The music and stories of a banjo master

Sammy Shelor: Playing his music...
Sammy Shelor: Playing his music…
...and telling his stories
…and telling his stories

For 90 minutes or so Thursday at The Floyd Country Store, bluegrass banjo picker Sammy Shelor of Meadows of Dan poured out music selections and stories around his music and his life as part of the Crooked Road Mountain Music Homecoming week in Southwestern Virginia.

Shelor told about how he met and played with musical legends and celebrities, talked about how his grandfathers — one who played a banjo and another who loved them — encouraged him and put a handmade instrument in his hands and then bought his first one.

He told of the life of a musician on the road and a life where one lives from payday to payday, a style of living that is different from the perception of others who see instant wealth in the business.

And he played his music, along with Jesse Smathers, a guitar picker who played with Nothin’ Fancy for the last 15 months but who is joining the Lonesome River Band with Shelor after a concert Thursday night at the Country Store.

It was a time to listen to his music and his stories and enjoy the legacy of old-time music and bluegrass that helps define life in Southwestern Virginia and provides so much legacy.

Shelor and Jesse Smathers on stage at The Floyd Country Store
Shelor and Jesse Smathers on stage at The Floyd Country Store

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