A passion for great music can be found throughout the mountains of Southwest Virginia. If you share our love for traditional music, you’ll enjoy visiting these great venues along The Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.

Birthplace of Country Music Alliance

Birthplace of Country Music Alliance

On August 1st, 2014, the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, will open its doors to the public in Historic Downtown Bristol. The 24,000 sq. ft. space will tell Bristol's story as the home of the Bristol Sessions through permanent exhibits, a special exhibits gallery, educational programs, multiple film experiences, and a theater dedicated exclusively to live, year-round music performances. In addition, the museum will feature interactive music mixing and listening stations and technology-infused media.

 

Blue Ridge Institute & Museum

Blue Ridge Institute & MuseumOld-time string band music, blues, ballads, traditional bluegrass, gospel music – it is all found at the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College, the official State Center for Blue Ridge Folklore. For over 30 years the BRI has documented and presented the musical traditions of the Blue Ridge region and Virginia as a whole. BRI programs – museum exhibits, recordings, concerts, educational activities, archive, and folklife festival – have reached well over 1,000,000 people.

Blue Ridge Music Center

Blue Ridge Music CenterThe Blue Ridge Music Center – a jewel on the Blue Ridge Parkway – was developed by the National Park Service in partnership with non-profit organization, The National Council for the Traditional Arts, to preserve and present traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Carter Family Fold

Carter Family FoldThe Carter Family Fold is a rustic music theater that seats nearly 1,000 indoors and more during the summer, when doors open onto the surrounding hillside. Only acoustic instruments are played. The dance floor fills as young and old alike clog and buck dance to hoe-down tunes. Audience members come from the surrounding area, nearby states, and from across the nation and overseas.

Country Cabin

Country CabinThe Country Cabin with its descendant, Country Cabin II, is the oldest mountain music/ cultural venue currently operating along the Crooked Road. The original Country Cabin was built in 1937 under President Roosevelt’s WPA program as a community recreational facility and is a National and State Historic Landmark. Local musicians gathered at the cabin every Saturday night to perform and carry on traditional bluegrass and country music. The popularity of the weekly event soon outgrew the log cabin and in 2002, a new larger facility was built in nearby Appalachian Traditions Village, to accommodate bigger audiences and to host a wider variety of programs.

Ralph Stanley Museum

Ralph Stanley MuseumThe Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center is located in the historic Chase House in downtown Clintwood. The mission of the Center is threefold: to provide, implement, and sustain historical, educational, and cultural programs focused on the importance of Ralph Stanley as an exemplar of traditional mountain music; to provide a location for supporting these activities; and to serve as a resource for the people of Dickenson County, Southwestern Virginia, and the nation in preserving and presenting this music. The town of Clintwood purchased this building as part of the downtown revitalization project.

Rex Theater & Old Fiddler’s Convention

Rex Theater & Old Fiddler's ConventionEvery Friday night, thousands of radio listeners are tuning in to hear just why Galax is billed as the “World’s Capital of Oldtime Mountain Music”. Since 1999, radio station WBRF-FM 98.1 has broadcast its weekly “Blue Ridge Backroads” live music show from Galax’s historic Rex Theater on Grayson Street. It is one of only three live bluegrass and oldtime radio shows in the country. With a powerful 100,000 watts of power the signal reaches listeners in 4 states and over 50 counties.

Now in its 75th year, the Old Fiddler's Convention originated in the spring of 1935 when a few members of the then new Moose Lodge #733 in Galax needed something to raise funds and generate publicity. In a newspaper item at the time it was stated that the Convention was dedicated to "Keeping alive the memories and sentiments of days gone by and make it possible for people of today to hear and enjoy the tunes of yesterday".

The Floyd Country Store & County Records

The Floyd Country Store & County RecordsThe Floyd Country Store, home of the world-famous Friday Night Jamboree, is a historic country store celebrating traditional Appalachian music and heritage.  The Store has a fantastic selection of Old-Time and Bluegrass cd's and music accessories, penny candy, old-fashioned housewares and gifts, and unique selections from local artisans, as well as Carhart clothing!  The old-fashioned Country Store is open for business during the week.  Hours vary seasonally, so visit the Floyd Country Store website for up-to-date information. 

County Records/Sales is located at 117 West Main Street in Floyd. County Records began operation in 1965 and became a pioneer in recording of oldtime, traditional country, and bluegrass music. County Records has expanded to include additional labels as well as a record distributorship and mailorder business. The store located on Main Street has a large selection of bluegrass and oldtime music. The staff is very knowledgeable in this area of music. If the store doesn't have what you need, they will gladly order it for you.

To plan your visit to these and other interesting stops along The Crooked Road, check out the interactive maps at www.crookedroad.org

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