Sights & Sounds

Remembering Gerald Anderson

I’m sure we join so many throughout Southwest Virginia and beyond in our sadness and shock to learn of the passing of Gerald Anderson. Gerald was a fine luthier, player, …

Sights & Sounds

Brian Calhoun and Adam McNeil and Jake Hopping

Brian Calhoun grew up in Rockbridge County, an area rich with many fine players of bluegrass and old-time music as well as a wide variety of acoustic styles. Already a …

Sights & Sounds

Greg Galbreath and Peter Keller

Just as old-time mountain music has risen in popularity across America and the world, so has the art of banjo making. Unlike the three-finger-picking style for bluegrass banjo popularized by …

Sights & Sounds

Old Recordings Found

Digging around in our archive recently we came across a trove of Betamax and U-matic video tapes from the early 90s. We dusted of the old tape deck and had …

Sights & Sounds

Dale Wise and Lori Sallade

The accordion, a box-shaped instrument first patented in Vienna in 1829, was a folk instrument played largely by commoners. At the turn of the twentieth century, European emigrants took the …

Sights & Sounds

Apprenticeships Merge: Dale Wise restores Flory Jagoda’s accordion

Flory Jagoda, a master artist of the Sephardic ballad tradition, escaped from Bosnia in 1941. Her only possession was her Hohner Student III accordion. More than seventy years later, Dale …

Sights & Sounds

Walter Messick and Chris Testerman

The hills of Grayson County, encompassing the small mountain communities around Mt. Rogers, are a veritable hotbed of luthiers—builders of fretted, stringed instruments. Some of America’s finest guitars, mandolins, fiddles, …

Sights & Sounds

Wayne Henderson and Jayne Henderson

Wayne Henderson was born, raised and still lives in tiny Rugby, Virginia in Grayson County. He built his first guitar using traced patterns and the wood from the bottom of …

Sights & Sounds

In loving memory of Audrey Hash Ham

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia have lost one of their most cherished jewels with the passing of Audrey Hash Ham. Audrey was truly a “friend of the music,” …

Sights & Sounds

John Hollandsworth and Sam Gleaves

Patented in 1881 by German instrument repairman Charles Zimmerman, the autoharp first reached popularity in the United States as a novelty instrument. By 1900, by the time the fad had …

Sights & Sounds

Randal Eller and Drew Plowman

Southwest Virginia boasts some of the finest makers of stringed instruments in the United States. Much of this is a result of the wide-reaching influence and mentoring of the late …

Sights & Sounds

Mac Traynham and Robert Browder

While the first European and African settlers of Southern Appalachia carried with them a strong stringed-instrument music tradition, instruments were often difficult to acquire, leading players to be resourceful in …

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