Floyd Country Store and County Sales…and More

Immersed In The Floyd Country Store

Floyd Country Store – Photo: LTTL

Floyd Country Store + County Sales

Floyd, Virginia

GrassRoots Music Tour 2023

By Rob Dickens

The Floyd Country Store

Introduction

Floyd, Virginia is steeped in Appalachian music history and is situated in close proximity to the thriving music traditions of North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.

Even without its enormous musical influence, the Floyd Country Store has served the community of Floyd for so well and so long as a general store and gathering place, it’s hard to imagine the town without it. The Friday Night Jamboree has been a welcome feature for many years and, now under the aegis of current owner Dylan Locke, the music performances, community jams and dancing opportunities have expanded to several times a week, enabling the Store to become even an important epicentre for this charming town and a major venue on the State’s iconic Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail.

History

In June 1910 a business called Farmer’s Supply opened its doors in the current building and the site has been a going concern in some form ever since. Under a series of owners, it operated as a hardware and general store. In the early 1980’s two of the former owners regularly practised every Friday night and, tired of being interrupted by locals wanting to hear the music better, opened up the doors for others to listen or bring their instruments and eventually the regular Friday Night Jamboree was born.

The late 1990’s saw changes in the way people shopped which made it hard for local businesses to keep going. Nevertheless, the store remained open for one evening a week, for the now famous Jamboree.

The store is now acknowledged far and wide as a haven for traditional musicians and dancers. In 2007, with the establishment of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, the Floyd Country Store became part of the mission to honor and preserve the extraordinary music of the Appalachian region.

Honky Tonk Thursdays with Red Volkaert – Photo: LTTL

Now

Locals and the regular stream of outside visitors can now spend many hours over multiple visits to the Store in any week. As well as the Friday Night Jamboree, there are Tuesday Tunes, Honky Tonk Thursdays, Americana Afternoons (Saturday), the Floyd Radio Show (Saturday nights) and the Sunday Music Jam (afternoons). Live showcases with national and international acts are also a feature, with shows scheduled to fit in with their touring commitments. Whether your needs are catching up with friends, local produce, a hearty and delicious meal, listening to music or dancing to it, they will be met in spades.

It’s hard to imagine being more welcomed and relaxed in any other music venue.

Photo: LTTL
Sunday Music Jam – Photo: LTTL

Handmade Music School

The Floyd Country Store offers the Handmade Music School, dedicated to teaching old time, bluegrass and traditional music and dance from Floyd County and throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. The philosophy of The Handmade Music School is to “hand down” the songs and dances from the teacher to the student, phrase-by-phrase and step-by-step, the way it’s been taught in the Mountains for centuries.

Stan and Kids
Photo: Handmade Music School website

For almost four decades, the Floyd Country Store has been a place where the musical traditions of Appalachia have been enjoyed by audiences coming to the Friday Night Jamboree or shared at a jam session on Sunday afternoon. Now the Floyd Country Store provides the opportunity to learn directly from these musicians and dancers so that they will be enjoying these traditions for a long time.

The Handmade Music School is an initiative of Floyd Creative Studios, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creative process in Floyd County, Virginia.

County Sales

Photo: LTTL

Since 1965 County Sales has been trading in new and rare recordings of American traditional music, a haven for enthusiasts, collectors and musicians alike. Boasting tens of thousands of titles spanning major labels to self-released projects, it is a remarkable archive and resource.

A going concern spanning over five decades, County Sales is now a non-profit focusing on preserving, reissuing and reconnecting people to traditional music. Purchases and contributions help ensure that County Sales will be sharing and supplying great bluegrass, old-time, early country, blues music for generations to come.

Located just across from the Floyd Country Store on Locust Street, County Sales carries on the tradition of being the hub for connecting people to mainstream and hard to find traditional music. You will be impressed by the store and its immense collection. If in person, take a look at the 1947 Juke Box.

Photos: LTTL

County Sales History

Founded by music preservationist Dave Freeman as a retail component to his fledgling label County Records, County Sales soon became the key outlet for people to purchase reissued recordings of early country music 78 RPM records from the 1920’s and 1930’s as well as newly recorded projects of bluegrass and old-time musicians.

In 1973 Freeman moved his family and his label from New York to Floyd, Virginia, a picturesque town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. While in Floyd, County Sales found a brick and mortar home where folks from near and far would come to open their ears to new and old sounds. 

With the prospect of the business closing imminent, owner of the Floyd Country Store, Dylan Locke, purchased the business from the Freeman family and ensured County Sales’ legacy marches on. Now a 501c3 non-profit organization located in an easily accessible location just beyond Floyd’s one stop light, County Sales provides a welcoming atmosphere for enjoying music in person and on recordings. County Sales has been the destination for browsing thousands of great traditional music titles for multiple generations and plans to continue being just that for decades to come.

Accommodation

I stayed in Floyd for four nights on this visit (one day longer than I had planned thanks to a hire car glitch) and I would highly recommend Hotel Floyd. Right in the heart of the town, literally a block away from the Country Store and County Sales, full of rustic charm, plenty of free parking and warm, friendly staff.

FLOYD COUNTRY STORE OFFICIAL SITE

Immersed In The Floyd Country Store

ADVERTISE WITH LISTENING THROUGH THE LENS

More Music Adventures Await!

Immersed In The Floyd Country Store

***

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Author: Rob Dickens

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2 Comments

  1. What a place! Thanks for the terrific report Rob.

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    • Hey Red, how are you?! Yes, you’d love Floyd! Are you going to OOTW?

      Post a Reply

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