USA – Music Tour 2016

How to plan a USA tour cramming in as much roots music as possible



No folks, this is not my entry in the 3M Post-it Note Art CompetitionBeginner Class.

This is in fact the key device for planning my Music Tour of the South in 2016.  It may not look like much, but is gets me what I need. (I think I must be a visual person – yes, really!).

The tour will span almost five weeks, book-ended by the last weeks in August and September and only five days without a car.

That messy map is actually a rough loop, going from west to east and halfway back again.

So far the trip lock-ins are:

  1. fayettevilleroots festival – Fayetteville Arkansas
  2. Chris Stapleton gig – Louisville Kentucky
  3. Rhythm n Roots Reunion Festival – Bristol Virginia/Tennessee
  4. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats show – Nashville Tennessee
  5. Americana Conference and Festival – Nashville


I have quite a few days to fill in between Fayetteville AR – Louisville KY – Bristol/Nashville TN.  These are the other possibilities that I am considering including on my travels:

Woody Guthrie Museum – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Grammy Museum – Cleveland, Mississippi

Blue Front Cafe – Bentonville, Mississippi

Johnny Cash Boyhood Home – Dyess, Arkansas

Music City Roots – Franklin, Tennessee

Los Lonely Boys acoustic concert – Franklin, Tennessee

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch – Hurricane Mills, Tennessee

International Bluegrass Museum – Owensboro, Kentucky

Bill Monroe’s House – Rosine, Kentucky

Woodsongs Radio Hour – Lexington, KY

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame – Renfro Valley, Kentucky

Ralph Stanley Museum – Clintwood, Virginia

County Store – Floyd, VA

Earl Scruggs Centre – Shelby, North Carolina

Mountain Song Festival – Brevard, North Carolina

General – Asheville, North Carolina

Dollyworld (you heard right!) – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

General – Knoxville, Tennessee

The Georgia Satellites – Owensboro, Kentucky

Daniel Boone Festival – Winchester, Kentucky

Russell County Fair and Horse Show – Clintwood Virginia (an outsider at this stage…still I love a good apple dunkin’ competition)

Shrimp and Petrol Festival (!?) – Morganton, North Carolina

Dom Flemons – Louisville, Kentucky


I obviously cannot fit it all in.  The trick being to avoid too much criss-crossing thereby minimizing driving time and maximizing music time.  But, no decisions made yet as I am waiting for more live shows to be announced, in case I get the calling to change plans.

Any thoughts or advice would be welcome.

By the way, does anyone use for gig checking?  I find it pretty good.  If you put in a location and then set a date range you get a list of who’s playing and when.  Now let’s see, if I search for, say, Asheville NC here is what I get.  You can refine the search by date range.  I’m not sure how comprehensive it is, but I haven’t found anything better.

Now, where are the blue post-its…








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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. This list is awesome. I’m a lifelong Virginian, and I hadn’t heard of a few of these spots. I will definitely be adding some of them to my list. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Glad you liked it. I’m particularly keen to get to the Floyd County Store. If there’s anything else on around mid-Sep, let me know! Cheers

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      • My grandfather plays fiddle, so he travels down to the Floyd County Store to jam with musicians several times a year! If I hear of any events, I will certainly pass along the info. I hope you have a great trip, the Blue Ridge Mountains are truly a special and inspiring place, especially for music lovers.

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        • Thanks for that offer. Yes, let me know of any Blue Ridge events, that would be great. I have been to Galax, Bristol and Abingdon but not the rest of the Heritage Trail. I reckon your grandfather might get to the Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax?!

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