By Carrie Stambaugh - CNHI News Service
Sept. 4, 2013 — A celebration of traditional mountain music will take place at Carter Caves State Resort Park this week.
The 43rd annual Fraley Festival of Traditional Music will begin Wednesday and run through Saturday night. The Mountain Music Gatherin’ draws musicians from across the U.S., and is known for its many impromptu music sessions that take place in parking lots and around camp fires late into the night. This year’s event also features many scheduled jam sessions and concerts.
The Fraley Festival is named in honor of the late master fiddler J.P. Fraley and his wife Annadeene Fraley. It began as a family reunion in the 1970s, but quickly grew “to encompass an extended musical family,” according to organizers.
Each year the gathering honors old-time music and eastern Kentucky traditions including story telling. Musical instruments including the dulcimer, fiddle and guitar are used to tell stories about life long ago in the eastern Kentucky foothills.
Musicians of all skill levels along with music lovers are invited to attend and perform at the informal sessions.
On Wednesday, a free “Jamming in the Round” get-together will be held in the campground beginning at 8 p.m. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in.
An open stage concert in the park’s amphitheatre will be held Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.
Friday festivities begin at 1 p.m. with an open stage concert. An old-time banjo gathering with Jim McCown will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a dulcimer gathering with Hunter Walker and Gary Sager at 3 p.m. Admission is $4.
An evening concert with Alan Freeman and Bob Buckingham will take place at the amphitheatre from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is $8.
A free kids’ jam will be held on the front steps of the Lewis Caveland lodge on Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. Young musicians of all levels are invited.
At 11 a.m. John Tierney will host a story telling session, also called creative lying, at the amphitheatre. At noon, Karly Dawn Milner will host a ballads session followed by Carter Family songs with Tom Duffee and Linda Scutt at 1 p.m.
A Fiddle gathering with John Harrod will take place at 2 p.m., followed by a guitar gathering with Robin Kessinger at 3 p.m. Admission to Saturday events are $4.
A Saturday evening concert at the amphitheatre will feature Billy Cornett and Tom Duffee. Admission is $10. The concert will begin at 7 p.m.
An all-weekend ticket is available for $25. The Friends of Carter Caves will be selling snacks and refreshments near the amphitheatre Friday and Saturday, weather permitting.
For more information, visit FraleyFestival.com or contact festival organizer Barb Kuhns at email@example.com.