— The Crooked Road — Virginia's Heritage Music Trail —
Grayson County is noted for traditional music and altitude. Four of Virginia's five highest mountains are to be found here. In 1850 Grayson County was in the midst of controversy concerning the location of the county seat. As a compromise between two rival camps, a third site was selected and named Independence,based on the fact that a group of "independents" had favored this option. One of the most famous and colorful fighting units of the Civil War was the Grayson Daredevils, 91 farmers from the Elk Creek community. They were part of the Stonewall Brigade.
Tiny places such as Rugby—too small for maps—have produced notable musicians for generations. Gold Hill is equally tiny, but has a beautiful waltz is named for it. Mill hands from historic Fries on the beautiful New River had a pivotal role in starting the commercial country music industry in the early 1920s. The museum inside the restored Historic 1908 Courthouse presents a cross section of Grayson County heritage and information on the County's numerous communities. Independence itself is small in size, but has been the home of and setting for a wealth of musical activity. Wade Ward, perhaps the nation's most renowned old-time clawhammer style banjoist, lived here and was visited by more than 1,000 aspiring banjoists. All were welcomed, inspired, and treated as a member of the Ward family. There are many musical families here who have made rich contributionsto the heritage of theirstate and nation. Thesecontributions continuewith an array of jamsessions and localevents. Collectors and scholars of the music from distant places, as well as ordinary fans, are welcomed as they have been forgenerations.
The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Coalfields region, southwest Virginia is blessed with historic and contemporary music venues, musicians, and fretted instrument makers. Historically isolated, the region retained its strong musical legacy by passing traditions down through musical families to an appreciative community.
Old time mountain music, bluegrass, and gospel can be enjoyed all year long and several museums are devoted to showcasing the area's rich musical heritage.
The Crooked Road winds through the ruggedly beautiful Appalachian Mountains and leads you to the major hotspots of old time mountain music, country music, and bluegrass. Alive and kickin' for today's fans, these venues preserve and celebrate musical traditions passed down throughgenerations. Annual festivals, weekly concerts,radio shows, and jam sessions ring out to large audiences and intimate gatherings. Please visit the Crooked Road website to plan your trip to coincide with the current entertainment events.