No Thursday is complete this time of year without a stop at Hotel Floyd in the early evening to catch the offering at the weekly free concert series.

Rolled back into town tonight after a ride on the Parkway to catch a recital by 25 of Mike Mitchell’s music students — a mixture of bluegrass, contemporary and classical offerings capped by some footstomping music from “The Blackberries” — an ensemble of the young musicians that kept the crowd asking for more.

Thursday night concerts like this are part of what makes Floyd so unique — a showcase of the deep roots of musical talent that is so much a part of the area’s culture and tradition. Where else can you find a young musician playing classical mandolin or the lilting strains of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on piano interspersed with the bluegrass that defines Floyd.

After the concert, a visitor from Akron, Ohio chatted with Mitchell — noting that the free concert was “a lot more than he expected” when he checked into the hotel earlier in the day.

“This is great,” he said.

Floyd is often a lot more than many expect and the free music at venues Hotel Floyd or on the streets on a Friday night makes the point.

Floyd is lots of things — art, scenery and expanding tourism — but in the end it is the music that defines us: Always has been and — with luck — it always will be.