Louisville Magazine

FEB 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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100 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 2.19 WATCHLIST ing a woman from Jeffersonville, Indiana. ey resided in Evansville, Indiana, before ending up in the New Orleans. In other words, they were minstrel musicians working the steamboats up and down the Ohio and Mis- sissippi rivers. For the Harts' story, Grimes composed a medley called "Fontaine Ferry." "I never thought I would write a medley," Grimes says, "but the Harts were show people, and the old shows are full of medleys, of course." Grimes says the medley's main song is Hart's hit "Good Sweet Ham," which is cited in the Library of Congress. You may talk about good eating, Of your oysters and your chowdered clam. But it's when I'm awful hungry, en just give me good old sweet ham. In 2016, Grimes presented e Way Forth in the restored Benham eater, in Benham, Kentucky. at's home to her grandmother's childhood roots, hard by Black Mountain in Harlan County, coal country. at version featured the small ensemble with which Grimes often works, including Scott Moore and Charlie Patton, who helped her develop the music. e setting for that Benham show was the steep, mountainous country that Daniel Boone and other early settlers blazed right through, or around, on their paths to the lush Blue- grass region of Kentucky. Later, though, the mountains' timber and coal drew people. "I was always interested in the idea of settlement of this new land," Grimes says. "As a kid, I didn't know there were already people here and animals here. Well, I knew there were animals, but I didn't really know what that story of coming into Kentucky was." In "End of Dominion," Grimes tells a dark tale of white businessmen essentially ripping off Kentucky land from Cherokee chiefs, with offers of free land luring settlers. "A greedy and negative beginning," Grimes says. Yet that beginning is the "trunk of the tree," as Grimes puts it. European-American settlers poured over the Appalachian Mountains and into beautiful and bountiful country along the Kentucky River and its tributaries, including the Dix River. e Dix, south of Lexington between Stanford and Crab Orchard, is the roots of her paternal grandmother, Dorothy Newland Grimes, who was Grimes' first piano teacher. ese waterways provide much of the film's natural setting. Beautiful as it is on the surface, though, the Dix River is ultimately polluted by toxic emissions from util- ity plants. And for that, Grimes has written "Dix River Doxology." (A beautiful word, doxology. A faith-born lau- dation of praise to God, "from whom all blessings flow.") ere's a lot going on in this folk opera. Which might make for a note about the composer herself, now in her late 40s. "I think I'm still on the journey," she says. Continued from previous page Herb E. Smith's pick Little Big Man (1970) "An 'old man' is interviewed about his life, and he 'narrates' the events that led to the encounter where Gen. George Armstrong Custer is killed in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. In many ways, it is an anti-war film. Custer is portrayed as a pompous leader, so certain of his own intuition that he leads his people into a disaster." Mimi Pickering's pick High School (1968) "I was in high school when this documentary came out, and we had a film club that scheduled a screening in the auditorium. The school administration must have read reviews or previewed the film, because they suddenly canceled the showing. Of course, an uproar ensued, with students and even some parents decrying such a blatant act of censorship. When the film club finally showed the film in a church basement, I was blown away. It was the first non-narrated, cinéma vérité- style documentary I had ever seen. Though shot thousands of miles away inside a Philadelphia high school, it so accurately captured the mind-numbing, conformity-driven education process. I was hooked on documentary and the impact it could have." Willa Johnson's pick Harlan County, USA (1976) "When I saw this film in my early 20s, I saw strong, loud, passionate women organizing their community. I remember sitting in the classroom crying while I watched it. I quit looking at myself as an outsider after this documentary. Instead, I started noticing the strong Appalachian women who have shaped and guided me. They are not often given the spotlight they deserve." Appalshop, the media, arts and education center in Whitesburg, Kentucky, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, with programming throughout the year, including a monthly film series at the Speed Cinema. Here, three folks from the Appalshop family talk about films that influenced them.

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