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Crooked Road festival spotlights young talent

Staff Report • May 10, 2013 at 8:05 AM

The Crooked Road region is well known for its musical history, but the future looks just as bright.

Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder, the New Spring Valley Boys and the Loose Strings Band are just a few of the region’s outstanding young artists slated to perform at the second annual Crooked Road Youth Music Festival, happening Saturday, May 11 at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon, Va.

A total of 15 up-and-coming young bands will perform on two stages from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and younger.

“The level of musicianship among the youth in this region is amazing, and this festival is a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of that talent.” said Jonathan Romeo, program manager for The Crooked Road’s Traditional Music Education Program.

The festival will also highlight groups representing area traditional music programs such as the Mountain Music School String Band, Honaker FFA Bluegrass Band, the WiseJAMS String Band and the Virginia Highlands Community College Old Time String Band. Additional performers include Tyler Hughes, Cathrine Conner and Friends, Raisin’ Cain, the Yates Family Band, Travis Starkey and Cheryl Lunsford, the Butcher Family, Valley Grass and Kitty Amaral.

A beginner Contra Dance Workshop with caller Phoebe Williams from Blacksburg, Va., will take place from 6 to 7 p.m., with music by the New Spring Valley Boys.

“With youth artists you are often finding out about talented performers you didn’t even know about,” said Jack Hinshelwood, The Crooked Road’s executive director. “That’s what makes it especially exciting. Sometimes they are learning so fast that ones who don’t attract much attention one year are dropping jaws the next year.”

The Crooked Road Youth Music Festival is sponsored by Heartwood, the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dominion, Guest Services Inc., Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, the D’Addario Foundation, the Wayne C. Henderson Scholarship Program, Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located off I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, and features the food, music and crafts of Southwest Virginia.

For more information, call (276) 492-2409 or email info@thecrookedroad.org.

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