Just the mention of the words mountain music can summon very strong emotions for many people. Today's rivers of Bluegrass Music, Heritage-, ‘Old-time-’, or Country music can all trace their headwaters back to the European immigrants who settled in the hills and valleys of the Appalachians and the Blue Ridge over 200 years ago. In spite of other streams of influence that flow in here and there, there can be no doubt that the source remains the life experiences of those ancestors who found solace in the land and the songs that reminded them of what they left behind.
The modern revival of interest in this music can be traced back to the 2001 movie, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, which was set in Depression-era Mississippi. The music was a collaboration of the finest musicians in Nashville, whose efforts had the affect of sparks on dry tinder, igniting a flame of passion which has swept around the world.
My own interest in mountain music was deepened when
I discovered my family's direct relation to the Carter
Family of southwest Virginia, who almost single-handedly started
country music as we know it today.
>Roughstock's History of Country Music
>International Bluegrass Music Museum
>European immigrants' music at contemplator.com
The Crooked Road-
Virginia's Heritage Music Trail
(from the 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.' More info here on mountain music (the Crooked Road website).
Websites/ web pages of the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail -
- Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center - Clintwood
- The Country Cabin - Norton
- The Carter Family Fold - Scott County
- Birthplace of Country Music Alliance - Bristol
- Blue Ridge Music Center - Grayson County
- Rex Theater and Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax
- The Floyd Country Store and County Records in Floyd
- Blue Ridge Institute and Museum - Ferrum