Power of Music

John McCutcheon last night at the Country Store told about the time in his early 20s when he set out on a three-month “self-study” of the banjo players of Southwest Virginia.

Some of those he ended up visiting with were student-friends of mine, jamming in the snack bar at Wytheville Community College.  I was new faculty, 27 at the time; he would have been 23.

Our kids grew up with his music–in particular, the Birthday song, which he noted last night was written by Floyd resident musician, Tina Liza Jones.

The most enthralling  moments in his rich and varied story-telling and performance came from the hammered dulcimer–at which he is certainly one of the most gifted musicians of our times.

Serving suggestion: just LISTEN. Don’t watch. Submerge yourself in the music–of Leviathan.


About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

One comment:

Leave a Reply