The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail (TCR) music series at Heartwood in Abingdon showcases communities of the region through their traditional music venues and their youth music. At 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 26, The Fiddle and the Plow from Woodlawn, Virginia will be the featured Venue Showcase at Heartwood. The Fiddle & the Plow is hosted by Willard Gayheart and Scott Freeman, both accomplished and very talented musicians in their own right. In one of the most intimate settings along The Crooked Road, visitors to The Fiddle and the Plow gather every Friday evening in the showroom of Willard’s Front Porch Gallery & Frame Shop to hear some of the best traditional old time and bluegrass music anywhere. “I think the talents of Willard and Scott as host musicians helps attract other great music to the shop. Willard and Scott both write and play great music, and other musicians are drawn to that,” says Jack Hinshelwood, Executive Director of The Crooked Road. “And you couldn’t find more gracious hosts than Willard and Scott.”
Willard Gayheart is also a renowned pencil artist who is acclaimed for his real life portrayals of Appalachian life and culture. His art is filled with themes drawn from his own Appalachian roots, particularly the music, family and work of people in the region. He has provided art for the annual Merlefest gathering, the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, and his work hangs in multiple restaurants and galleries throughout the region and country. A display of Willard’s work will be set up in Heartwood for the evening.
Scott Freeman is a multi-instrumentalist, with great chops on mandolin, fiddle, guitar and other instruments as well. Scott has been a much sought after teacher of traditional music for many years and has taught at Merlefest, the Blue Ridge Music Center and for Junior Appalachian Musicians. Scott has also played and recorded with some fine bands including Skeeter and the Skidmarks, Alternate Roots, and he recently teamed up with guitarist Johnny Williams for the ensemble of Freeman and Williams.
“With the Venue Showcase music series, we have arranged for The Fiddle and the Plow to literally pick up and come do their thing at Heartwood. The idea is to give audience members at Heartwood a taste of what they can experience if they go to Woodlawn to see the real thing,” says Hinshelwood. “Willard and Scott are great examples of musicians who are true ambassadors for the music of The Crooked Road region.”
A complete schedule for the music series is available on The Crooked Road website at www.thecrookedroad.org. The Crooked Road supports tourism and economic development in Southwest Virginia by celebrating and preserving this Appalachian region’s unique musical and cultural heritage.
Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located off I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, Virginia and features food, music and craft of Southwest Virginia. Admission is free but donations will be accepted for the series performances.