Music & Arts

  • 'Show for Joe' features all-star band

    An all-star lineup of traditional music greats performed Sept. 2 at the Joe Wilson Memorial Festival at the Blue Ridge Music Center, including a “supergroup” consisting of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and The Whites.

    All shared stories of Wilson, a longtime music promoter and historian who lived in Fries after his retirement, and how he worked to preserve American roots music.

    “Joe’s heart and soul is in this place,” said Skaggs.

  • First-time festival brings musical mix to Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — Music lovers were entertained during Labor Day weekend in Hillsville at the first-ever Hillfest music festival.

    Created by Brian and Laura Beth Parnell with Parnell Productions, the event featured such bands as The Church Sisters, The Hackensaw Boys and Annabelle’s Curse.

    A variety of local, regional and nationally known musicians took to the three stages during the three day festival, which featured camping, arts vendors, crafts, food, children’s activities and hot air balloon rides

  • Wilson responsible for mountain music revival

    A legendary promoter and preserver of Americana music, the late Joe Wilson will be remembered again at this year’s Joe Wilson Memorial Festival at the Blue Ridge Music Center.

    Wilson — who lived in Fries in his later years, until his death last year — touched the lives of many performers, and some are playing at the festival to honor his memory. Among them is dobro player Jerry Douglas.

  • Festival will bring Hillsville alive with sound of music

    HILLSVILLE – A new music festival is coming to town, giving residents and tourists another option for their Labor Day weekend celebrations.

    With the annual flea market taking place along West Stuart Drive, South Main Street will be abuzz with music, food and vendors of a different type inviting attendants to “shake off the fleas.”

  • Fulton rediscovers love of music

    FRIES — Rickey Fulton, a local songwriter from Fries, says that music was a tradition in his family that he continues to celebrate today.

    Over the years, he has found a deep appreciation for the values of gospel, bluegrass and country music, and gives credit to God for his ability to create new songs for the community to enjoy.

  • Edwards plans to take dance conservatory to next stage

    Staff Report

    At the school where she trained to dance as a youth, Taylor Edwards is returning to Galax to serve as director of dance education at The Conservatory of Dance and Theatre.

    Edwards, who completed her training with the Galax Youth Ballet and The Conservatory of Dance and Theatre in 2010, will be expanding the recreation dance program; offering dance classes such as jazz, tap and modern; and also adding additional classes to the preschool and elementary age programs.

  • 81st Annual Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention Winners

    Winners of the 81st Annual Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention, held Aug. 8-13 in Felts Park, include:


    Ivy Phillips - Chapmansboro, Tenn.


    1. Jake Krack - Marlington, W.Va.

    2. Richard Bowman - Mount Airy, N.C.

    3. Billy Hurt - Boones Mill

    4. Eddie Bond - Fries

    5. Nathan Leath - Taylorsville, N.C.

    6. Henry Barnes - Columbus, Ohio

    7. Andrew Small - Elizabeth City, N.C.

  • Sprung Was Here

    To listen to Roger Sprung talk is to be lifted on a flowing, apparently ceaseless narrative of anecdotes, observations and jokes told in asides, all delivered with a deadpan New York accent straight from Henny Youngman’s nightclub act.

    To see the letters hanging from the tent next to his trailer (“SPRUNG IS HERE”) in Felts Park near the yellow tent is to know you’re in the right place and indeed the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention has truly commenced.

  • Park transforms into Music City

    As dawn broke last Sunday, the city wasn’t there.

    By mid-afternoon, it had appeared again, seemingly risen out of the grassy field — a bustling musical metropolis peopled by thousands of pickers, players and fans that materializes for seven days each August and then dissipates the following Sunday morning.

    The photos in Pat Jarrett’s “7 Days in Galax” exhibit take the viewer into this “city,” the Felts Park campground of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

  • At age 92, Frye recalls attending first fiddlers' convention

    Sitting in Felts Park at the First Baptist Church’s Good Samaritan tent (offering free nonalcoholic beverages for the weary, thirsty and just plain broke) at the 81st Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention is Imogene Frye, 92, a Galax native who can make a boast few can match: she attended and remembers the first-ever fiddlers’ convention.