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The Crooked Road Sets Stage for First Ever Mountains of Music Homecoming

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Mountains of Music HomecomingAbingdon, VA -- The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, is pleased to announce the Mountains of Music Homecoming, a nine-day celebration of the communities in Southwest Virginia – their heritage music, cultural assets and outdoor amenities. This inaugural event, covering 19 counties, four cities, and over 50 communities, will be held June 12 - 20, 2015 and features Crooked Road concerts in more than 30 communities, dozens of community cultural experiences, and over 70 existing traditional music-related concerts, jam sessions and festivals.

Known internationally as a mecca of old time, bluegrass and gospel music, The Crooked Road connects the home places of some of the most cherished figures in American music – the Carter Family, the Stoneman Family, the Stanley Brothers and bluegrass pioneers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, among others – and spans across a region celebrated for its beautiful landscape, storied culture, and seminal contributions to the nation’s art and music.

The Mountains of Music Homecoming has been made possible through the generous support of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Food City, the National Endowment for the Arts, and significant sponsorships from numerous businesses and organizations in Southwest Virginia.

“The contributions made to American music by this area of Virginia are profound,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The Mountains of Music Homecoming will highlight not only those historical traditions, but also showcase just how vibrant those traditions, and the entire culture, are today.”

“The Tobacco Commission is honored to be a leading funding partner in this historic homecoming event that will highlight our regional assets,” stated Delegate Terry Kilgore, Chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Commission. “The Commission continues to focus on economic development opportunities that will diversify our part of the Commonwealth.”

Festival events will be as wide-ranging as the Southwest Virginia region they cover, including concerts at the legendary Carter Family Fold at the foot of Clinch Mountain, exhibits at the Ralph Stanley and Birthplace of Country Music museums, classes in flatfoot dance, seminars on traditional music, and long-running community jam sessions at places like the Floyd Country Store where visitors are encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in. Each evening, festivalgoers can choose from two to four Crooked Road concerts in different communities in the region.

“We have a tremendous wealth of artists and performance venues, and this event will allow visitors to experience both in a whirlwind nine-day period,” said John Kilgore, president of The Crooked Road. “For centuries, people here have come together with extraordinary handmade instruments, iconic songs and melding of voices and heart. The Mountains of Music Homecoming is a first-ever celebration that will give voice to the rich tapestry of lives and heritage that have significantly influenced music worldwide.”

Travelers seduced by the sweet sound of all that music will also discover first-rate wineries, excellent cycling opportunities, fly-fishing, hiking, theatre, world class galleries and museums, community picnics, pancake breakfasts, and a wealth of unforgettable experiences and activities to wile away the hours between the ancient tunes and encores.

As Crooked Road executive director Jack Hinshelwood put it, “This is where people have unforgettable encounters with a unique culture. Some visitors have said they felt like they found the real America along The Crooked Road, and it was because they were able to connect so easily with the people who keep this musical heritage and culture alive.”

Southwest Virginia’s musical heritage is as vital today as it was when its iconic figures blazed new pathways in American music. The Crooked Road's Mountains of Music Homecoming seeks to insure that, for current and future generations, the song remains the same.

“The variety of experiences that await a visitor to Southwest Virginia is truly incredible,” said Rita McClenny, CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “This is an area of the country with a very authentic and distinctive culture that is reflected in many things besides just the music.”

“Flower lovers go to Holland when the tulips are in bloom – traditional music lovers will be able to come to the Mountains of Music Homecoming when our music and culture are in full bloom for nine magical days," said Kilgore.

Tickets for Mountains of Music Homecoming will be available on the festival website and locally beginning in April 2015. For more information, please visit www.mtnsofmusic.com.

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