Mountain music rules at Fiddlers' Jamboree

ATHOL - A treasured local tradition of rousing mountain music is coming up this weekend, as Thurman's Fiddlers Jamboree is presented for two full days, Saturday and Sunday Sept. 11 and 12 at the Thurman town recreation field.

Headliners at this year's event are the acclaimed Sara Milonovich, John Kirk & Trish Miller, and Nelson Rock & the Circle of Willis Band, event organizer Jim Ligon said.

"There's a lot of advance interest in this year's festival - we're hearing from all over the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions," he said. "We have some excellent musicians performing this year."

The family-oriented festival, which has earned a spot in the hearts of folks from a wide region, features a strong lineup of musicians plus food, crafts, workshops, games, round and square dancing, and even the activity known as "field pickin'."

In this rural tradition, musicians wander out in the field and jam with other musicians as they wish, far enough away not to interfere the bands playing onstage either playing along with their music, or working on one's own tunes. Then if this impromptu group's jamming sounds real good, Ligon said, they are welcome to get onstage and perform a couple of tunes.

The event features mountain music from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and both gospel and rural acoustic music Sunday from noon well into the evening hours.

There will likely be square dancing lessons for adults and children, and Jimmy Davis will be on hand with his huge collection of fiddles, banjos, guitars and mandolin, Ligon said Monday.

Crafts to be on display represent traditional skills, including crocheting, knitting and soapmaking and metal art.

Admission, Ligon said, will be easy on the wallet, with the charge only $7 for Saturday, and free-will donations collected Sunday for the Gospel events, he said.

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