Sunday, November 2, 2014

Photo-of-the-Week #183 The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music, New Creek, West Virginia, September 2010

The musical genre known as Bluegrass is alive and well and moving people around the country. This photo was taken at a small bluegrass festival in a small, unincorporated area of West Virginia called New Creek, probably named after the creek of the same name that runs through the area.

As you can see, there are hills in the background and this site was actually up on a hill. It doesn't take much to set up and bring people together for events like these. Bluegrass musicians seem to be as plentiful in the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina. Of course, many current bluegrass musicians come out of city locations like Washington, DC, Baltimore, Nashville and so on.

What I like about these musicians is that most of them are home grown, most have never had any formal musical training or lessons and they most often have full-time jobs ranging from hard working blue collar occupations to the professions, often with multiple degrees and certifications.

I've been to a number of these festival gatherings over the years and you not only get to enjoy the musicians on stage, but often there are jam sessions with many equally talented and capable musicians in the parking lot or camping areas. As you can see from this photo, some of the musicians at this festival take this business seriously and do it full-time as evidenced by the tour buses in the background.

You meet some mighty fine folks at these events and they are family events the entire family takes part in. The music basically originated in the mountains and was one of the main ways mountain folks, often of Scotch and Irish ancestry, entertained one another. The list of country musicians who came from these humble roots is long.

So, if you've never been to a bluegrass festival, I highly recommend you avail yourself of an opportunity when it arises. If, like me, you have been and enjoy going to these musical events, just jump on that Orange Blossom Special and join me for some great music.


  1. We went to a Bluegrass weekend north of Ft. Wayne, and east of Pokagon State Park back in the early 80's, in an empty but self-outfitted high top Maxi-van. It was one of the best camping weekends we have ever done. The Indiana Bluegrass Association had their custom built stage trailer there, and as you indicated, music all over the park in the off hours. Now we are here in north central Arkansas with many music shows all around us. It might be too cold to hit Mountain View when you get here, but we can visit other local shows if you're up to it.

  2. Yes, indeed! John. Bluegrass may not be as big as the country music genre (of course, bluegrass is part of country music) but it has millions of followers and continues to grow in popularity year after year. Back in my earlier years I had the opportunity to record some of the earlier major names in bluegrass, some have already passed away. I even captured a very young Emmylou Harris before she made it big. It will be fun to learn about the music scene in your area. And speaking of your area, I was speaking with my other friend who lives in Cherokee Village earlier this afternoon.


  3. Looking forward to your visit! And BTW, the floor is done in the "RV" up to the front couch. I just came in five minutes ago. The last section is small enough I can do it all inside if necessary. The only two things I can think about that may require cutting outside yet, is the bulkhead wall and the closet sides. Everything else is small enough to be cut inside. Just in time before the cold weather hits! Hurray!