Reviving days of folk

The Mountain Folk Reunion perform to sell-out crowd in Townsend

The band was singing.

The crowd was singing.

It seemed even the timbers at the cantilever Barn Event Center twanged in a note or two. The Mountain Folk Reunion filled an already full-house on Saturday, Aug. 29, with music as they entertained a sell-out crowd of more than 150 at the event center in Townsend.

Getting everyone in a good mood for the music was a delicious barbecue dinner before the music started.

According to their website,, this stuck-in-the-sixties group got started in 2007 through a chance meeting with former band member Vern Lindsey and banjo-player Bobby Wilson. Lindsey and guitarist Kelley Massey were playing folk music from their high school days, which Lindsey mentioned to Wilson.

When the two folk musicians sat with Wilson and his friend Walker Johnson for an evening jam session, the magic was there and Mountain Folk Reunion was born. Their first performance was in April of 2007 at Music Row in Maryville, singing and playing old folk songs in 4-part harmony.

A later gig at Tellico Village brought more than 160 to a small pizza parlor, and the group was on its way with bookings.

Lindsey formed his own group and The Mountain Folk Reunion became a trio this year. The group has also expanded their musical selection beyond the folk tunes of the 1960s, and now include hits from the 1950s and 1960s that have been adapted to fit the Mountain Folk Reunion sound.

Members are Bobby Wilson, who is a freelance writer/reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel and Blount Today; Kelley Massey, who played with the Citadel Singers folk group back in his native Chattanooga; and Walker Johnson, a radio personality for many years who has been playing folk music since 1964.

To contact The Mountain Folk Reunion about bookings or for more information, call Kelley Massey at 865-387-8790 or email

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