Virginia’s Crooked Road Project Still Going Strong

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Sweet Virginia, the land that gave birth to an alchemy of quintessential American music has now found itself knee-deep in lucrative opportunity. It’s called the Crooked Road, a 260 mile long corridor of music heritage museums and venues in the southwestern part of the state.

Sweet Virginia, the land that gave birth to an alchemy of quintessential American music has now found itself knee-deep in lucrative opportunity. It’s called the Crooked Road, a 260 mile long corridor of music heritage museums and venues in the southwestern part of the state.

The region, which has acted as a sieve for folk, country and bluegrass emptying out of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain cultures began a push to promote such notoriety in 2003. Organizers appealed to the larger state of Virginia for recognition of the corridor between Franklin County south of Roanoke and Dickenson County in the southwestern corner for its bluegrass and country music heritage.

Music centers like the the Carter Fold in Hiltons, the Rex Theater and the Blue Ridge Music Center have all reported an astonishing increase in out of state visitors pumping a 232 percent increase in accommodation spending between 2003 and 2007. The larger Virginia Music Heritage Trail reported a $23 million dollar impact in this past year alone. The best part as described by Robert Jones, a research study guide is simple, “This is our product,” he said. “It can only be homegrown. It can’t be outsourced.” Which means that Virginia has found quite a money tree in its own backyard and Southern music will always remain relevant.

The trail winds (crookedly) from the town of Breaks in Dickinson County through Appalachia, Big Stone Gap in Wise County, down through the southern portions of Washington, Grayson and Carroll Counties all the way up to Rocky Mount south of Roanoke, Virginia. For complete information (and thorough maps) on this righteous new project check out www.crookedroad.org and enjoy the trip through Americana.


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