Mountains of Music Homecoming

Jun 10, 2015

The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming is a nine-day festival staged in nineteen counties and four cities across Southwest Virginia. Events range from Barter Theatre performances to canoe and snorkeling trips to tours of an alpaca farm. But at its heart, the Homecoming is about music.

This year, Charlottesville will celebrate the 20th anniversary of a unique after-school program – a place where poor kids can master a musical instrument and the workings of a recording studio, learn to distribute their work and launch a career.  The Music Resource Center’s latest success story is a kid who arrived with too little luck but plenty of drive. 

Bernard Talburtt is a tall, skinny guy with a sweet disposition.  He lived with his mother and brother in Charlottesville’s public housing, and despite frequent exposure to violence, he has remarkable manners.

Music festivals, art shows and cooking competitions are commonplace in this country, but a Charlottesville man may have the ticket to something bigger – a week-long event that celebrates all of those things and the quality that connects them.

There’s a sound some musicians have that comes from deep inside, but falls outside formal artistic boundaries.  They do their own thing, their own way. They do their own thing, their own way. They’re known as “Outsider Artists,” and their work can be challenging, disturbing and fascinating.   

Virginia’s House is set to vote on a new state song, with committee members approving one option over another - predictably, along party lines. 

The Commonwealth has been without an official song since Governor Wilder raised objections to Carry Me Back to Old Virginia, a tune with lyrics that fondly recalled a time of slavery.  Two replacements were in contention when the House Rules Committee met last week.  One is a folk classic - Oh Shenandoah, with a new set of lyrics and a new title - Our Great Virginia.