Welcome back for season two of What Dreamers Do!
I kick this episode off by recapping my summer travels with the band, sharing some fun and memorable moments from the UK, Ireland, Serbia, and Greece, and my takeaways about the insights we can gain from traveling. (Including my suggestion for applying the insights when we’re back home!)
Cowan Creek Mountain Music School
Appalachian Frolic Dance Weekend December 9-11, 2022, Berea, KY
welcome to the what dreamers do podcast. i’m your host carla govan and appalachian musician flatfoot dancer, mama creative and dreamer from kentucky. i’m on a mission to inspire others to realize their dreams and live their most creative lives. grab your mason jar full of sweet tea or something a little stronger, and pull up a chair, because it’s time to get your dream off.
that’s what dreamers do.
hey, and welcome dreamers. i’m so happy to be back with you. for season two of the wet dreamers do podcast, i’ve had a little bit of a break, because i have been on tour a lot with my band this summer and performing live again, thank goodness. and so i’m learning that my podcasting rhythm is probably going to be more winter oriented. so i’m really excited about everything. i’ve got coming up lots of interviews with writers, dancers, artists, healers, and so many amazing creative people have other
thoughts and ideas and art projects and music projects to share with you guys. but i thought i would keep it simple, keep it sweet, and short and easy this week by just doing a little sharing about the summer travels i’ve had with my band, corn maze. and it’s been really special. on the one hand, i’m proud of myself, because all the places that we’ve gotten to go have been through hard work and through
many years of dreaming and planning and networking and writing grants and meeting people. but on the other hand, i’m just lucky, i’m privileged. i live in a beautiful place and a time of relative peace. and i have the means to travel and get out there. and so i feel really grateful.
but i thought i would give you maybe five memories from the different places that we’ve been. so
the first place that we went at the beginning of the spring was the uk. and so we landed in london, we didn’t have any shows in london, but we wanted to get there early and spend a couple of days. and unbeknownst to us. and even more poignantly now that she has passed, we landed right in the middle of the queen’s silver jubilee, celebrating 70 years of her reign in england. now, i know there’s a lot of mixed feelings about royalty and monarchs. and we encountered that when we went to wales and when we went to ireland, but
it was still an interesting time to be there. we
walked around the city, we looked at historic sites and buildings and i love the way that london is just like, one minute you’re in a beautiful quiet residential street. the next minute you’re in an ancient feeling town the next minute it is just
the most deep city vibes you can get. it’s got so many different kinds of vibes going on depending on where you go. so we went to several pubs including the one that is frequented by my favorite fictional detective cormoran strike in the books that i read. it’s called the tottenham pub, but it’s actually the flying horse on oxford street. we drank quite a few gin and tonics i was amazed by the sheer number and
variety of gin. but i guess it was maybe invented in london. i don’t know, they seem to have a lot of gin there. and it’s a really big deal. so i like gin and tonic. so we drank a lot of those. we tried, but we’re burned by some really bad meat pies. we thought, oh, that sounds so british. let’s have some meat pies. but we just weren’t able to find a good one.
we had a very fancy tea party. and that was very difficult to book because apparently even though there’s over 100 places you can have afternoon tea in london. that’s what everyone was doing to celebrate the queen, which makes sense, right? i mean, to celebrate the queen, you go out and have a fancy tea. i mean, that’s obvious. but we were able to find a really cool place and had a queen themed tea party with a band. so that was kind of the theme of our whole tour. we called it the posh tea tour. and we had as much tea as possible. and fortunately in the uk in wales, that was easy to do. so london was lovely. and then we took the train up to a festival just outside aberystwyth, wales. it’s called fire in the mountain festival. and it was strange to be around so many people. after the isolation of the pandemic, it was really fun, a little unnerving, but we had a great time. we slept in a yurt. it was frigidly cold even though it was june, but it’s colder in the uk and
and there were lots of sheep around us. there were lots of fiddles, there was a little
house that served a cream tea. at the bottom of a hill, it was pretty magical. and there was a lot of great music. it was amazing and inspiring to hear how many different kinds of kentucky tunes, specially the traditional fiddle tunes were being played by the different bands, most of whom were from that part of the world. so that made us feel good and proud. and
as if we were kind of at home. and the funny part of that trip was were sleeping in this yard and about 8pm, the traditional focus stuff would shut down on the stage and they started playing this blend they have over there of kind of trad meets electronic dance music. so it’s got this heavy beat. and so we’re listening to that until like two and of course, it was a little bit hard to sleep, because we’re basically sleeping on the ground. but then the sheep are also
the whole night long. and it kind of makes it sound like it’s electronic tread dance music with sheep accompaniment, like it sounded like the sheep were part of the music. so that was pretty surreal. but anyway, we had a few nights camping out there. and then we spent a night in the charming seaside town of everest with and we managed to find a cute little airbnb right on the harbor. and i just kept falling in love with each town that we went to. and it’s a really magical thing to travel as you may know, or may also have experienced, i would imagine. you see things with different eyes, you pay attention to stuff that if you’re in your hometown, you tune out. and so just hearing the people talk see and what kinds of food they had in the restaurants looking what they had in their stores and their shops and walking down the street. and of course in the uk, there’s just such a variety of really interesting accents. and that was fun to hear all those. i met a welsh percussive dancer whose name was shaky. i think i’m saying it right, they have that double l that makes a unusual sound. so anyway, wales was cool. we got on a ferry from wales. and we wrote it over to dublin. and we spent a few days just kind of traveling around in ireland. before we had our next gig, and we started in dublin, and it’s such a historic town. dublin was so charming, and i could have spent so much more time there, but we just had a couple days.
oddly enough, we had some amazing spanish tapas there. travel, food is such a wonderful part of it.
but the hotel we say that had these lovely meals and flowers and great tea everywhere, although i do have a bone to pick with pretty much most other places in the world besides the united states, which is that i i will confess to you guys, i am addicted to half and a half. i love half and a half so much i put it in my tea and i put it in my coffee. and they thought i was some kind of psycho. in the uk and ireland wanting half enough. they didn’t even know what i was talking about. and i would explain it to them. and they’re like, oh, we don’t really have anything like that. anyway, i love traveling but i really appreciate being in the good old usa of being able to have cream in my hot caffeinated beverages.
so after dublin we went to limerick we went to galway, we had a beautiful posh tea at this little shop called cooper and tay and galway. and it is so magical. i recommend that you make a trip to ireland just so you can go to galway and have tea there. it was gorgeous, with little sandwiches and little cakes and really really delicious tea and a really sweet owner. so that was a highlight. then we made our way up to westport, which was our reason for going to ireland. we played at the westport folk and bluegrass festival. and again, there were bluegrass and traditional musicians from all over the world and all different parts of the united states. i think we were the only ones who were actually from the land of bluegrass and old time from appalachia. there were some bands from the midwest and the west coast of the united states and then from different parts of europe and it was interesting to hear everybody’s different take and interpretation on bluegrass. i got to meet up with an irish dancer and do a workshop with her comparing appalachian flat footing and irish dance and that was super special as well. so then, we traveled back home after a couple of weeks over there. we did a bunch of shows. in kentucky we played in maysville. we played at the berea craft fair, which is beautiful. i went and helped run cowan creek mountain music school where everybody comes to learn tradition.
small, old time music of kentucky.
i had a good time at home for a while. and then we turned around and went to perform in serbia. and it was all of our first time in that part of eastern europe in that part of the world. it was really different. but the festival was beautiful. it was held in a town called nitch. and it was in an old fortress that was built in the i think 1700s. but it’s different to travel in places that have such a long established history when we are in a, in a country
that has at least we have a long history here. but it’s a hidden history. when you start to talk about the indigenous people. it’s not, you know, written down, and we don’t have such ancient buildings and so forth, as they have in europe. and so just to be somewhere
where there are 1000 year old fortresses and
ancient streets and ancient roman edifices is pretty, pretty cool. pretty interesting. but they treated us like kings at this festival in serbia, we had some unusual foods. we had a press junket for the first time, like you see on tv where we’re all sitting at a table and they’re interviewing us and we had a translator translating it into serbian. so that was a beautiful experience. and then zoey and arlo, which are half the band, my daughter and her husband went to belgrade to spend some time and yanni. my partner who is also our other bandmate, we went down to greece to an island called carpet those were his father’s family is from so we spent another week or so there swimming in the ign it was gorgeous. we met so many relatives.
it was a lot like being in eastern kentucky when i go there, and people start saying, hello, whose girl are you? we had that same experience in greece. and it was really beautiful to see the little villages where his different members of his family were from and the house where his grandfather grew up. and we were also very happy to come home. and so we get to be here in the great state of kentucky, for a while for a few months before we travel again.
and it is so wonderful to be home. and
to get to be with our family, spend time with our friends catch up with people that we haven’t seen in a while. and as i mentioned before, it really does help you to see your home with new eyes when you’ve been traveling. because for me, it opens my eyes to all the cute little shops we have here are the little streets where the wooded pathways are the places i want to go hike, and just the charm and the flavor, and the vibe of where i live and how special it is. and so that’s kind of what i want to leave you all with is whether you have traveled the summer or not. or this fall, whether you’re going to travel, whether you even like to travel, i want to challenge you, at some point this week to take yourself out, or your cell phone, a friend, a loved one, a spouse, a child, and make a date to go somewhere that you’re really drawn to in your town in your city in your little slice of the world. go experience something as if you were a visitor there, see it with new eyes, see it with fresh eyes and just enjoy where you are and appreciate where you are. because i think that’s really fun. and that’s really cool. and we often forget to appreciate the wonderful and beautiful things and places and people that are around us. and so i intend to try to do that this week. and i would like to challenge you to do that. it’s a good practice, always. and at the time of this recording, i am planning a special music and dance retreat in berea, kentucky in december of 2022. so i would love to invite you to find out more about that. i’ll put the link in the show notes and you can find it on the show calendar portion of my website as well. carla gov.com i’m so happy to be here with you and having this time again. i will be back with you very soon with an episode featuring one of my dance mentors from north carolina mr. rodney clay sutton and we can hear what he has to say about the 50th anniversary of the greengrass cloggers and his take on dance in appalachia, especially in the carolinas
meanwhile, if there’s anything that you would like to hear on the show a person who’d like to hear interviewed or feedback that you’d like to give me, please send me an email carla, carla grover.com or you can send me a message on instagram or tiktok at kentucky carla, love to see you on the socials love to see in my inbox. and most of all, i can’t wait to see you next time in your earbuds or your listening device or your speakers on the what dreamers do podcast. thank you so much for listening, and i’ll talk to you again real soon.
thank you so much for joining me this week. if you want to make sure you never miss an episode. please hit subscribe wherever you’re listening now. or visit my website to get on my email firstname.lastname@example.org. when you sign up, you’ll instantly receive my milton mama digital care package, a bundle of music and videos to help you wring every drop of yeehaw out of life. you’ll even find a dance lesson as well as my granny’s cornbread recipe with new goodies being added all the time. i’ll see you next thursday on the wet dreamers do podcast
• Enjoy original songs, banjo tunes, and mountain ballad downloads from the hills of East Kentucky
• Learn the basics of mountain percussive dance in my free instructional video “3 Essential Steps for Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging”
• Snag our video guide to making your own herbal tinctures along with homey recipes from our family!
• Stay in touch about all things Appalachia with my fun weekly email, like a front-porch visit in your inbox!
Website by Tracy Raftl Design
© 2022 Carla Gover
Carla is currently based in Lexington, KY, ancestral lands of the Adena, Hopewell, S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), and Wazhazhe Maⁿzhaⁿ (Osage) nations.
Online Press Kit
A hearty helping of Appalachian goodness with lots of tools to help you stay happy and sane, including Kentucky songs and tunes, a Flatfooting & Clogging Video Class, our guide to making your own herbal tinctures, a creativity handbook, mountain recipes, and more!