Music & Arts

  • Sticking with the Good Stuff

    By D.T. CLARK

    MOUTH OF WILSON — Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, the leading publication for bluegrass musicians and aficionados for more than 50 years, has released its list of top bluegrass songs and CDs for January 2016, and a song by Big Country Bluegrass is number one, while the CD on which it appears is number three.
    “The Bluefield West Virginia Blues” rose from the number three slot to number one for the January listing. The tune has been on the chart for seven months.

  • Light and Dark

    Catherine Gural was pleasantly surprised to find a community of like-minded artists after her move to Independence last year. An artist with a passion in several media, including figure drawing, printmaking and abstract painting, she found a new source of inspiration through Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) in Galax.

  • Spouses play music at 1908 Courthouse concert


    INDEPENDENCE – A concert in Independence will feature husband and wife musical acts, making for a very fitting Valentine’s date.
    On Feb. 13, the Baldwin Auditorium at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence will be the host for seven husband and wife teams for an evening of music.

  • Community through quilting

    By D.T. CLARK

    There’s an old saying that goes, “one good thing leads to another.” That seems to be the case as a group of people meets at the library in Independence to teach each other new skills, build a sense of community and help raise funds to support the work of the public library.

  • Alleghany Fiddler winners announced

    The Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention, held July 17-18 in Sparta, N.C., had 230 contestants in junior and senior individual categories and 35 bands. The event is hosted by the Sparta-Alleghany Volunteer Fire Department every year on the third weekend in July at the Alleghany Fairgrounds.

    Old time band
    1st place - Slate Mountain Ramblers, Mount Airy, N.C.
    2nd place - Blue Ridge Mountain Ramblers, Sparta, N.C.
    3rd place - Correll’s Bait and Tackle, Elk Creek
    4th place - New River Renegades, Mouth of Wilson

  • Saxophone group to close Independence concert series

    INDEPENDENCE -- With wonderful spring weather blooming everywhere in Grayson County, you might have thought everything winter-related was long gone. Not so on the local music scene – there’s still one concert left in the Historic 1908 Courthouse’s “winter” concert series. A performance featuring New Traditions Saxophone Quartet was originally set for February, but was canceled due to snowy conditions. It is now set for 3 p.m. this Sunday, May 10.

  • Independence site of 10-band heavy metal concert

    INDEPENDENCE -- While the Grayson County area regularly receives recognition for its bluegrass and country music, heavy metal rock has a Grayson following also worth noting. That’s according to Dennis Warren, founder of the Grayson County-based band Cult of Dionysis, one of 10 metal bands from across the southeast set to star this week in a two-night Independence concert. The Leprechaun Bash Metal Festival is this Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, at VFW Post 7726’s meeting hall and is being billed as the first two-night heavy metal festival ever in Southwest Virginia.

  • Independence Lions Club announces Bland Music Contest

    INDEPENDENCE -- The Independence Lion Club’s annual Bland Music Contest is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Independence First United Methodist Church.

    All home-study, elementary, middle and high school students may participate and gain experience in performing before an audience and having talents judged by professionals.

    Local music teachers cooperate by encouraging their students to take part in this activity.

  • Historic 1908 Courthouse hosting piano concert 3 p.m. Jan. 25

    INDEPENDENCE -- The Historic 1908 Courthouse’s first winter concert of 2015 is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25. As always, admission is free -- though donations are gratefully accepted -- and everyone is cordially invited to enjoy a post-concert reception with the musicians.

    This first of four concerts features University of North Carolina School of the Arts Students of the Classical Piano.  (Upcoming concerts include, The Brilliant Flute, Feb. 1; New Traditions Saxophone Quartet, Feb. 22; and The Classical Guitar, March 29.)

  • Farmers Market hosts fiber artists

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Farmers Market offers fiber crafts monthly on the third Friday during May-October.

    Members of the Blue Ridge Fiber Guild and other fiber artisans attend and offer demonstrations, classes and products for sale.

    Learning With Libby is the business established by Libby Kahn, a retired teacher who has become an accomplished felt artist. She is at a market booth every Friday to demonstrate wool felting and offer the opportunity to make a small felt sample.