Mt. Laurel Festival Fun
The big weekend will be here soon. I always have lots of fun working at the annual Mountain Laurel Festival in Pineville. Tuba man Doyle Rambo and I were trying to remember how many consecutive years that we've played dixieland music at the festival. I think we finally agreed that it is between twenty and twenty five.
The neat thing for me is the variety of music that I get to play at the festival and the great fun I'll have with other musicians that will be there for the weekend. This year will have a little different schedule, as I go to Pineville a day earlier than usual. On Thursday, 5/25/06, I am honored to be able to play with The Temptations. I have worked with them before and have always enjoyed the great show. When they tour, they generally do not bring a horn section, but will hire one from the area. I've been able to play with them some in the past when they have been in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio. Lexington friend and trumpeter David Hummel will be playing in the horn section with me, which will make it even more fun.
Typically I play clarinet with Dixeland South on Mt. Laurel Friday during the morning and early afternoon. Later in the afternoon I play tenor sax with a jazz combo at a local residence. Friday evening is big doings at the Johnny Mack Brown High School...oops, I mean the Pineville High School gym for the Mt. Laurel Festival Princess Ball. After the Ball, we head to Beaver's house for his annual party. It is always a lot of fun and is eagerly anticipated and acknowledged by Pineville residents as the "event of the year". Trombonist and bachelor Dave Eucker particularily looks forward to this event! After the party we will stay overnight in Middlesboro at a motel and will be ready to get up early Saturday morning for another big day.
Saturday morning starts with the Pineville Community Hospital KMLF Breakfast. Celebrities generally attending will include the Kentucky's governor, senators, congressmen, UK athletic coaches, KMLF queen and princess candidates, and executives of many of Kentucky's finest businesses. I play clarinet with Dixieland South under the breakfast tent. We include lots of patriotic tunes at this event. After that I will march in the parade. Occasionally we will play on a float in lieu of marching (I prefer the float!). Saturday afternoon I am back to dixieland music with Dixieland South held at the Court House. Saturday night I'll play for the KMLF Queen coronation and then with The Sensations for the dance afterwards. That gig is supposed to end at midnight, but we generally have to play several encores and won't get out of there until around 12:45. I'll drive home, get to bed late, but will be up early on Sunday morning to attend church with my family and then head to a solo patio party gig in Hartland. It's a hard weekend of work, but the good times make it all worthwhile.