Fraley Fest o7

September 21, 2007

September 6th through 8th I had the opportunity to attend the J. P. Fraley Mountain Music Gatherin’ at Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky. This is my second time at the festival, and just like last year I had a great time. The festival was originally begun by J.P. and his late wife Annadeene Fraley over twenty years ago, and has continued to grow every year since. Several hundred musicians and music lovers come to the festival every year.

Fraley FestMany people stay in the Carter Caves Lodge or in one of the cottages in the park, and some choose to camp at one of the park’s campgrounds. There is almost always a jam going on somewhere during the festival, whether it be in a parking lot, a campground, or in the lodge lobby. Some folks just come to the concerts each evening which feature over twenty performers. The concerts usually last past eleven-o’clock.

It was good to see J.P. at the festivalThe Ampitheatre again. He is 84 years old, and although he can’t play the fiddle anymore he is still a very important part of the festival. His musical legacy goes on through all those who have learned from him and those to whom he has passed on his love of music. Unfortunately I never got hear him play, but from what I’ve been told he was a mighty fine fiddler in his day.

I had the privilege of hanging out with Robin Kessinger over the weekend. Robin and I played a few tunes in the concert each evening, and did a good bit of jamming during the day.Adam & Robin In Concert I was also a part of the Guitar Gatherin’ on Saturday, which Robin led. There were six guitar players including myself and we took turns choosing songs and talking about the guitar and traditional music.

Also, KET was filming the festival and interviewing a lot of the musicians there for a documentary about the Kentucky music heritage. I was not interviewed, but was in front of a camera a good bit so the possibility exists that I could end up on TV somewhere. If any of you folks see me let me know!

Adam & Robin Warming UpA few familiar faces for me at the festival were: Steve & Penny Kilby, Alan Freeman, and Jonathan Wood. Steve & Penny were also a part of the Guitar Gatherin’, and I enjoyed getting to jam with Steve a little bit. Alan joined Robin and me on stage Saturday night when we played “Lady Be Good”. That guy gets more notes out of a dulcimer than I thought possible! I enjoyed Jonathan’s selection of original songs as well. He and Robin gave a really good performance.

Two other musicians I got to meet were Jennings and Bode Morgan.Adam & The Morgans They’re both excellent musicians and long time friends of my great grandmother, Lois Long. I heard them play last year, but didn’t make the connection until afterwards. They are both very sweet people, and I hope to see them at the festival again next year.


4 Responses to “Fraley Fest o7”

  1. William Stewart Says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! I love the name Annadeene… :)

  2. Robin Kessinger Says:

    Hey Adam,

    I finally made it in here! Exceptional website. My hat’s off to William Stewart. He did a fabulous job for you.

  3. alan freeman Says:

    you know, us ancient pickers can sometimes get flat resentful when a kid who picks as good as you do is also courteous, pleasant to be around, and it turns out, literate….i won’t go on…this is gonna embarrass you enough! thanks for the tip of the hat and if robin hasn’t made a point of showing you the ket video, you and robin take “littlerock getaway” around twice in the parking lot…as well as a teeny-tiny piece of the “lady be good” we did…you know there’s the gardner winter festival in morgantown this coming weekend?

  4. micah Carpenter Says:

    Hi Adam this is Micah i like your website.I know that your 16 and i am 9 but I was wandering if you could be my friend. How did you like the play my dad wrote wil i have to go bye

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