Sarah Blackburn, 16, right, sings outside the Floyd Country Store during the “Friday Night Jamboree” in Floyd, Va. The store is an attraction along the Crooked Road, or Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, as it is also known. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Musicians play as people gather outside the Floyd Country Store during the “Friday Night Jamboree.” Southwestern Virginia has a rich history of American-roots music. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

It’s Friday evening at the Floyd Country Store, one of the landmarks along Virginia’s Crooked Road, which anchors a century-old tradition of live music throughout the state. The Stanley Brothers played along the road, which winds through southwestern Virginia and is formally known as Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. The Carter family, too, for generations.

And on Friday nights on Locust Street in Floyd, Va., it still feels like the good old days. Patrons pony up a few bucks to listen to gospel, country and bluegrass music inside the 100-year-old building that’s home to the country store. Music lovers of all ages gather under the streetlights outside to bellow along to “Rocky Top” and other standards from the bluegrass and country canon.

Dylan Locke and his wife, Heather Krantz, run the country store, which takes pride in noting that it’s a place where it’s still possible to buy “a good pair of bib overalls, a jar of local apple butter or a good old-fashioned dish cloth.” In this tiny town, population 425, Locke describes the weekly jamboree as a “vintage centuries-old celebration of life.”

 


Goods for sale and other items are displayed at the Floyd Country Store during the “Friday Night Jamboree.” (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Liz Stone dances with Wilbert Ingram at the Floyd Country Store. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The late-afternoon sun illuminates scenery along the Crooked Road, or Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, in Woolwine, Va. The region has helped foster country and bluegrass as well as other traditional musical genres. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

People listen to Jim Lloyd during an evening concert that also featured a bluegrass band from Germany in Galax, Va. The musicians are performing at the Blue Ridge Music Center, which is associated with the Crooked Road, also known as Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

People gather to hear music during a weekly summer jam session at Mabry Mill just outside Meadows of Dan, Va. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

A spectator finds a spot where to relax and take in a concert that included a bluegrass band from Germany in Galax. Galax is known as the “World’s Capital of Old-Time Mountain Music.” (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Members of Privette Family Bluegrass perform during the weekly Pickin’ Porch event in Bristol, Tenn., on the border of Virginia. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

 

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