Banjo on the New
Photographer: James Echerd
Location: New River, near Independence, Grayson County, Virginia
Located in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia, Grayson County has long been famous for its traditional, “old-time” music and musicians. Although the entire Appalachian region is known for its music, the region around Mount Airy, North Carolina, and Galax, Virginia, is one of the areas where this music has remained strongest, even among young people. The Old Fiddler’s Convention, one of the most prominent traditional music contests in the United States, has been held annually in Galax since 1935. Grayson County is also the home of other fiddlers’ conventions and old time and bluegrass festivals such as the Grayson County Fiddlers Convention, Fries Fiddlers Convention, and the Wayne C. Henderson Guitar Festival. The Whitetop Mountain Band, The New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Wolfe Brothers String Band, and the Konnarock Critters are among many of the best known old time bands of the area.
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