Abingdon, Virginia – The Crooked Road On Tour will be featured in performances at the State Fair of Virginia in Doswell, Virginia on Friday, September 24 through Sunday, October 3. The Crooked Road performances throughout the 10-day Fair include a Main Stage concert by Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys on Sunday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m., and three performances daily (at 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.) on the Harvest Landing stage. Harvest Landing performers include Jim Lloyd (9/24 & 9/25); Unique Sound of the Mountains: Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer (9/26 & 9/27); Five Mile Mountain Road (9/28 & 9/29); The Crooked Road’s Artist-in-Residence Andrew Small and Ashlee Watkins (9/30 & 10/1); Mac Traynham (10/2 & 10/3).

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail performances celebrate the traditional music that has been kept by families and communities of Southwest Virginia since colonial times. Settlers of this mountainous region since the 1700’s have brought various ingredients – a cappella gospel music from German tradition that lives in the Old Regular Baptist churches today; spirituals, emotive singing and a musical gourd we now call a banjo from African tradition; and ballads and fiddles brought by the Scots-Irish and English. Mixed together, these ingredients have produced one of the richest musical traditions on earth.

Ralph Stanley II and The Clinch Mountain Boys bring traditional music to concertgoers. Since 1995, Ralph II has fronted the group and carried on The Clinch Mountain Boys, who are celebrating 75 years of entertaining audiences.

Grammy Award winning artist Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys are currently touring in support of their 2019 Stanley Family Records release, the Billboard chart topping ‘Lord Help Me Find The Way.’ This is their second release after dropping a self-titled album in 2017 that was the first release for the group since Ralph II took over the Clinch Mountain Boys band name per the wishes of his late father Dr. Ralph Stanley.

With three #1 singles in his career; including, the 2019 hit “Beautiful Hills of Home,” Ralph Stanley II is in heavy radio rotation across the country and on Bluegrass Junction, World Wide Bluegrass, iHeart Radio and Sirius XM.

The band includes Clinch Mountain Boy John Rigsby on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Landon Fitzpatrick on banjo and vocals; Randall Hibbitts on the upright bass and vocals; Caleb Shifflett on guitar and vocals; and Ralph Stanley II on the guitar and lead vocals. This band configuration brings a lot of talent, energy and humor to the stage as they perform old-time favorites, bluegrass hits and new original material.

Five Mile Mountain Road, a string band based in Boone Mill, Virginia and fronted by 2021 Galax All-Around Winner Billy Hurt, Jr. on fiddle, plays enthusiastic traditional dance and old time tunes.

Originally from the Virginia coalfields, Jim Lloyd now lives in Rural Retreat, where he works for Junior Appalachian Musicians, operates Lloyd’s Barber Shop and plays solo and with others. He was the longtime guitarist for the old time string band, the Konnarock Critters.

Larry Sigmon is a heritage music legend who has played banjo throughout the years with multiple bands, including with Barbara Poole as the “Unique Sound”.  Martha Spencer was raised in a musical family, and was a longtime member of the Whitetop Mountain Band.  Martha and Larry met through a documentary project, took to each other immediately, and began playing together as the renewed “Unique Sound of the Mountains.”

Willis, Virginia resident Mac Traynham, a builder of cabinets and banjos, plays several instruments, and is a teacher of mountain music at music workshops nationwide.

Andrew Small and Ashlee Watkins are an old time duo that features multiple instruments as they play traditional tunes.  Andrew is The Crooked Road’s Artist-In-Residence and both play dances and participated in the winning Old Time Band at the 2021 Galax Old Fiddlers Convention.

The Crooked Road On Tour performances at the State Fair of Virginia are supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Main Stage concerts are presented by Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance.

For more information, visit www.statefairva.org or call (804) 994-2800. For more information about The Crooked Road, please visit www.thecrookedroad.org, call (276) 492-2400 ext. 2409, or email: info@thecrookedroad.org.

Sarah Mast
Author: Sarah Mast