Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Crooked Road

In far southwestern Virginia, there is a "trail" called The Crooked Road. It runs through 19 counties and 54 towns, and starts in Franklin County. It totally misses most of the Roanoke Valley, though, and runs south of the city.


As you can see, it follows a path from Rocky Mount, down into Floyd and makes it way around to the camel's head part of Virginia. There are not many cities down in those directions, though there are lots of towns and communities. Here is another website about it: Click This Link.

Roanoke has an interesting music scene; I don't know why it is not a part of this trail. Maybe it is not rural enough.

In any event, the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, which is located at Ferrum College, has a display about The Crooked Road.

Over the weekend, we took a ride to the Institute to see what we could see.

The Crooked Road exhibit was mostly placards with information about various types of music and some famous musicians that lived in the communities along The Crooked Road. You may be familiar with Ralph Stanley and June Carter Cash, to name two.

The display was nicely done, with lots of information and photographs.
 

I confess I was a little disappointed that there were no actual musical instruments in the room.
 
However, if one had the time, there was plenty to read and study.
 
Virginia has a deep history of music, with roots in Irish, German, and Scottish sounds.
 
Virginia's music is one of banjos, dulcimers, ballads, and blues.
 
Some of the sounds were heard all over the nation.
 

Bluegrass didn't have its own festival until 1965.
 
Gospel, bluegrass, country music, folk songs -
Virginia is for music lovers.
 
We enjoyed our tour. The Blue Ridge Institute was smaller than we anticipated and the room with The Crooked Road exhibit in it did not seem to be well humidified. I had hoped to see a collection of musical instruments - old guitars, dobroes, banjos, tambourines, harmonicas, or whatever - but none were in sight. The docent on duty said they had a large collection of items in storage; it is a shame they could not be displayed.

Rocky Mount now has a new place for musicians called the Harvester Performance Center, and it is attracting many recognizable names to its performances. It seems to be quite the draw for local folks interested in music.

Anyway, take a jaunt along The Crooked Road sometime - I don't know what you'll hear, but I imagine it will be genuine.

1 comment:

  1. Driving that could make for an interesting road trip, I should think.

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