the Delta will hit 100 degrees!

A recap of this summer from the Big Front Porch includes a wonderful trip with friends to the Greenbrier in West Virginia in late May. Nice to be in the mountains again sitting on another beautiful big front porch talking about life and stuff…

City of New Orleans

Ol’ Skool Revue at the Chicago Blues Festival

Got down from the mountain in time to accompany the Ol’ Skool Revue band from the DMI for a performance at the Chicago Blues Festival in June. It was a fun adventure riding the City of New Orleans north through the night to the Windy City, a journey made by many Mississippi musicians over the years, altering the development of American music…nice to still be part of that.

Hopped off the train, took a day or two and then headed back up the road to Music City (Nashville) for the annual “Songs From The Heart” workshop/concert with cancer patients, caregivers, and professionals at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Some of the participants this year really took ownership of their song as well as their performance. There’s a CD and a DVD in the works…songwriting at its purest. It is always a privilege and an honor to try and help put those feelings into words and music.

Late June brought me the opportunity to join my pals, Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor, in a benefit concert on behalf of Faith Hospice in Michigan at Dr. John Mulder’s home on the banks of the Grand River. What a magical, beautiful evening, full of good music, good food, and good fellowship all for a good cause…it doesn’t get much better than that.

July 4? Vacation? What’s that?

The DMI Summer Camp for high school students interested in the music industry was held in mid-July, and we had a GREAT group of campers this year….some unexpected collaborations between unlikely pairing of students brought about some very original works, not to mention opportunities for getting to know each other in a way that shows we’re not so different after all…

Looking for a song hook…

Of course, there was the yearly summer gathering of the Ya Yas at the Alluvian in Greenwood for much needed R & R among old friends, but let’s just say what happens at the Alluvian stays at the Alluvian and leave it there…

The Big Front Porch had the opportunity to work on a very cool CD project with three of my favorite singer/songwriters: Kate Campbell, Tom Kimmel, and Pierce Pettis. They perform together as The New Agrarians, and they were looking for an opportunity to work on a recording project together. All the planets lined up to have them record in Studio B at the Delta Music Institute, and it was a BLAST! They’ll be finishing up the project in Nashville, but trust me…you’ll want to watch for this CD if you’re a fan of literate Southern storytelling in song….there’s some amazing work on this record.

Time to harvest….

And so that brought me to early August…a few days of re-grouping before the business of DMI kicked back in. I made a dash to the Coast and a dash to Secluseval and enjoyed the relatively uneventful days here on the Big Front Porch in the Delta. And now we’re in full swing again…harvest time.

I’ve got some new ideas in the pipeline for my next recording project so I’ll keep my nose to the grindstone and begin to flesh out characters and situations and histories and see where it leads…stay tuned.

I promise I’ll try and get on the Big Front Porch sooner than later…let me hear from you…we’ll sit awhile and catch up.




10 comments to “Come ye who labor…”

  • Hello, Tricia – thanks for the news & congrats on all you’re doing!

  • Tricia, You were in my hometown…and I did not hear from you…you are in trouble. Just kidding but anytime you are here feel free to contact me.

    Great catch up message.


  • forgot to say …in Chicago that is…

  • Larry Mitchell

    Busy summer! Good catching up on the news! I trust you were safe in the weather

  • Jan Alderman

    This past spring I was so very fortunate to be in Cleveland to for the taping of Thacker Mountain Radio, and see me old friend Duff up and playing again. The first time I witnessed Duff and the Tangets, slow rockin’, was in that very venue. Back in the day it was the gym. Thick, warm memories rolled around in my soul.

    Shortly after that, at a House Concert in Memphis, I was once again awakened to the mighty fine singing and song writing of Gracie Pettis. Conversating with her, I learned that the New Agrarians were taking root. Joy, joy!

    Having just attended my gazzillionth Kate Campbell concert last night at the Center For Southern Folklore, this ol’ alum remain hopeful that one day soon I once again will sit in the friendly confines of my old gym and have my soul sang into submission by the New Agrarians.

    Trish, for the good work you do at DMI, I thank you.
    For you, I thank God!

  • Dear Tricia,
    I am greatly relieved to learn that you are OK. I had tried multiple times to reach you back in the spring (email, phone, snail-mail)and received no response. I wanted to explore with you the possibility of your re-joining us in Louisville for our Friends For Hope Retreat. I was afraid that you had fallen on hard times or poor health. Thank you for reaching out and sharing a glimpse of your exciting and busy life. Please take good care of your wonderful self.
    Highest Regards,

  • Happy to hear things are going so well for you! I can’t wait to hear new music from you. Please write more frequently and keep us posted on your life!

  • I’m glad to hear from you again. You are much loved at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman. You are a great woman and great musician. God bless all you do…and keep you happy and safe! Your Sister, Eleanor, OSB