A! Magazine for the Arts

Verner Blankenship Park Music Jam in Hurley, Va., new Crooked Road venue

May 12, 2013

Hurley, Va., is in Buchanan County, an area rich in coal resources. It is also rich in traditional music, including gospel, old-time and bluegrass. Twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, musicians of the area congregate for the Verner Blankenship Park Music Jam to share the music that has been handed down for generations in this mountainous region.

Representatives of the Jam recently received a banner acknowledging this venue's recent inclusion as a Crooked Road Affiliated Venue. As an Affiliated Venue, the Jam will be represented in Crooked Road publicity and promotional materials as a place where visitors can experience authentic traditional music.

Named for a respected coal miner from the community, Verner Blankenship Park is a great location for the Jam. While the fiddlers bow and the banjoists pluck in the enclosed gazebo, kids, family members and visitors can enjoy the Park's playgrounds or a meal in one of the picnic shelters. The music goes steady for several hours each time, and visitors are more than welcome to pull out their own instruments and add to the music. Verner Blankenship Park is located at 7447 Lester's Fork Rd. in Hurley, Va.

The Affiliated Venues and Festivals of The Crooked Road are places where the best traditional music of the region is heard and includes annual festivals and weekly or monthly jams and concerts. A complete listing of the Affiliated Venues and Festivals and the nine Major Venues of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail can be found at www.thecrookedroad.org.

The Crooked Road's mission is to support economic development in Southwest Virginia by celebrating and preserving this Appalachian region's unique musical and cultural heritage. The Trail itself covers 330 miles and connects Rocky Mount in Franklin County to Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson and Buchanan Counties.

For additional information about The Crooked Road, call 276-492-2409 or send an e-mail to info@thecrookedroad.org. For more information about the Verner Blankenship Park Music Jam, call (276) 566-7172.