The campus of the Museum of Appalachia is spacious and spread out. Buildings brought from farms and hollers throughout the region form a ring around it, each one filled with interesting artifacts, often with an interpreter inside weaving, playing a mountain dulcimer, or engaged in some other mountain art.
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker sing freedom songs, some dating from the early 19th century, while others are more contemporary, coming from the fifties and sixties. Most of their music recalls the continuing struggle for racial justice presented in a direct, informative fashion.
Unlike more conventional music festivals, The Tennessee Fall Homecoming takes place on a spacious outdoor museum grounds during the daylight hours. Music begins at 8:45 each morning and continues on four stages until 6:00 PM each day. There are four sound stages located around the grounds, with increasingly successful efforts being made to keep sound from one stage from interfering with that from another. Most bands appear on at least three of the four stages with time allotments from fifteen minutes to an hour for major bands on the main stage. During the three days, seventy different musical groups play, rotating through the four stages. The biggest bands perform a four segment (each segment is fifteen minutes) set on the main stage, others, even quite well known national bands, trek to the three other stages. Fans can follow them there to get a more intimate view, or settle in at a particular venue while bands rotate through.
The origin of the term "Green Room" is lost in theater history, but may date back to the days of Shakespeare. The Green Room is traditionally the place where performers wait their turn to go on stage, relax, and spend time together. The Green Room at Appalachian Fall Homecoming is a huge space behind the stage, well enough separated so that no noise reaches performer's ears. It's one of the liveliest places at the event, where performers warm up, visit, jam, and hang out. I'll be posting pictures from the Green Room throughout the next two posts.
David Holt & Josh Goforth
Keith Garrett & Randall Massengill
Kenny & Amanda Smith
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
The Church Sisters
Ralph Stanley II
Mike Hartgrove & Sammy Shelor