Lucketts School House in Virginia celebrates 50 years of bluegrass

Bluegrass lovers in northern Virginia quickly recognize “the old schoolhouse” as the Lucketts School, a school building turned community center in Lucketts, VA, which hosts bluegrass concerts throughout the year, mostly during the winter and spring months.

This Saturday, January 20, the Lucketts Foundation, which manages these shows, will celebrate 50 years of bringing bluegrass to Loudon County with a special homecoming concert and celebration, starting at 3:00 p.m.

Over the years, most everyone in the bluegrass world has played there, knowing that they will perform for a serious and educated audience of fans, in a comfortable setting, and be treated fairly by management. The Johnson Mountain Boys recorded their breakout double album, Live at the Old Schoolhouse there in 1989, and top players of every era from 1973 forward have appeared on the stage, which was the auditorium for the original school opened in 1916.

On Saturday, things get started at 3:00 with a concert by the Seth Mitchell Band and the Lucketts All Star Veterans band. More than 40 musicians who have played at Lucketts in the past have been invited to play with the veterans group, as have many volunteers and staff from the earlier days.

Then from 5:00-6:00 p.m. the DC Bluegrass Union will lead a jam session in the classrooms upstairs.

The main program begins at 7:00 with Crandall Creek.

It was the popularity of the bluegrass concerts that saved the Lucketts School from demolition, and enabled the renovation of the building into a community center. Research done by the Lucketts Foundation suggests that at 50 years, this is the longest running bluegrass concert series in the world.

Tickets for the Crandall Creek show are $22 in advance, with children 5-17 charged only $5, and 4 and under admitted at no charge.

You can see all the remaining shows on the 2024 schedule online, which includes concerts with Danny Paisley, Kristy Cox, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, The Kody Norris Show, Amanda Cook, High Fidelity, and several others.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.