The Crooked Road celebrates the traditional music of the communities of Southwest Virginia. Many of those communities have regular gatherings of musicians for jam sessions or concerts and each gathering is different from the next. These regional gatherings are presented at Heartwood in Abingdon by The Crooked Road as part of their Venue Showcase series.
The next Venue Showcase will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 and will feature two jams that are affiliate venues of The Crooked Road: Willis Gap Community Center Jam and Lambsburg Community Center Jam.
“As part of this music series, we have arranged for these amazing gatherings to literally pick up and come do their thing at Heartwood,” said Jack Hinshelwood, executive director of The Crooked Road. “The idea is to introduce these jams to new audiences at Heartwood and give the audience members a taste of what they can experience if they go see them in their home location.
“As sometimes happens, these jams grow from modest beginnings,” Hinshelwood said. “The Willis Gap Jam started back around 1995 when friends of Nellie and Otto Hiatt would gather for music in their home. To accommodate all of the folks that wanted to hear and play the music, it was moved to the Willis Gap Community Center but it still retains that ‘welcome to our home’ atmosphere.”
The Willis Gap Community Center Jam is held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. in Ararat. Willis Gap Community Center Jam was featured in the October 2011 issue of Smithsonian Magazine which noted that “some of the older musicians had been born into a world straight out of a country song, where horses still plowed steep hillsides, and mothers scalded dandelion greens for dinner.”
Otto Hiatt serves as emcee for the jam which is open to all comers. Visitors are treated to old time, bluegrass, gospel, and early country favorites.
Known as the happening place for Southern Carroll County and located at the foot of the awesome Sugarloaf Mountain, the Lambsburg Community Center provides a place for people to enjoy life through a variety of activities. One of those activities is the LCC Jam.
The Lambsburg Community Center Jam was organized in September of 2007 and has been running every Friday night since. Each jam session includes old time and bluegrass musicians from all over to make the center a great venue for good clean fun and relaxation every Friday night beginning at 7 p.m.
“This jam and the community center are wonderful assets for the Lambsburg area,” said Hinshelwood. “This is one of those places where even on your first visit you feel a part of the community because people go out of their way to make you welcome.”
Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located off I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon and features food, music, and crafts of Southwest Virginia. Admission to the concert is free and donations will be accepted for Crooked Road Traditional Music Education Program (TMEP).
For more information on The Crooked Road Music Series call (276) 492-2409 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.