The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
The Shenandoah Valley finds its newest roots ... in Americana music


Americana Rhythm Music Magazine publisher Greg Tutwiler says that he once thought his bi-monthly magazine about traditional acoustic music would only be able to find enough content to cover the Shenandoah Valley's alternative acoustic music scene for no more than about, say, five years.

Ten years later, after having just published issue number 60, he now says that he doubts he'll ever be able to cover it all.

“Every time we interview somebody, we find an artist or we find something historical, it leads us to another piece,” he explains. “So, really, our mission over the ten years prior, and however long we get to continue, is we're telling the story of Americana from a local-regional perspective.”

Americana,” or “Roots” music is often performed with high energy by musicians whom may typically be younger in age. It's traditional American music alright, but it can come across a bit like it's on steroids.

Tutwiler classes Americana as “alternative country” music. A big umbrella, a sound that incorporates all forms of string music: Bluegrass, old-time, mountain music … even a blues and alternative jazz flavor.

Americana owes a significant portion of its roots to Virginia, and particularly here in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as farther south along the Blue Ridge Mountains and into southwestern Virginia.

Tutwiler says that a lot of the European immigrants who settled the region brought their music and culture with them. In more modern times, bluegrass pioneers like Mac Wiseman emerged here.

Wintertime in the Valley
Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia

Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none, To winter-ground thy corse.   January days may be cold, but it's always warm inside Shenandoah Valley theaters. And the solidude of Winter trail walks, the glitter of famous caverns and the outdoor excitement at area resorts all beckon, should cabin fever ever strike.

  Happening today

Art exhibition at James Madison University

Music Library, Room B59, Music Building. The little Gallery Underground Exhibition. Blues: music you feel and hear by Greg Versen. Open during Music Library hours, Feb. 1 through March 7. For more information, visit

Art exhibition at James Madison University

Duke Hall Gallery. Chris Cornelius Architectural Design/Mixed Media. Runs Jan. 11 through Feb. 19, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission.

Art exhibition at Bridgewater College

Cleo Driver Miller Art Gallery. Rivers and Roads: American Landscape, Two Perspectives by Scott Jost, associate professor of art. Runs Feb. 8 through March 5 from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Artists Talk and Reception on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m., Artist Talk at 5:50 p.m. Free admission, open to the public.

Museum Exhibition at James Madison University

Lisanby Museum, Room 1108, Festival Conference and Student Center. Coming Forth By Day: Life and Death in Ancient Egypt, Runs Feb. 1 thorugh Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free admission. For more information, visit

Virtual Visits at Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Va.

18 North Coalter St. The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library offers virtual visits, using state-of-the-art video conferencing technology. Compatible with public school program standars. Presentations may be scheduled at or directly through the museum. For more information, call 540-885-0897, extension 112, or visit

Lunchtime Lyceum program at Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, Va.

174 S. Main St. Meeting Room. Poet and publisher Mari Selby features poems from her published book ,Lightning Strikes Twice. Format for adults and homeschoolers. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit

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About Deb Booth - Different Light Studio

Deb Booth owns and operates Different Light Studio in Lyndhurst, Virginia. Her initial work involved floral photography, and has since expanded to include fractals. Her collections include scenic photographs of the Shenandoah Valley. by Deb Booth - Different Light Studio