At The Rex Theater in Galax, Virginia, a hush falls over the crowd. Local banjo player Stevie Barr and his protégé, 14-year-old Houston Caldwell, step on stage.
"We're going to play a little song called 'Shucking the Corn,' " the self-effacing 30-year-old announces. "This is the song I played when I won at the Old Fiddlers Convention last year."
Stevie's agile fingers dance along the strings as he launches into the song. Houston matches his teacher note for note. As the music skids to a stop, the crowd roars its approval.
Follow The Crooked Road
Stevie and Houston are among the talented local and regional musicians you might see performing on Friday nights at The Rex. Both The Rex and the town of Galax are among the many stops along Virginia's Crooked Road Music Trail. This new project links together mountain communities, performance venues, and musicians in this remote southwest corner of the state where old-time music still flourishes. It provides a road map that directs visitors to these hidden treasures.