Pickin’ and Grinnin’ | 4-Room School House Sets the Stage

4th Saturday of Every Month
7 pm – 9:30 pm or so

I had been hearing about Pickin’ and Grinnin’ for a couple of years now but had never gone. It is an open jam session by local musicians held at the Rush Strong School off of Leadmine Bend Rd. in Sharps Chapel (directions at bottom).

People had said it was hard to find. Here is the trick… it is exactly 2.6 miles on your right, once you turn onto Leadmine Bend Rd. from Sharps Chapel Rd. See the map at the bottom of this article.

IMG_4122 Old Rush Strong Schoolhouse | Sharps Chapel TN IMG_4126 Full-house at Pickin and Grinnin, Sharps Chapel, TN IMG_4130 IMG_4129 IMG_4128 IMG_4127 Authentic Water Fountains at Historic 4-Room Schoolhouse | Sharps Chapel TN IMG_4123

We were meeting some friends there, so we drove separately and when we got to 2.6 miles, there it was up on a hill.  A trailer shares its driveway.

It is a very simple white building. The doors of the schoolhouse were open and we could hear the acoustic music gently on the air.  Approaching the building on foot, we were greeted by several dogs — a Jack Russell puppy and a big ole’ Mastiff that was as gentle as a lamb.  With each step up to the door, we felt like we were going back in time.

Inside, there were folks of all ages — several elementary school-age kids with their grandparents, elders that looked to be in their 90’s, and every age in-between.  All were there to enjoy the music.  It was like being in someone’s living room because of the way kids were skipping around and people were chatting.  Everyone just got up and moved to sit next to someone else, off and on, to get caught up on the latest news.

I’m told there are regulars that make up the core band.  Other musicians would slide in and out throughout the evening doing a song here, a solo there.  My favorite times were when they all played together (view the video below).

You would never know who were locals and who were transplants.  Nobody cared.   You might be quite surprised to learn that there was a former Mississippi State Senator in attendance, along with one of the past-presidents of Sunset Bay as well as the current president of Sunset Bay, to  name a few.  All were there to enjoy the experience first hand that is so unique to Sharps Chapel.

That night was an extra special night for one little boy by the name of Hunter Boggs, who was around 10 years of age.  It was his debut.  He sat on the bench off to the side and played his heart out with the band.  When he was introduced, he lifted his hat like the gentleman that he is.

It couldn’t have been a nicer time.  Jim and I had big smiles on our faces the entire evening and both commented that if it had been in any other building, it just wouldn’t have been the same.  Oh, did I mention that the out-house was out back?

Scroll down to listen and enjoy and to view a map.

Life is an Adventure.