Monthly Archives: June 2016

Old Friends reunite for Land Between the Lakes music fest

GOLDEN POND KY – Born of the heartland and raised in the river valleys, old-time country music will once again echo in the hills and hollows of the Land Between the Lakes on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12.

The 18th annual “Pickin’ Party” will take place on the grounds of The Homeplace, an authentic 1850s working farm and living history museum. The festival will feature the best of old-time music through workshops, picking sessions and energized performances of folk, string band, old-time fiddle, banjo and bluegrass music.

“Each year the Pickin’ Party has felt like a big family reunion,” said Cindy Earls, special events coordinator for the Friends of Land Between the Lakes. “We’ve enjoyed mixing up the music a bit, and we’re lucky that each year our friends from the Old Town School of Folk Music make the trip down to join us.”

Peg Browning, Maura Lally of Common Thread, and Chicago’s “official” troubadour Mark Dvorak are again among the featured performers.

Browning and Lally, who each play multiple instruments, have collaborated with fiddler Gracie Wallace of Bumpus Mills, TN and singer/guitarist Dixie Jones of Clarksville, to form Common Thread, a four piece vocal and instrumental group. The quartet recorded their first CD together, “A Bushel and a Peck,” in a rented cabin near Nashville, Indiana.

“We had a lot of fun recording our songs that weekend,” said Peggy Browning, who plays guitar, banjo and wrote a number of the songs on the disc. “Maura and I drove down from Chicago, and Gracie and Dixie headed north. Nashville is about halfway between and we got the whole thing recorded in four days. It’s just lovely to sing with Gracie, Maura and Dixie. We laughed so hard that weekend our faces hurt.”

Dvorak, who is artist-in-residence at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music will also be featured. Dvorak, who is a masterful instrumentalist and interpreter of traditional music, has performed at every Pickin’ Party since 1999. He began writing songs after visiting the Homeplace the very first time.

“It was so inspiring to come down here and be part of this gathering,” he said. “We just feel so lucky to have made so many friends, and to be treated like family each year.”

Dvorak was inspired to write “Old Friends,” a country song celebrating the friendships and music  he discovered in Tennessee. The song is the closing track on his most recent release, “Back Home,” a sampler of traditional, original and live performances.

“Old friends are the best friends,” he said.

The Pickin’ Party is from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm both days. The Homeplace is located at 4512 The Trace, about fourteen miles north of Dover. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12. The fee includes entry to the farm. For complete information on The Pickin’ Party, visit the Land Between the Lakes homepage at or phone 931 232 6457.

For more information on Common Thread, visit and for information on Mark Dvorak, visit