The Blue Ridge Parkway is a venerable institution in our part of the world. This scenic drive runs 469 miles, from Shenandoah National Park (south of Charlottesville, VA) to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina (southwest of Asheville).
The road winds through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia, and the Pisgah and Nantahal in North Carolina. Almost every mile avoids population centers of any kind, and with easy access off and on along the way, is a tourist favorite for its spectacular mountain vistas of the Blue Ridge region.
Of course this region has been home to a great deal of bluegrass and old time music, and the seminal artists who defined it. The National Parks Service and the National Council for the Traditional Arts jointly operate a venue near Galax, VA to acknowledge the musical history of the area, The Blue Ridge Music Center.
The Parkway is celebrating 2010 as their 75th Anniversary with a full year’s worth of special events along the way. Things kick off this Saturday with a benefit show near Asheville, NC featuring what will surely be a memorable musical aggregation.
Billed as The Blue Ridge All Stars, this one-time grouping of musicians born and bred in the VA/NC mountain region includes Doyle Lawson on mandolin, Sammy Shelor on banjo, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Jim Van Cleve on fiddle and Tim Surrett on bass.
Jim told us that Bryan Sutton put the group together.
“Bryan Sutton called me back in April or May about this show, and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to ever since then! It’s a big honor to be involved in a BIG SHOW of this nature, and the band Bryan has assembled will be a BLAST to play with!!!”
Singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith is also on the show, which will be held in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at the Asheville Civic Center. Proceeds from the show will go towards the funding for the 75th Anniversary events during 2010.
You can find full concert details on the BRP 75th site.