I'm traveling from Mississippi up I-81 to the Gettysburg, PA, area for work over the next couple of weeks and making fiddlin' pit stops at the Abingdon (VA) Fiddlers Convention this Friday and the Surry OT Fiddlers Convention in Dobson, NC, on Sat., 17 June. Wouldn't mind meeting some FHO folks if any might be hanging around.
I'd be up for a jam in between those dates as well, if anything is going on in the Gettysburg/Frederick area. I tried to contact Eric Avey through the DM function, but can't figure out how to use it. If Eric or anyone else wants to get together, reply here or email me at email@example.com
I would think your route will take you through Birmingham. But if you're headed through Memphis - coming or going - give me a holler if you like.
Yep. B'ham, a detour for a pickin' in north GA, Knoxville, and up I-81 into northern Maryland. 81 back to I-77 on the return to Surry County, then over to Charlotte.
Gonna have to get up your way sometime soon. I have a bluegrass buddy in Oxford that I need to visit.
Is there a way to see or check messages here? I've always seen the ability to but never seen where you check?
Barry, the fiddlers contests seem like good choices. The Abingdon one is new (second year I think) and seems quite popular. If you're on an expense account, stay at the Martha Washington Inn, or at least have a look at it.
A couple other ideas: t might be too far out of the way, but a visit to Floyd would be fun. There's music at the Store every Friday and County Sales is now located there.
I used to drive I 81 a lot to visit family and friends in New England, and never thought much about detours, but I came down here once with a friend more adventurous than I, and she suggested we take Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, which was a great idea. The speed limit is only 35 mph, and I think these days it costs $30, but its a nice change from I 81, which has become more crowded and grueling. More info on their website.
Jusr realized you're probably already in Abingdon, and maybe offline. Anyway, the Abingdon Farmers Market Saturday morning is a good one. Sometimes music, and certainly some tasty produce and baked goods, sweet and savory. Coffee too.
Quick report on my fiddle foray across the Mason-Dixon. Started out with a visit to a great friend and old picking buddy in Cumming, GA, then on to the 2nd annual Abingdon Fiddlers' Convention in Abingdon, VA. It was a well-organized event with lots of vendor participation, etc. Looks like this one has a bright future. I met and picked with a super nice couple who said they read FHO, but are not members. Forgot their names because that's just what I always do.
Next stop was a bluegrass jam at the Union Mills Public House in Frederick, MD. Although billed as an all-inclusive jam, it looked more like something of a stage show, with one mic tree set up in front of an audience. There was a host/MC and three or four pickers taking turns at the mic, with about 12-15 more standing behind them. I watched for a while but didn't open the case.
Last Friday night was the Glen Maury Fiddlers' Convention in Buena Vista, VA. Not too much happening there on Friday night, but it looked poised for a big Saturday.
My Saturday started with a walk around Floyd, VA, and a little shopping at County Sales. There was a lot going on in Floyd, but I headed out for Dobson, NC, and the Surrey Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention. This used to be a pretty big deal and is one of the only events in the region that is strictly OT fiddle oriented. Unfortunately, in all the covid turmoil they lost their early-season date at their community college venue and had to reschedule to a busy weekend. Turnout was very low, but there was one good jam and it included Richard Bowman, a local luthier, fiddling icon, and all-around nice guy who was a neighbor and student of Tommy Jarrell.
From there I headed for the Wayne Henderson Guitar Festival at the Grayson Highlands State Park, but discovered that Michael Cleveland was playing at the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax, VA. I haven't seen Michael with his band in several years, so I changed course. The BRMC is a really nice concert venue (and museum) on the Blue Ridge Parkway and an idyllic setting for mountain music. The show opened with an OT set from Kilby Spencer's Crooked Road Ramblers, then turned hardcore BG when Flamekeeper took the stage. I've been watching Michael since he was 11 or 12 years old and just saw him at a jam a few months ago, but he just blew me away as if I'd never heard him before. His on-stage style is a little over-the-top for my tastes, but there's no denying the guy has an almost singular gift; tone, intensity, technique... Recordings and videos don't do him justice. Go see him if you get the chance.
OK, so that wasn't so brief after all. Thanks for indulging me if you actually read all that!
Thanks, Doug. I make that Maryland trip every year or two and have spent a good bit of time in your neck of the woods. I always plan a day or two of extra travel time and make detours and side trips in the SWVA/WNC region.
I almost bought a house in Damascus back around 2012 or so, but I had a business setback, and by the time I started looking again, property values were skyrocketing there.
'Bow direction' 1 hr
'Boll Weevil' 1 day
'The Black rogue' 2 days
'Favorite Songs in D' 3 days
'Favorite Songs in G' 3 days