The Fifth Annual Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, is a music festival celebrating the rich tradition of old-time, Americana, and bluegrass music found in Southwest Virginia.
The festival Main Stage will include performances by:
* The Grascals are among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on today’s bluegrass scene, receiving two Grammy nominations, SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year award in 2010, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2005, and its Entertainer of the Year honor in both 2006 and 2007.
* The Whitetop Mountain Bandis a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. The members have done much to preserve the Whitetop region's style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.
Whitetop Mountain Band shows are versatile and entertaining containing everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, and four part mountain gospel songs. Shows also include flat foot dancing. The band is well known for their high energy and charisma on stage.
* Fifth Stringis an energetic trio that features graduates from Mountain Empire Community College's Mountain Music School.The three members include vocalist Molly Slemp of Norton, VA, banjoist and guitarist Tyler Hughes of Big Stone Gap, VA, and fiddler Jacob Tilley of Kingsport, TN. All share a love for Appalachian Old Time Music; they also embrace newer Bluegrass styles and even mix in some occasional pop.The group has performed at such venues as Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Reunion, MECC's Home Craft Days, and Bristol's Paramount Theatre.
* Charlie Engle & Megan Clay are like your momma's fried chicken, a little crunchy on the outside, but oh so warm and tender on the inside.Separately their voices can warm your soul, as a duet they can start wildfires.You will feel right at home at one of their shows, and songs will go with you when you leave.
* T.V. Barnett and His Roan Mountain Moonshiners play the genuine old time mountain music like it has been played in east Tennessee, western North Carolina, and southwest Virginia for hundreds of years.T.V. Barnette was born on Ripshin Mountain in 1937 and has lived there allhis life.He learned to play "cross-tuned" mountain music (sometimes said to be in a "sawmill key") from hearing it played by members ofhis family and community, and he wants to keep this old time music alive.
* Rich and The Po' Folks led by Rich Kirby (fiddle, mandolin, 6-string banjo), the current lineup consists of Brett Ratliff (guitar and vocals,) Nathan Polly (upright bass and vocals,) and John Haywood (banjo and vocals) and is one of the most talented traditional bands active these days.As a group they have a cumulative knowledge base of traditional music that could fill an archive and–in their individual pursuits–all are extremely generous in sharing this knowledge through individual lessons, workshops and community events. These guys have devoted a large part of their lives to promoting and preserving the music we love and for this we tip our hats.
* Travis Kern, a native of Big Stone Gap, is the winner of the 2010 Gathering in the Gap Songwriting competition. Though he has lived in Nashville, Tennessee and currently resides in central Kentucky, his lyrics and music are bound together by his Southwest Virginia roots and his Christian faith. Travis incorporates the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and piano into his performances to celebrate the humor and grit of every day mountain folk.
* A love of old time musicled several members of the Mountain Music Makers to Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, VA, where they learned to play the clawhammer banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass.Eventually, they came together in the string band class offered by the college where they developed a lasting friendship with other musicians who, in 2006, would form the Mountain Music Makers. The band's instruments include the guitar, autoharp, dulcimer, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, and bowed psaltery. Each member has the ability to play more than one instrument. The group performs a blend of old time and bluegrass songs. Several songs are original compositions written by Joey O'Quinn and Larry Mullins, each in his unique style.
* Anthony Wayne is a native of Big Stone Gap and has performed at music venues in Nashville and throughout the Tri-Cities, including Bristol Rhythm and Roots.He has shared bills with Soulhat, Kevin McKinney, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Col. Bruce Hampton, Edgar Winter, Daniel Cage,Alexi Murdoch, The Coalmen, and Flock of Seagulls.
* If Birds Could Fly features three young musicians from Big Stone Gap who love to write and perform acoustic music.The group consists of the unique voice of lead singer Brittany Ashley, the picking of Andrew Carter on guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and the continuation of the Maggard family music tradition with Brandon Maggard on banjo and guitar. Both Andrew and Brandon also accompany Brittany in singing many of their soulful tunes.
In addition to the Main Stage performances, the festival will also include an annual songwriting competition, workshops, musical competitions, jams, a children’s area, and the “Stitch in Time” Quilt Show. Antique, food, and craft vendors will also be on hand.
Tickets for the Gathering in the Gap Music Festival and its workshops are now available through the Southwest Virginia Museum. Festival admission for adults ages 13 and over is $10.00 in advance or $15.00 if purchased the day of the event. Children under 12 are free.
To purchase tickets using a check or credit card, please call the museum at 276-523-1322. You may also purchase tickets in person at the Southwest Virginia Museum during regular operating hours. For additional information and a full schedule of events, please visit the festival website.
For general park information see our click here.