The Crooked Road is a 330 mile driving route through the scenic mountains of Southwest Virginia that connects nine major heritage music venues and a thriving network of over 60 traditional music jams, festivals, and concerts in gracious communities all along the way. On The Crooked Road you will discover that the roots of American music run deep and wide. And those roots feed a living, breathing music scene as thriving and vibrant today as it has ever been. Settlers to the region brought the European fiddle and the African banjo, and their sounds blended together to create a unique sound that’s been echoing across these mountains for generations. Along The Crooked Road you can experience authentic musical traditions that have been shaped by some of the greatest names in American music, including the Carter Family, the Stonemans, and the Stanley Brothers. Be sure to pick up a copy of The Crooked Road visitor guide to help you get the most out of your heritage music experience.
The Crooked Road’s Traditional Music Education Program (TMEP)
TMEP means access – access to the immensely rich heritage music traditions of Southwest Virginia for students, teachers, instructors and others. After-school programs where kids learn banjo, fiddle, and guitar from accomplished musicians; school assembly programs of traditional music; educational materials for teachers to use in the classroom, monthly youth performances, and The Crooked Road’s annual Youth Music Festival in May are all aspects of a program designed to connect people of all ages with the traditional music the region is known for.
The Crooked Road both incorporates the southwestern most counties in Virginia and comprises a significant section of Appalachia. Slicing across The Crooked Road region diagonally are two prominent mountain ranges (the Blue Ridge to the east and the Cumberlands to the west), and between them is the rolling landscape of the Ridge-and-Valley Province. Differences in elevation ensure a variety of landscapes and a diversity of ecosystems, and thus any journey into and through the Crooked Road region will yield frequent surprises, whether in the rugged coalfields area to the west, in the undulating midsection, or in the verdant mountainous east.
Frontiersman Daniel Boone traveled through the Crooked Road region blazing the Wilderness Road that helped build our nation. To help Homecoming visitors understand the area into which they are venturing on their own journeys of discovery, the 8,600 square mile Crooked Road region is divided into the East Zone, the Central Zone, and the West Zone.