The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming on Monday will welcome to the Reynolds Homestead the best all-around performers from the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.
Originating in 1935, the fiddlers’ convention was started as a way to raise funds for the Galax Moose Lodge No. 733, which has hosted the convention each August since.
Each year an individual is distinguished with the very highest honor — “Best All-Around Performer” — of the Old Fiddler’s Convention. The Homecoming will bring together this group of these best all-around performers for a special concert.
In addition to individual performances, these artists will join together to perform as an all-star band.
The award-winning lineup of traditional musicians includes Richard Bowman, Nate Leath and Aila Wildman on fiddles; Victor Furtado on banjo; Wayne Henderson on guitar; Eli Wildman on mandolin; John Hollandsworth on autoharp; and Martha Spencer on bass.
Aila Wildman of Floyd was distinguished as Best All-Around Performer at the 83rd annual Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention in 2018. She was also distinguished with the title of “Best Old Time Fiddler.”
“The Mountains of Music Homecoming creates excitement in Southwest Virginia every year as we anticipate the powerful music and community gatherings that showcase our unique region,” said Larry Yates, Crooked Road’s president.
The Crooked Road is a 330-mile driving route through the scenic mountains of Southwest Virginia that connects nine major heritage music venues and over 50 traditional music jams, festivals and concerts.
“Our music has often been called mountain music, and nowhere is that more evident than in Southwest Virginia,” Yates said, in reference to Virginia’s breathtaking landscape. “But music isn’t the only thing The Crooked Road area has to offer.”
A hot dog dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., and there will be a presentation on the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention by Oscar Hall at 6:30 p.m.
Hall has worked and managed the Old Fiddler’s Convention for the Galax Moose Lodge for more than 50 years, and he will be joined by the musicians for a retrospective discussion about the convention.
Historic convention photos will be on display, in addition to an exhibition of convention-related artwork by the esteemed pencil artist and musician Willard Gayheart.
“This year’s Homecoming theme, ‘Let the Music Move You,’” Yates said, “showcases many types of traditional dancing. Traditional dancing has been kept alive by many people who love to flatfoot, clog, square dance and other styles of dancing at family gatherings, schools, competitions and events just like the Mountains of Music Homecoming.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention “Best All-Around Performers” concert
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday
WHERE: Reynolds Homestead, 463 Homestead Lane, Critz
TICKETS: $20 for adults at the door, children 12 and under, $10