Documenting the musical heritage of our county and area

One of more than 20 videos shot at FloydFest over the years.

When wife Amy and I came to a decision to move fromm the National Capital Region of Washington after 23 years there after working as photojournalist and — for a while — a political operative, I made the decision to use the time to try an document — in photos and video — the music culture of Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia.

Taking care of my mother in her declining years took priority, of course, but my hope was to use time available in retirement to use the tools of what had been my trade to build an archive of music.

Since 2004, when we settlted into our home five miles from the town of Floyd, I have shots, literally, more than 100,o00 images of The Friday Niight Jamboree, FloydFest, the Galax Fiddler Convention other musical events along the Crooked Road from Floyd to Bristol.

The images and video include the street music that defines music in Floyd during the Spring and Summer month and evetnts that have faded away, like the Saturday night concetts at the Oak Grove Pavilion behind the the church and what were once free concerts in front of the Courthouse.

More than 17 terabytes of video are stored on hard drives and backed up offline.

One of more than 200 videos shot at the Jamboree over the last 19 years.

I covered FloydFest for the Floyd Press for the first 15 years of its existencel and the photos can be found on this website in the photography and video categories.

My mother died in 2012 and I tried to follow her two months later in a motorcycle encounter with a cow on a dark night coming home after photographing a football playoff game near Staunton and the year-long recovery slowed down the coverage of music events.

Likewise, a serious blood, tissue and bone infection took me down earlier this year and I haven;’t show a single photo of music or a a frame of video for months. It’s time to end that.

The beauty and music of Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band at FloydFest.

Laterr today, I hope to film some of the old time and Bluegrass james at the Floyd Country Store today and start to shooting more music at the Jamboree and other areas in the coming weeks and months.

This project is not a moneymaker or a job. It’s a love of what I like to do. I’m working to select a spot to house the archive after we have departed this earth. At age 75, I limp from too many injuries over a reckless life and am looking at the final chapter of life of many mistakes and, hope, some accomplishments and contributions to life.

I also hope to continue photographing the athletic activities at Floyd County High School as long as I can physically do so. Hopefully, there is enough time.

Fiddler and band leader Clyde Willams: A mainstay of the Friday Night Jamboree

Having fun at the Friday night Jamboree
Janet Turner and Bernie Coveney at the Oak Grove Pavilion
Sunset as a fan dances at FloydFest..

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse