Monday, August 22, 2011

Camping Availability

We've had a couple of campsites open up today. If those of you who have called recently and been told we were full still want a spot, give us a call asap. If you should call and get the machine, please leave a message and we will call you back. There are always a few spots that become available near the festival dates as unexpected things pop up here and there. So, don't give up yet. We may still be able to accommodate you. m

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Well, today was a very productive day for festival prep. Thanks to my dear friends, Barney and Thelma Lou (aka Bobby & Barbara) we got ALL the new t-shirts folded and sorted, camper packets filled, advance tickets sorted and camper reservations all coordinated with the map. whew! That was quite a job but sharing the duties made it much easier. Thanks so much for your help, B & B!
There's still a lot to do but those are the jobs that seem to take so much time and are so hard to do by myself. I'm just so relieved to be this far along with preparations to date. Now I'll have more time to do things such as ponder what to be called when our grandbaby arrives! Anybody have any good suggestions? The obvious names.....Nannie, Mamaw, etc. have already been taken. I'd better come up with something soon.
As we were going over all the reservation forms we noticed that there are still some of you that have not sent in your balance due even though the deadline has passed. If you find yourself in that category please take time to call and let us know your intentions as there are folks on our waiting list who would like to camp with us this year.
Some of the bands and individual performers who will be here this year were just today nominated for IBMA awards. We want to congratulate those people and wish them luck. We won't be attending the IBMA event this year as we will instead be celebrating the arrival of our grandbaby. So I will take this opportunity to officially say "Congratulations" to all the nominees.
Until next time................m

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Last year we used the receipts turned in by our festivarians to give us a perspective on the economical impact our event has on our community. It was very interesting to see where all you guys shop, eat, spend the night, etc. while visiting here for the festival. The winner of the 2011 weekend passes lives in Rutledge, TN and was happy to win them.
We have decided to collect receipts again this year. So here are the guidelines: save your receipt from any purchase you make during your stay here in Sevier County (not just the 3 days of the festival.....if you come in early, save those receipts, too); write your name and phone # on the back; drop your receipt in the "birdcage" provided for the receipts. After the festival is over, we will draw out one of those receipts and the person whose name is on it will receive a pair of weekend passes for the 13th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival in 2012.
Don't worry about your credit card number as only the last four digits (if any at all) are printed on receipts for credit card purchases.
This is an excellent tool for us to show our sponsors just how much $$$ is actually spent at their establishments.
We appreciate each and every one of our bluegrass friends who attend our event and this will help us make your visit even better.
REMINDER: Don't forget the deadline to have all your camping/advance ticket money turned in............August 15. Judging by the number of phonecalls this weekend, many of you are aware of it already and many of you have already settled up. But there are some who need to give us a call soon as the people on the waiting list for a campsite are anxious to find out if they will be able to get a spot.
Thanks and hope to see you soon. m

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

News from Headquarters................

Currently we are scrambling to get all the festival preparations in order. This year it seems that 3 major events have aligned themselves and are creating a challenge to be able to handle them all at once. However, we feel sure that we can rise to the occasion with a "little help from our friends" as the Beatles' song says.
As many of you know, the book project I was working on has been completed and the finished product is now available in bookstores, and other local retail outlets. It was released on 7/25 and will be available for purchase here during the festival. Co-author, Tim Hollis, will be on hand during a portion of the festivites to add his signature for those of you who want a signed copy. There will be book signings coming up in October. If you are nearby when I do those, please drop by the event and visit. Joe & I will be on WDVX on Freddy's show Aug. 19 to discuss the upcoming festival and also take a stroll down memory lane by discussing the book. You can tune in online or on your radio for that.
Going forward with those 3 major events............the festival: t-shirts arrived today and they look really good. The deadline for campers to send in the balance of their camping and ticket money is looming. August 15 will be here in just a few short days. So if you are still thinking about sending it is the time to do so. Thanks. The campground is full for the festival and we are taking names for a waiting list. So, if you have had a change of plans, we would appreciate it if you would let us know asap.
And that 3rd major event??????...........many of you already know about this, but for those of you who do not let me enlighten you. Our daughter & son-in-law will be welcoming their first child sometime near the festival dates. Needless to say, we are ecstatic and very anxious to meet our grandchild. I suppose that's the main reason I'm having a little trouble focusing on the festival tasks at hand. September is certainly going to be an eventful and busy month!
I'm looking forward to the cooler temps of September, aren't you? We have just about roasted this summer and will be glad when fall weather arrives.
I hear about 200 t-shirts calling me......................later, m

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August Already???

I looked up and found August prominently displayed on my calendar this week. How did that happen?? Maybe I was lulled into a false sense of a never-ending summer by the extreme heat and humidity we've experienced this year. Oh, well.........ready-or-not it's here. August is quite a busy month around here. It starts off with the occasion of our 39th anniversary this week. It winds up with the occasion of my mother's birthday. And is packed with festival preparations in between.
The deadline for campers to get the balance of their reservation & advance ticket money in is 8/15. I was reminded of that deadline when our phone began to be the center of attention with all the ringing yesterday. It was certainly bluegrass Monday. It is always great to hear from all you festivarians and also from the folks who are discovering Dumplin Valley for the first time.
The exciting lineup has generated quite a bit of interest and we are always happy to talk to anyone about it. We are happy to be able to bring some new-to-Dumplin Valley bands as well as many of your favorite groups.
2011 promises to be an eventful year for us with the upcoming birth of our first grandchild! We are excited to be entering this phase of life. The gender of the baby has been kept secret so it will be a great surprise for all of us when it finally makes its grand entrance into the world.
Another big event for me has been the release of my first book on July 25.........Lost Attractions of Sevier County....can be found wherever the Arcadia Images of America are sold in our area in addition to, etc. Author Tim Hollis convinced me to take a chance and co-author this book filled with photos of some of this area's attractions that only exist in the memories of all the lucky tourists who enjoyed them. I hope you will pick one up at a bookstore while you are in town for the festival. the Autographed copies will be on hand for those who want to purchase them here at the festival.
We hope to see you here in September and hope that the rest of your summer is enjoyable and cool. m

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Schedule

Time to post the daily schedule for all of you who have been calling and e-mailing about the schedule. This is it. But be advised that it is subject to change if needed.
Wednesday - September 14
6 pm. Covered Dish Supper in the Pavilion (this is for all the campers already checked in and on the grounds).
Thursday - September 15
1pm.- 2pm. Darrell Webb Band
2pm.- 3pm. The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
3pm.- 4pm. Monroeville
4pm.- 5pm. Paul Williams & The Victory Trio
5pm.- 6pm. SUPPER BREAK
6pm.- 7pm. The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
7pm.- 8pm. Darrell Webb Band
8pm.-9pm. Paul Williams & The Victory Trio
9pm.-10pm. Monroeville
Friday - September 16
Noon-1pm. The Quebe Sisters Band
1pm.-2pm. Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
2pm.-3pm. Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
3pm.-4pm. Lou Reid & Carolina
4pm.-5pm. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
5pm.-6pm. SUPPER BREAK
6pm.-7pm. The Quebe Sisters Band
7pm.-8pm. Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
8pm.-9pm. Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
9pm.-10pm. Lou Reid & Carolina
10pm.-11pm. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Saturday - September 17
Noon-1pm Bluegrass Brothers
1:00pm-2:00pm Jerry Butler & The Blu-J’s
2:00pm-3:00pm Darin & Brooke Aldridge
3:00pm-4:00pm Balsam Range
4:00pm-5:30pm SUPPER BREAK
5:30pm-6:30pm Bluegrass Brothers
6:30pm-7:30pm Jerry Butler & The Blu-J’s
7:30pm-8:30pm Balsam Range
8:30pm-9:30pm Darin & Brooke Aldridge
9:30pm-11pm Dailey & Vincent

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Twister Weather

I'm sure many of you are aware of the terrible storms that rolled through the south this past week. Many of our friends have been impacted by that system. And we want to let them know that we have been keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. We were very fortunate here as our damage was limited to roof & siding damage from all the hail. Thankfully, our vehicles were parked in the garage that day. Our camper didn't fare quite as well as it was parked outside and also sustained hail damage. But we can fix it and are thankful it wasn't worse than it was. Our hearts go out to all the families who lost loved ones and friends as well as those people who have lost many of their earthly possessions. I imagine that the clean-up will be a lengthy one. Joe is on our roof at this very moment trying to secure some shingles before the rain hits tomorrow.
The photos posted here are from the Camp Creek area in Greene County where some of our "bluegrass" friends live. Although they miraculously escaped the wrath of the storm their possessions and some of their neighbors did not.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Phil Leadbetter Benefit

Here is the information for the benefit show that will be held here on June 4. Mike Kelly posted this information on his Facebook page today. I have copied his information and pasted it here in this post:

Here's another chance to help musician Phil Leadbetter. He is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We hope you can join us for a great day of music and fun on Saturday June 4th.


Paul Williams and The Victory Trio
The New South
The Darrell Webb Band
Beth Stevens and Edge
Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier
Ken Mellons
Matt Leadbetter, Cory Walker, and Friends
Catoosa Canyon
Joe Coe
Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
The Whites
and special guests

Camping sites are available and vendors will be on site. Sound provided by David Howard and Lone Mountain Sound. For more information on camping options please contact the site at (865) 397-7942 or thru Dumplin Valley Park has quickly become one of the best venues in music. Come out and see why and help a friend in need. A silent auction will also be held. Hope to see you there.

Prices and hours TBA

Dogwood Time in East TN

Today was the perfect day for checking out some of the various Dogwood Trails close by. I took my mother for a ride on the North Hills trail as well as a portion of the Fountain City trail in Knoxville where the Dogwood Arts Festival is in full swing. Of course, anyone who lives or visits here during the Spring can tell you that you don't have to hit those trails to see beautiful dogwoods. There are flowering trees, shrub, and beautiful gardens in bloom everywhere.
We hear much about the fall colors and happily contend with the traffic of out-of-towners lining up to view the results of the strokes of God's paintbrush upon the hills of our region. But I have to say that there are oodles of colors to enjoy here as well in the Spring. And I do believe that the color palette is much more varied this time of year. Colors are showing up in flower beds, yards, woods, Easter frocks and even the feathers of the many varieties of birds showing up in our yards. And if you are lucky, you will see beautiful tiny colorful eggs in the many nests that are plentiful in the Spring. I have posted photos from the North Hills trail here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nearly Time For Camping and Jamming

The last time I posted about the camp out and jam in May was back in January. So, now that E. TN has survived the Winter and we are enjoying the early days of Spring I thought it appropriate to remind you about an exciting weekend coming up.
On May 13 and 14 there will be a gathering of pickers here to enjoy a weekend of camping and jamming with old friends as well as new ones. Since there will be no official show going on that weekend there will be no charge except for the regular camping fees (all those are listed in the January post). We won't have a curfew or quiet time during that weekend for campers. So, pack up your gear and come prepared for a fun weekend spent with other lovers of bluegrass. Our campground is open 24/7 year round.
Also, there is going to be a fundraiser for our friend, Phil Leadbetter, who has recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. That event is scheduled for June 4. I don't have all the info for that yet, but if you are planning to attend and want to camp, you will need to make reservations. I'll post all the pertinent info as I get it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Updated 2011 Flyer

OOPS! I guess haven't been sticking to my New Year's Resolution, have I? That road paved with good intentions probably encircles the earth at least a dozen times. Well, I guess I can make a new start here and now.
We had omitted a couple of things on the flyer and changed the phone numbers for the lodging. The number listed is for the local office of the Sevierville Chamber which is located here in Kodak. They will be happy to give you lodging suggestions. There are several major chain hotels located 1 1/2 - 2 miles of us at Exit 407 on I-40. Be sure to let them know you are coming to the festival when you call to make your reservations.
Once again Freddy Smith will be the MC here at Dumplin Valley. Everybody loves Freddy and it's always fun having him on stage. The lineup is a stellar one and the performances will be enhanced by the talent of the sound crew which is headed up by Gene Daniell.
I suppose this would be a good time to remind those of you who intend to camp this year that you need to get your reservations in soon as we are down to a small number of available sites at this time.
Also, we want to mention that one of our friends (and most likely one of yours, too) Phil Leadbetter has been diagnosed with lymphoma. And in an effort to help his family with medical expenses, some of his friends are organizing a couple of benefits that will be coming up soon. The first one is going to be at Buddy's Bar-B-Que in Knoxville on May 6. And the next one will be here on June 4. Mike Kelly has all that information. You can get that information on his Facebook Page and probably on the WDVX website. I will post more information here as it becomes finalized. I don't have any details about tickets, etc. You'll have to get that from Mike. Phil has been an integral part of the bluegrass world since his early involvement as a teenager. And he has a reputation for helping others when they are in need. So let's show him some good old East TN love by being there for him. He has brought a lot of "dobro joy" to many people throughout the world and we want to share some of that joy with him.
Random thoughts: I don't know about you, but Joe and I are ready for winter to be over. Lately it's been spring one day and winter the next. Enough already!
Lately, I have been able to get my bluegrass "fix" by attending a couple of concerts. The first one was Jimbo Whaley & Friends in Pigeon Forge. It was a great show held in the Country Tonight Theater. We were treated to Ginger Whaley making her singing debut as well as being entertained by Turner and Olivia Whaley (Jimbo's children). I predict that one day there will be a Whaley Family Theater in Pigeon Forge with all the talent in that group. It's always good to be able to attend these shows as I get to visit with a lot of our bluegrass friends as well as old acquaintances. The second concert we attended was just last night at Carter High School where Rhonda Vincent & The Rage played a benefit show for the Carter softball team. The auditorium in that facility is a good place for an event like that. There was a good crowd with people from all over East Tn in attendance. There was even a lady who came from Norway to see this show. Rhonda & her band performed some songs from her new cd as well as several old ones and a couple of requests. excuse me......RHONDA! If you are reading this............those shoes you wore last night were fabulous. When you get tired of them, you know where I live.......
Seriously, the festival season is upon us and now is the time to start making plans to get out and attend a festival in your area. Support your local bluegrass band ;) and if you us get the word out about Dumplin Valley.
Thanks for checking in on my blog. Leave a comment once in a while. Hope to see you along the bluegrass trail! m

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Flyer

Here it is..............the 2011 version of our flyer. I hope to publish the showtimes on our website soon. Then you will have most all the info you need to plan an exciting festival weekend.
We hope to see you all here in September and hope that you will enjoy the group of talented musicians/entertainers we have lined up for your pleasure. I must say that I look forward to the warm weather September brings as we have had an exceptionally cold winter so far. We're hearing that "s" word in the forecast again. Just last week I went to Denver to visit my daughter & son-in-law and it was warmer there than here. Even though there was a blizzard in the mountains during my brief visit, the weather in the metro Denver area was great. It was so pleasant the morning I returned home, I left my coat there! ha I sure did need it when we landed in Knoxville (cold, drizzly and very cloudy). Oh, well, I'll get it sooner or later.
Many of you know that I have been working on a book the past few months. And I am glad to say that I have finally turned everything in and look forward to seeing the finished product. I hope you all will enjoy it. It will be available for sale during the festival if not before. If it is a success, I may try it again.
I wonder if I could prevail upon some of you to help me find some good reliable vendors to enhance our event. That is one of the hardest things to get lined up. If you are out and about and find someone who has something interesting to offer and you think our crowd would support them, have that vendor contact us. Thanks.
Well, that's about all I have to offer at this time. I am going to do my best to keep this blog up to date in 2011. We hope you will visit our facebook page for ongoing news and also the website for info (I have it on good authority that it is in the process of being updated). Until later, m

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Picking & Grinning Weekend

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our festival is all of the activity that flourishes in the campground. That is where you will find the hard core pickers & grinners who pick from the time they awaken until the wee hours. And it is this particular activity that Joe and I are usually too busy to enjoy much during festival week. So, with all that in mind, we are going to be designating the weekend of May 13-14, 2011 for a time to pick & grin in our campground. The campground will be open as usual for any and all travelers seeking a good spot to spend the night. It will just have the added attraction of groups of bluegrass lovers picking into the night. Since announcing the dates this week, we've heard from several of our picking buddies who are planning to join us that weekend. Reservations will only be necessary if you want a particular spot. And the usual overnight campground rates will apply: Nightly rates---30 amp - $25 + tax; 50 amp (limited) - $30 + tax. Don't come expecting the full blown festival atmosphere as there will be no scheduled stage shows or vendors on site. This is just an opportunity to go camping and be able to make the music you love with your friends. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate but if it should be rainy there is plenty of room under roof for picking. We hope to see you here in May. And we hope to see you in September for our 12th festival. Also, keep in mind that our campground is open 24/7 and we are happy to see you whenever you want to come to Dumplin Valley.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello 2011

I don't know about everyone else, but I am so glad to see a brand new year. 2010 will not be one of the years that I will remember fondly. Let's hope that 2011 will be a year of good health, peace & prosperity.
How many of you have already broken the New Year's Resolution you made a couple of days ago?? I'm doing good so far but I didn't make one that was too hard.
2011 is off to a pretty good start here on the farm. We have our flyer ready to print (thanks Matt); saw a good movie yesterday (True Grit); ushered in the New Year with good friends; people are beginning to build houses again; I "fixed" my treadmill (don't ask); I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my book project; I'm enjoying a newly organized closet (thanks Julie); and it looks like I'm going to have time to read a couple of good books.
I'm hoping to complete one of the items on my "bucket list" this year. Can't say which one yet. Don't want to jinx my chances.
On to BLUEGRASS.............with a fresh and exciting lineup, we expect to have an excellent festival this year and look forward to meeting new attendees here at Dumplin Valley as well as welcoming back our bluegrass friends.
I am going to make a better effort this year to get out and see more bluegrass shows as there are several good opportunities throughout the winter for indoor events and then the early spring festivals will fire up. I hope that you will also have an opportunity to get out and enjoy many of the outstanding musicians on the road or in your own hometown. You know.......there are a lot of good venues to choose from. Let's all get out and support bluegrass whether it's a local group or one of those bands racking up miles of blacktop to bring you some enjoyment.
Happy 2011. m