Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bluegrass Music

(click to enlarge)

Despite the fact that in the late 1960's and into the 1970's many saw the youth of the day as "hippies" or just generally long-haired, disheveled, acid rock lovin' kids there was one type of music that brought this scruffy bunch together with the regular mountain folk, both young and old, and that was good old fashion Bluegrass.

Whether it was down the road at Galax Fiddler's Convention or, as the picture above shows, at a local farm this grass-roots music was enjoyed by all ages.  The gathering in this photo looks like "Woodstock Lite" and it may have been at Hawthorne's farm ...... it looks like the stage and the rolling land that I remember seeing.

Other festivals happened all over the New River Valley.  There was at least one or two weekends at Yellow Sulphur Springs in the early 70's and who knows how many others that were more private affairs.

The point is that this music has a wonderful way of bonding otherwise dissimilar souls.  Bluegrass is still a big draw at outdoor concerts.

Anyone out there have a good memory or two to share?


  1. Didn’t get into bluegrass until a bit later. But didn’t Doc and Merle Watson play at Cowboys (took the place of Mish Mish, I believe) in the early 1980’s?

  2. One and ONLY? Bluegrass Festival in Blacksburg held down in Ellet Valley? My memory certainly isn't what it used to be...

  3. Remember the Galax festivals well, one of the highlights of my years at VT. When I was living out on Mt. Tabor Rd. around the time the 460 bypass up Brush Mt. was being built, there were a couple old dears who lived on the old road. They used to know heaps of old mountain songs. I understand a Masters student at VT a few years later went around the area recording these as they had been passed down, mother to daughter, for generations.

  4. Hey what about Cecil's out at the edge of town? Saw some absolutely kick-ass country and rockabilly bands there...usually Thursday nights. These guys were always incredible musicians; doing one nighters with the old Greyhound buses. Amazing stuff and they would tear the place apart...