4 reasons to check out Uncle Dave Macon Days on Oct. 7-8 in Murfreesboro

The New York Times says if Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton, and Spinal Tap spawned a litter of puppies, it would be the Cleverlys. They’ll headline on Saturday night taking the stage around 9 p.m. (Photo Provided)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — When most folks think about the birthplace of country music many lean towards Bristol or Nashville but its true roots can be linked to the front porches, parlors, and barn raisings of the 19th century and early figures like Uncle Dave Macon. In October, a southern, roots music festival that bears his name takes place just an hour up the road in Murfreesboro. Organizers plan Uncle Dave Macon Days for October 7-8 at its new location at The Fountains.

Local officials launched the annual celebration of all things bluegrass and old time music in 1978 on the lawn of the Rutherford County Courthouse. It’s become an annual favorite for roots music lovers across middle Tennessee. The festival takes its name from one of the first superstars of the Grand Ole Opry, Uncle Dave Macon, who also operated a freight hauling business between Murfreesboro and Woodbury called the Macon Midway Mule and Mitchell Wagon Transportation Company two decades before he became the unofficial grandfather of country music. Musical historians say Macon bridged the gap between 19th-century American folk and vaudeville music and the phonograph, radio-based music of the early days of the Opry.

Here are four reason we think you should check out this year’s event:

1 | The Cleverlys will headline. The New York Times says if Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton, and Spinal Tap spawned a litter of puppies, it would be the Cleverlys. How can you not be a little interested in a combo like that? They’re a one-of-a-kind comedy and music blend who’ve graced stages from Stagecoach to the Grand Ole Opry. Their set list could included anything from Blackstreet’s No Diggity to Beyoncé’s Irreplaceable. To listen to more examples of their of their sound, click here.

2 | Pickers Alley is cool for budding musicians. For as long as there have been front porches in southern, middle Tennessee there have been area musicians gathering on them. It’s in that spirit that the organizers of Uncle Dave Macon Days invite you to grab your guitar, banjo, mandolin, or violin and stop by Pickers Alley for an impromptu session with musicians from around the state.

3 | It’s the first year at a new location. It started on the lawn of the Rutherford County Courthouse and then moved to Cannonsburgh Village. After a one year hiatus due to COVID-19, the festival will return in 2022 but at a new, location – The Fountains, a 31-acre office, hotel, and retail Development in Rutherford County.

4 | It’s free. That’s right. Uncle Dave Macon Days presents six outstanding roots music and bluegrass acts – Glade City Rounders, Jake Leg Stompers, and Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny, The Will MacLean Band, Caleb Christopher Edwards, and The Cleverlys – over two days and it’s all absolutely free this year. “It will be our gift to the community for all the years of support.” organizers said.

The Fountains is located at 1500 Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro. It’s a family friendly event with local art and handmade crafts as well as food trucks and other vendors. To learn more, visit the events website or Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}