Virginia’s Crooked Road

“You don’t mess with tradition in the green hills and hollows of Southwest Virginia,” says Jayne Clark, writer for USA Today Travel. Virginia’s Crooked Road, a 253-mile route that weaves through lush hemlock and hardwood forests, stitches together dozens of small-town venues in the region where old-time American music first took root. Read about it in Clark’s article Straight-up pickin’ on the Crooked Road.

“Bands take shape on the corner, and a street party atmosphere prevails. Inside the general store, there’s no smoking, drinking or cussing allowed, and generally, people comply, says Wood, an employee who helps maintain decorum.

Though Floyd is showing some signs of gentrification — tamarind-glazed tofu and jazz guitar at Oddfellas Cantina, a hemp clothing store, a shop-window ad for guided meditation — the Friday old time (fiddle-driven dance music) and bluegrass (the concert music born from old time) are what pack them in.

The jamboree evolved from impromptu get-togethers in an adjoining feed store and spread to the 1910 general store building where it became formalized 20-odd years ago.

‘The store is an uplifting place with this wonderful spirit,’ says current owner Woody Crenshaw. ‘There’s nothing pretentious here, and that’s what touched me — how real it is in a world that’s become so artificial.'”