Time for "Breakin' Up Winter"
According to the calendar, winter is less than a month old! Whaaaat? We in the South have experienced ice storms, snow, heavy rain, and frigid temperatures already. We've ordered firewood, we've had damaged trees and limbs that we dragged to the street for pickup by the brush crew, we're freezing around here...and we think it's time to 'break up winter'.
|Jammers beside the Cedar Forest Lodge at Breakin' Up Winter (Mike Albert, top step)|
That said, you need to know that BREAKIN' UP WINTER is an actual old-time music festival which is held annually at CEDARS OF LEBANON STATE PARK in Lebanon, TN. The music is seriously old-time and it's played in the old-time way. It is not bluegrass music...there are plenty of bluegrass festivals around. No, this is all old-time all the time. It kicks off on Thursday, March 6, 2014, with an open jam in the big stone Cedar Forest Lodge which was built by the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA). The enormous fireplace in the lodge is always going, which adds to the atmosphere! The weekend of old-time music ends with Sunday Morning Hymn Singin' on March 9. Learn more about the area in and around the park with a Google of Cedars of Lebanon State Park.
|Jammin' at the Ranger's Residence|
We quote the NASHVILLE OLD-TIME STRING BAND ASSOCIATION (NOTSBA) website here:
"Please join us for our 19th festival [March 6-9, 2014]. We have many activities centered around old-time string band music and a wonderful state park in which to stretch out. There are no contests, but you will stay entertained and [continue] playing."
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is located off I-40 in Middle Tennessee at Exit 238. That exit connects you to US 231. You should go south for six miles in the direction of Murfreesboro, TN. Down the road, you pass the ever-present outdoor flea market. Quickly now! Look left for the gates at the entrance of Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Enter and follow the fiddle signs to the location where you pick up registration materials and begin to have a real old-time music experience.
|This way to Breakin' Up Winter|
Food and lodging in the park can be arranged when you contact the NOTSBA website www.nashvilleoldtime.org. Do this early, as caterers (The Mad Platter) and park personnel need to know if you plan to stay in the park (reservations required) and eat your meals there. Other than that, there are fine motels and restaurants near I-40 at Exit 238.
Vendors: John Hatton's CLEFF'D EAR has everything you could possibly want in the way of albums, CDs, sheet music, music books, and more. LO GORDON has a music store in North Carolina, and he brings banjos for sale. MARTIN FISHER has equipment to record your sound on wax cylinders, which is how it was done before the 20th century began.
|William See and Josh Smith jammin'|
2014 Breakin' Up Winter Presenters: ALICE GERRARD (2014 Heritage Award winner and whose performing partner was the late HAZEL DICKENS), FRANKLIN GEORGE (West Virginia music historian), ALAN JABBOUR (Former director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress), GEORGE GRUHN (Gruhn Guitars, Nashville), JOHN HARROD (Governor's Award in the Arts and Folk Heritage in Kentucky), KEN PERLMAN (Melodic clawhammer banjo pioneer), JOYCE AND JIM CAUTHEN (Members of the Red Mountain White Trash, an Alabama stringband), MARTIN FISHER, JEFF TODD TITON (Professor of ethnomusicology at Brown University, retired), BOB WHITE (Fretted and fretless clawhammer style musician), BILL MANSFIELD (master of the Round Peak Style, influenced by Fred Cockerham and Tommy Jarrell), LISA INGRAM and BETTY WESTMORELAND (Cousins who lead Sunday morning hymn singing: Lisa is a member of the Gallinippers stringband and Betty is a blogger about bluegrass and old-time music), ROBY COGSWELL (Director of Folklife for the Tennessee Arts Commission and well versed in the ways of old-time music).
|Roby Cogswell, Director of Folklife, TN Arts Commission|
|Lee Cagle and friends working on clawhammer style|
|You will have a country-dog good time at Breakin' Up Winter!|
We hope to see YOU there! If you've never been to Breakin' Up Winter, you need to go this year!
Pick away and be sure to make it old-time this time!