The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
The Shenandoah Valley finds its newest roots ... in Americana music

 

Americana Rhythm Music Magazine publisher Greg Tutwiler says that he once thought his bi-monthly magazine about traditional acoustic music would only be able to find enough content to cover the Shenandoah Valley's alternative acoustic music scene for no more than about, say, five years.

Ten years later, after having just published issue number 60, he now says that he doubts he'll ever be able to cover it all.

“Every time we interview somebody, we find an artist or we find something historical, it leads us to another piece,” he explains. “So, really, our mission over the ten years prior, and however long we get to continue, is we're telling the story of Americana from a local-regional perspective.”

Americana,” or “Roots” music is often performed with high energy by musicians whom may typically be younger in age. It's traditional American music alright, but it can come across a bit like it's on steroids.

Tutwiler classes Americana as “alternative country” music. A big umbrella, a sound that incorporates all forms of string music: Bluegrass, old-time, mountain music … even a blues and alternative jazz flavor.

Americana owes a significant portion of its roots to Virginia, and particularly here in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as farther south along the Blue Ridge Mountains and into southwestern Virginia.

Tutwiler says that a lot of the European immigrants who settled the region brought their music and culture with them. In more modern times, bluegrass pioneers like Mac Wiseman emerged here.

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Wintertime in the Valley
Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia

Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none, To winter-ground thy corse.   January days may be cold, but it's always warm inside Shenandoah Valley theaters. And the solidude of Winter trail walks, the glitter of famous caverns and the outdoor excitement at area resorts all beckon, should cabin fever ever strike.

  Happening today

Antiques Appraisal Fair and Chocolate Festival in Woodstock, Va.

Woodstock Museum Marshall House, 104 South Muhlenberg St. Bring antiques and collectibles in for an appraisal, visit the museum. Refreshments available for sale. Appraisals: $10 per item or three items for $25. For more information, call 540-459-3946.


Quilt exhibit opening at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. The Beatles Quilt Exhibit. Celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles in the United States. 150 fiber artists from around the world were challenged to create a quilt based on a different song by the Beatles. Exhibit through Feb. 13. Free admission. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit BarnsOfRoseHill.org.


Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Measure for Measure. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.


Magic Lantern film series at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Mistress America. 2015 comedy, 86 minutes Rated R. Film at 4:30 p.m. Snacks provided. Museum and Magic Lantern Theater members: $5, all others: $8. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Shenandoah National Park Announces Winter Visitor Center Hours

Byrd Visitor Center open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when Skyline Drive is open as well as on Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 Presidents Day. Closed on Dec. 25. No visitor sercies open except , weather permitting: Elkwallow, Pinnacles, South River, and Dundo picnic areas. Use caution regarding potential severe and changing weather conditions, particularly in higher elevations and along Skyline Drive. Bring extra clothing and layer up, and water and food, a flashlight, map, and  hiking boots traction coils. Skyline Drive is open year round, weather permitting. $20-per-vehicle entrance fee, good for seven days. For more informatioin, call 540-999-3500, choose Option 1, and then Option 1. Visit Facebook or Twitter or www.nps.gov/shen


Winter Hours at Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Va.

18 North Coalter St. Interpretive tours of Woodrow Wilson birthplace, self-guided tours through the museum and the period garden, and the Presidents Shop are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday, and 12 p.m. through 5 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday during January and February. Normal daily operations resume March 1. Archival collections remain accessible through the e-library or by appointment. For more information, call 540-885-0897 or visit www.woodrowwilson.org.


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Stoney Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park

Stoney Man Mountain is the highest point in Shenandoah National Park, overlooking the town of Luray and Page County.

About Shenandoah National Park

Located 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park offers waterfalls, vistas, hiking, camping and picnic areas. Home to the Skyline Drive a scenic route following the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 200,000 acres of protected wilderness.

...photo by Shenandoah National Park