The Isaacs on stage in Black Mountain, NC
Updated at bottom of post - 9-22-09
It's Monday morning at 5:30am. The alarm clock is blaring and I'm reaching to smack it into snooze mode for just a few more minutes of shut eye. I've only been in bed about 4 hours and morning has come all too soon. But I'd do it all over again tomorrow if I had the chance. You see I travelled about 1000 miles this weekend to spend a few moments with The Isaacs, my favorite music making family in all the world.
On Friday we hurried home from work, tossed our bags into the car and high tailed it to Black Mountain, NC where The Isaacs were singing at 7:15 pm. We arrived just in time to the beautiful Ridgecrest Conference Center. We found Lily at the product table and the rest of the gang on the bus getting dressed. Comedian Aaron Wilburn was on the stage telling his funny tales and when he finished he introduced The Isaacs. The crowd, some 500 folks, was treated to some toe tapping, hair raising sounds for the next hour and a half. They performed a lot of older songs as well as many from the newly released CD. The folks loved it. Just a great concert! The Isaacs headed back to Louisville from Black Mtn. to sing the last night at the National Quartet Convention.
Singing "Little Bit of Heaven" with Nathan
playing the washboard
The Isaacs Family
Sonya, Lily, Becky & Ben
Ben Isaacs singing "The Three Bells"
Pretty much as soon as the concert was over and we got the table packed up we left to drive about 3 more hours to LaFollette, TN. We spent the night there (what was left of it) and rose early to drive a couple more hours to Berea, Kentucky. We enjoyed the Berea Spoonbread festival as well as a visit to the Isaacs Holler where we spent some great time with Miss Edna. On Saturday evening late we made our way to Joe Isaacs place for some down home Mountain bluegrass music. A crowd had gathered in a field on Red Lick Rd., beneath the stars, under the big sky of Kentucky to hear their friends, neighbors and even family members pick and sing. The night air was chilly but a good time was had by all.
We headed to our hotel pretty early on Saturday night as we were weary and had a full day planned on Sunday. In the wee hours of the morning, just before day break we were awakened by a strange sound.....a beeping, alarm of some sort sounding in the distance. Neither my hubby or myself could quite get our eyes opened enough to get up to see what was going on but if we had we would have seen my sweet friend Gina Black creeping from the Isaacs bus to the hotel after she had mistakenly set the bus alarm off as she left the bus to get her shower in the hotel. The Isaacs' bus was parked right outside our hotel windows.
We met up with our friend Carl Bagby from Virginia for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then we picked up Gina and made our way back to the Holler. More precious time with Aunt Edna. Time got away from us and before we knew it, it was two in the afternoon and almost time for The Isaacs to perform at their dad's bluegrass festival. We talked Edna into going with us and headed back to Joe's place. It had rained a lot during the night and the field where the folks had to park for the festival was a muddy mess. The Isaacs bus couldn't make it down to the festival so they parked it up by the highway and several people picked them up in cars and drove them down to the stage area. Around 2:30 the family gathered around 2 microphones set up on the stage and the family harmony we know so well blossomed into the overcast afternoon air and brightened everyone's day. The Isaacs did about 5 or 6 songs including Happy Birthday to their mom who was celebrating her birthday in Berea, KY on this day. Then they called their dad, Joe Isaacs onto the stage with them. They did songs together like Man on a Mule, Wandering Boy and Paul's Ministry. Joe spoke from the stage about how proud he was to have his family there and how much he loved each of them. They sounded great together. It was a great afternoon.
After the concert The Isaacs made their way up the road to sit down with more family for a great meal. We weren't able to stay and join them because we needed to hit the road and begin our 7 hour journey back to NC. We arrived home around 1:00 am. We were tired, but full and satisfied that the trip was well worth every mile.
by: Lisa Hildreth
Sonya, Joe & Ben
Sonya & Becky
Miss Edna & Carl Bagby
Miss Edna reading to us from her Bible
She's always Praising the Lord
Update: I left out something funny/interesting that happened in Berea on Sunday. I mentioned that The Isaacs couldn't get their bus down into the field where the Bluegrass festival was taking place.......they went in cars and carried their instruments in hand with them, but Nathan didn't take his cajon. A young lady made her way up to the stage and requested that The Isaacs do the Walk On song but of course the cajon is an important part of the sound of the song. Nathan grabbed up a guitar case and played it like his cajon and it really sounded awesome. Everything turned out just fine. Carl Bagby caught a great picture just at the right moment!
Click on Photo to enlarge
"I love the look on Becky's face"
Next stop: Blogging from Myrtle Beach - Gaither Fest - October 2nd and 3rd, 2009