Mar 152012
 

From the November 1, 2011, performance of Rat Shed Radio, held at Homegrown Press. Other Rat Shed Radio paddles can be found here: Fayette floaters and the Fabled Canelands.

The first Kentucky River narrative to appear in North of Center. Volume 1, issue 12.

I moved here in 2000 for the state university located just south of downtown Lexington, but I stayed because of Jessamine County. Where Lexington and UK initially came off to me, arriving fresh off stints in Charleston, SC; Missoula, MT; and Athens, GA, as a sort of familiar letdown, the city equivalent of ambien and bourbon, it was my travels to Wilmore and High Bridge, Keene and Camp Nelson, that first fired my imagination and wonder for this place and the people calling it home. In Jessamine, I encountered guitar pickers who enjoyed playing through dawn in cold damp tobacco barns; suburban yard salers dabbling in E-Bay Porsche sales; radically anti-christian Asbury graduates; one-armed retards; serial masturbators; naturalists; drunks; pill-poppers; artists; ruffians; river rats; walkers; poets; paddlers; farmers; and other good and neer do wells. To this day, I trace most of my close friends to that county.

So pardon the intimate nature of this Rat Shed paddle through Jessamine County, these true accounts, playful stories and clear reflections of our lives traversing this place.

Danny

Continue reading »

Feb 092012
 
Audio from the November 1, 2011, performance of Rat Shed Radio, held at Homegrown Press. Other Rat Shed Radio paddles can be found here:  the Fabled Canelands and fair Jessamine.
 
High, high, yes when I die
there’s untold millions
standing next in line.

Wes Houp, “Up on Chenoca”

When development came to the bluegrass, it came from the east. From Fort Pitt at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers on past the Kanawha, speculators from James Harrod to Johnny Appleseed floated the Ohio in search of available productive land. Harrod, like many of the early illegals who explored the region as citizens of invading British and American nations, came into the bluegrass by turning left at the mouth of the Kentucky and paddling, upriver, as far as Leestown. Later, by the 1780s, new arrivals to central Kentucky would shorten this trip immeasurably, by disembarking at the settlement of Limestone and then taking the southern road toward the growing frontier town of Lexington. Continue reading »

Jan 162012
 

From the November 1, 2011, performance of Rat Shed Radio, held at Homegrown Press. Other Rat Shed Radio paddles can be found here: Fayette floaters and fair Jessamine.

Western

By Western.

From its headwaters in the mountainous southeastern part of the state, the Kentucky River flows northwest toward its confluence with the Ohio. The river diverts from this northwesterly course but once, when it hits the high grounds of the Lexington peneplain and is forced to cut a southwest route around the area now known as Lexington. The crescent-shaped region carved by this riverine diversion, the fabled canelands, has long been a hub of all forms of life.

This section of Rat Shed pairs some history on the Fayette crescent with songs by Wes Houp, Chris Sullivan and Warren Byrom. Continue reading »