Blueberries; Castalian Springs and Hartsville; Dan Seals   Leave a comment

Interesting to hear Alex James from Blu …. sorry, they got cut off…….  Alex James from Blur talk about his farm last night on Top Gear.  He said that many musicians buy and live on farms.

I’m not actually sure about that – McCartney of course is probably the most famous, Paul O’Grady lives on one – pushed to think of others.  Many, many musicians live in the country, I agree, and in the states have ranches, stud farms perhaps.

I do love living out though, pulling up the drawbridge.  Although a city boy, I adore the countryside.

Many of us dabble in ‘growing our own’, from tomato plants on window sills to chili (yes that is the right way to spell chili, only one l) to rows of vegetables.

That’s our plan for our land in Tennessee.  Above is a blueberry plant I planted a few years ago, much to the amusement of CJ and the kids.  I think it was mainly because I was using a small Homer Simpson trowel that I had bought from a dollar store!

There’s a funny story about the land.  About ten years or more ago I wrote a song about a fictional small town in the States, and I called it Hartsville, I don’t know why, Hart to Hart?  Who knows?  About three years later I found and bought our land, six acres, about thirty miles east of Nashville, on Highway 231S.  It is in a very small community called Castalian Springs but the nearest town, if you can call it that, is about six miles away, and it’s called Hartsville, and is exactly as I described the town in the song – cue Twilight Zone music!

As I’ve mentioned before we’ve already done the grow you own and chickens and ducks, and that’s what we intend to do on the land – grow what we need – onions, potatoes, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and more, and of course, blueberries.  Hard work, but we’ll love it.

We’re big animal people too, so a horse or two, goats, dogs, cats and yes chickens and ducks, although maybe the coyotes will get them.

A quick story – I arrived home one evening and got called upstairs to one of the kid’s bedrooms, where CJ and the kids all were – with a lamb!  a live one, running around the bedroom.  Lucy Lampchops, (I know, not very original), stayed with us until she got very big.  She would wake us up at 6 every morning, bleating under our window, to be fed!  Lucy though knew her name and when we gave her away to a animal park, when we visited her a few months later, and called her, she came!

There’s going to be a songwriter’s recording retreat studio on the land, by the woods at the far end.  Deer often come on the land at sunset and it’s a beautiful place, very inspiring.  We’ve called it Blueberry Lodge and you can see the blue mailbox as you drive down Highway 231.

I’m not sure when my love of blueberries started, blueberry pancakes and of course blueberry muffins.  I put them in my chili as a sweetener to counter the heat of the chilis, have them in porridge, blueberry juice, you name it – I even named my company after them.

Even though it is basically just a one store place, not even a town, Castalian Springs has some talented people living there. This video was made by a local person, with Blair Witch very much in mind it seems.  http://youtu.be/urNnOl9aM8c

Dan Seals was the younger brother of Jim Seals, Seals and Croft – Summer Breeze – and one half of England Dan and John Ford Coley, who scored big with hits including I’d Really Love to See you Tonight and Todd Rundgren’s Love is the Answer.  Dan went on to solo success, including my favourite, Rage On, until his death in Nashville a couple of years ago.  John continues to record, and is currently on tour I believe.  This is a video Dan recorded at Wynnewood, which is a historical log cabin in Castalian Springs, built in 1828, just down the road from us.  It has been damaged by many a tornado but still stands!

Dan sadly passed not long after this video was filmed http://youtu.be/rgHrfQDu2ws  He was just 61 years young.

Wynnewood, Castalian Springs and Hartsville are surrounded by stunning countryside, which this video captures, with some nice music http://youtu.be/PSlPrIrwWJ8

Hartsville has a McDonalds, a Sonic, a couple of convenience stores, a court house, gas station and that’s about it.  The nearest ‘big’ town is Lebanon, with its town square.  The square is featured heavily in a video we saw being filmed there a few years ago, Miranda Lambert’s Famous in a Small Town http://youtu.be/_xjy6EuMPGA

Finally here’s a video put together by someone using one of my favourite songs of all time, by Third World, and apt for today’s blog.  The video is not really as good as it could be but the song…….

Third World are best know for Now That We’ve Found Love but a few years ago I was approached by them to play the theatre, and they sent me a CD-R a what was then their new album.  It featured this track, It’s Not Too Late, a ballad about the destruction of our planet, and the changes created by global warning.

Last week it was very hot in the UK and in Nashville, (nearly 25C degrees/80F degrees in Nashville) – last night snow was forecast for both!  Crazy.  Anyway here’s the video, just listen to the words – http://youtu.be/SCMCGbpE6dA

Please give it a listen.

And a final thought – does love mean saying sorry even though you know you were right?

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Posted March 5, 2012 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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