Back in 2014 during our two week trip to West Virginia in a rented RV we attended the Vandalia Gathering, (click link for blog post). We had a great time and really enjoyed the impromptu jam sessions as we walked around the festival. In 2015 a blogger we follow, Roads Less Traveled, posted about a music experience at a small country store in Floyd Virginia. It sounded like a lot of fun, so It went on to our bucket list.
Since we’re traveling the Blue Ridge Mountains through Virginia, our stop in Fancy Gap (pop.237) is only an hour away from Floyd, so we decided to go have lunch at The Floyd Country Store and stay for the Sunday Music Jam.
The local musicians all sit in a circle facing each other with seats behind for folks who were there just to watch. We lucked out and had a table close by where we had lunch and a great view of the jam session. Surprisingly, no one had sheet music, the fiddle player would announce the song they would play and once he started, everyone jumped in and didn’t miss a beat.
Here’s a short video of one of their songs
There were also some young ladies who jumped into the middle of the ring and danced to the music.
The food was good, and the jam session was great. I’m really glad the weather cooperated and we were able to check out the local culture.
On our way back to Fancy Gap we pulled off the road just outside of town to check out the J. Sidna Allen House, a local county historical preservation site.
The house was built in 1911 at a cost of $13,000 and at the time was said to be the most beautiful house in Southwest Virginia. The house was built with the best materials from the area and had a windmill and acetylene generator which provided them power for the lights. J. Sidna and his wife only lived in the house for a year because of the Hillsville courthouse tragedy occurred. Here’s a link to a newspaper article about the chain of events that made this house famous. It’s one of those historical events you only find out about when driving around the back roads of this country.
We had a good time being a tourist today, but the weather has turned cold with lows during the night in the high 20’s, low 30’s, and the high during the days not passing the high 40’s. It’s time to continue south to Florida to warmer weather, shorts and sandals. Our next stop will be Lexington, South Carolina, where today’s temperature is balmy 70 degrees.