You could say the bluegrass world has been singing the blues since Michelle Nixon took a hiatus a few years back.
The veteran singer, who has been a perennial winner in the bluegrass world for her work on the award-winning project, Daughters of Bluegrass and as the top Female Vocalist for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America in 2006 took a break after the devastating loss of her father to cancer.
Nobody’s singing the blues now…Nixon and her band Drive are back with a new album, A Place I Belong, already ranked #3 on Airplay Direct’s Top 50 albums. She returns to the spotlight with a new lineup including husband Nick Nixon on guitar and vocals, Patrick Robertson on guitar and vocals, Tim Newcomb on banjo, Mike Sharp on dobro, Jonathan Dillon on mandolin and Tracy Burcham on bass. Six of the thirteen tracks were co-written by the husband-wife duo.
When Tom T. Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nixon was invited to perform his legendary song “Harper Valley PTA” at the Grand Ol’ Opry. In honor of that special musical highpoint, Nixon includes her own rendition of the song on the new album, released by Mountain Fever Records. For tour dates and information visit http://www.michellenixon.com or http://www.mountainfever.com.
1. Your Kind Of Love Listen Now!
2. Small Town Way Listen Now!
3. Last Road Listen Now!
4. Too Blue Listen Now!
5. Making Memories Without You Listen Now!
6. Brand New City Listen Now!
7. Top Of The World Listen Now!
8. A Place I Belong Listen Now!
9. Better Days Listen Now!
10. Is It Still Over Listen Now!
11. Muddy Waters Listen Now!
12. Where do we go from here Listen Now!
13. Harper Valley P.T.A. Listen Now!
A friend of 35-Mile Drive, and Goochland native, Nixon makes special appearances at select venues in Goochland County including White Hawk Music Cafe and Rassawek Spring Jubilee Heritage Show & Wine Festival.
It’s finally here! Tomorrow kicks off the first annual Rassawek Spring Jubilee Heritage & Wine Festival! The weather looks great, low 80s on Saturday and upper 80s on Sunday! Don’t forget your sunscreen, hats and walking shoes!! Live music, wine tastings, children’s activities and traditional demonstrations and living history all weekend.
The details are in…. Saturday 10-6 and Sunday, 11-5. Rassawek is on the north side of Route 6/ 35 Mile Drive in western Goochland, a few miles before the town of Columbia. Visit www.rassawek.com for further details.
HILL TOP, GAZEBO & MUSIC STAGE
4-H Club Livestock & Archery, Alpacas, Miniature Horses, Mutton Bustin’, Barnyard Animals, Horses & Carriages, Beekeeping Demonstration, Local Artifacts, Early American Demonstrations, Plein Air Artists Painting Demos
BBQ, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, Homemade Ice Cream, Milkshakes, Pecan Jacks, The Fudge and Sweet Shoppe
Bird House Project, Old Time Games, Corn Truck, Exchange Hotel Museum, Demonstrations
11am-12pm Thirteen Generations
1pm-2pm- Ridge Runners
2pm-3pm-The River City Band
3pm-4pm-Cary Street Ramblers
12pm-1pm-Grass Eclectic Company
1pm-2pm- Thirteen Generations
2pm-3pm-Good Natured Riot
3pm-5pm-Michelle Nixon and Drive
The hollow tree found in the Innsbrook area and was erected here this spring.
SAYLOR CABIN, BUILT IN 1844
The Saylor cabin was first cabin on the property in 2003, moved from St. Paul’s Chruch Road in Goochland.
EXHIBITS AROUND SAYLOR CABIN
Hearth Cooking Demonstrations (Louisa Historical Society), Vintage Cook Stoves & Clothes Washing, Blacksmithing Demonstrations, Tobacco Display, Canning & Weaving Demonstrations, Rail Splitting Demonstrations, Rock Splitting Demonstrations, Trapping Exhibit & Demonstrations, Small Steam Engines
CHEROKEE CABIN & GREENHOUSE
The Cherokee cabin was second cabin on the property, moved from Cherokee Road in Richmond, VA. The Cabin was originally built in 1910 and moved to Rassawek in 2006. This cabin was obtained from the Brisco Guy family.
The Greenhouse is from James Madison’s Montpelier, it is a 1910 Lord Burnham Greenhouse. Stories and Tales will be playing periodically throughout the day inside the cabin, a documentary of local people.
Byrd CellarsWinery, Grayhaven Winery, Saude Creek Winery, Mattaponi Winery, New Kent Winery, First Colony Winery
Chocolates by de Rochennet Chocolatier, The Bakery Farmville, Grapevine Restaurant
What is 35 Mile Drive? Literally 35 Mile Drive is another name for River Road West, a scenic Virginia byway in the Richmond, Virginia area. The stretch of road in question runs 35 miles through Goochland County. Some highlights from the road….things to do, places to see, right in Richmond’s back yard.
Let’s start at the Henrico/Goochland county line and head west.
Tuckahoe Plantation- Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home. He attended the one roomed school house still there and open to visitors. Could it be that TJ’s appreciation for architecture and domes was inspired by the domed schoolhouse ceiling? Like many a historic property, Tuckahoe is believed to have a few supernatural residents. A popular destination for filmmakers, you could say that Tuckahoe is Goochland’s Little Hollywood. Today, Tuckahoe has a farmer’s market on Sunday afternoons during the summer, selling their grass-few beef, eggs and other seasonal items.
Mother Mary of the Church Abbey- Since 1994, it has been the home of fifteen monks living in the Benedictine tradition. It is also houses the Shroud of Turin Center, a workshop destination for scholars and the faithful. There is a gift shop with monk-made items like sweets, jams, honey, textiles and a bookshop. Also, it is home of Benedictine Academy and the Bobby Ross Field. Ross (class of ’55) is a famed football coach and inductee into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Thistledown Alpacas- Goochland has a growing alpaca population. Several farms are open to the public.
Brookview Farm- A certified organic farm. 2007 Stewards of the Land, a national award by the American Farmland Trust! They sell their organic grass-fed beef through Lulu’s Local Food Co-op.
James River Work Center- The state farm. Home to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Greener Pastures Program. Rescued racehorses are given a second chance at life when their racing careers are over due to age, injury or performance. Horses are matched with offenders in a training program. Offenders graduate with a Groom Elite certification, giving them job skills to work in the horse industry. Many of the horses are available for adoption. It’s the only program of its kind in Virginia. Now home to 30 horses with 30 Groom Elite graduates! The TRF National President , Robin Williams, started the program and lives in Goochland.
You could say the state farm is Little Hollywood West. HBO’s John Adams was filmed here. Boston harbor and Braintree still sit waiting for a sequel perhaps on the Powhatan side.
Tanglewood Ordinary- A historic property family-dining Southern style! Fried chicken, anyone? Don’t miss their collection of Post magazines.
Tucker Park at Maiden’s Crossing- Goochland’s newest river park in development. Will be the site of a music ampitheater, birding platforms, trails, fields and primitive boat launch.
Brightly Bed & Breakfast- Historic B&B, one of only two in Goochland. Beautiful gardens.
Nadolski’s Butcher Shop- Specialty boutique butcher with locally sourced meats, specialty items, sausages, wine, beer and cheese. Home of many special events.
Goochland Courthouse- Built in 1826 by Cumberland builder Valentine Parrish and Dabney Cosby (a Staunton brickmason who had worked for Thomas Jefferson at UVA.) TJ’s influence is seen in the architectural details including the Tuscan portico, full Tuscan entablature, temple form and color scheme of red brick and white trim. Did you know, the brick wall was built around the complex to keep out wandering cattle!
White Hawk Music Cafe- Goochland’s musical metropolis! Combines music education (over 100 students in guitar, piano, voice, banjo, mandolin) with live performances and cafe food. A gathering spot with pickin’ parties every Thursday night, open mic on Tuesdays, and live music on the weekends.
Orapax- 700 acre hunting preserve for quail and pheasant. Customers come from over 39 states and six countries!!
Rapalee Taxidermy- Showroom open to the public, see dynamic mounts of over 100 animals from around the world.
Byrd Cellars Tasting Room- Sample wine from three local vineyards. Part of the 35 Mile Drive Wine Trail which includes Grayhaven Winery, Windsong Winery & Byrd Cellars.
Rassawek- Stunning property, home to the Spring Jubilee Heritage & Wine Festival May 21-22. Vineyard (Byrd Cellars) and village of reclaimed structures with historical value. Available for private rentals. Can see three counties and the James River corridor from the gazebo (formerly of 6th Street Marketplace!) Two restored log cabins, James Madison’s Montpelier greenhouse (now the wine tasting room,) music pavilion, ponds and trails. Named for the original Monacan Indian settlement along the river nearby.
The Spring Jubilee Heritage & Wine Festival at Rassawek in Goochland County will be May 21-22. Enjoy Byrd Cellars and six other Virginia wineries, a variety of music stages including bluegrass, old time, blues and country, traditional arts and crafts, antique cars and farm equipment, fishing derby, wholesome food, early American homesteading demonstrations including hearth cooking, canning, spinning and bee keeping, 4H livestock show and children’s activites.
Tickets for the wine festival and heritage festival are $20 for adults/ $35 a couple. Tickets to the heritage festival only are $10. Children 12& under are free.
Follow us on Twitter (@35miledrive) to join in the ticket treasure hunt! Follow the clues to find your own tickets to the event compliments of the 35 Mile Drive Association! Stay tuned for the first clue.
Tonight, Friday, 4/8
Where: White Hawk Music Cafe, 1940 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland, Va 23063 (804) 556-3388
Time: 8 pm to 10 pm, $5 cover
Wrenn Mangum celebrates the music of the 50’s- commanding the stage with only a guitar, microphone and amp, he takes you back when life seemed innocent and cars were cool. www.wrennmangum.com
The White Hawk Music Cafe is a member of 35 Mile Drive. Visit our website at www.35miledrive.com