The heART of Appalachia has a long history of cultural richness.
The roots of American Country Music sprang from the fertile ground of Southwestern Virginia, while traditional forms of handmade craftsmanship were essential to early life in the mountains. Those skills and techniques have been handed down by each generation to create a community of artisans, both musical and hand-made craft, that make a visit to the Heart of Appalachia an inspiring one.
Bluegrass & Country Legends
When legends come to mind there is one star that shines above them all that is none other than the legendary icon Dr. Ralph Stanley. For over 6 decades he has become one of the most influential artists of all time. Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle VA, Ralph Stanley was the second child of Lucy Jane and Lee Stanley. In 1946 along with his older brother Carter Stanley they formed the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became one of the most popular brother acts in Country Music history.
Kaitlyn Baker has extraordinary talent. Her songwriting, storytelling, uniquely Appalachian voice, and love for this place she calls home exemplifies all that is the Heart od Appalachia. Virginia’s outdoor adventure destination, the Heart of Appalachia’s rugged landscapes, rich cultural heritage and downhome hospitality can’t be found anywhere else on earth. Her latest song, The Heart of Appalachia, embodies all that our region has to offer…
Round the Mountain
Preserving the Culture of Craftsmanship
Blended with the legacy of traditional music comes the storied heritage of hand-craftsmanship. Self-sustaining skills were essential in early mountain life. These skills and techniques have been handed down for generations, creating a community of artisans continuing the legacy with weaving, pottery, blacksmithing, basket and broom making, quilting, grist milling, woodworking, etc. Round the Mountain has been cultivating a network of area artists and craftspeople since 2004, producing regional Artisan Trails that showcase studios, farms, and shops that retail locally produced items. Inspired works of art and practical, usable goods are all produced skillfully in the Heart of Appalachia region. Our artisans would love to chat with you about their wares while you’re in the neighborhood. Click on the Interactive Map to find artisan studios throughout the region.
The Crooked Road
Virginia’s Musical Heritage Trail
The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Musical Heritage Trail, spans 355 miles across Southwest Virginia, connecting historically significant sites where the earliest forms of Country Music were born. Pioneers of traditional music hailed from these mountains, playing the songs that were passed down through generations and eventually recorded onto newly-invented Victrola records at the famed Bristol Sessions. The Carter Family Fold in Hiltons is hallowed ground for traditional music lovers, even before Johnny Cash played his last two concerts there. Dr. Ralph Stanley has been credited with bringing Old-Time music to a whole new generation through the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The Heart of Appalachia region proudly hosts one-third of The Crooked Road’s major venues and numerous affiliate venues.
This is the proud birthplace of America’s traditional music.
Music fills the air
with Bluegrass and Old-Time concerts
On any given night in the Heart of Appalachia, you’ll find music filling the air at Bluegrass and Old-Time concerts, woven into theatrical performances, or at a weekly jam session where, you’d swear, the folks that are playing belong on a stage somewhere. Bring your own strings and play along. They’d love to have you! But it’s plenty fun just to watch, and listen and maybe someone will teach you how to do some flat-footin’!
- Carter Fold - Hallowed Ground for Bluegrass and Old-Time Enthusiasts - Concerts Every Saturday Night
- Lay's Hardware - Thursday Jam and Friday Concert in historic hardware building
- Country Cabin - Tuesday Jam and Saturday Night Concert/Dance Venue
- Allen Hicks Friday Night Jam - Great music and fantastic fried pies
- Ma & Pa's - Sunday Gospel Music, Monday Night Bluegrass Jam, & Special Event Concerts
- Pickin' in the Pound - Great Pickin' and Grinnin' Every Thursday