Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.
On June 3-4th, Seedtime on the Cumberland continues its annual tradition of bringing musical entertainment in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. Hosted by Appalshop, the event is free and open to the public at the Appalashop headquarters in Whitesburg, Kentucky.
Scheduled to perform include Lee Sexton, Jericho Woods, Amythyst Kiah, Chris King, Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer, The Local Honeys, Michael & Carrie Kline, Nikos Pappas, Sam Gleaves, Saro Lynch Thomason, The Price Sisters, Kevin Howard, Brett Ratliff, Bill & The Belles, and Sunrise Ridge.
Seedtime on the Cumberland furthers Appalshop’s mission through the presentation and broadcasting of Appalshop’s work to the general public intensively over one weekend each year. Seedtime’s goal is to “be a mirror for the mountain people and communities. To remind folks here of our cultural riches and traditions of the true vine that make this region vibrant and always growing. Seedtime on the Cumberland brings the arts of the community to the community, and, by broadcasting this festival live on the airwaves of WMMT and on the internet at www.wmmt.org, we present ourselves to the entire world.”
Friday’s schedule starts at 5:00 p.m. on the Main Stage with Rich Kirby & Nate Polly, Kevin Howard, Nikos Pappas, Sunrise Ridge, Bill & The Belles, and Brett Ratliff closing it out at 10:00 p.m. In the Cowan Community Theatre, there will be a screening of “After Coal” by Tom Hansell.
Saturday’s schedule on the Main Stage starts at 11:00 a.m. with Pick & Bow, Sam Gleaves, Lee Sexton, Chris King & Nigel Jones, The Local Honeys, The Price Sisters, Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer, Carcassone Square Dance, Amythyst Klah, and Jericho Woods. Over in the theatre, there will be a Grow Appalachia Workshop, Ethnobotany Workshop with Dr. Sunshine Brosi, Appalshop Archive Screening, Appalachian Media Institute Film Screenings, and the Roadside Theatre. In the Conference Room, the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative will be having a broadcasted reading. There will also be a group sing with Michael and Carrie Kline.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m., there will be Feedtime on the Cumberland at the Farmer’s Market.
On Saturday, there will be a Shapenote Sing Workshop from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church. For over two hundred years, communities of people across the country (and now around the world) have come together to sing these hauntingly beautiful hymns. The first hour, from 10 to 11, will be a singing school taught by Dr. Ron Pen of the University of Kentucky. We’ll learn some history of shapenote, and learn how to sing it. Then for the next two hours, from 11 to 1, we’ll have a regular sing, where anyone can call and lead a song, or just sing or listen. Anyone can take part in the singing — no experience, note-reading ability, or “talent” needed!
Also on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a Seedtime Hike. Join Pathfinders of Perry County for a Seedtime Hike on Pine Mountain. This hike is suitable for all ages, and kids are especially welcome (must be accompanied by adult). This year’s hike will feature Trail Talks, a series of very short, interactive talks on watersheds, geology, bears, trees, and history! The hike itself is about 2 miles roundtrip, and of moderate difficulty (lots of elevation changes, but a mostly good trail). Bring water, wear sturdy shoes (tennis shoes are fine), and be prepared to learn lots of cool new stuff! Meet at the old Letcher County High School at 10:30 to carpool, or at Wylie’s Last Resort at 11 a.m. to start hiking.
Be sure to check out the Seedtime on the Cumberland website with schedule and performer information at www.seedtimefestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/seedtimefestival.