Grayson County is a place where traditional music seems to bubble up out of every nook and cranny. Places like Fries, Elk Creek, and Independence are synonymous with authentic old time music and the musicians who live there have a tremendous respect for tradition. Travelers along The Crooked Road seeking the authentic old time sounds of the region would do well to visit the Wednesday night old time jam at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence. At 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 25, 2013, the Historic 1908 Courthouse Jam will be featured at Heartwood in Abingdon as part of The Crooked Road’s popular Venue Showcase music series.
Every fourth Thursday of the month, The Crooked Road brings one of the many wonderful music gatherings from throughout the region to present their unique music to audiences at Heartwood. “This music series features a different venue each month and I think audiences really enjoy seeing the variety of musicians and ways of performing” says Crooked Road director Jack Hinshelwood. “Some do formal stage shows and others, like the 1908 Courthouse Jam, gather in a circle and go around the circle as each musician is invited to lead a tune. Similar to many old time jams, this is not a concert, so the best seating is close up around the musician’s circle where you can catch the good natured banter around the circle.”
The Courthouse Jam was started by Clint McCain in 2004 as a replacement for the long held jam in the kitchen of Independence resident Blanche Nichols and features clawhammer banjo styles and old time style fiddling. This is the music that settlers in this region have played for many generations and it’s the musical form that bluegrass evolved from.
“Another characteristic visitors find interesting about the 1908 Historic Courthouse Jam is their practice of playing tunes and songs in a specific key each night” says Hinshelwood. “For old time fiddlers and banjo players who tune their instruments in specific keys, this has the very real advantage of eliminating the need to constantly retune to play in different keys. This is old time music with a beat that can be most fully appreciated when people get up and move their feet!
The Crooked Road’s mission is to support tourism and economic development in Southwest Virginia by celebrating and preserving this Appalachian region's unique musical and cultural heritage. The 19 counties, 4 cities, and over 50 towns and communities in Southwest Virginia that make up The Crooked Road region represent one of the richest sources of traditional heritage music in the world.
For additional information about The Crooked Road, call 276-492-2409 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Historic 1908 Courthouse Jam please visit http://www.historic1908courthouse.org/old_time_jam.
Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located of I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, Virginia and features food, music and craft of Southwest Virginia.
Admission is free but donations will be accepted for the series performances.
The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail (TCR) music series at Heartwood in Abingdon showcases communities of the region through their traditional music venues and their youth music.