Jamming in Lansing

By Heather Samudio (heather.samudio@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Jul. 18, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 18, 2013

With summer well underway, area residents and visitors alike are looking for something to do on Friday nights.

Phipps Store in Lansing opens at 7 p.m. every Friday night for a weekly jam session of old-time and traditional mountain music, and there is no charge.

The jams are scheduled to run until 10 p.m., but generally last until later, according to James “Dawg” Wood, an owner of the store with his wife, Rita.

The store is in its sixth year hosting the sessions, which feature mountain music from local and regional artists.

The building was the Silas Creek Post Office for years, but now houses the jam sessions and artwork by local artists and crafters.

Wood, a folk artist himself, also displays some of his artwork at the store. His work combines his admiration for local history and music and features his representation of the Appalachia culture of music and mountain living.

Wood’s mother-in-law, Robertine Francis, said her family moved to the Silas Creek area when she was 1-year-old, and the store has been in their hands since that time.

Today, the store and farm have thrived for four generations, transitioning through the years from a community post office, dairy farm and store to the host of the weekly Friday night jam sessions.

“It’s a real good mixing pot for locals and tourists to sit and chew the fat,” Wood said. “Visitors are not treated like they are foreigners, and it gives them and those who’ve moved to the area a chance to talk to locals.”

The store can seat about 60 people, but Wood has welcomed more than 100 on some nights. “I always tell people to bring a chair,” he said.

The store is located at 2425 Silas Creek Road in Lansing.

For more information, contact Wood or his wife, Rita, at (336) 384-2382, visit http://porchpickin.com/Porchpick/PhippsStore/PhippsStore.htm or look up Phipps General Store on Facebook.

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