‘Music and Stories’ series to feature New North Carolina Ramblers and author Charles Thompson on March 31
The Floyd Country Store is hosting a series of music and story events starting this Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. The first event will focus on regional music and stories about moonshine. The New North Carolina Ramblers will perform, and the author of “Spirits of Just Men,” Charles Thompson, will read some of his favorite and local moonshine stories.
The New North Carolina Ramblers perform old-time string band music in the tradition of such legendary artists as Charlie Poole, The Carter Family, and The Floyd County Ramblers. The band features Kirk Sutphin on fiddle and banjo, Jeremy Stephens on fiddle and guitar, Darren Moore on guitar and autoharp, and Kinney Rorrer on banjo. They are inspired by the rural traditional recording artists and the back porch musicians who have entertained throughout the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains for generations. The band has performed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, MerleFest, the National Folk Festival, The Ferrum Folklife Festival, the Wayne Henderson Festival, and the Barter Theatre. Kirk Sutphin has participated in the National Banjo Tour with Ralph Stanley.
Spirits of Just Men: Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses, and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World (2011) tells the story of moonshine in 1930′s America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Va., a place that many still refer to as the “moonshine capital of the world.” Charles D. Thompson Jr. chronicles the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia’s local moonshine economy. Thompson, whose ancestors were involved in the area’s moonshine trade and trial as well as local law enforcement, uses the event as a stepping-off point to explore Blue Ridge Mountain culture, economy, and political engagement in the 1930′s. Drawing from extensive oral histories and local archival material, he illustrates how the moonshine trade was a rational and savvy choice for struggling farmers and community members during the Great Depression.
Tickets for Moonshine Music & Stories are $8 and are available online at www.FloydCountryStore.com, by phone at 540-745-4563, and at the store.
The next event scheduled for the Music and Stories series will be Saturday, June 2, at 7 p.m. and feature author Ralph Berrier and his book “If Trouble Don’t Kill Me: A Family’s Story of Brotherhood, War and Bluegrass” and will feature bluegrass band The Java Brothers.
The Floyd Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree, has been an important part of the Floyd community for a century now. This historical landmark is a destination along “The Crooked Road,” Virginia’s Music heritage trail, and continues to be the meeting place for traditional musicians from the area.