Walk in the footsteps of A.P. Carter: Authentic Crooked Road Tour
A.P. Carter was a collector of stories and music, and he roamed the hills and valleys of Scott County in search of the perfect sound. He found many of his soulful and haunting melodies at informal “jams” and “pickin’’’ sessions where folks would gather for the sheer enjoyment of making music.
Those informal “jams” are still held throughout Scott County, offering an intimate glimpse into the life of A.P. Carter.
Day 1: Thursday Night—Duffield Jams
Join the pickers and grinners at Thomas Village Community Center in Duffield for an informal evening of song and dance. The fun starts at 6 p.m. the first, third and fifth Thursday of each month, May thru November. While in Duffield, make sure to stop at one of our iconic eateries, the “Duffield Grille” where you can find Elvis’ favorite, “Fried Twinkie” or one of the best hamburgers in the county.
Spend the night atop Powell Mountain at Pap Paw’s Cabin or at one of the Appalachian Mountain Cabins, located near Natural Tunnel State Park.
Day 2: Friday—Allen Hicks Jams
Spend some time at Natural Tunnel State Park, which William Jennings Bryan called, “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” You can take an easy stroll on one of the park’s trails, visit the Wilderness Road Blockhouse, or participate in one of the park’s daily activities such as canorkerling, caving, kayaking or canoeing.
Have lunch at the Hob Nob in Daniel Boone and then head to Gate City for a wander around the local antique and gift shops. Save room for dessert because you want to indulge yourself with Virginia’s best cupcake at the Family Bakery, which won the 2016 Virginia Culinary Challenge for the Best Bakery in the State.
Stay in Gate City at the Estilville Bed & Breakfast or at the Sugar Maple Inn in Nickelsville, near your Friday night music stop. Grab your instrument and head to
Allen Hicks Friday Night Jams, where artists—young, old, amateur and/or professional—gather in the basement of Allen’s former workshop.
A gifted luthier, once Hicks retired from his job as a steelworker, musicians and friends started hanging around his mandolin shop. The basement of his workshop soon turned into a pick up music venue and the workshop moved to the barn. Allen Hicks Friday Night Jams is now an affiliate venue on the Crooked Road Music Trail.
Young artists are welcome and encouraged to join professional musicians on stage at Allen Hicks Jams
Concessions are available there and many folks say Allen’s wife, Janette, makes the best peach cobbler in Scott County. Teddy’s Restaurant in Nickelsville is another great spot to sample small town America soda shop fare. Fill your hankerin’ for a homemade dessert with a Hot Fudge Cake–one of the best you will ever eat. Everything is good at Teddy’s, so go in, grab a bite to eat and join the family.
Day 3: Saturday—Carter Family Fold
Saturday morning make your way to Weber City and Leonard Stallard’s Lazy Time Pickin’ Parlor between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. that morning for another informal backroom jam. On warm days, you can find musicians hanging outside on the front stoop of Leonard’s shop, which is known as a “hangout for the homeless and henpecked.”
Take some down time Saturday afternoon and check in at Boone’s Pointe Cabins at the Homeplace. You might want to rest up for your trip to the Carter Family Fold tonight in Hilton’s Virginia.
The Carter Family Fold is the true “birthplace of country music,” where the granddaughter of A.P. Carter, Rita Forrester, continues A.P.’s wish to keep the old time song alive. Every Saturday for more than 40 years now, old-time musicians have gathered to play music and also pay homage to the father of country music, A.P. Carter.
This is a family atmosphere where everyone can join in for a lively round of square dancing or try their hand at flat footin’ or clogging.
For more information or help planning your trip to Scott County, Virginia, please visit our website at www.explorescottcountyva.com or call 276-386-6521.