On Friday, September 30th, I left for Dandridge, TN. I wanted to kickoff my October tour, on Saturday, at The Old Time Saturday Festival in Jefferson City. My sister-in-law, Kerri asked me if I would come and play outside her shop on my last visit here. I told her I would, figuring it would be a great place to start my tour. I thought I’d go to Knoxville Friday night and play there for a little while before going to my brother’s house.
On my last visit to Knoxville, I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed myself there. When I got there Friday night, I had been driving for several hours and as usual, it took me a little while to find a place to park. When I drove by Market Square, I could clearly see I wasn’t going to be playing there. There was a movie being played outside there. It looked like it was a good time, though I don’t know what movie it was. I found a corner on the main street and started playing there. The acoustics on that corner were amazing! The sound was bouncing off the tall buildings on all four sides. I played for about 90 minutes before I got a little chilly. When I left Savannah, it was 84 degrees. By the time I got to Knoxville and finished playing it was 52 degrees! It was a great first night out. Just as before, the people here are very cool and friendly.
The next morning I followed my brother to Old Time Saturday and Kerri’s shop. He reminded me I should know the tune “Rocky Top” . Earlier in the morning, I looked at it and learned it. When I got to Kerri’s shop, I was able to use a table, so I set up with my t-shirts and my tip box and I played there for about two hours. I took a break and my brother and I went for a pulled pork sandwich at the festival with one of my nieces. There was a small car show and I saw my dream car, a 57 chevy. There were other classic cars too, but that is my favorite of all time. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted one. Someday. We walked around for a little while and then I wanted to head over to Knoxville. It was game day there and I thought it would be great. It was such a blowout, it wasn’t really a big deal. I played for two hours before taking a break. A man named Jesse came up to me and wanted to play his harp with me. We played a tune together and it was a fun time. I talked to a sever at one of the restaurants and she said it wouldn’t get much busier than it was at that point. I went back out at 7:15 and was amazed at how slow it was on a Saturday night. I tried a different location on the main street. It wasn’t much different, so I just went went back to brother’s house.
Steve told me Sundays around here, not much is going on at all. So I asked him about Gatlinburg. He thought it might be a good idea. I went down there around 1:30 with my niece and nephew. It was a warmer day, so staying out for a while would be much easier. I found a spot right in front of the Convention Center and played there for 2 hours. I was in the sun and there was plenty of room to move around, it was a beautiful day! DJ and Markie (my nephew and niece) did there own thing for a while. When they got back, I took a break and we went to find a different location. Everything is so close together in Gatlinburg, there really wasn’t another spot, so we walked back up to where I was before. I played for another hour and DJ and Markie hung out on the steps of the Convention Center. There is plenty to do in Gatlinburg and I found people there, probably all tourists, to be very friendly and nice. It was a great shift in all aspects Sunday.