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Linda Neal playing banjo at the Crooked Road jam at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center.

20 Years of Celebrating the Music and Culture of Southwest Virginia

I have spent many hours driving through the Southwest Virginia region. In recent years, that has meant traveling to the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention on the east side of this unique section of the commonwealth, or while on another journey, spending three days at the newly-created Blue Highway Fest in Big Stone Gap, which is…

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Walt Michael playing guitar in 2022 Photo by Richard Anderson

Walt Michael’s Full Circle Journey 

Exploring Roots and Creating Culture at Common Ground on the Hill This is the story of a musician whose career path led him back to his roots to develop a music and arts community known as Common Ground on the Hill, where “the big tent of bluegrass” is welcoming. Walt Michael, whose peaceful outlook, and…

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The Jerry Garcia “A Bluegrass Journey” Exhibit Opening Weekend

Over the weekend of March 28-30, 2024, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened up its newest exhibit—Jerry Garcia “A Bluegrass Journey” with a star-studded event that included many artists who had performed with Garcia over the years, including David Nelson, Peter Rowan, Eric Thompson, Pete Wernick and Maria Muldaur.   In addition…

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Bluegrass & Bourbon

Dierks Bentley Embraces Two Western Kentucky Traditions Photos by Zach Belcher Owensboro (Kentucky’s fourth largest city) is known as the culinary and cultural hub of western Kentucky due in large part to its extraordinary three B’s—Bluegrass, Bourbon and Barbecue.  As the birthplace of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the home of the Bluegrass…

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Nothin’ Fancy—(left to right): Chris Sexton, Curt Gausman, Mike Andes, Jenkins, and Jacob Flick. // Photo by Susie Neal

Nothin’ Fancy

Celebrates 30 Years In the Bluegrass World Hailing from the fertile musical grounds of Virginia, the bluegrass band Nothin’ Fancy has kept a steady roll in a hard and volatile business by putting the music and the fans first. Now, in 2024, the band is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a group, which is an…

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Never Come Down—(left to right): Ben Ticknor, Kaden Hurst, Joe Suskind, Crystal Lariza and Brian Alley. Photo by Sol Gutierrez

On the Way Up with Never Come Down 

Never Come Down isn’t just riding high, they’re moving fast. One listen to their new album, Greener Pastures, out in June, or glance at their packed tour schedule and it’s clear this innovative five-member Portland, Oregon, band is going places. Yet it was only six years ago that band members Joe Suskind (guitar, vocals), Crystal…

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