GrassRoots USA Music Tour 2023 Wrap

We review our USA GrassRoots Music Tour 2023

GrassRoots Music Tour 2023

6 – 24 September

Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia

By Rob Dickens

And so, the first USA GrassRoots Music Tour since the overly-invasive and music-stifling pandemic.

We have been waiting patiently since our last trip in 2019, hoping that, once it’s been deemed safe to travel, the music scene and the travel industry will return to normal. While live music is very much back, travel logistics are stubbornly struggling in some areas.

The tour kicked off in Nashville at our hotel in Music Row (could you imagine a better place to start?) and followed this itinerary (links to separate articles already published):

Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia

Festival kick-off show

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (3 days)

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Hiltons, Virginia

Drive-by the Carter Family Fold, Mt Vernon Church and the grave sites of A. P. Carter and Sara Carter

Asheville, North Carolina

Arts Precinct

Citizen Vinyl recording studio and vinyl plant,

Steep Canyon Rangers’ listening party

Kassi Valazza show at the Grey Eagle

Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Centre

Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Wilkes Heritage Museum and Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame

Galax, Virginia

Blue Ridge Music Centre and music session with Scott Freeman and Willard Gayheart

Floyd, Virginia

Sightseeing and shopping
County Sales music store
Shows at the Floyd Country Store including Red Volkaert, plus Larry Sigmon and the Country Girls and jams

Ferrum, Virginia

Blue Ridge Institute and Museum

Rocky Mount, Virginia

First-hand with a Moonshiner and the Harvester Performance Centre

Abingdon, Virginia

Walk and lunch at this historic town

Nashville, Tennessee

Americana Music Festival and Conference including the Americana Honors and Awards Show at the historic Ryman Auditorium (5 days)

The travel landscape has undoubtedly changed through higher prices and more unpredictable service outcomes. But the supreme music and its cultural roots in the land remain.

My personal highlights were :

  • Zachariah Malachi & the Nashville Counts at the Bristol Hotel
  • at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the performances of Goldpine, 49 Winchester, Dave Eggar, The Mavericks, Orchestra Appalachia, TK and the Holy Know Nothings and Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
  • the Americana Awards and Honours Show – the best night of top-end music imaginable!
  • Old Crow Medicine Crow at the BMI rooftop (AmericanaFest)
  • Jason Hawk Harris on the Bobby Hotel rooftop (AmericanaFest)
  • Dan Tyminski, Steep Canyon Rangers and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper at the Analogue in the one night (AmericanaFest) – seeing Dan was on my bucket list for a long while
  • Courtney Marie Andrews on Melbourne’s RRR radio broadcast (AmericanaFest)
  • A Celebration of Merle Travis session at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (AmericanaFest)
  • our behind-the-scenes visits to Citizen Vinyl, Wilkes Heritage Museum and the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum
  • our vivid day at Rocky Mount with moonshiner Henry Lee Law
  • Kassi Valazza at the Grey Eagle
  • the numerous sessions at the Floyd Country Store and the town of Floyd generally
  • much improved coffee options since our last trek, Velvet Tacos in Nashville, the wholesome food at the Floyd Country Store, the burgers at Dooley’s Bar & Grill, Wilkesboro and the Burger Bar, Bristol, Virginia
  • all the new T-shirts!

Special thanks to the wonderful tour guests – Anne, Jim, Sandra and Trish – for making this an even more enjoyable musical journey, particularly for their patience when our muscle van had to be replaced*. There is nothing better than sharing these adventures with like-minded music fans.

*don’t get me started!

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We review our USA GrassRoots Music Tour 2023

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Author: Rob Dickens

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