Music Row


072305music1.jpgCall it Floyd’s Music Row, the stretch of Locust Street that runs from Oddfellas on the North side to Cafe del Sol to the South. On Friday nights, Music Row fills the streets with a variety of sounds. Last night may have been a hot July evening but people filled the streets and various music venues of Floyd’s growing number of night spots.

The centerpiece, of course, is always the Friday Night Jamboree (above) where oldtimers in overalls mix on the dance floor with aging hippies and yuppies and clog to the sound of traditonal bluegrass music. Hot weather and a brief shower this past Friday night didn’t slow the enthusiasm of both regulars and newcomers.

But that’s not all. Brother Wind with Michael and Kari Kovick and Dave Fason provided smooth sounds at Cafe del Sol (right) in Sally Walker’s Friday night experiment with musicians in her eclectic coffee shop. Sally started the Friday night music programs a few weeks ago and the coffee shop is often filled as the sun goes down and Floyd’s music row becomes a nighttime carnival of people and sounds.

The music continues until 11 or later, depending on the crowd, and people often stop by after the Jamboree shuts down at 10:30 or the Oddfellas crowd drifts in. On a recent Friday night, Oddfellas owner Rob Neukirch dropped by after closing the restaurant and provided the vocals for a evening-capping rendition of “Route 66.” There a rough-cut video of that evening here. One of these days I’ll get around to editing it into a final, polished version.

072305music3.jpgOddfellas (left) has long featured music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and local bluesman Scott Perry added his accoustic sounds for diners this past Friday night. Like most musicians in the Floyd area, Perry plays for whatever is contributed to the hat at the front of the stage and the evening’s earnings depend heavily on the mood and wallets of the crowd.

Another new venue is Whiskers Roadhouse (below), a part of the Mama Lazzardos operation, and the music can be country, rock, bluegrass or alternative. Friday’s offering featured The Kind in a “no smoking” concert. In true roadhouse fashion, the no smoking concerts draw smaller crowds. People, it seems, want to light up when they down a few and listen to some hard-pounding music. Whiskers owner Rick Pancake also cooks up some mouth-watering barbeque outside before the music starts. Or diners can enjoy Mama Lazzardo’s pizza and Italian fare.

Those who don’t venture into Floyd on a Friday night miss good music, good food and a unique experience. Good music is a tradition in the area and it isn’t limited to bluegrass. Blues, Irish, folk, rock, Cajun and more can be found in the town’s music venues. Which is why Floyd is part of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Music Trail.

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