Robin Thompson


Location: in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio
Country: US

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Hemlock Project work-in-progress

Artist: Robin and Mark Thompson
Genre: Folk & Singer-Songwriter
Duration: 00:02:06

I've named the tune for a coal mine reclamation project done here in our village some years back. These are the basics of the tune and there's plenty more to explore as we work on it.

01/20/19 06:47:22PM @greg-gunner:

I think it was Glouster just across the Perry County line in Athens County.  I'm not sure if it was called Studio E.  It may have had a different name as this would have been in the early 1980s.

Robin Thompson
01/20/19 06:42:46PM @robin-thompson:

@Greg-Gunner I'm imagining you got that banjo at Studio E in Glouster.  On your way there, you went by Burr Oak and were in Wayne National SF.  

01/20/19 06:37:54PM @greg-gunner:

I can't remember the name of the town, but it was south of Crooksville on the way to or from Athens.  I was the Talented and Gifted Coordinator for the Crooksville Exempted Village Schools and used to  drive south to Athens a couple of times a month for a meeting of the area's talented and gifted coordinators.  The village in which I purchased the banjo was on the highway heading to Athens.  What are some of the towns between Crooksville and Athens?  I may recall the name of the town if I see it.  

I remember passing the sign pointing to Burr Oak Lake State Park, but I can't remember if I ever left the main highway to go take a look at it.  I also remember passing through sections of Wayne National Forest.

Addendum: After looking at a map, the town may have been Glouster just across the Perry County line in Athens County.  Is that on the route from Crooksville to Athens?

Robin Thompson
01/20/19 06:19:53PM @robin-thompson:

@Greg-Gunner There is still deep mining (I think under the headwaters at Burr Oak Lake) and a permit to add over 400 acres to deep mine in that area is working its way through government channels.  If you saw the huge strip mining operation near Burr Oak, I imagine you would be shocked.  (By the way, our drinking water no longer comes from Burr Oak but from deep wells down in Athens County.) 

In what village did you buy your first banjo?  :)

01/20/19 05:27:56PM @greg-gunner:

Ah, Hemlock in Perry County, Ohio.  I lived in nearby Roseville, famous at one time for its ceramics, during the early 1980s.  While living in Roseville, I spent two years teaching in nearby Crooksville in Perry County, Ohio from 1982-1984.  Lots of strip mining in the area.  A former girlfriend's family was heavily intertwined with the coal mining industry.  Her father and brother-in-law were both coal miners.  Her father ended up with black lung disease.  Her brother-in-law offered to take me down into the mines so I could experience what it was like to work underground all day, but I never took him up on his offer.  The nearby coal mine was constantly trying to purchase the mining rights to my ex-girlfriend's land, but she wouldn't sell.

The relationship didn't last, and I moved north to southeast Michigan to accept a new teaching position.  Ironically, I never saw a mountain dulcimer during my stay in Perry County.  That had to wait until after my move up north, where I first saw the mountain dulcimer being played by a lady at one of the Toledo Metroparks.  I purchased my own mountain dulcimer, a Folkroots model, from Elderly Instruments shortly thereafter and have been playing off-and-on ever since.

Living in Perry County, Ohio with its small towns and villages was an experience I'll never forget, sort of a little piece of Appalachia only an hours drive away from Columbus, Ohio.  It was there my interest in all things Appalachian took root.  My first banjo was purchased in a small music store in one of those towns.

Robin Thompson
01/20/19 02:05:14PM @robin-thompson:

@Elvensong Our village still suffers effects from mining which took place many decades ago. . . Mark & I are still working on this tune-- tunes can speak of place to me.  

01/19/19 06:51:17PM @elvensong:

Your music really tells the story, Robin.

Once America corporations started focusing on profits instead of people, greed took over. Until that greed is rooted out, we will never evolve.

Robin Thompson
01/15/19 09:08:08AM @robin-thompson:

@Steven-Berger @Kevin-R @Irene @Macaodha Friends, thank you for the kind comments.  The tune is very much a work-in-progress. . .

Our village and the surrounding area has had waters and lands spoiled by mining over many decades.  The coal and most all the profits went to people far away. . . I am grateful for the efforts of all who are here to keep our communities going! 

01/15/19 07:03:09AM @macaodha:

 I  could see Hemlock Project(tune) being used as the signature tune to a documentary on such reclamation projects. Keep it going Robin.

01/14/19 09:59:05PM @irene:

I feel the spirit of that destructive to lands and peoples and water....sadness involved in what "was" and what is now.  This is moving music....aloha, irene

Kevin R.
01/14/19 09:24:06PM @kevin-r:

Wonderful as always, Robin (and Mark).  nod

Steven Berger
01/14/19 07:34:42PM @steven-berger:

Sounds good, Robin!