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My First Laurel Bloomery Festival

Posted by sawsometunes on Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I went up this past weekend to Laurel Bloomery, TN to the Johnson County Fiddlers Convention, one of the oldest festivals around.  I competed in lap dulcimer and mandolin, which sort of interfered with the good time I was having.  Because, mostly, I played fiddle.  And, I had a great time doing it.

Thursday night, as it was raining, my friend Chip Arnold & I got into a small session & we played for about 6 hours, mostly in D.

Friday night, I got in a session with Chip, Art Lang, and John McInnis.  Art played a fine selection of old Illinois fiddle tunes, most I was unfamiliar with.

Saturday night,  Art & John accompanied on a mess of G tunes, while I fiddled.

It was a great time & it was a great opportunity to play & share music with others. 



4 comments on “My First Laurel Bloomery Festival”

sawsometunes Says:
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @4:32:44 PM

I also accompanied my friend Josh Johnson on banjo while he fiddled for a couple hours Saturday afternoon. That was fun too. Don't have many opportunities to play banjo with a fiddler.

bj Says:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @7:43:56 AM

Wow, sounds like a good'un. I've got one coming up on Labor Day Weekend here in PA, and you make me yearn for it more than I was already!

bsed55 Says:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @6:43:17 PM

I have been really intrigued with the idea of coming down for that convention. Somebody recommended it to me because it was said to be almost all OT..........I'm also intrigued that ya'll played a bunch of Illinois tunes down there. Around here, Illinois tunes are "de rigeur". .........I'd love to hear more about this gathering. Did you meet DougD? He lives there.

sawsometunes Says:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @7:00:48 PM

Not sure if I met Doug D or not. I mostly played with folks I had met before. I met John McInnis at Elk Creek this year. And, I had met Art Lang and his wife a couple years ago, at the Happy Valley OT Fiddle Convention. Art & I were the fiddlers in a pick up band at the Brevard Octoberfest OT festival last October, too.

It was sort of hard to find out much about this festival. It doesn't have much of a web presence. I found out about it by word of mouth.

The location itself is beautiful. We camped along a beautiful mountain stream that runs through the music park. And the area is surrounded by mountains. It's just NW of Boone, NC and east of Johnson City, TN.

It's not a big festival, but the quality of people playing was as good as any. Cecil Gurganus, Jerry Correll, Kevin Fore, Betty Vornbrock, Steve Kilby were all there. You're at a part of Tennessee that's really close to both the Round Peak area of NC and the Hillsville/ Galax/ Elk Creek area of Virginia.

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