Music & Arts

  • At Sandyfest, bands unite to help friend

    It was 1997 when Sandy Catron of Galax first went to Rainbow’s End, a health food store that would later develop into a thriving music venue called “The Other Side.”
    “They had started having drum sessions there, and people would come in and hang out, and jam together,” she remembered.

  • Diverse bands come together to celebrate life

    Edward “Conway” Tobler still has the bullet from his suicide attempt, a reminder of the self-inflicted tragedy that he survived and learned from.
    Six years later, Tobler is dedicated to the prevention of suicide and child abuse.
    On April 4, through the non-profit organization Live for Life, Tobler and several local bands hosted the first-ever “Live for Life: Don’t Hasten Death” music festival at the Grover King VFW Post #1115 in Hillsville.

  • Allen home now in historical society's hands

    HILLSVILLE — The audience for the “Thunder in the Hills” dramatic adaptation of the 1912 courthouse shootout last Saturday got to witness a new milestone in relation to a prominent participant in the incident that left five dead and seven wounded and sent two Allens to the electric chair.

  • HoustonFest is one of Stanley's last stops

    This year’s HoustonFest music festival in Galax’s Felts Park will feature two distinctive sounds from the beloved “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” film soundtrack.
    In 2001, both Ralph Stanley and The Whites were hand-selected from among bluegrass music’s finest to participate in the soundtrack and appear in the film. Both artists took home Grammy awards when the soundtrack won Album of the Year.

  • Jack Tales & Square Dances

    Visitors to Crossroads Institute were asked to put away their cell phones and iPads last Thursday and take a journey back to a time when people entertained themselves.
    Old-school entertainment was the latest discussion in the Bluegrass Gravy and River Quilts program, which is held for free each year at the Crossroads main building. This year’s series began on March 20, with a discussion about churches and gospel music history. On March 27, the group discussed the evolution of the local school systems.

  • New director will guide music center

    The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has appointed Richard Emmett as director of music programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax.
    Just a few weeks into his new position, Emmett has spent his time meeting local talent, familiarizing himself with his surroundings and learning everything he can from his predecessor, Erynn Marshall.
    Walking into his office, Emmett immediately pointed to one of his favorite perks about his new job: a window that overlooks the natural beauty found along the parkway.

  • Art school added to Crooked Road


  • Married musicians find perfect harmony

    Carl Jones and Erynn Marshall found their lives and musical careers entwined for years before they both ended up in Galax.
    At festivals and events from Canada to Georgia, they found their encounters repeating like the chorus of a song.
    The married couple is looking forward to passing down their love of music to other aspiring musicians. They will offer a series of music classes to the community through Chestnut Creek School of the Arts this year.

  • Stained Glass Masterpieces

    While some take ideas spun by their muses to a canvas or a sketchbook, artist and teacher Frank Plichta takes a cutting tool to sheets of stained glass, slicing and splicing the pieces to form mosaic masterpieces.
    In the glass-cutting studio inside Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) in Galax, an hour before his first class of the year, Plichta stayed busy filling recycled pizza boxes with supplies for his students as he talked about when he first picked up the hobby.  

  • Cana musician nominated for Grammy

    About two weeks before Christmas in 2013, bluegrass musician James King received a late night phone call from his record producer, Ken Irwin, in the middle of a shopping trip with his wife.
    When he answered, his producer asked, “What are you doing right now?”
    “Christmas shopping,” King told him.
    “Well, you need to go to the CD section and look for that Grammy you’ve been nominated for,” said Irwin.