The Ballad Swap at the Old Marshall Jail Hotel is a great opportunity to experience an important part of our Appalachian Heritage and it is the only recurring Ballad Swap in the area. Hosted by Josh Copus, Donna Ray Norton, and Sheila Kay Adams. A ballad is a story or narrative poem sung to a melody and is a type of folk song passed down through oral tradition. While ballads have been sung throughout Southern Appalachia, Madison County in particular is known for its rich treasure trove of ballads and ballad singers. When English folk song collector Cecil Sharp visited Madison County in 1916, he said he had found a “nest of singing birds.” The ballad tradition in Madison County alone goes back at least 9 generations.
Come on out and join us every second Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm. There will be one exception to the “every second Wednesday” rule, and that is for the month of October 2023, when it will be held the last Wednesday of the month. There will be a round robin style ballad swap that takes place on the patio of Zadie’s restaurant in the Old Marshall Jail. We have several ballad singers that join us each month from different counties. This is a very casual event where we tell stories, sing songs, talk about our history, and have a great time!
Some of our regular Ballad Singers:
- Sheila Kay Adams
- Donna Ray Norton
- Branson Raines
- Leila Weinstein
- Sarah Songbird Burkey
- Susan Pepper
- John Analoe Phillips
- Judy Rhodes
- William & Sarah Ritter
- and more (you can never tell who might show up!)
Come early to get a table, order yourself some supper and a few drinks!