Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Is In The Air

The holidays are upon us and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of our bluegrass friends a very Merry Christmas.   We are thankful for the friendships we have gained through our association with bluegrass events.  These friendships are blessings that we treasure.  Our bluegrass family has grown each year and we thank you for that.   We're looking forward to seeing many of you in 2013 here at our annual festival in September and also in May for a camping and jamming weekend.  Those dates are Sept. 19-21 and May 17-18.   And hopefully we will see you along the bluegrass trail at other fine events.
We are working on the 2013 lineup and will be revealing it soon. So check back often for that information here and on our website and Facebook page.  * Thanks to Ashley Brown for the photo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Festival Week..........It's Here!

It's that time of year again when music lovers of the bluegrass variety come together on the farm to celebrate, visit, attend shows maybe even participate in the numerous spontaneous jams. Although the bands won't be here until tomorrow, there are already many people here enjoying the laid back atmosphere leading up to the big events this weekend. Tonight is the kick-off potluck dinner which is always well attended by the campers already on site who will pick their favorite foods from the tables laden with the cuisine of their fellow bluegrassers. It's always a good time to meet and greet and spend a little time getting to know others who are here for the weekend. With the exception of the beans and cornbread provided by the hosts, the "menu" will be full of surprises.
We always love to hear from the folks who come from far and wide. Just how do they find us here in little ole Kodak which is often left off maps. Ah, but where there is a will there is a way and in this day and age it is usually via the internet. This year we have sold tickets to people traveling from Switzerland, UK, Netherlands, California, Texas and many states outside of the Southeast. I think we can safely say that bluegrass is a universal music appealing to a broad variety of people.
Many of our festivarians play instruments, some sing and some just play the radio. But they all have that one bluegrass thread in common. They all come together from their homes with their own particular taste in this music to create a living bluegrass quilt. We love getting to know them and enjoy having them visit our little part of the world.
The lineup is a great one with a few bands here for the first time in September. You are sure to find something you like on stage and hopefully something you like in the vendor row.
Some of our food vendors have been with us for several years. Try the brisket if you're looking for a great taste. A lady from Texas was so taken by it that she commented that it was the best she'd had since being home. And we all know how serious the Texans take their bar-b-que. Oh, the kettlecorn............yum! This year we have a big ice cream truck to satisfy your need for that sweet tooth. And there are also brats, etc. There are also vendors offering a fair range of items to purchase if you so desire. And one lady will be here to offer a chair massage for your tired neck and shoulders. You can try out our photo booth if you want to create your own souvenir photo.
The weatherman has issued a great forecast for the upcoming weekend so make plans to join us. We've got you covered with shade and protection from the elements with a covered performance area. So, plan on coming rain or shine.
Come on out and join us, your friends and your favorite bands for a great weekend. And for those of you who just have to watch football on Saturday, keep in mind that there are tons of folks out here in campers with TV's so you won't be left out.
We hope to see you soon here in Kodak.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Staycation Time

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We have recently had company and enjoyed a little "staycation" time. It seems that we don't have a lot of opportunity to visit the myriad of attractions, restaurants and such. So I have made it a point to visit as many "local" businesses catering to tourists as possible. In the past month we have visited Dollywood, the new Hollywood Wax Museum, Lumberjack Feud, Alewine Pottery, The Old Mill Square, the shops in Walden's Landing, Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery (where one of the bands on our September lineup can be seen performing quite often), Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, The Village in Gatlinburg and the big one.....The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Julie and Eliza visited Ripley's Aquarium last week with some friends. And Joe has been seen at Cherokee Trading Post on Hwy. 66. We've checked out a small restaurant caled Taste of Dandridge and felt like we had discovered a little gem nearby. Being located near the 407 exit, we are just a short drive from major tourist destinations as well as being close to some favorite local hangouts. Hopefully, some of our bluegrass patrons will be able to spend some time exploring this area so rich in variety whether glitz and neon is your "thing" or whether laid back and out-of-the way is more to your taste. You'll find a little of both nearby. Just let us know what you are seeking and if we don't have the answer, the local chambers of commerce/visitor centers will have the answers for you.
Festival time is going to be here soon. Have you made your reservations and plans? Better git-r-done! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goodbye, Andy..............

This photograph is from a tribute by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer. I found it in a Facebook post. The following is a summary of some of my own thoughts evoked by the occasion of the passing of Mr. Griffith:If I'm still and close my eyes for just a bit, I can hear the screen door slam, the hum of a table fan cooling off the house and maybe even smell the aroma of Mamaw's peach cobbler in the oven. Those summertime sensory experiences certainly are still pretty vivid...........the smell of freshly mown grass and the vinegar that ultimately got smeared all over my sunburned limbs when I stayed outside too long. After all, why on earth would anybody want to go inside when they could play in the yard with friends until dark and even after dark? Certainly, not me. I would ride my bike as long as my parents would let me. Not sure if it was the thrill of the wind in my hair or listening to the clickety click clack of those baseball cards (held in place by simple wooden clothes pins) flipping on the spokes that lured me out on that old cruiser bike. I wish I still had that bike with it's big old seat, fenders and foot brakes. And even though I didn't live in Mayberry, I think the community where I lived during the early to mid '60's could have been a close second. Life seemed much simpler then until the JFK years came along with the Bay of Pigs, duck and cover drills and having to wear dog tags to school one year just in case those bad guys attacked our nation. And it wasn't too long after that when we were shocked by the images on the nightly news showing what was happening on the other side of the world in Vietnam. But all the while we still had Andy and Barney, Aunt Bea with her gracious manners, Opie, Gomer and Goober. A person can learn a lot from Mayberry. I suppose I was an adult before I really truly understood the timelessness of those shows. We still watch and enjoy them. And I am glad to know that I can scroll through the channels on the cable listings and find it almost any time of day or night if I need a Mayberry fix. Wouldn't it be great if we could live in a place where it wasn't necessary to lock the doors, our children could safely play with their neighborhood friends as everybody's Mama was watching out for them. I suppose I should take off my rose colored glasses and get a reality check. Technology has taken us forward by leaps and bounds but there are some things that would be nice to revisit. And many of those things can be found right there in those Mayberry reruns. I'm thankful for the entertainment those folks provided and know that everybody's friend, Andy, will be missed.

Website Update

If you are looking for some information on this year's event, you're in luck. The only thing I haven't posted yet is a schedule of set times for each band. That will come soon. In the meantime you can go to and find the schedule of bands and other information. Also, if you are interested in volunteering for positions such as parking or manning wristband checkpoints, shoot us an e-mail and we can discuss it. The e-mail address is: I'm also thinking of having a booth where our Facebook fans can meet each other and take photos, etc. If you have any ideas for that, I'd like to hear them. I know we have a bunch of folks who attend our festival and have "liked" our page but don't actually know who a lot of the "friends" are so it would be a good time for them to meet each other. Don't forget the potluck dinner on Wednesday evening at 6pm. We always have a good time doing that. And we look forward to it. Now that you know that our website is updated, head on over there and check it out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just Around The Corner................

Yes, it is just around the corner. Of course, I am referring to the 13th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival. In just a few weeks we will be transforming our little corner of Kodak into a bustling festival site. I'm already looking forward to fresh kettle corn, Steve's brisket and the many other items offered by our vendors. And then there is the music, music and more music! But best of all will be the presence of some new residents of Kodak. And that would be our "kids" who have finally moved back to Tennessee from Colorado. Some of you may recall that I had just become a grandparent last year just prior to the festival. that little baby is here with us and we are anxious for you to meet her. Naturally, we've been thinking about which instrument will get pushed her way first. ha ha I hope she's a bluegrass fan! So far it looks like she is but I will admit that one of her favorite tunes is Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven"! :) Maybe all the live music will influence her choice.
Welcome Home, Winter family!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

September Lineup Finally Complete

Here it is:
Thursday - Monroeville
Paul Williams & The Victory Trio
Lou Reid & Carolina
Cordle, Jackson & Salley
Friday - Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
Balsam Range
The Crowe Brothers
Saturday - Gibson Brothers
Lonesome River Band
Jerry Butler & The Blu-J's
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
Shadow Ridge
These bands are listed in no particular order. The daily schedule will be posted at a later date. With the exception of one 90 minute show on Thursday (Cordle, Jackson & Salley) all the bands will play 2 45 min. sets. This is our first year to have The Crowe Brothers as well as Cordle, Jackson & Salley although Larry Cordle has played here with his band, Lonesome Standard Time on several different occasions. Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley are 3 of the most prolific songwriters of our generation. We know you're going to enjoy their show. Joe and I recently saw them in Canton, NC with Balsam Range. Those 2 groups really know how to entertain!
Speaking of Balsam Range, I think it is appropriate for me to mention here that their lead singer/fiddler, Buddy Melton, is recovering from a very traumatic accident he suffered a couple of days ago while loading a cow into a trailer. His face was smashed by the door on the trailer and has extensive injuries to his face. He is scheduled for surgery next week. You can follow his progress on the band's website and also on their various Facebook pages. We are keeping his family in our prayers through this very difficult time.
Don't forget the camping and jamming weekend coming up May 18-19. Several people have called this week to make reservations. We'd love to have you join us. The only charge will be the regular Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park overnight fee which is $25 + tax for 30amp and $30+tax for 50amp (limited). No shows are scheduled and no vendors will be here for the May weekend. It's just a great time of visiting and picking with fellow bluegrassers. We look forward to picking and singing with everyone.
Keep on enjoying this great spring weather we're having! m

Friday, February 17, 2012

Although it looks and feels a little like spring outside, it's still February and I heard the word "snow" in our forecast for Sunday. Having just returned from Colorado, I've seen about all the snow I want to see this season. It's beautiful but when it gets piled up in parking lots it starts looking a little dingy and not so pretty anymore. I know you guys from up North know about that kind of snow. We are lucky that our snow usually falls softly, makes a lovely blanket on the ground and then melts away rather quickly without leaving too much mess behind.
There are lots of folks in town this weekend for the holiday (President's Day) so if you are traveling and get in a "jam" just tune in to your favorite bluegrass station or pop in a favorite cd to help you ease along to your destination.
The Knoxville House & Garden Show is this weekend. Why not check it out? It should get you in the mood for spring.
I'll be announcing our 2012 lineup soon. It should be on the website soon, too. We hope you will be as excited as we are with this year's selection of bands. Have a great weekend! m

September 13-14-15

Important dates to remember for music at Dumplin Valley: May 18-19: camping and picking weekend.
September 13-14-15: 13th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival
If you haven't made your reservations yet, just give us a call: 865-397-7942.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Who knew spoiling grandbabies could be so much work? Whew! It's been a great week+ so far. Too bad it's been so cold here which has prevented me from getting Eliza out in the stroller. Don't get the wrong idea...............we did manage to go to one of the myriad of malls around here for a little S & S (strolling & shopping..ha). It snowed quite a bit down in the Denver area the night before I got here and it snowed a couple of times since then. That's fine with me since we haven't had much "winter" weather at home. It's been a low key trip this time around. I did make a trip out to pick up some stuff one night and Julie and I went to a movie at a theater where you can order and eat your dinner in a comfy seat while watching the movie. I must lead a sheltered life as I had not experienced that before. Loved it. The food was actually good and so was the movie. Looked like a popular place as the parking lot was full. Saw one car parked up on one of the many mounds of snow piled up in the lot. We're just not used to seeing that much snow at home. I guys way up above that Mason-Dixon line are well acquainted with that.
While I've been away, Joe's been slaving away giving the kitchen a new look. Can't wait to see it. He had to send me away to get out of harms way..........the dreaded paint fumes! ha Well, I didn't need an excuse to come see my little E.
To all of you who told me how wonderful being a grandparent is, I say, you weren't just whistling Dixie! I've really loved seeing that beautiful little smile when she wakes up from a long night's sleep or even just a little catnap.
On a different note - it won't be long until our camp out and jam weekend in May (18-19). We had such a good time last year. I hope we have a "yard full" of pickers this year. As they say...........the more, the merrier.
I know I've said it before, but I really do have someone working on updating the website. Hopefully, she'll get it done soon. Sept. dates are 13-15. Hope to see you soon. m

Monday, January 16, 2012

A New CD Coming Soon??

While perusing the various posts on Facebook this afternoon I came across a post by our friend, Jimbo Whaley, who was seeking suggestions for some songs for a new Bluegrass Favorites cd. I know that lots of Greenbrier fans will be happy to see a new cd with some new "old" material on it. There are plenty of good old bluegrass tunes that could use some fresh air and exposure. There were several good suggestions although many were for some of their previously recorded songs. However, I believe the intention is to create a new cd with tunes other than those previously recorded by Greenbrier. I know they will do a great job and we look with great anticipation to the finished product.
On a completely unrelated note...............we have a couple of friends celebrating birthdays today - Gene LeGrand and W.A. Pate. Gene is the friendly face you see when you arrive at the ticket gate for all of our festivals. And many of you know W.A. as the host of his "headquarters" over in the campground. He's easy to spot as he always wears a spiffy pair of overalls when attending the festivals....and he attends a lot of them. I think he and Rhonda must have set a record last year for bluegrass festival attendance......Bravo!
Today is a holiday and I hope that you are enjoying your day off if you are fortunate to be off. I know that some of our bluegrass friends are traveling south at this time. We wish them safe travels and look forward to seeing them and hearing all about their trips when they return. Have a grand day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012


After having spent the biggest part of this day cleaning out a closet, I'm inspired to post a few random photos rather than actually blogging. Interesting......the things you find in your grown children's closets. It was a walk down memory lane from elementary school through grad school and all points in between plus a wedding. Found lots of photos I had forgotten about including one of Joe which I think she fetch me a bunch of favors from him for not posting it on facebook. ha ha I also know now what happened to the old Nintendo system purchased eons ago. I wonder how many of you still have old cassettes and 45's laying around on a dusty old shelf somewhere. I found a few that actually belonged to me as a that's really old! Hopefully, they will not warp before our grandbaby can enjoy them. And if you are, they are not bluegrass related. We didn't get into that until Wes was in college in the late 90's. Too bad we didn't discover it earlier and start a collection of those vinyl recordings. And if we had they surely would have found their way into a closet, too. Cleaning out closets are quite a chore but also an experience that will open a window into the past if there is much more than clothing in there. The closet we cleared out today had gone from clothing to a depository of books, toys, memorabilia, etc. due to the moving in and out of home, apts., dorms, etc. so it held quite a variety. Almost done. Now we're on to another project. Posting random photos again. Enjoy............

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's A Nice Day For Random Photos

Please keep us in mind for your special event needs.

Random Event Photos - Fall of 2011

Friday the 13th

Hi and thanks for stopping by the blog today. Until I heard a big announcement on tv this morning, I had no idea that today was..........(imagine creepy music here)....Friday The 13th! At that point I felt compelled to consider the possibility of bad luck today but I have decided this will be a good day. Heck! It already is a good day...........consider this..........we woke up to a beautiful dusting of snow in the valley; Audrey's tumor is shrinking; Bobby Gault is celebrating his birthday today; our friend, Mike Kelly is volunteering at the Extreme Makeover Home project in spite of the cold; and last but certainly not least we have a precious little grandbaby this year. TGIF! So.............again I say - Thanks for stopping by my blog today - It's nice to know someone has thought about me today. I'm posting some random photos today so I hope you will enjoy them and have a good day yourself!

Friday the 13th

Not having paid any attention to the date this morning I was blissfully unaware that today was.......(imagine creepy music here)..............Friday the 13th! And then I heard this news on tv so I was forced to actually consider the date - not that I'm superstitous or anything - but when someone "announces" that today is Friday the 13th, I have to think about it. Anyway, I have decided it will be a good day. After all, our friend, Bobby Gault, has a birthday today; we got a beautiful "little" snow in the wee hours; our friend, Mike Kelley, is volunteering today at the Extreme Makeover house in spite of the cold weather; Audrey's tumor is shrinking; and last, but certainly not least................we have a precious grandbaby this year. So, I don't think the first Friday the 13th of 2012 is an issue. Maybe it will even turn out to be a lucky day for everyone. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you enjoy my little "bragbook" photos of my baby girl :) and have a Happy Fri/13th!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Hello 2012

I cannot believe that it has been so long since I did any blogging. Looking at the date of the last installment, I realize that it was shortly before Joe and I had the incredible experience of becoming grandparents for the first time. And I must admit that I have been ever so slightly consumed with getting acquainted with our little Eliza Jewell. Her due date fell during the week of last year's festival so I headed to Colorado for her arrival which was early enough to allow me to return to Kodak in time for Joe's birthday and our wonderful festival. So glad I came home for a few days as I got to spend time with so many of our friends whom we only get to see during our event. It was especially poignant this year as I was able to spend a few days with Gene Daniell who has since made his journey to Heaven.
We have great plans for 2012. Since last year's pickin'/camping weekend was so much fun in May, we are planning to do it again this year. It will be the weekend of May 18-19 which is also the same weekend that the city of Sevierville will be having their Bloomin' Barbeque & Bluegrass event. Hopefully, you will consider coming to Sevier County that weekend and see what kind of bluegrass we can offer you. There will be no "shows" as such here in the campground. But there will be all kinds of jamming/picking/eating/visiting all weekend. Last year there were several people who came for the whole week. Reservations are being made now so if you want to come, please let us know as soon as you can. The only charge is the regular overnight camping fee/night. We had a ball last year since Joe and I were not under the obligation of the regular festival duties and were able to participate/socialize with everyone.
13th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival September 13-14-15
We are happy to announce that the following bands/musicians/artists will be joining us in September for some fantastic shows:
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage; Lonesome River Band; Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice; Monroeville; The Gibson Brothers; The Little Roy & Lizzy Show; Jerry Butler & The Blu-J's; Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier; Balsam Range; Paul Williams & The Victory Trio; as well as a few that have not been confirmed yet.
Hopefully, we will have our website up really soon and you will be able to get the info you need to make plans.
Ah....................with all that said, I will leave you today with some photos of some happenings around here since my last effort at blogging. And since I probably won't be running into a lot of you at the grocery store or the mall or post office or church or anywhere, please humor me as I post a few photos of my sweet little Eliza :).
Here it is January 12, 2012 and we are hunkered down this evening in anticipation of a little snow with lots of wind howling outside. I hope that wherever you are, you are snug and warm. .......until next time............m