Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Favorite Pictures from August Concert

Here are some of our favorite shots from the August Concert on the Porch.

Emma Webb



Grover Westover

Paul Jackson

Sleepy John's house ... in the spotlight.

Wildwood Express: (from left) Grover Westover,  Paul Jackson, Gary Spraggins and Marilyn and Coley Graves

Wildwood Express

Wildwood Express

Photos by Vickie Cooper.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bluegrass featured at August “Concert on the Porch”

Join the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn., for the fourth in its 'Concert on the Porch' series Saturday, August 20, beginning at This month's concert will feature Wildwood Express, a group of five area musicians who perform the old time stringed music of yesterday. Also appearing with Wildwood Express will be 11-year-old Emma Webb of Memphis.

The concert will open with Webb. Webb is part of the Generation Next series of the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission and she is also the youngest member of the Memphis Songwriters Association. Webb has been performing in the Memphis area since she was 8. Her performances include music from the 80s to current pop songs plus some originals.

Wildwood Express performs the old time stringed music including bluegrass gospel, instrumentals and old time country. Their instruments of choice include the banjo, dulcimer, mandolin, upright bass and guitar.

The band is made up of Grover Westover, of Brownsville, who does vocals and plays guitar. Paul Jackson is from Bells, Tenn., and does vocals and plays mandolin.  Gary Spraggins is on the upright bass and is from Alamo, Tenn.  Coley and Marilyn Graves are from Bartlett, Tenn.; Coley does vocals, guitar and banjo, while his wife, Marilyn plays the hammered dulcimer. All are members of the Jackson Tennessee Area Plectral Society whose main purpose is the preservation of old time stringed music.

Everyone is invited to this free event. Bring your lawn chairs or blanket and enjoy an evening of old-time music. For more information, call the Center at 731-779-9000 or visit online at

Hoofbeats in the Heartland opens August 24

 A cavalry and military commander in the war, Nathan Bedford Forrest is one of the war's most unusual figures. He was one of the few officers in either army to enlist as a private and be promoted to general officer and division commander by the end of the war.

 The traveling exhibition “Hoofbeats in the Heartland: Civil War Cavalry in Tennessee” will open at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, Tenn., Wednesday, August 24. The exhibit is organized by the Tennessee State Museum and funded in part by a grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.

Hoofbeats in the Heartland will look at how Tennessee’s strategic location would make it a major battleground of the Western Theater. As both sides maneuvered, raided, fought, and occupied the state, nearly every community experienced the heavy hand of war. While few communities witnessed large battles, nearly every community experienced soldiers on horseback as part of a raiding force, occupying army, or as members of the numerous guerilla or partisan bands. 

The exhibition Hoofbeats in the Heartland will introduce the soldiers and the evolution of cavalry tactics in the Civil War. Visitors to the exhibit will meet the leaders such as Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Wilder and learn how their personalities affected the mounted warfare. Learn about the typical cavalry trooper, the nearly one million horses and mules that died during the Civil War and the mounted spies and scouts used to gain intelligence about the opposition.

Throughout the state both sides dealt with small bands of guerilla or partisan fighters mounted on horseback. These groups, some holding legitimate commissions from their respective governments, manifested in nearly every Tennessee county.

Visitors will also learn how the homefront sometimes became the frontlines and the role of the African-American troops. Significant battles will also be discussed including Fort Pillow in West Tennessee.

Hoofbeats in the Heartland will remain on display at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center until October 31. The Center is a tourist information center and three regional museums located off of Interstate 40 at Exit 56 in Brownsville. The Center is open seven days a week and is free to the public. For more information, call 731-779-9000 or visit

Friday, August 5, 2011

Texas Family Joins the Fun at Concert on the Porch

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn., was honored to welcome guests from Cut and Shoot, Texas, during its July 16 “Concert on the Porch.” Gary Christianberry and his family were vacationing in Tennessee when they decided to stop in Brownsville for the night. During their stay, the family enjoyed a tour of the Center’s three museums and a Southern Gospel concert from the porch of the “Sleepy” John Estes home. Pictured with Christianberry, outside of the Center, are his wife, Julie, and children, Joshua and Chelsea.