Early morning at a bluegrass festival is usually a quiet time. The jammers were up late last night, enjoying themselves before the festivities began this morning. Dawn came, and along with it a slight fog, which would lift within an hour or so to reveal the peaceful surroundings.
At Dumplin Valley, as at many other festivals, Johnny Adams and his sidekick Lamar Moss lead an open jam which is popular to experienced as well as novice musicians. The grand element of this jam is that it's truly open. Adams is an experienced and high quality bluegrasser with several CD's to his credit. Yet everyone is welcome and made to feel a real part of the event. No one ever turns their back on someone coming into this jam, wherever it's held. The true spirit of bluegrass jamming is certainly represented here.
Several years ago at the MACC (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) Darrel Adkins asked Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, and Jerry Salley to perform at a MACC Opry as a songwriters trio playing their own works. It was a great success, and has continued there. Moreover, the Cordle, Jackson, & Salley show has morphed into an act appearing at festivals from New England to Mississippi as well as a group playing classic country music at the World Famous Station Inn in Nashville. Val Story joins them, bringing her clear, pure voice to the already good singing of the other three. This is a terrific show, often prompting people seeing to say, "I didn't know he wrote that," and then staying to enjoy the fun. It's an informal romp through two decades or more of wonderful hit songs from bluegrass and country music.