For 12 years Mike and Connie Clemmer have hosted a weekly concert on their Pickin’ Porch, behind their Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop in Townsend, Tennessee.
Located near the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park, this is one of my favorite places to play–the background is the rushing river behind the stage, the backdrop is the rich green leaves of the trees, sometimes there is cicada accompaniment, and last night some geese honked their appreciation for the duet that Mike and I played with the instruments that he built! What better setting for traditional music can be found?
So here is a sampling from last night’s concert: hammered dulcimer (part of the Irish set), Soaring (my PBS Roadtrip Nation hit!), a fiddle tune duet with Mike and Boil Them “Eucalyptus” Down The International Mountain Dulcimer National Anthem (a duet for Appalachian dulcimer and “Australian Dulcimer”–> didjeridoo.)
The audience is a responsive and enthusiastic gathering of locals, people camping in the area and folks just passing through.
And there is a new surprise this year–Mike has added a roof over the Pickin’ Porch (at this rate, pretty soon this will be a “soft-seater” venue!) He says, “At least if it rains, YOU and your instruments won’t get wet.” (After a week of steady rains and 40-50° days that IS comforting.)
So here are my recommendations:
If you are in the neighborhood, stop on any Saturday night of the season and savor the music in its perfect environment.
If you are not in the neighborhood, ask yourself “Why Not?” and then make plans to be!