After 19 years of twice-annual concerts, promoters Glenn Williams and David Boley were in a quandary. Bad weather events and the poor economy resulted in low attendance at the twice-yearly festivals, which had been a staple in Northeast Alabama. Neither wanted the festival to end, but the losses could not continue. Reluctantly, the two decided to cancel this year’s June festival and to go all-out for the September 23-24 event.
Adding to the woe, the April 27 storms that ravaged the South sent a tornado spiraling towards Glen’s Foggy Hollow farm near Webster’s Chapel, Alabama. Two neighboring homes were obliterated. The Farm was blessed with less severe damage, but repairs were needed to several outbuildings and a number of large trees were toppled. A cast of dedicated volunteers worked multiple weekends to clean up and repair the damage.
Festival goers began to trickle in on Thursday evening, many of them wondering if the festival would be the last at Foggy Hollow. A deluge of rain dampened spirits further, later that night. However, the opportunity to see headline acts like Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Little Roy and Lizzie helped maintain a spirit of optimism as a beautiful Friday morning dawned. Campers steadily arrived. By the time local favorites Stanley and Company took the stage to kick off the festivities, the campground was nearly full and tent campers dotted the hillsides around the dual ponds on the farm. By the time Little Roy and Lizzie completed their sound check the following evening, there wasn’t a campsite to be found, nor a parking space, as the field across the road was made available for the overflow.
Friday’s entertainment included masterful performances by regional groups Valley Road, Sweetwater Road, and Bent Creek. Stanley Humphries showed why he’s been a success for over 50 years by generating a hunger for more in the enthusiastic crowd.
Saturday’s slate began with the home favorite Foggy Hollow Band. Next up, the Newgrass Troubadours kept it hot. Following was the long awaited 30-year reunion of a regional favorite; the Lickety Split Band thrilled the crowd once again with an eclectic mix of bluegrass classics and “grassified” rock songs.
The headliners were next, with Little Roy and Lizzie proving again why they are a fan favorite at Foggy Hollow. Lizzie proved to be a formidable foil for Little Roy’s antics, demonstrating that she inherited the Lewis’ family showmanship along with an affinity for high-quality music. Last, Doyle and Quicksilver assaulted the stage with the hot pickin’ and tight harmonies Lawson has long been famous for. After a dinner break, the lineup was repeated. Webster’s Chapel doesn’t often see the traffic congestion resulting from the show’s end, but Williams and Boley were smiling as the lights dimmed.
Bluegrass music is alive and well at Foggy Hollow!