Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mabry Mill: Most Photographed Spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I stumbled upon this lovely article by Rose, she's from Colorado, now they have mountains, but she chose to see our. You should visit too, and stay at Mountain Song Inn, we are only 15 miles off the parkway. Thanks Rose, come back soon.


Blue Ridge Parkway: Mabry Mill site depicts the region's cultural heritage.


Mabry Mill served as a gristmill and sawmill in the early 1900s.
Photo: David Muenker
Sparkling water tumbles over the wooden paddles on theMabry Mill waterwheel, and then spills into a pond. Ducks glide across the water. Beyond, musicians play toe-tapping Appalachian music under the shade of tall pines. This inviting historic setting on the Blue Ridge Parkway in southwest Virginia attracts both travelers from distant places and locals from neighboring villages.
On weekends, the site bustles with activity as park staff and volunteers demonstrate many of the tasks typical on a 19th-century homestead. In a log cabin, women attired in period clothing spin wool and weave yarn into a bedspread on a 150-year-old wooden loom. As visitors run their fingers across fabric samples, they feel the difference between wool and linsey-woolsey, which is made of flax linen and wool. On October blueweekends, volunteers cook apple butter over the open fire.
At the gristmill, bins show samples of corn ground to various grades of fineness for grits and corn meal. Known to their friends as Ed and Lizzy, Edwin B. Mabry and his wife Mintoria built the mill in 1910. They ground corn for their neighbors for nearly 30 years. Their property also boasted a blacksmith shop, sawmill, wheelwright shop and a two-story frame house.
While volunteers describe how the gristmill operates, they reveal the origin of some common sayings. For example, the amount of space between the grindstones was critical for product quality. If the stones were too close together, they would create friction that would burn the corn. To make sure that didn’t happen, the miller would put his “nose to the grindstone” to check for the smell of smoke.
The Mabry Mill site also has a restaurant and gift shop where visitors can sample ciders and enjoy a meal before continuing their journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
How to Get to Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Denver, Colorado
To start at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Interstate 70 east to St. Louis, take Interstate 64 east to Waynesboro, VA, and continue east 3 miles to the parkway entrance. Drive south on the parkway to milepost 176 to access Mabry Mill.
To start at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Interstate 70 east to St. Louis, Interstate 64 east to Lexington, KY, Interstate 75 south to Knoxville, TN, Interstate 40 east to Kodak, TN, and Tennessee State Hwy. 60 to Gatlinburg, TN and across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the parkway entrance. Drive north on the parkway to milepost 176 to access Mabry Mill.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

WE ARE NOT JUST A BLUE GRASS MUSIC AREA

NMF Banner
NMF Newsletter
Three weeks until the Festival! 
May 8, 2011 
In This Issue
~ Three weeks to go!
~ Be a conductor!
~ Volunteer Opportunities

Ticket Information

Festival Passes and single tickets are now available on the NMF website, by calling 540.745.NOTE, or by visiting Festival Headquarters (Suite 8 & 9 of the Village Green, 201 East Main St. in Floyd).  Headquarters will be open daily, beginning May 28.  The hours are 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday, and noon-5pm on Sundays. Any remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the door of each concert.

Festival Passes come with
guaranteed admission andpreferred seating at all 2011 National Music Festival concerts
a souvenir program book
- restaurant discounts during the Festival
invitation to a Meet-the-Musicians reception of June 8
- a pre-Festival talk with Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg
invitation to attend the Festival Chamber Players' Potpourri Play-Offs on June 9

All for $150 - it's your best
Festival value!




Quick Links...

Join Our Mailing List

Greetings!  

The Inaugural Season of the National Music Festival begins three weeks from today.  We appreciate your ongoing support in helping us produce a successful Festival this year and for many years to come!


Three weeks to go!
Hornists
25 performances,  200 free, open rehearsals:  The National Music Festival will be an intense two weeks! Every day is packed with great music, but one of the highlights we are most looking forward to is the Festival Symphony Orchestra concert on Saturday, June 4.  At this concert we will present the second American performance (NMF Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg gave the first American performance last year) of Mindaugas Piecaitis' charming CATcerto.

Written for the YouTube sensation Nora the Piano Cat, the CATcerto pairs an orchestra with a feline soloist. The idea arose completely by chance when Piecaitis received an e-mail from friends with a link to a piano-playing cat on YouTube. Enchanted by her abilities, he got in touch with Nora's owners and told them about his idea to write a piece for their famous feline and orchestra. Within a few days they had prepared the visual material, and the rest is history.  

This performance is presented in conjunction with the Floyd Humane Society, which will have a booth at the concert.

Now that the Festival is only a few weeks away, we will be updating the Festival blog frequently.  Check it out atwww.nationalmusic.us/blog for a behind-the-scenes look at the NMF. Today we will post an article by NMF Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg about his recent research trip to Cuba, and music by Cuban composer Ignacio Cervantes that will be performed at the Festival (on Tuesday, May 31) as a result of this trip. In future posts you will hear from the NMF Executive Director, as well as Festival apprentices. 

We are preparing the souvenir program book to go to press this Wednesday, May 11.  It's not too late to send in your advertisement to be included! Print-ready ads may be submitted until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10.  We can also design your ad at no extra charge; if you would like us to design your ad, we need to receive your information by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 9. Ad specifications and prices can be found atwww.nationalmusic.us/sponsors.html. Ads also come with a listing and link on the NMF website.

If you are thinking of donating to the NMF, or sponsoring the Festival through your business, this is a great time to do it! Donations and sponsorships received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10 will be listed in this season's program book.  All donations and sponsorships received after that time will be recognized on the NMF website and in next season's program book.  Of the over 100 musicians who are coming to Floyd, the 80 apprentices will attend the Festival on full tuition scholarship.  We can't do it without you!

Be a conductor!
RRMunich
Learn to conduct an orchestra, and support the Festival's Apprentice Scholarship Fund at the same time.
On Monday, May 30, Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg will teach a public masterclass on the art of conducting.  Beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Floyd, Richard will coach two conducting apprentices - Mr. Joseph Jones of New York City, and Mr. Roberto Pálmer of Madrid, Spain - as they conduct Beethoven's First Symphony with a full orchestra.
The Festival is offering a chance for a member of public to take part in this masterclass.  No experience necessary!  A souvenir baton will be provided!  This opportunity is being auctioned off, with the proceeds to benefit the Festival's Apprentice Scholarship Fund.  To submit you bid, you may email it to info@nationalmusic.us, phone it in to 540.745.NOTE, or mail it to the Festival at:
1702 Cannady School Road, Floyd, VA  24091
You may also submit a written bid at the masterclass.  The winning bidder will be determined at intermission and announced immediately following intermission. The winning bidder will then come up to conduct the Festival Orchestra. 

Volunteer Opportunities
The Festival provides many opportunities for community members of all ages to volunteer. Two local residents act as co-coordinators of Festival volunteers: volunteer Marie Henry and board member Randall Wells.
Current volunteer opportunities include assisting with Festival administration, hosting musicians during the Festival, picking up musicians at the airport on May 28 and taking them back to the airport on June 12.   

Additional volunteer opportunities are available to sell tickets and merchandise during the Festival, and to usher at Festival concerts. Volunteers are currently signing up; contact info@nationalmusic.us of 540.745.NOTE to get involved.  (If you have already let us know that you would like to volunteer, no need to be in touch again; we will becontacting you soon.  Thank you!)

If you are housing NMF musicians, thank you for your generosity in opening your home.  You will be receiving an email soon about your guest(s) and their contact information.  If you haven't signed up to house musicians, but would like to, please email NMF Executive Director Caitlin Patton at caitlin@nationalmusic.us. Please feel free to forward this email to a friend, as we could still use just a few more host homes in the Floyd area.  

Thank you again for your interest in and commitment to the NMF, and we look forward to seeing you at the Festival!
Sincerely,

Caitlin Patton, Executive Director
National Music Festival

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grand Opening of the Blue Ridge Music Center...Memorial Day Weekend.

This event is about 35 beautiful minutes from Mountain Song Inn, only one room left for the weekend activities all around our area.


History Of American Mountain Music To Be Told At Blue Ridge Parkway

The story of American music will be told in a permanent exhibit at the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo via Blue Ridge Music Center.
Take a fiddle or three, add in a banjo, a guitar, and perhaps a standup bass and you have the key ingredients for a rich, traditional American artform: Bluegrass. The story of how this uniquely American musical genre came to be will soon be told at the Blue Ridge Music Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The exhibit, The Roots of American Music, has been decades in planning. This permanent, interactive exhibit will officially open with a celebration on May 27.
This exhibit will tell the compelling story of the region's rich music heritage and serve as the perfect match with informal music that is performed throughout the season as well as the weekly concerts in the outdoor amphitheater. Visitors will have the opportunity not only to listen to and enjoy music, but to learn about the development and national significance of this part of our regional heritage.
In the mid-1980s, discussions began among the National Park Service, National Council for the Traditional Arts under the leadership of Joe Wilson, and the City of Galax for development of a traditional mountain music facility that would complement the musical heritage of the counties surrounding Fisher Peak. Out of those discussions came the generous donation of 1,000 acres of land from the City of Galax (Virginia) to the National Park Service for construction of such a facility. Former 9th District United States Representative Rick Boucher was an early supporter and booster of the project and remained so throughout his tenure in Congress.
The outdoor amphitheater was the original piece of the facility and has hosted regional, national, and international musical groups, always tied into the music of the mountains. The visitor center and indoor theater were then constructed and the new exhibits will provide the entire experience for visitors who come to this area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The new exhibition will provide children the opportunity to mix and match song lyrics, mix their own version of mountain music, and hear personal stories of how music has influenced generations of Blue Ridge families. Visitors will see examples of the many stages of the evolution of the five string banjo since its arrival in America with enslaved Africans. They will also see the relatively few changes made in the fiddle, brought with Europeans who migrated here. The blending of these two instruments was the beginning of virtually all forms of American music and was the ensemble that came to frontier Appalachia. Oral history audio programs of those who collected the music of the mountains in the past will be a delight to many. How the recording industry and radio popularized and changed mountain music is also part of the story.
Visitors can now better understand and appreciate the complexity and richness of this part of our regional culture. The Roots of American Music exhibition is an addition we can all learn from and be proud of. It will be another part of the Parkway experience for millions.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, May 27, 2011, followed by a weekend of musical celebration featuring Dan Paisley & Southern Grass, the Stonemans, and The Roots of American Music Tour Show. Details on the weekend concerts and the entire season's schedule can be found at www.blueridgemusiccenter.org.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blue Ridge Parkway Opens "Roots Of American Music" Exhibition

We are about 35 miles from Galax, well worth the drive to see us and the new music center:
Reserve your room now at Mountain Song Inn.



(Galax, VA)  Decades of planning will come to fruition Memorial Day weekend as "The Roots of American Music," a permanent, interactive exhibit at the Blue Ridge Music Center (Milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia) officially opens to the public. This exhibit will tell the compelling story of the region’s rich music heritage and serve as the perfect match with informal music that is performed throughout the season as well as the weekly concerts in the outdoor amphitheater. Visitors will have the opportunity not only to listen to and enjoy music, but to learn about the development and national significance of this part of our regional heritage.
In the mid-1980s, discussions began among the National Park Service, National Council for the Traditional Arts under the leadership of Joe Wilson, and the City of Galax for development of a traditional mountain music facility that would complement the musical heritage of the counties surrounding Fisher Peak. Out of those discussions came the generous donation of 1,000 acres of land from the City of Galax to the National Park Service for construction of such a facility. Former 9th District United States Representative Rick Boucher was an early supporter and booster of the project and remained so throughout his tenure in Congress.
The outdoor amphitheater was the original piece of the facility and has hosted regional, national, and international musical groups, always tied into the music of the mountains. The visitor center and indoor theater were then constructed and the new exhibits will provide the entire experience for visitors who come to this area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The new exhibition will provide children the opportunity to mix and match song lyrics, mix their own version of mountain music, and hear personal stories of how music has influenced generations of Blue Ridge families. Visitors will see examples of the many stages of the evolution of the five string banjo since its arrival in America with enslaved Africans. They will also see the relatively few changes made in the fiddle, brought with Europeans who migrated here.  The blending of these two instruments was the beginning of virtually all forms of American music and was the ensemble that came to frontier Appalachia.  Oral history audio programs of those who collected the music of the mountains in the past will be a delight to many. How the recording industry and radio popularized and changed mountain music is also part of the story.
Visitors can now better understand and appreciate the complexity and richness of this part of our regional culture. The Roots of American Music exhibition is an addition we can all learn from and be proud of.  It will be another part of the Parkway experience for millions.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, May 27, 2011, followed by a weekend of musical celebration featuring Dan Paisley & Southern Grass, the Stonemans, and The Roots of American Music Tour Show. Details on the weekend concerts and the entire season’s schedule can be found at www.blueridgemusiccenter.org.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Monte Musings...RV travel blog

OK, RVers, take your vehicle to the Blue Ridge Parkway this year, Monte has given you a complete
itinerary in  his travel blog. Once one the road if you long for a bedroom with it's own bathroom, give us a call at www.mountainsonginn.com and we will tell you where you can park your RV while you stay with us.  A four course breakfast awaits you each morning, plus one of the loveliest view in Floyd County. We are 15 miles off MM 174 near the town of Floyd, VA also a must see stop on the Crooked Road music venue.


RV Road Trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picture of the Blue Ridge Parkway Near Grandfather Mountain, NC
Blue Ridge Parkway Near Grandfather Mountain, NC
All across America, RV camping fans are gearing up for scenic drives and outdoor adventures. The Blue Ridge Parkway ranks near the top of routes RV travelers should make time to discover. Connecting two national parks, two states and an amazing array of attractions on its four hundred seventy mile length, this scenic drive never disappoints. As you’re packing your RV gear for this year’s travels, consider these highlights on the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Shenandoah National Park – Virginia: The Blue Ridge Parkway’s northern terminus is in the tree-lined Appalachians of Shenandoah National Park. Take time to travel the park’s famed Skyline Drive before making your way to Rockfish Gap, where the beautiful Blue Ridge begins. Plan to slow things down and take in the scenery; the average speed on the Parkway is forty-five miles per hour!
  • Peaks of Otter – Virginia (Milepost 86): Views of Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill can furnish a scrapbook full of photos. ThePeaks of Otter Campground is close to miles of hiking trails, a living history farm and great fishing on Abbott Lake. Camp here before moving on toward Roanoke; the scenery’s spectacular!
  • Roanoke River Gorge – Virginia (Milepost 120): After stopping to admire the view at overlooks like Purgatory, get out and stretch your legs at Roanoke River Gorge. Near the city of Roanoke, this picturesque river gorge is adjacent to Roanoke Mountain campground. You’ll find a nice collection of hiking trails in the Roanoke Valley, so break out your walking shoes and treat yourself to some off-Parkway views.
  • Smart View and Rocky Knob – Virginia (Mileposts 154-174): Pull off to enjoy Smart View overlook before moving on to Rocky Knob, where a campground, fascinating trails and nearby Mabry Mill offer a break that’s filled with great lodging and superlative scenery.
  • Blue Ridge Music Center – Virginia (Milepost 213): Here’s the chance to continuing enjoying the Parkway’s breathtaking vistas while listening to great mountain music. The Blue Ridge Music Center near the North Carolina border celebrates the music that makes this region such a cultural treasure.
  • Doughton Park – North Carolina (Milepost 239): Another well-run campground welcomes visitors to Doughton Park, where scenic hiking trails and the 1880s Brinegar Cabin are well worth a visit.
  • Julian Price Memorial Park – North Carolina (Milepost 295): Continue south over Bluff Mountain with stops at Northwest Trading Post, The Lump and Cascades Falls at EB Jeffress Park before camping at Julian Price Memorial Park. The park’s proximity to Moses Cone Memorial Park and the Parkway Craft Center make this a don’t miss on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Crabtree Meadows – North Carolina – (Milepost 339): By the time you’ve stopped to hike, learn about and experience all the wonders in the next 45 miles, you’re going to be ready to camp at Crabtree Meadows! Mosey south around Grandfather Mountain to Linn Cove Viaduct. Further south, Beacon Heights and Flat Rock offer amazing views of Pisgah National Forest. At Linville Falls Visitors Center, old growth trees, heritage stone fences and a breathtaking view of Linville Gorge make hiking the trail worthwhile. When you’ve looked your fill, meander through the mountains to the Museum of North Carolina Minerals. RV Traveler Tip: Dash over to Little Switzerland for a quick side trip to a wonderful alpine community before coming to rest at Crabtree Meadows campground.
South to the Parkway’s Southern Terminus
If you’re only going to see a short section of the Parkway, jump on at Crabtree Meadows and journey south. In between Crabtree Meadows and the Parkway’s southern terminus is some of the most magnificent mountain roadway in America. Not only is this the highest elevation section, there are so many attractions you’ll wish you’d planned more time!
Here are some time-tested favorites of RV campers:
  1. Mount Mitchell State Park – Milepost 355 – highest point east of the Mississippi River.
  2. Craggy Gardens – Milepost 365 – outstanding Appalachian Mountain wildflowers all summer.
  3. Folk Art Center – Milepost 382 – learn about the art and music of the Southern Appalachians at this Center just north of Asheville, NC. A trip into Asheville will charm your RV traveling crew, as well.
  4. Pisgah National Forest – Milepost 408 – the views, the wildlife and the campground in the Parkway’s highest developed area are only three reasons to spend at least one night here.
  5. Oconaluftee Visitors Center – Southern End of Parkway – From Mount Pisgah, it’s a wild ride south through a twisting, turning length of Blue Ridge Parkway. Build time into your agenda to enjoy spots along the way like Looking Glass Rock Overlook, Beech Gap and Richland Balsam. You’ll also love the view of the Great Smokies from the overlook at Waterrock Knob.
Here’s where you’ll have to do some planning to enjoy the rest of the drive south. Tunnels on the snakelike road just south of Waterrock Knob are under twelve feet high, so depending on what you’re driving, you may have to use a towed vehicle to complete the Parkway. Venture onto the Cherokee Indian Reservation within magnificent Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find the southern-most end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
For an extraordinary experience, spend a leisurely RV camping trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. See here for more information on the Parkway’s nine campgrounds (all $20 or less per night!) and get in touch withEl Monte RV in Roanoke, VA for RV rentals. A timeless taste of beauty, history and outdoor adventure is waiting for you on the Parkway.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There Is So Much Going....It's Hard to Choose.

Here is another local happening, if you have missed the meadery or cidery on past visits, this year put them on your bucket list. Stay at Mountain Song Inn and you have the perfect get away.



Happy Spring!  
Our Sippin' Porch will be open 11-5 weekends only through the end of October.   
Join us Saturday, May 7 for our Spring Opener.  $5 tasting fee covers tasting at Blacksnake Meadery and Foggy Ridge Cider
On Saturday, May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend), come enjoy music by Tom Martinwww.tommartinmusic.com.  Called by the Belfast Telegraph "One of the finest guitarists to have come out of Ireland" Tom Martin brings his own musical mix with influences ranging from Paul Simon, Ry Cooder, The Rolling Stones, Hank Williams and Doc Watson to the traditional music of his native Ireland, a blend best described as Acoustic Roots...Celtic Soul.    $5 tasting fee covers tasting at Blacksnake Meadery and Foggy Ridge Cider.
The Tasting Room located in Floyd has reopened for the season!  Hours May through October:  Thursday 3-7, Friday 4:30-9, Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 11-5. (276) 398-2337
NEW AWARDS! 
Our Meloluna won a silver medal at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Wildflower won third place at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition.
2011 Events - $5, 11-5
Music, Mead and Cider
May 28,  June 25,  July 16,  August 6
June 18 & 19 - Mountain Road Wine Experience Wined and Cheese Tour.  $25, see Mountain Road Wine Experience website for details.  
August 27 & 28 - Mountain Road Wine Experience  
Fall Treats
September 10 October 22
Thanksgiving Open House
November 26

Holiday Open House
December 10



If you like Blues,We have you covered!

Chateau Morrisette is having their Black Dog Wine and Blues Festival
July 9th...make your reservation today to stay at Mountain Song Inn.
You will be enjoying the best of both worlds.





David Mayfield Parade 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
www.thedavidmayfieldparade.com 
David Mayfield Parade reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.
Paul Thorn 
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
www.paulthorn.com 
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured a young Elvis generations before, Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Durán on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, opened for Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler and John Prine among many other headliners, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time.