Music Trail: Traditions Stay Strong on Trail


Thanks to HashtagWV for inviting The Mountain Music Trail to share our story with you in these pages. The Trail runs along US 219 almost 200 miles, from the Maryland border in the north through some of West Virginia’s most beautiful scenery, ending at the Virginia line in Peterstown, Monroe County. It was organized by a group of people who want to celebrate the wonderful variety of tradition based music to be heard in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia.

We had a wonderful celebration of the life and music of guitarist Terry Richardson, of Pocahontas County bands “Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters” and “Elk River Ramblers” at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton Sunday, October 23. About 150 people enjoyed a potluck supper, fond reminiscences and a series of musical performances in honor of Terry, who passed away earlier this year, operated the iconic CJ Richardson Hardware in Marlinton, which has been in his family for over 100 years. The event was also a benefit for the Opera House, where Terry played often and supported  enthusiastically.


Saturday August 20 was Mountain Music Trail Day at the State Fair of West Virginia in Greenbrier County.  Three MMT bands – Aurora Celtic from Tucker County, Hell for Certain from Greenbrier County and Sugar Run from Pocahontas County played on the Sprint Free stat, while Young Pickers( ages 12-18) from Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties performed on the Fairgrounds. The day honored celebrated Old Time musicians Charlie Loudermilk and Junior Spencer of Mud Hole Control, who played music together for over 50 years in and around Greenbrier County. Another MMT band, Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, were featured Wednesday of Fair Week.

Three breweries are members of the Mountain Music Trail: Mountain State Brewing in Thomas,  Big Timber Brewing in Elkins, and Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. in Maxwelton.  Seems like Beer & Bluegrass (and Old Time music) go together naturally . Reader, can you come up with a good idea as to how we could develop an event involving  our music and all three of the Trail breweries? Send us your concept to The best idea will win a Mountain Music Trail sampler CD.

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Each month  in this space we’ll bring you stories about our area’s musical traditions and the musicians and venues that carry them on, as well as some notable events in the weeks ahead. We look forward to sharing some good times with you!

MMT events for November include:

Saturday, Nov 5: Local heroes the Half Bad Bluegrass Band at Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co, just off US 219 a few miles North of Lewisburg – Turn off toward the airport and follow the signs.

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Friday, Nov 11 – the Stray Birds at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas: “From the moment the opening notes hit your ear, you know this band hit the golden “thing” – the un-defineable quality/timing/vibe that artists can never accurately describe – you only know that they offered a piece of themselves that will now be part of you onward.” – Popdose

Every Wednesday – Open mike night at the Fiddlehead, just off US 219 at the base of Snowshoe Mountain.

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