I have lived in Virginia for 15 years now and have never been far from Smith Mountain Lake. But whatever county I was in I would frequently hear something or other about “The Crooked Road”. I gathered that it had something to do with music, but until recently never sat down and researched it. What I found was a fascinating history. As it turns out The Crooked Road is not only our rich musical heritage, but also an actual path that can be followed by the lover of history and adventure! The excerpt below is from the official Crooked Road Website.
“The Crooked Road” is Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, a driving route through the Appalachian Mountains from the western slopes of the Blue Ridge to the Coalfields region of the state. The trail connects major heritage music venues in the Appalachian region such as the Blue Ridge Music Center, Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, and the Carter Family Fold. The traditional gospel, bluegrass, and mountain music heard today was passed down from generation to generation and lives on through a wealth of musicians and instrument makers along the trail.
Annual festivals, weekly concerts, live radio shows, and informal jam sessions abound throughout the region. In addition, this region is also rich in other cultural and natural assets, particularly crafts and outdoor recreation. A wide variety of traditional handcrafted woodwork, weaving, and pottery can be found along the trail in country stores and small workshops. The lush valleys and rugged mountains offer numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to fishing and boating.
Music is indeed a large and wonderful part of our cultural heritage and there is much good and joy that can come from its traditions. Especially if you love the old-time instruments, fiddle, banjo, etc. you would enjoy looking up the stories that our ancestors were part of.
Here are some more sites you might want to check out to find year-round happenings and other handy info: http://www.virginia.org/