Straight Path to the Crooked Road
This spring (oh I like the warm sound of that word!) promises to be a great season for touring the “Crooked Road”–southwest Virginia’s Music Trail that passes through Floyd.
Other stops along the way include Galax and Stanley country, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, the Country Cabin in Norton and the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College. You can see and read a bit about them all on the clickable map.
According to Ralph Barrier writing in the Roanoke Times…
“The idea came at a time when old-time roots music was undergoing a huge popularity surge thanks to the success of the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” movie soundtrack. The album featured updated versions of Depression-era songs and sold more than six million copies and dominated the 2002 Grammy Awards. Southwest Virginia’s stake in the CD’s success came through the inclusion of Stanley and bluegrass star Dan Tyminski, formerly of Ferrum. The time was right to capitalize on the newfound popularity of old-time music.”
Cultural tourism is a growing phenomenon as traveling families want to learn more about their own heritage and roots, and that comes from the getting there as much as it is the destination.
“Southwest Virginia has the greatest tradition of old-time string music than anywhere else in the world,”said Roddy Moore, the Blue Ridge Institute’s executive director. “The eight spots are just the high points. The Crooked Road is really what’s in between. I would take the sidetrips off the road and see the landscape and meet the people.”
If you’re new to traditional Appalachian music, consider a trip down the Crooked Road as the Baptist introduction: total immersion, head to toe, in “that good ol’ way”. It’s been ringing in these hills for generations, and the invitation is out for others to listen in.