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Jay DixonClinch Mountain Music Fest is gearing up for its 14thannual celebration of mountain music in Scott County, Virginia on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.  Established by Jay and Carol Dixon and the Southwest Virginia Community Foundation as a means of preserving and perpetuating the heritage of the Appalachian region through its’ music, the festival was created as a means of showcasing the culture and natural beauty of our region.  A native Scott Countian, Jay genuinely wanted to bring attention and attract new visitors to the unique place where he grew up and loved.  Clinch Mountain Music Fest will be held entirely at the Carter Family Fold.  Although the music starts early, crafts and outside vendors won’t be part of this year’s festival.  Admission to the festival is $12 for adults, $3 for children 6-11, and under 6 free. Doors at the Carter Fold open at 4 p.m., and the shows kick off at 5 p.m.  The Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin will be open from 4 to 5 p.m.

This year’s festival is once again dedicated to Jay Dixon who chaired the festival for five years and passed away in January of 2012.  Having grown up in Nickelsville near Bush’s Mill, Jay left the area to further his education and pursue his career.  We’re delighted that one of our main sponsors – RACE 1 – the Regional Adult & Career Education Program – is closely linked to Jay and the beginning of his successful career.  Jay was himself a GED recipient.  He went on to receive multiple degrees, write textbooks for West Point, and serve as a consultant to the U.S. Military.  Passing up a chance to be the Under Secretary of Defense, he chose instead to come back to his native Scott County, establish the Southwest Virginia Community Foundation and Clinch Mountain Music Fest, and to take on the monumental task of refurbishing Bush’s Mill.  The SW Virginia Community Foundation continues to flourish under the guidance of Jay’s wife, Carol.  After his death, she completed the work he had begun on Bush’s Mill.  Jay was, in fact, born near Bush’s Mill and remembered seeing the mill operate as a child.  As Jay requested, Clinch Mountain Music Fest was entrusted to the Carter Fold. Five groups will be featured –Ronnie Williams and Lorrie Carter Bennett, Mountain Park Old Time Band, Southern Pride with Leon Frost, Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny, and the Spencer’s family band – the Whitetop Mountain Band.  Ronnie & Lorrie will feature Carter Family music, and the bands are all old time musicians who will highlight mountain music.

Lorrie Carter Bennett & Ronnie Williams  When Mother Maybelle Carter began to tour with her three daughters in the 1940s, listeners everywhere fell in love with the beautiful singing of Anita Carter, whom many consider to be the greatest voice in the history of country music.  She shared the stage and recorded true country masterpieces with several music legends, including Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Snow.  And though Anita passed away in 1999, her daughter Lorrie Carter Bennett, carries on the Carter tradition with a voice that is every bit as heartbreakingly stunning as that of Anita herself.  Born with county music in her blood, Lorrie was touring with the Carter Sisters by age 14 and later with Johnny Cash.  Johnny made sure to tell the masses how Lorrie’s Lorrie Carter Bennettvoice was every bit as breathtaking as her mother’s.

Ronnie has been playing since 1975.  One of his best memories is playing for Sara and Maybelle at the Fold in 1976.  He played Gold Watch and Chain and Black Mountain Rag for “Mommy and Maybelle” at Janette’s request.  He plays a Gibson guitar much like Maybelle’s, and he also plays autoharp and sings beautifully.  He’s been a friend of the Carter Family for years – covering three generations.  He often visited various members of the family – a tradition he continues to this day.  A great cook, Ronnie often helps out in the Fold’s and the Carter Family’s kitchens.  You won’t find anyone who knows more about the Carter Family and their music or anyone who plays it with more reverence than Ronnie Williams does.

Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed more than ten years ago as a group of friends who happened to enjoy old time music got together to have a good time.  The group has five members, all of whom are very versatile and talented musicians. Johnny Gentry plays guitar, dobro, and fiddle as well as doing vocals for the band.  His wife Nancy drives the rhythm with her excellent bass playing.  She and Johnny both teach music, and Johnny also makes beautiful banjos.  Roger Stamper handles the fiddling for the group and he plays guitar and bass as well. C. T. Janney plays the washboard – an “instrument” rarely played today.  C.T. also cuts a mean rug when he dances.  Dr. Mark Handy plays banjo and does vocals – he’s also a champion clogger. When he’s not playing old time music, Dr. Handy practices medicine in Abingdon, Virginia, and helps to run his family’s farm.

Southern Pride will be making their debut performance at the Fold for Clinch Mountain Music Fest.  Started by James and Joey Burris in the 1980s, the band has performed at the Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention many times.  As old timey as it gets, Southern Pride delivers old time music just the way audiences at the Fold like their music – no frills with a some slow dance tunes, a little bit of gospel, and lots of fast-paced, fun fiddle tunes. Lending his instrumental and vocal talent to the group will be long time Fold friend, Leon Frost.  The group placed high on a  long list of bands competing in old time at 2018’s Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention.

Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenannyis a seven-piece, old-time string band from Rover, Tennessee, with musical influences by the Carter Family, Gid Tanner, Uncle Dave Macon, the Coon Creek Girls and many other old-time bands from year’s past.  Band members emanate from the Williams and Derryberry families. Uncle Shuffelo (Keith Williams) plays banjo. Austin Derryberry plays fiddle, banjo, ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. Brian Derryberry plays upright bass. Conner Derryberry plays the banjo, bones and spoons. Emma Jean Williams plays autoharp and jug. Megan Williams plays washboard and kazoo. Courtney Derryberry plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and tuba.  The Hootenanny plays old-time hillbilly music for the soul.  In addition to being one of the finest bands performing at the Fold, they’re some of the nicest country folks you will ever meet.

Whitetop Mountain Band, from the highest mountains of Virginia, is a family-based band.  Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and the band has deep roots in the music of the mountains.  Whitetop’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.  Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old time ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some amazing flat foot dancing.  Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Fold  since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.  The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by the Spencer family and their friends.  Emily Spencer is featured on banjo and vocals, her daughter Martha Spencer is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer.  Emily’s son, Kilby Spencer, will be doing lots of fiddling.   Debbie Bramer plays bass in the band and dances.  Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and also adds his vocal talent to the group.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic mountain music. The center is a family-friendly, drug and alcohol free venue.  In addition to the performance area, we maintain Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin.  Both the cabin and the museum are historic landmarks .  For more information on the center, go to our site on the internet – www.carterfamilyfold.org/.  Partial program funding for programs is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts andthe National Endowment for the Arts.  Marketing and technical assistance are provided by Virginia Tourism Corporation.  To access recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. We can be found on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.  To speak to a Fold volunteer staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.  The Center is only open Saturday nights, and we are run by volunteer staff.

Cyclists will be delighted by Scott County’s scenic roads and trails.

Clinch RiverThe Dungannon and Clinch River Scenic Road Tour winds for 24 miles along country roads in the heart of Scott County. This beautiful route passes historical buildings and cemeteries, the world-famous Clinch River, a stunning waterfall and two charming small towns.

The Guest River Gorge Trail is one of the area’s easiest and most scenic hiking and biking trails and is the best way to explore a State Scenic River by bike. Cyclists will be enthralled by gorge geology, trestle-top views of the river, rare plants and river wildlife.

Another popular and relatively flat bike ride is along the A.P. Carter Highway. Here you can ride through Scott County’s scenic valley without all the twist, turns and inclines on the Clinch River Highway.  Start at the Hiltons Train Depot and ride all the way past the world-famous Carter Family to Mendota, Virginia.  There you can hook up with the Mendota Bicycle Trail.

You will travel through lovely countryside that parallels the Holston River for several miles.  Feel free to venture forth on one of the side roads, such as Lunsford Mill Road and circle around to Anne B. Cooper.  Along with the Carter Fold, you will see the picturesque Lodge at Crooked River, standing high on a hill overlooking the Holston River. The Lodge is available for wedding and event rentals and features an Crooked River Lodgeoutdoor wedding chapel on the banks of the Holston Rive

For many years, the Yuma community was home to the Tour De Possum Creek, a popular bike race, held in conjunction with Kingsport, Tennessee’s annual Fun Fest celebration.  Even though the event was abandoned, bike enthusiasts can still follow the 43-mile course, featuring a 2,600 feet climb.  A second option included a rolling, beautiful shorter ride of 22 miles plus a six-mile fun ride.  For the family or pro, this is a great ride through the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

http://www.mapmyride.com/us/gate-city-va/tour-de-possum-creek-ridge-race-route-2914741

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Natural Tunnel State Park has an eight-mile, single-track mountain bike path.  Another great mountain bike ride is a nine-mile ride along Waters Edge, which parallels the Clinch River.  This gravel road will take you along the Clinch River to the Tennessee State line.  When the water is right, you will spot several naturally-occurring waterfalls along this path and even a swinging bridge.  It is also a favorite trek for horseback enthusiasts.

For additional bike riding suggestions, contact the Scott County Tourism Department at 276-386-6521.  New trails are being added with the help of the Spearhead Trails Initiative.

 

Bush Mill in Nickelsville, Virginia

Tiger 1BWith outdoor recreation, music, history and our own zoo, Scott County, Virginia is a great location for a family vacation.

The cabins at Natural Tunnel State Park or Appalachian Mountain Cabins make a great home base for your family fun.  During the summer, Natural Tunnel offers daily activities suitable for the entire family.  Take a kayak or canoe trip down the Clinch River, one of the world’s most bio-diverse river systems.  Better yet, grab a spot for canorkeling where you can view the river’s large variety of freshwater mussels.  Caving, guided hikes to the Devil’s Bathtub, sunset hayrides and many more family friendly activities are offered at the park.

One of the area’s top attractions, Creation Kingdom Zoo is a breeding facility for rare and endangered species.  Creation Kingdom provides visitors with the opportunity to see rare animals up close and personal. Owned and operated by Marc and Elaine Bradley, the zoo is totally self-funded and participates in the Species Survival Programs (SSP).  The zoo prides itself in a more natural landscape for the animals and visitors alike to enjoy!  If you visit around Halloween, don’t miss Creation Kingdom Zoo’s “Boo at the Zoo” event where your little ghosts and goblins can trick or treat around the animal exhibits at night!

Pack the family into the car and retrace famed frontiersman Daniel Boone’s historic trek on the Wilderness Road.  Make sure to visit the John Anderson Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel and learn how the pioneers used this facility to defend themselves from Indians.

With caches placed throughout the county, this is also a great time to do some family geocaching.  Bush Mill, an over-shot, water-powered grist mill, and Kilgore Fort,New Bush Mill

one of the oldest forts still standing in Southwest Virginia, can be visited by special arrangement.

Immerse your family in the rich musical history of Scott County!  The entire family will enjoy Allen Hicks’ informal Friday Night Jams in Nickelsville.  Musicians, young and old, both professional and amateur, take the stage every Friday night for some laid back pickin’.  Saturday night head over to Hiltons for a visit to the world-famous Carter Family Fold.  Every Saturday night, the Fold celebrates the life of A.P. Carter and his contribution as the “father” of traditional old-time music.  Bands take the stage at 7:30 with some foot stompin’ music and visitors are encouraged to join the regulars in flat footin’ or clogging.

There are plenty of local family-owned restaurants, plus the typical chain varieties.  When visiting Scott County, however, there are several must-stop eateries—The Family Bakery, voted “Best Bakery” during the  Virginia Culinary  Challenge; Pal’s Sudden Service, a local franchise that is the only restaurant to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; Smoke ‘n Big Barbecue, Campus Drive-in and Molcajetes Mexican Grill in Gate City; Teddy’s In Nickelsville; the Hob Nob in Daniel Boone; the Duffield Grille in Duffield;  and Front Porch Store & Deli in Fort Blackmore,  where fried white fish is served daily.

For more information or help planning your trip to Scott County, Virginia, call 276-386-6521.

Events

Carson Peters and Iron Mountain Band

Established in 1979, the Carter Fold’s objective is to promote old-time music and pay tribute to the Original Carter Family–A.P. Carter, Sara Carter and Maybelle Carter.  The Saturday concerts highlight the musical style made popular by the Carter Family, considered by many as country music’s first family.

Shows are held each Saturday Night, with shows beginning at 7:30 p.m.  The Museum and Cabin open at 6 p.m. on Saturdays.  Tickets are available at the door the evening of the shows. Advance tickets are not available unless noted in the schedule.  For recorded and up-to-date program information, call 276-386-6054.  To speak to a fold volunteer, call 276-594-0676.

Admission is $10 for adults; $2 for children six to 11; and children under six are admitted free.

The Fold is located at 3449 A.P. Carter Highway, Hiltons, Virginia