Feb 242018


Americas Best Value Inn – Valdosta / Lake Park

2-star hotel
Basic hotel offering unassuming rooms
DEAL 29% less than usual

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Live Oak

2-star hotel
Modern hotel with free breakfast & Wi-Fi
 Free breakfast
2-star hotel
Simple hotel with free breakfast & WiFi
 Free breakfast

Quality Inn

2-star hotel
Relaxed hotel with free breakfast & pool
 Free breakfast

Quality Inn

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with a pool & free Wi-Fi
 Free breakfast

Days Inn Lake Park/Valdosta


2-star hotel
Straightforward hotel with outdoor pool
 Free breakfast

Americas Best Value Inn – White Springs/Live Oak


2-star hotel
Pool & free breakfast at a budget hotel

Travelodge Lake Park Valdosta

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with free WiFi & a pool
 Free breakfast

Hampton Inn Valdosta/Lake Park Area

3-star hotel
Modern hotel with free WiFi & a pool
 Free Wi-Fi
 Free breakfast

Motel 6 Lake Park

2-star hotel
Modern budget lodging with outdoor pool

Best Western Plus Madison Inn


2-star hotel
Simple hotel with free breakfast & WiFi
 Free breakfast
DEAL 12% off

Days Inn Madison


2-star hotel
Straightforward hotel with outdoor pool
 Free breakfast

Super 8 Madison


2-star hotel
Basic hotel with free breakfast & WiFi
 Free breakfast

American Inn



Hotel Joia


Bat House


Hotel  9759 Co Rd 132

North Florida Inn



Bienville Plantation


Resort  16673 SE 81st Drive, County Road 137

Camp Rad


Suwanee Camp



LIVE OAK, FL — Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is excited to announce the addition of Vassar Sunday to the Suwannee Spring Reunion which takes place on March 23-26, at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Florida. The full schedule of events is now up at www.suwanneespringreunion.com/schedule.html. Along with incredible music, expect camp pickin’ parties, wonderful food and crafts, and enjoy SOSMP’s many other attractions including disc golf, miles of hiking and biking trails, the bat house, and the chance to venture Way Down Upon The Suwannee River.

Music starts at 2 p.m. Thursday and Donna the Buffalo holds the headlining slot at 8 p.m. on The Amphitheatre Stage, followed by the Grass Is Dead. Other sets that day on both the Amphitheater and Porch stages include Joe Craven, Turtle Duhks, The Applebutter Express, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Bobby Miller & Virginia Daredevils, and Flea Market Hustlers on Amphitheatre and Porch Stages.

On Friday folks can bounce between those two stages for a sensory feast of music which includes Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester, Peter Rowan, Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Mosier with Pickled Holler, Ralph Roddenbery & the B-Sides, Verlon Thompson, and another set by Donna the Buffalo. There will also be a special set called the Craven Rum Jam which includes Joe Craven and Hot Buttered Rum’s Erik Yates, Zeb Bowles, and James Stafford closing out the Porch Stage for the night.

Saturday holds lots of room for some magical musical moments with Sara Watkins, Peter Rowan Band, two sets with Hot Buttered Rum, Jeff Mosier with Pickled Holler, Jim Lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, Turtle Duhks, two sets with Tornado Rider, and more.

Workshops and performances will also be going on all day in the Music Hall and on the Music Farmer’s Stage on Friday and Saturday with appearances by Peter Rowen, Verlon Thompson, Joe Craven, Jim Lauderdale, Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project, Whetherman, Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp, Lon and Lis Williamson, The Applebutter Express and more. All the kids can get really excited too because Tania & the Magic Moon Traveling Circus and Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp will be providing a weekend to remember with kids’ activities and shows. (Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.)

Sunday is Vassar Day, a day of remembrance for all the festival family no longer with us, and for this reunion it is also fun day, a more relaxed day to visit our friends and family and enjoy the beautiful campground. Vassar Clements was a regular at the Spirit of Suwannee performing at every spring and fall event at Spirit of Suwannee until his passing in 2005. Not only was he a legend in his own time, he also became a dear friend to many at the festivals because of his cheer, friendliness, and non-stop pickin’. After his passing, Sundays became the day of remembrance to celebrate Vassar’s life as well as those of other loved ones who passed over.

The Sunday schedule includes special activities in the morning, music on the Porch Stage from 10-2 p.m. Tania & The Magic Moon Traveling Circus Kids open the stage in the morning, followed by Rushadicus and Friends (Tornado Rider) and what is sure to be a memorable Vassar Gospel Jam hosted by “Rev” Jeff Mosier and the Spring Reunion Backsliders Porchestra.

Sunday is also host to art project for roots in the afternoon, a morning permaculture workshop called “Transforming Spaces for Health Food & Living” in the Butterfly Garden, as well as scheduled jams in the campground late afternoon & evening at the Bill Monroe Shrine, Slopryland, and throughout SOSMP. Camping Sunday night is included.

Festival Director Beth Judy says, “I am so excited about Suwannee Spring Reunion. To me, when spring is in the air, it is a very special time of year to gather with friends and family. This festival is truly a reunion; we have artists coming together who have been at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in different incarnations many times over the years, so much they are family. It’s a coming home too for many friends, family, and chosen family joining together to celebrate life love & music under the oaks.”

Suwannee Spring Reunion is offering a multi-day ticket that includes festival admission as well as primitive camping Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located between Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee, Florida about 30 minutes south of the Georgia state line, about 45 minutes north of Gainesville and is host to a variety of events.

For more information and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneespringreunion.com.

Tania & Magic Moon Traveling Circus
Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp

For four days in March, you can slip your shoes off and dance under the bright blue vistas and star-studded skies. Wander the endless trails along the Suwannee River, tell stories around the crackling campfire or simply lie back and watch the Spanish moss that drapes the sheltering Live Oaks that sway in the breeze. Dance the days away at the Stages and while away the late night hours around the “Picking Parties” that spring up into the dawn’s early light. There are no wrong choices when you arrive at your home and the place where live music lives for the founding of a new tradition, built on the love of the past, the Suwannee Spring Reunion.
For more information and to purchase tickets and reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneespringreunion.com.
Mar 102017

It’s the Jewel City Jamboree once again up there in Huntington, West Virginia. Right on the side of the Ohio River at the famous David Harris Riverfront Park this is an all volunteer run BYOB event. The website does not say whether this will be a camping event, but it DOES say you can bring a tent. You CAN come and go with your wristband so AS ALWAYS I’ll post some area hotels HERE are sixteen reasonable choices.

I know I have been to the V Club with Ol’ W.B.Walker and I know we weren’t far from this at all so I have been in this area and I understand this venue and festival are LOTS of fun. This festival is VERY family orientated and kid friendly so bring the family for the music. This lineup is ONE HELL of a fine lineup and some of these bands are beyond my good friends. PLEASE folks I absolutely IMPLORE you to support YOUR community ran events like this, your WALLET speaks as loud as your HEART with an event like this. Your money isn’t going to corporate arena conglomerates from buying anything here and I’m pretty sure there are no nine dollar hot dogs. You can buy tickets HERE.

You might remember Mr. Travis Egnor from the Horse Traders (who are on this bill) helped me launch my rapidly popular Steel Guitarists Along The Road and I have been having lots of fun chasing down different steel pickers for this project. Another one on this bill is Mr. Rob McNurlin whom has also been a great friend to me and my website, he recorded a gospel album with an original  Johnny Cash Martin guitar and you can read about that HERE.

This piece from their website:

JCJAM3 is a multi-genre music festival held at David Harris Riverfront Park along the beautiful Ohio River. Music, food, friendship and a celebration of our local heritage will take place May 26th & May 27th of 2017. From Bluegrass and Old Time to Americana, the Blues, Rock and Western Cowboy Swing with a little of all in between, makes this one of the most unique festivals of the season. JCJAM3 is a 100% not for profit show staffed entirely by volunteers. Besides the great venue, food and music, the show supports local charities for Veterans and 1st Respondents with its net profit. So support local and live music and take this opportunity to show our Vets and 1st Respondents we care for.

Blind Boy Paxton
The Larry Keel Experience
The Suitcase Junket
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Woody Pines
Strung Like A Horse
The Reverend Billy C Wirtz
Dave And Valerie Mayfield
Big Rock And The Candyass Mountain Boys
The 1937 Flood
The Horse Traders
Wiley Dew
Rob McNurlin
Sasha Collette
Blues Crossing
Full Moon Boys
The Local Honeys
Traci Ann Stanley
Sasha And Shorty
Mike Gray
Stoney Point String Band
Adam Cox

This video was taken before the 2015 Jewel City Jamboree:

Mar 062017

The Aiken Bluegrass Festival returns to the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds in Aiken, SC, on May 12th and 13th, 2017. This 13th annual event will host some of the biggest names in bluegrass around such as The Infamous Stringdusters, Billy Strings, Larry Keel and Vince Herman as well as our favorite Portland, OR based act Fruition. The 2017 line up also touts a hefty list of artists at large, insuring many collaborations that will be unique to the Aiken Bluegrass Festival stage. Included are Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain, Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Jay Starling of Love Canon and Lindsay Lou! The festival promises to be a weekend full of amazing music, unique craft and food vendors, on site camping, kid’s activities and drink concessions featuring products from New Belgium Brewing, Carolina Moon Distillery and so much more! You can purchase tickets for this event RIGHT HERE.

Trust me for the ticket price this is one of the more reasonable festivals of it’s kind. However when you buy tickets remember you MUST purchase a seperate primitave camping pass, but it’s only 5.00 per person. Coolers are NOT permitted in the stage areas only at your campsite, so you’ll have to buy beer at the vendor tents.
THIS LINK will take you to a nice list of local area hotels for staying for the festival if you are like me and cannot camp.

Festival Lineup

Friday, May 12th – Gates open at 12:00 PM

Doug and the Henrys – 5:00pm
The Herman Clan – 6:30pm
Guitacolypse Now – 8:00pm
Super Jam 1 – Andy Thorn, Billy, Jay Starling, Allie Kral, Travis Book and More!! – 9:30pm
The Infamous Stringdusters– 11:00pm

Saturday, May 13th – Gates open at 12:00 PM

Gipsy Moon Band – 1:00pm
Brad Parsons Band – Featuring Members of Fruition – 2:30pm
Lindsay Lou And The Ladies – Jenny Keel, Mimi Naja, Allie Kral, Lindsay Lou and Mackenzie Page – 4:00pm
ABF Super Jam 2 – As many artists that can fit on stage – 5:30pm
The Larry Keel Experience– 7:00pm
Billy Strings – 9:00pm
Fruition– 11:00pm

Jan 122017

It’s time now to delve into the wonderful world of an often overlooked genre of music…..Bluegrass. Often times when the general public doesn’t even have a clue about bands like Seldom Scene or who Del McCoury is I always commiserate with them. Often times they part ways with me with a better grasp of a decades old format of music, and if you tried to sit and analyze precisely WHEN it birthed you would have to ponder for a long time. You probably wouldn’t be able to firmly decide on what to report on the when and where it started, it wouldn’t surprise me if a damn triceratops was buck dancing to the Fruit Jar Drinkers.

Americana bands and String Bands also adorn the stage down here in a place called Bluegrass Underground which to someone like me is an automatic way to generate goosebumps on my arms. You see folks if you go out to East Tennessee toward the majestic Nickajack and Lookout Mountain you will tarry through McMinnville Tennessee. Folks, you KNOW ME and I love to incorporate music jobs with eating so if you are ever in that area you MUST STOP at Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse for a buffet that you will not believe your eyes or your stomach. Within those walls exist a Charlie and Ira Louvin museum complete with artifacts that are sure to compliment your thirst for knowledge like I have.

It is there a whopping 333 feet down inside of a mountain  that PBS airs a television series that began in 2011 and 36 episodes exist today. This show is broadcast from the confines of  the Volcano Room which is a subterranean amphitheater 333 feet below Mcminnville at the historic Cumberland Caverns. This program celebrates many genres of music from Bluegrass to String Bands and Americana. The acoustics within this theater are unlike any in the southern United States and more importantly the entire country, I assure you there is nothing like it anywhere.

Just recently they announced their entire lineup for filming their seventh season of taping for PBS on March 24th,25th and 26th 2017 and I have that lineup here folks:
* NOTE the complete schedule lineup after this one is NOT being filmed.
* You can purchase tickets to attend the LIVE filmed season on January 14th at 11AM.

Russell Moore And IIIrd Tyme Out
Chris Robinson And The Brotherhood
Conor Oberst
The Mavericks

Kasey Chambers
The McCrary Sisters
Parker Millsap
Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors

Blues Traveler
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Marty Stuart And The Fabulous Superlatives
Don Bryant And The Bo-Keys

So according to their website this is the complete performance schedule for the weekends up until summer of 2017 and if you click on the colored dates above the individual shows here it will take you to the page to purchase tickets for any show you want!

Sat Jan 21st
Billy Strings

Sat Feb 25th
Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver
Jenni Lyn

Sun March 12th-Sold Out
Tommy Emmanuel
Joe Robinson

Sat April 8th
The Larry Keel Experience
Rumpke Mountain Boys

Sat April 15th
Here Come The Mummies

Sat April 22nd
Dale Ann Bradley

Sat May 6th
Town Mountain
Haas Kowert Tice

Sun June 17th
>Larry Stephenson Band
Glade City Rounders

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