Regular readers know how much I love my North Georgia mountains. And what better time to enjoy them than during these pleasant autumn days and evenings?
We are fortunate to have so many beautiful state parks and historic sites within close proximity to Woodstock. Our Georgia Department of Natural Resources works hard to plan interesting seasonal activities at each of the parks, and this fall’s calendar of events has something for everyone.
Mountain music tops the list of activities that interest me. I was first exposed to mountain music when my mother brought me to North Georgia as a little girl. The genre is hard to define and involves a lot of history about the evolution of various forms of music in the Southern Appalachians. Simply put, I suppose mountain music is an intersection of bluegrass, old-time and gospel music. Fiddles, guitars and banjos are apt to be involved, as well as dulcimers, mandolins and basses.
Overall, however, my experience with mountain music is it’s most often just some fine weekend pickers who come together to jam and who delight in playing lively tunes. Not a lot of rules here, and that’s just fine with me.
Here are three options for you:
- Dahlonega Appalachian Jam. Head to the Gold Museum Historic Site on the public square in Dahlonega and listen to mountain music pickers and singers from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 8. Be sure to bring a folding chair. And bring your instrument if you want to join the jam. Cost is $5 per person. Call 706-864-2257 for additional information.
- Saturday Evening Concert Series. Hear Appalachian Mountain, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel Music at 8 p.m. on Saturday nights through Nov. 12 at Unicoi State Park and Lodge near Helen. Parking costs $5 and donations are appreciated. Call 706-878-2201 ext. 305 with any questions.
- Music in the Park. This Saturday, Sept. 24, Vogel State Park, just 11 miles south of Blairsville, will host an evening of mountain music at the Lake Trahlyta Pavilion at 8 p.m. Parking costs $5, and donations to the musicians are appreciated. Call 706-745-2628 for further information.
Ditch the kids for a few hours, head to the mountains to listen to some great jamming and then tell me all about it. Perhaps you’ll see me in the folding chair next to you on an upcoming Saturday night. I’ll be the one looking very relaxed, tapping my foot and grinning from ear to ear.