Joe Wilson, who died in 2015, was an unsung hero in the world of traditional music. His work was almost always behind the scenes rather than on stage, but his passion for the music and culture of the Appalachian region informed everything he did with the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
In southwestern Virginia, Joe is remembered for his fight to establish The Crooked Road, now widely recognized as a highly successful use of state and municipal resources to increase tourism based on love of old time and bluegrass music. Thousands of visitors now travel along the Road learning about Blue Ridge culture and folkways while enjoying performances by both regional and national acts.
Another legacy of Joe’s work is the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA, a project that Wilson argued for aggressively as a site where traditional music can be performed in a state of the art facility.
On September 2, the Music Center will host an all-star concert in Joe Wilson’s honor, billed as A Show For Joe. Starting at 4:00 p.m., it will feature performances by regional entertainers like Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family with Tony Ellis, and The Hurdle Brothers. The highlight will be sets from Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and Alison Krauss.
Prior to the concert, the Center will host a pair of workshops starting at 1:00 p.m., billed as Remembering Joe and Songs for Joe. Many of the southwestern Virginia artists on the bill will take part. Only a limited number of seats in the workshops will be available, offered to ticket holders on a first come, first served basis.
Anyone who knew or worked with Joe will surely want to travel up the Blue Ridge Parkway for this special show, as will music lovers eager to see a rare performance from Alison Krauss these days. Should be a great night on the mountain.
Find complete concert and ticket details online.