Virginia’s Crooked Road tracks roots of America’s country music | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel

From the Dallas News…

FLOYD, Va. – On the little stage at the back of the Floyd Country Store, a gospel trio is singing “Where Could I Go But to the Lord?” Outside, on South Locust Street and in the gravel lot beside the store, little audiences are gathering around trios and quartets jamming on bass, fiddle, banjo, zither and dulcimer.

Every Friday night in this small southwestern Virginia town, the local population of 423 increases by many hundreds as gospel and bluegrass music fans pour in to enjoy the music of Appalachia.

Locals had been enjoying the country store sessions for decades. Then in 2000 came the George Clooney Depression-era movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? featuring lots of bluegrass, and suddenly people were descending on this region where the old-time American music first took root. Locals called the recent arrivals “the ‘O Brother’ people.”

State officials took note and created a tourism program called the Crooked Road. It’s a 250-mile ribbon of highways and back roads, over mountains and through forests, valleys and hollers that showcases the music that has flourished there for hundreds of years.

via Virginia’s Crooked Road tracks roots of America’s country music | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel.

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