House Concert Opens Doors to All


UPDATE: just got word the concert will be at Zion Lutheran Church (I assume the one in Floyd) with more details to follow. 02-06-2009 615AM

Because of the limited number of chairs you can get in the average Floyd County parlor, the typical “house concert” has been limited in the number of folks who can be invited. Mac and Jenny Traynham, good friends and local musicians of some reknown, have held such an event at their place about this time of year for the past couple. This year, as in the past, they are hosting other musicians for the event, and want to open up the opportunity to more than can park on the Traynham’s lawn.

So in a nutshell: February 14 at 7:30 at the Burks Fork Church of the Bretheren, hear the Herald Angels sing. Details from Mac follow…

Mac and Jenny Traynham
Mac and Jenny Traynham

On Saturday night February 14th we are aiming for a special evening of old-time country music by a talented group of  3 women known as the Herald Angels.  Members are Alice Gerrard, Gail Gillespie, and Kay Justice–all of whom are accomplished musicians and vocalists.  They generally draw their material from deep rooted sources in the music of the Southern Appalachians and rural South.

They each have mastered the subtleties of true mountain singing and as a group play banjo, fiddle and guitar in the older styles before bluegrass music was defined in the 1940’s. With over 100 years of experience collectively, their expertise is as honed as any group that we have had for house concerts before. They are each highly respected for their contributions to the appreciation of true American old-time and country music.

In light of the aforementioned facts and  the powerhouse nature of this group  this year we have decided to have this program in a special larger venue that we now have access to. The Burke’s Fork Church of the Brethren is a 100+ year old  wood structure located about 10 miles from the Town of Floyd.

This is a well-maintained structure with padded bench seating for over 100 people. With a certain ‘old-time’ charm about it, the acoustics are exceptional. Heat for the space is provided by a pair of wood stoves which do amazingly well.  Bring a sweater anyway and ‘Please’…. no small children. We will hold the break for the ‘goodies’ in a side room where there are adequate kitchen and bathroom facilities.

In addition to the $10 per person donation for the music we ask that you bring a $2 donation  that will go to the church for the use of the building.

As usual, the concert will start at 7:30.   We  will give you a reminder as we get closer to the 14th of February but we would like a RSVP from you so we can get a feel for the attendance. Email  or call (540) 789-4201

More background details on the group from Mac Traynham will appear here tomorrow.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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