Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Few Good Men Or Women, As The Case May Be............

In part 3 of my salute to our volunteers, I'm going to show a few more photos of some of our Dumplin Valley army of friends who give up their family time to spend the weekend helping us see to the needs of the Festivarians.  Sadly, I don't have access to photos of every single person who has helped out so I will present some that I could readily pull up and post.
Roy Swann, Sami Moore, Gene & Barb LeGrand

Joe with Bobby & Barbara Mull

Joe & Gene holding down the gate

Gene, Sherry Moore, Frank Alden

Barb LeGrand

Wes Soward & Randy Martin

Joe, Bobby & Rhonda Pate

Wes & Barb
Some of the other volunteers are Gene Bell, Joe & Julie Winter, Stanley Moore, Trenta Swann, Al & Staci Caton (for the use of their 4-wheeler), Dollie Alden, Tom & Jeanne Winn.  And we must include W.A. & Rhonda Pate who always pitch in whenever they are here as well as Ted & Irene Lehman.  Irene even covers the merch tables for several of the bands in addition to talking photos and blogging with Ted. 
It really does take a village to run a festival.  I'm sure I haven't given credit to everyone so I apologise for that.  We are grateful for all the help we have spreading our fliers and getting the word out about an event that we are proud to put our name on.  It couldn't be done without all of you.  Thanks ever so much!!!! m

It Takes A Village.............

I hope you read the previous post on a couple of our volunteers.  Without our volunteers there could be no festival as it is quite an undertaking.  We have been blessed by the generosity of our friends & family who have given so much of their time and talents to help us present a first class event for your enjoyment.  Once inside the venue you will most likely encounter several people who are here to make sure that the people buying tickets to the shows have a good time.  Some of these unsung heroes are not up front and center and may not be noticed right away.  But they wouldn't have it any other way.   If things are running smoothly, you can bet that these volunteers are doing a fine job to ensure just that.  Having said all that, let's take a look at some of them.

Let's start with Bobby & Barbara Mull.  They have been here from our humble beginnings and have become quite the ambassadors for Dumplin Valley.  Bobby's main "job" is addressing the arrival and needs of campers.  It's usually his smiling face that greets the campers as they enter the farm.  He's so familiar with the layout of the campground and the rigs of our repeat visitors that he can identify most of them when they approach the gate and knows where they're going before they even drive onto the grounds.  
You'll also see him picking up the slack wherever and whenever he senses the need.  And he is often accompanied by his wife, Barbara, who is also a VIP.  Barbara pitches in wherever needed and that might include anything from paper towel patrol to administrative assistance.  They've even been known to provide some meals for bands from time to time.    It was certainly a lucky day for us when we crossed paths with these two fine bluegrass lovers.  We've leaned on them a lot in the last 14 years for advice and guidance as they are veterans of the bluegrass trail with lots of stories to tell.  They are good ambassadors for Dumplin Valley on that trail as they carry our brochures on their travels and help spread the word.  
During the festival you'll find them parked near the pavilion with little Molly Rose on the dash.  Molly Rose is the official bluegrass cat of Dumplin Valley now.  Thank you Bobby & Barbara for all you do. 

I hope these photos will help folks identify Bobby & possibly clear up the confusion of who is Joe and who is Bobby!  They each answer to whichever name someone calls them.  But they both do so many jobs on the grounds that people get them confused. 
Thanks, you guys, we couldn't do it without you!! m

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Gene LeGrand!

Today's local paper carried a story on the front page which featured one of our faithful volunteers, Gene LeGrand.  Not only has he been here every year working tirelessly at the gate selling tickets, giving directions, welcoming people and providing information to the many people who drop by his tent, he can also be found at various charitable organizations volunteering his time (alongside his wife, Barb).  In this instance, he was photographed while judging the local county science fair.   Needless to say, we are proud of Gene for his generosity in serving the community in so many ways.  He and Barb are very important cogs in the festival wheel at Dumplin Valley.  Barb is in charge of handling/selling the t-shirts, information table & also makes reservations while answering the phone and answering questions for the folks who drop by her headquarters.   We know we are lucky to have such fine help.  And Sevier County is lucky to have this couple giving so much of their time.   I actually met them while volunteering at Sevier County Food Ministries.  They just happened to be working on the same day that I worked there and we soon bonded and the rest is history.  Volunteering to work at a bluegrass festival without knowing much about the music was a big step for them.  And now they have been converted to the category of being fans.  We've certainly learned a lot through the last 14 years together and we look forward to experiencing September festival #15 in 2014.


Check back for another installment of a salute to our volunteers.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Keeping Your Noggin Warm

As we await the approaching frigid weather tonight I find myself thinking about a discussion we had recently about the name of the head covering depicted in this photo.  The somewhat reluctant "model" calls it a toboggan as I do. 

But I have encountered rude salespeople who looked at me as if I had 3 heads (which would make their job even more challenging to find a "toboggan" to fit me) when I asked where to find them in their store.   So, it occurred to me that perhaps this is one of those regional words that is used in our neck of the woods.  What do you call it if not a toboggan?   I know that a toboggan is also a wooden sled with a curved front.  But how did this word make the transition to a hat?  And where can I go shopping for one without being stared or sneered at when asking for one.   I asked for one in a ski shop in Denver and the clerk thought I was nuts (that's debatable).  Perhaps my accent might have been her clue that I wasn't from around there and maybe spoke a different language. 
I suppose the recent discussion we had with some friends on this topic reminded me of some of those words/phrases we use here in East Tennessee that folks in other regions don't use in the same fashion.  I had not given the matter much thought since the night of the "big debate" until I was watching the news & weather a couple of nights ago and heard the meteorologist say "toboggan" when referring to covering her head.  And then tonight at supper (or is it dinner at your house)  I overheard a lady saying that there were no "buggies" at the grocery store due to the impending snowstorm.  So that made me think about the buggy vs. cart thing. Oh, well....................
Anyway, we would love to hear your version of this debate..............what do you call it and where are you from?   If you can't figure out how to leave a comment here, leave it on our facebook page.
Thanks a bunch!
Oh, my! There's only a little over an hour left until the season 4 premier of Downton Abbey.  This has been the longest wait for a new episode since somebody shot J.R.    That's the reason we ate early tonight.  I wasn't going to take a chance on missing it.  Joe just laughed at me as he doesn't watch it and will most likely be in bed by the time it comes on.   Don't know what it is about that show but I'm addicted to it. I resisted watching it but found myself channel-surfing one evening and was hooked when I actually stopped long enough to watch it.   Not sure if it is the magnificent cinematography,the beautiful scenery, the storyline, the outstanding attention to detail in the costumes or all of the above, but it is quite a program and I am anxious to get on with this season's story.  Nice way to start the new year on a cold night.     Think I'll run and put another log on the fire and await one of PBS' best shows ever!        m

Thursday, January 2, 2014

HELLO 2014

No excuse.  That's all I can say for not posting/blogging in 2013.  When I started to put this post up I was shocked to see that it had been so long since I last took time to update.  Gee, I've got to do a better job.  I think I put most of my information on our facebook page and just neglected this one.  Don't let me do that again.  If you notice me slacking off again, send me a message and I'll get on it!

 2014 got here way too fast.  I don't know where the time went.  We didn't do much traveling last year but did manage to get to a few bluegrass shows nearby.   Our 14th annual festival was a great time with a record crowd in attendance.  The farm was also the setting for some weddings & receptions in addition to a few other events.  We kept quite busy with all the activities going on around here. 

We have a great lineup for 2014 and are anxious to present the bands for your enjoyment.  Here's a sneak preview of the schedule:

9/18: The Little Roy & Lizzy Show

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice

Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier

Adkins & Loudermilk

Cordle, Jackson & Salley

9/19: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage

Balsam Range

James King

Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys

Volume Five

9/20: Lonesome River Band


The Spinney Brothers

Darin & Brooke Aldridge

The Bankesters

This will be the first time Dumplin Valley has presented Adkins & Loudermilk, Volume Five, Sideline and also The Bankesters.   The other bands will be familiar to our festivarians.  We hope you will start making plans to join us September 18-20.   If you are planning to camp, you will need reservations and those need to be made soon as we are fast approaching the "full" level.  You can call us at 865-397-7942 to make your reservations.

Also, we will be once again be having a camping & picking weekend May 16 & 17.    This is a weekend of hanging out with picking friends, camping, jamming & visiting.  No shows or vendors will be scheduled that weekend.  We've done this the past 2 years and it has been lots of fun.  Joe and I are able to relax and join in the jams, etc. that we miss out on during festival week.   This is also the same weekend as the Annual Bloomin Barbeque & Bluegrass event held in Sevierville so it offers our pickers an alternative or a break in the evening to attend the free shows offered by the city of Sevierville.  That event usually ends early enough to allow time for some late evening picking here.  The only charge that weekend is your camping fee (which is our regular overnight rate). 

We hope you will plan to join us for both May and September.    Check out our Facebook page @ Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival and also our website:  The info on the website should be updated soon.  In the meantime, keep on supporting bluegrass and we'll be looking for you on the bluegrass trail. m

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Lineup Complete

 With the addition of the up and coming band, Flatt Lonesome, the 2013 lineup is now complete.  If you read the previous blog entry you saw the full list of bands with this one exception.  You can find more information about them at where you will also be able to hear 3 of the cuts from their new cd.
   We are excited about this year's show which is full of your favorites and some new to Dumplin Valley bands for some variety and exciting entertainment.   Flatt Lonesome has a new cd out which is getting a lot of airplay on WDVX, Sirius and WNCW.   I'll get my "web wrangler" to update our website with photos and a complete lineup very soon.
I know this is a short blog entry but I wanted to keep you updated regarding the lineup and will have more info soon.     
See You in September!! m

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bluegrass On The Move

What a great weekend of music.  It began with fine performances by The Dismembered Tennesseans, Brand New Strings and also Balsam Range at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville on Saturday night.  All three bands provided a much needed break for us as it had been a long dry spell without attending any shows.  It was so good to see lots of our Dumplin Valley friends there, too.  The show was the first in a series of shows to be presented by WDVX.  
The next stop on our "weekend tour" was a "special" blueplate special at the WDVX studio on Sunday afternoon.  That show featured Balsam Range with their very special guest, John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band).  What a show that was!   All those guys have a new project just released and it is called "Daylight".    If you're looking for some great music, check it out.  Here is a link for more info on the project:
After the blueplate both bands headed over to Thompson Boling Arena for a show with the Zac Brown Band.  I wish we would have had tickets for that.  Would love to have seen our friends from Canton on stage with ZBB in front of 1,000's of fans.   I heard that Balsam Range made all of us bluegrass fans proud with their fine performance.   And I bet they gained a few fans last night.  Hopefully, some of those folks will come to Dumplin Valley to see them in September.  Wouldn't that be great?!
We should have the lineup finished this week.  In the meantime, here's a list of the bands we are proud to present for your enjoyment this year:
Thursday, 9/19/13:  Paul Williams & The Victory Trio; Donna Ulisse; Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier; Cordle, Jackson & Salley  Friday, 9/20/13:  Rhonda Vincent & The Rage; Little Roy & Lizzy Show; Balsam Range; The Dismembered Tennesseans; The Spinney Brothers  Saturday, 9/21/13: Lonesome River Band; The Crowe Brothers; The Roys; Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice + TBA
Balsam Range and John Driskell Hopkins