Virginia Coastline video from Rebecca Frazier

Flatpicking sensation Rebecca Frazier has released a new music video, her second for an instrumental track she has written.

We had previously featured her video for 40 Blues when it was released. This time it’s Virginia Coastline, another of the tunes on her 2013 album for Compass Records, When We Fall.

Though she came to prominence in bluegrass while living in Colorado, Rebecca is actually a Virginia girl, and this tune was inspired by her memories of the barrier islands of the Chesapeake coastal region. Until the building of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in 1964, much of this region remained heavily isolated. Even today, wild ponies live free on the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague, where they swam ashore after the wreck of a Spanish galleon transporting them to the colonial US hundreds of years ago.

Frazier says all those thoughts from childhood formed the basis for the tune.

“As I spent summers on Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay shores as a child, I grew up listening to tales of a wild and magical place called the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where wild ponies roamed pristine shores. After reading Misty of Chincoteague, my imagination ran wild about these fantastical barrier islands just 20 miles over the horizon. Years passed. I lived in Germany and backpacked in Europe. I toured in 41 states playing bluegrass. I even traveled to Southeast Asia in 2007. Yet I never made it to the Eastern Shore, despite many hopes and attempts to visit. By the time I returned to the U.S. in ’07, I’d accepted that I would never go to these barrier islands, and I immediately wrote Virginia Coastline as a tribute to the wild ponies and my imagination. Yet videographer Alison Goedde pushed me to discover this mythical place in real life, in real time, after all these years. And the reality was better than my imagination. Thank you for listening and watching.”

This video almost never happened, as Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the Virginia islands as Rebecca and Alison were preparing to shoot. Their flight into Norfolk was cancelled, but they gamely drove all the way from Nashville and across the Chesapeake just as Matthew swerved out to sea. The remaining high winds gave them the perfect setting along Assateague Island for a dramatic rendering of Virginia Coastline.

Well done, ladies. Let’s see more instrumental bluegrass videos!

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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.