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.

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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

Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. The Tempest. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.


Fly Fishing Workshop at Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, Va.

121 S. Main St. Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park Workshop. Learn to Fly Fish. This two hour workshop with a slide show and a map review of the Shenandoah National Park. Admission: $20 per person. For more information, visit www.murraysflyshop.com/fly-fishing-workshops.


Theater peformance at Washington and Lee University

Lenfest Center for the Arts, Johnson Theater, 100 Glasgow St. Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet. Comedy. Performances on Feb. 4, 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. For more information, call 540-458-8000 or 540-458-8000.


Young Naturalist Program at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Parkfield Learning Center. Series of five Saturday programs Jan. 9 through March 5, indoors and outdoors. Student grades 1-3 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., grades 4-6 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. except Jan. 23, when both groups attend 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eco-Inventors. Includes Young Naturalist Certificate. Preregistration required. Discounts for arboretum foundation members. Scholarships available. Admission: $25 per session, $17 for arboretum foundation members. Four or more: $20 per session, $15 for arboretum foundation members. For more information, call 540-837-1758, extension 287, or visit www.blandy.virginia.edu.


Choral music concert at James Madision University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Opera and the Silver Screen, Classy Tunes from Classy Cinema. Feb. 5 and Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Featuring graduate students from JMU Opera Theater. For more information, visit www.jmuforbescenter.com.


Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Women Beware Women. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.


Youth Workshop at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Crazy Hats. Youth in grades 5 through 8 will learn how to sew a hat and decorate it with beads, feathers, and more. Register by Feb. 1. Snow date, Feb. 7. Museum members: $15, all others: $20. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


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Virginia Military Institute Barracks in Lexington, Virginia

Jackson Arch of the Barracks at Virginia Military Institute. The VMI Barracks is a National Historic Landmark. Pictured in the foreground is a statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who taught at VMI, and four six-pounder cannon (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that were used in artillery instruction at VMI between 1851 and 1861.

About Burton R. Floyd

Burton Floyd is photographer and graphic designer in Lexington, Virginia who loves to experience and record the beauty of Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley.

...photo by Burton R. Floyd