The Crooked Road’s 3rd Annual Mountains of Music Homecoming to feature Marquee Artists, Tribute Concerts and a Feastival of Special Dining Events
The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, has announced its 3rd Annual Mountains of Music Homecoming, an extraordinary heritage music and cultural event taking place June 9 – 17, 2017 in over 50 communities throughout nineteen counties in Southwest Virginia.
This remarkable nine-day event combines Appalachian food, authentic culture, arts, crafts, adventure and some of America’s finest heritage music artists who preserve the bluegrass, old-time, gospel, folk, and other music traditions at concerts all along the 330 miles of the Crooked Road. The 2017 event will feature performances by Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys with Larry Sparks and Ricky Skaggs, Wayne Henderson, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, the Quebe Sisters, Jerry Douglas & the Earls of Leicester, and many more artists presented in over 20 communities during the nine days.
“We’re thrilled about this year’s line-up,” said Crooked Road Executive Director Jack Hinshelwood. “The Mountains of Music Homecoming provides audiences with a special opportunity to encounter these tradition carriers in the very places those traditions are preserved and perpetuated.”
Travelers seduced by the sweet sounds of all that music will also discover first-rate wineries, excellent cycling trails, fishing, hiking, world-class galleries, jam sessions, historic tours and a wealth of unforgettable experiences to wile away the hours between ancient tunes and ballads.
“Southwest Virginia’s heritage is as vital today as it was when its iconic figures and artists first blazed new pathways in American music,” said John Kilgore, president of The Crooked Road. “The Mountains of Music Homecoming is a remarkable road trip where visitors can travel through the small towns and across the rolling hills that have inspired centuries of art, craft, Appalachian food and the songs and strings that have shaped this birthplace of country music.”
The Year We Sang
Though marvelous voices have always been a component of Homecomings past, this year’s Mountains of Music Homecoming will highlight some of the greatest singers in bluegrass, gospel and heritage ballad traditions.
“The 2017 Homecoming will be themed ‘The Year We Sang,’ with musical programs featuring some of the region’s most inimitable voices, as well as singers, songwriters and interpreters of traditional music from near and far,” said Hinshelwood. “We’ll explore ballads, host song-swaps and experience the songs that have brought people together for hundreds of years.”
2017’s song-focused Mountains of Music Homecoming marquee concerts will feature performances by beloved Scottish folk singer Archie Fisher, heritage ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle, National Heritage Award recipient Sheila Kay Adams, and the compelling voices of singer-songwriters Amythyst Kiah and Dori Freeman.
Finally, it would be hard to find a bluegrass band more admired for singing than Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and this legendary group will be in concert at Haysi Kiwanis Park, on Friday June 9.
Mountain Music Legends – The Stanley Brothers Legacy
The Stanley Brothers, Ralph and Carter, left an indelible mark on the American musical landscape with their self-styled mountain music-approach to bluegrass. Music fans all over the world mourned Ralph’s recent passing in June of 2016. Here in his native Southwest Virginia, the Mountains of Music Homecoming will offer a special program to honor the legacy of the Stanley Brothers with a concert event featuring Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, a legendary group now passed down from father to son. Joining Ralph II in concert will be several more former Clinch Mountain Boys, including legends Larry Sparks and Ricky Skaggs for evening performances on June 11 at Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center and on June 12 at Norton’s Country Cabin. Each concert will follow special afternoon workshop interviews with the Clinch Mountain Boys led by Stanley Brothers music historian Gary Reid.
The settlement of Southwest Virginia is an immigration story firmly rooted in Scottish history, and there are many cultural connections to be celebrated at the Mountains of Music Homecoming 2017. Settlers of Scottish origins brought with them a rich musical heritage of fiddle tunes, folk songs and ballads that would help form the backbone of traditional Appalachian music. Each year, the Homecoming presents performers that exemplify other unique musical traditions, and in 2017 the Homecoming features the music of Scotland with two stellar artists from Scottish tradition – master fiddler Alasdair Fraser and acclaimed cellist Natalie Haas. They will take the stage together at two special concerts bringing the unforgettable sound of the Scottish Highlands to Southwest Virginia. To complement the focus on song and ballad traditions, the Homecoming will also present renowned Scottish folk singer Archie Fisher from Glasgow at Emory & Henry College’s McGlothlin Center for the Arts.
While the hills and hollers of Appalachia have not always been associated with haute cuisine, a quiet revolution led by celebrated regional chefs, authors and innovative restaurateurs has really put the food of the Crooked Road region on the map. In 2017, Mountains of Music will host three Feastival events, designed and organized by Dr. Jean Haskell and Dr. Katie Hoffman. Each features delicious farm-to-table cuisine, live musical performances, and custom works created by a regional artist or artisan. Acclaimed Appalachian food writer and cultural ambassador Ronni Lundy will be the keynote speaker for all three events. The Feastivals will exhibit a wide range of Appalachian flavors, artistic styles and cultural touchstones. On June 11, in Hillsville, Virginia, attendees will enjoy a traditional Sunday dinner on the church grounds of the historic Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church at an event celebrating “Faith and Appalachian Culture.” On June 13, at the luxurious 12,000 acre Primland resort in Meadows of Dan, farm- to-table haute cuisine will head up an evening on “Appalachian Innovation and Creativity,” followed by music from powerhouse singer Amythyst Kiah. On June 17, celebrated chef Travis Milton will surely dazzle with his imaginative use of locally sourced ingredients. Singer-songwiter Dori Freeman will offer an after- dinner concert, further emphasizing the evening’s theme of “Appalachian History and Regeneration.” The event will showcase the newly opened Western Front Hotel in St. Paul, Virginia.
The Ultimate Road Trip
The scenic landscape of Southwest Virginia offers visitors glorious opportunities for sightseeing, exploration and outdoor adventure. Mountains of Music Homecoming attendees will experience a remarkable array of cultural events and activities finely tuned to show off the region’s best art, history, craft, and traditional cuisine. Whether climbing mountain trails, paddling rivers, exploring art museums, general stores, sampling Appalachian fare, mingling with the locals in picturesque small towns or musing in wonder at spectacular views from a high vista, visitors can connect to the deep well of inspiration that has birthed so much extraordinary music and art.
The 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming kicks off on Friday, June 9, 2017. Concert tickets go on sale December 20, 2016. Visit mtnsofmusic.com for additional concert updates and cultural events as they are posted. For updates and announcements, “like” us at Mountains of Music Homecoming on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for Homecoming newsletters at mtnsofmusic.com.