Friday, April 4, 2008

A Slice of Heaven in Southern Ohio, The Fur Peace Ranch

April 4, 2008

Interview by Scott Preston

jorma kaukonen, fur peace ranch, pomeroy, ohConceived in 1989 by Jorma & Vanessa Kaukonen, The Fur Peace Ranch is nestled in the rolling foothills of southeast Ohio.

It was not much at the outset. The hills and trees were pretty and serene, but it took a lively imagination to envision what might be created there, what might be taught and learned, and how hearts could open along with guitar cases.

But in 1989, Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen looked at a piece of land in Meigs and conceived what Jorma calls "a ranch that grows guitar players." Not a fantasy camp, but this would be a place where both budding and seasoned musicians could immerse themselves for several days, and emerge with renewed inspiration and tangible progress in their music.

Fur Peace Ranch did not spring from the ground full-grown. It evolved gradually into an idyllic landscape of neatly arrayed cabins, workshop space, library, store, dining hall, plus a theater that hosts concerts performed by world-class musicians -- many of whom also serve as instructors.

Vanessa Kaukonen was kind enough to chat with me about the Fur Peace Ranch:

Cincy Groove: So how did the whole concept behind the Fur Peace Ranch come about?

Vanessa Kaukonen: Jorma had a vision about southeast Ohio, a vision about the land. In the beginning I did not share this vision with him. I was living and working in upstate New York. I was working in the city, taking the train to work everyday. I was comfortable in that space. Jorma found this land through an old friend of his. He just bought it and I thought he was nuts. Everything great that has happened to me in my life has happened to me here in Ohio. Even though I came kicking and screaming, Jorma had this great vision about the land.

Read the full article here

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