The first-ever Dailey & Vincent Cumberland River MusicFest in Gainesboro, Tenn. positions one of its namesakes, Jamie Dailey, to bring bring a top-notch lineup to the small town where he first fell in love with country, gospel and bluegrass music.
"I grew up above the Cumberland River, across the river from where we're going to hold the festival," Dailey told Wide Open Country. "I remember growing up there, and I'd be out in the front yard, singing all of these country songs from The Bellamy Brothers. I was singing 'Elvira' of The Oak Ridge Boys, and I was singing Statler Brothers songs. I even told Dolly Parton recently... We sang on her new record coming out, and I told her I had a stick in my hand and was singing '9 to 5.' She got a kick out of it."
All of those acts aside from Parton will be represented this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 8-9) at the Jackson County Airport, if you count Dailey and bandmate Darrin Vincent's Saturday evening Statler Brothers tribute set with Statlers tenor singer Jimmy Fortune. Throw in appearances by John Conlee and The Voice season 17 winner Jake Hoot, and it's as if the Grand Ole Opry House is temporarily relocating from Nashville to rural Tennessee.
"A lot of people think that small towns have to do it on a smaller scale," said festival coordinator Jordan Hunter. "That was one thing I really wanted to overcome by doing this, as well. Just show that you can dream big and go for it. We can do large music events in small towns."
"[Dailey] has bought into bringing tourism to Jackson County, and he wanted us to use his platform," Hunter said. "But it's definitely not just latching on to the brand Dailey & Vincent has built. They are very much involved and want to see this be successful for the community. Of course it's about Dailey & Vincent's brand, but it's more about how do we propel this community forward in this instance."
Festival goers will take in more than the songs of two Country Music Hall of Fame quartets and the rising profile of Hoot. There's the potential to discover something new, from local singer-songwriter Billy Mac to an up-and-coming act with Vincent's stamp of approval.
"The Lost Saints is a brand-new trio that I've been really pushing hard," Vincent said. "We brought them out at our show at the Ryman recently and let them sing two songs, and they got a standing ovation. They're like a new day [Lady A]. They're not traditional by any means, but they sing great, they look great and they play great. But our traditional audience ate them up, and it was fun to watch that."
The two-day music festival was first dreamed up in 2019, around the time Gainesboro got a Tennessee Music Pathways marker for being the birthplace of Dailey. Its launch was postponed until now because of COVID-19 precautions.
Dailey & Vincent Cumberland River MusicFest Daily Lineup
Friday, October 8
1:00 p.m.: Doors Open
3:00 p.m.: J Kyle Reynolds & Jennafer Lynsey
4:00 p.m.: Jake Hoot
6:00 p.m.: Dailey & Vincent
8:00 p.m.: The Oak Ridge Boys
Saturday, October 9
1:00 p.m..: Doors Open
2:15 p.m.: Billy Mac
3:00 p.m.: Lost Saints
4:00 p.m.: John Conlee
6:00 p.m.: Dailey & Vincent and Jimmy Fortune
8:00 p.m.: The Bellamy Brothers