Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring Has Sprung

Ah, yes, "Spring has Sprung" here in East Tennessee.  The wildlife is out and about, flowers bloom and the trees are throwing their pollen into our atmosphere as they do every year at this time.  It all combines to make for some very beautiful scenery as we witnessed this weekend during our summit meeting in the mountains.  

As you can see, there was a lot of business conducted on the porch.  I mean, what better place to discuss business??   

Strategy is very important whenever planning a festival.  Sometimes it even calls for a more visual approach in order to get the issues lined up.

It was a good weekend with good friends in an inspirational setting.   We feel blessed to have good friends and to live in such a beautiful part of this great country.   Bluegrass brought some of us together but the friendships keep us together. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wow! I can't believe I've done it again. All the good intentions I've had to keep up this blog have just vanished. Hopefully, you will forgive and I will do better. Actually, it is often hard to find something to write about. Don't know why that is as I don't have much trouble having something to say when you guys call me on the phone. Maybe my issue is just not being disciplined enough to sit down and create something you would even be remotely interested in. But I will try. If you haven't seen the lineup for September, here it is. We will be putting the daily schedule together in a couple of weeks and you will have showtimes then. I hope you will be as excited as we are about the bands this year. THURSDAY'S lineup features the Gibson Brothers, Trinity River Band, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier and a new band - Mark Kuykendall, Bobby Hicks & Asheville Bluegrass. FRIDAY will offer up a big day of music with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Flatt Lonesome, Sideline, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle and Chris Henry & Hardcore Grass. SATURDAY will be an exciting mix of bands featuring John Cowan with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, The Seldom Scene, Breaking Grass, Becky Buller and The Grascals. I hope this will whet your appetite for good music. So, make your plans to join us now. Give us a call (865-397-7942) for camping info. Currently the campground is full but we have started a waiting list and we are usually able to place everyone as there are always a few folks who find that they need to cancel due to various circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you with whatever questions you might have. Now onto other business. Here are a few photos of a few happenings since last September............

We attended the Palatka festival this year and saw a lot of our Dumplin Valley friends.
Got just enough snow this year.
Ran into Ted and Irene Lehmann at Palatka. Always good to see them.
In the off season we use the barn for important things like riding your bike when it's too wet outside.
While the destruction of the pool was going on Joe decided to get rid of some boulders.
After many years of enjoying it and 3 years of not using it, we decided enough was enough and filled in the pool. The grandkids will be getting a playground instead and we will gain some nice outdoor space for Papa & Grammy to use.
No pot of gold to be found anywhere!
I think this speaks for itself.
The annual Easter egg hunt was well attended.
We hid about 750 eggs.
Farmer Joe took the kids around the farm/campground after all the eggs were collected. Well............almost all the eggs were found.  Joe "found" a couple when he mowed.
It was a really good day for the hunt.  These 3 found a great spot to watch all the action.
Farmer Joe's best buddy loves that tractor.
Sophie (black dog) & Rufus (Lab) enjoying the weather.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Post-Festival Update

If you missed the 15th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival, you missed a weekend of perfect weather, great bands and a gathering of festival attendees who seemed to have a blast.  The week leading up to the event was quite busy with the arrival (on the 13th) of our grandson, campers arriving, jamming and also Joe's birthday.  We really enjoyed getting to visit with our early arrivals.  There is a window of time between the first arrival and the start of the festivities when we are able to visit with our festival friends and do a little jamming, etc.  To us, that is the best time of the festival.  After the event starts, we're usually preoccupied with business and can't enjoy visiting with everyone until the day after it all ends.
This year the crowd was great as was the music.  Maybe some of you saw the awesome Balsam Range shows.  They were the 2014 winners of the IBMA's award for Entertainer of the Year and also the Vocal Group of the Year.  Lead singer, Buddy Melton, took home the award for Male Vocalist of the Year, too.  BR has been with us for several years since they first started touring.  We are happy to say that many of the bands who are recognized each year for excellence in their field have performed for you right here on our stage.  
I'm going to post a few photos from our festival here as well as a few from our recent trip to IBMA.  We made the last minute decision to attend IBMA in Raleigh this year right after our festival.    There are photos on our facebook page,Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival, too.  However, the Facebook App has been corrupted on my computer so I can't access it right now.  In the meantime, I will post news here until I can resolve that issue.
Thanks so much to all of you who came to enjoy and support our event.

Here's Ted Lehmann most likely making notes for his blog and YouTube channel.
On Wednesday night we put the Potluck Band in the spotlight for a little pre-festival entertainment. These guys have been jamming in the campground every year.  2014 was their year to have a little light to shine on their talent.
Dumplin Valley received some great attention from our local NBC affiliate, WBIR.  We really appreciate their coverage & PR to spread the word about the great bluegrass experience to be had right here.
In spite of severe health issues this past year, the great storyteller, James King, put on a fine performance.   He is much loved by bluegrassers everywhere.

Joe got to sing with Rhonda Vincent and The Rage.  Rhonda has become a fixture here at Dumplin Valley and this year even had a group of her "Ragers" holding a reunion here.  Let's clear something up here.  Rhonda is the Queen of Bluegrass.  But around here, it is I who is the Queen of Dumplin Valley!!
What a great Friday night crowd.  Our son, Wes, was climbing up the little silo to remove his camera which had been recording the crowd coming in and out of the barn.  That video, as well as one showing festival prep, can be seen over on our Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival Facebook page.

LRB (Lonesome River Band) has closed the show on Saturday night for a few years now.  At least this year they weren't upstaged by the skunk who visited them about 3 years ago.  Thankfully, he didn't spray anyone.  He only wanted to eat someone's popcorn on the floor :)

Balsam Range at IBMA Awards
The Earls of Leicester at IBMA
The crowd at the street festival in Raleigh at IBMA.
Joe is holding a memento from Stage B (a popular campsite here and at other festivals) to show their representation at IBMA.
Here's Sir Walter Raleigh.
IBMA gathering of banjo pickers
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway..............we jumped off I-40 on the way home and found a gentler more picturesque route home from IBMA.
This photo was made from the porch at the Moses Cone house on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  One of my favorite views of all time.  Any time of year is a good time to sit on that porch and take in the vista of the area around Blowing Rock, NC.
Standing on top of the parking garage in Raleigh, we noticed LRB's bus parked below.  I think it looks better in our driveway!

Bluegrass makes everyone want to dance!

Take a look at our Facebook Page to see the time lapse videos of the tents going up and the crowd making a dash for that supper time break.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Oh, my goodness!  I have less than a month to get it all together and be ready for our homeplace to turn into a little bluegrass village.  How will we ever get it done?   Actually, those are the sentiments I express every year about this time.  And it never changes.  I start to feel the pressure of all the preparation bearing down on me. But this year there is an element of anticipation in the air.  We are very anxiously awaiting the arrival of a precious little grandson who is due at festival time.  Some of you may recall that we experienced the joyful event of the birth of our first grandchild 3 years ago when our daughter gave birth to a precious little girl nearly two weeks prior to the 2011 festival.  At least this time around the birth will take place here in Tennessee instead of Colorado.  *Thank you, kids, for moving back to Tennessee!
We've had a busy summer with some beautiful weddings being held here on the farm.  And there is another one scheduled for the Saturday following the festival.  And in spite of the busy happenings here at home, we found time to attend 3 major bluegrass festivals (Auburn, AL; Marion, NC; The MACC in Columbus, Ohio) to see many of the bands you'll be seeing here in a few weeks.  
Currently we are trying to wrap up our camping reservations.  If you haven't sent in your balance, you need to call asap.  The packets will be put together next week and we must have everyone's money for camping and those advance tickets before I get started on those.  Please take care of this little bit of business if you haven't already.  The deadline was August 15 but several of you are still dragging your feet!  Our waitlist was unusually long this year but we have finally managed to get everyone placed.
 It's going to be a great year for jamming.  We already have some jammers camping with us awaiting the festival.  So don't forget to pack your instrument of choice before you leave home!
We hope you'll see your favorite band here this year.  And if your favorite isn't on the lineup, rest assured that the bands on the lineup are top notch and will try to quench your need for bluegrass.
If you are planning to arrive early in the week, keep in mind that you will be allowed to place your chairs in the barn beginning Monday, Sept. 15 at 7am if you have already purchased your tickets.
Here's a special request from a couple of our campers who love to play tennis: Lamar Moss and Jerry Bailey will be arriving Sunday, Sept. 14 and would like to challenge a couple of you to a match on one of the fine courts in Sevierville sometime during the week.  Lamar's wife, Janet would also like to find some ladies to play doubles.  Are you game?  If you are, let me know and I will put you in touch with them.  They play every year when they visit for the festival.
Food........................we'll have plenty of vendors to choose from this year.  I'm especially anxious to have Dale's Fried Pies here.   They are a regular vendor at the Knoxville Farmers Market events and have wonderful food.  
The schedule is already posted on the website.  Take a look and see when your favorite bands are going to grace our stage.  We hope you're going to love the shows this year.
We are going to be hosting visitors from all over the US and abroad.  If you're coming from another country, be sure to let us know!  We want to welcome all bluegrassers from everywhere!
If you have any questions about the festival, please give us a call or send an email.   Tickets are available at the gate.  Bring a friend, your chair and a good attitude to have a great bluegrass experience here at Dumplin Valley!  See you in September. :) m