By Marie March
Upon moving to the NRV years ago, my husband and I were thrilled to discover the astounding beauty of our region. Having spent a lot of time hiking and festival going in Western NC and East TN, we were spoiled with hearing great music, so we were quite pleased to get to be spectators and eventually venue operators in a burgeoning music scene here in the NRV. When we opened our venues, we wanted to pay homage to my upbringing in East TN and ancestry in Lee County, VA. My family has ancestors that can be traced to some of Virginia’s founding Bluegrass musicians, who later became famous in Nashville, the Stoneman family. Bluegrass and country music has a rich history in my family, my grandfather even being a physician to the legendary Carter family in Hiltons, VA.
Here are some great stops and my own personal commentary to highlight our region’s music scene and nightlife AND all venues are participants in the NRV Go Local Movement- so make sure to present your Go Local card for VIP specials and discounts!
Floyd County’s Music and “Coolness” Scene REALLY has it Goin On!
While traversing Route 8, make sure to stop and get a wood fired pizza and a beer and check out the music scene at Dogtown Roadhouse. This is probably the most cutting edge venue in the NRV, bringing regional acts to the stage and highlighting local talent. The Music Genres range from jazz, new age, rock, country, electric, bluegrass and Americana. Dogtown has pizza, beer and a plethora of music for any persuasion. You won’t be disappointed!
And while in Floyd, don’t miss the Floyd Country Store! This is a great stop, especially if you want to hear the high lonesome sounds of banjo, guitar and mandolin. You will see many locals outside playing those instruments. Floyd Country store is family friendly and offers an old time Soda fountain and really good food. Don’t miss it! www.floydcountrystore.com
Right around the corner from the one stop light in Floyd is a new creation, Lush Lounge, where you can take a step back in time to the speakeasy of the prohibition days. Old time fancy mixed drinks abound and astound, and although there’s no music here, it is a fun venue to attend and especially a great stop while in Floyd.
And, have to mention Chantilly Farm for festivals and events. They have full service camping and host events regularly. Beautiful farm with disk golf course and loads of fun things to do. Check out their events
While heading toward Christiansburg from Floyd on Route 8, be sure to stop by Sinkland Farm and let the kiddos hang out with a cow or a goat (or pig or turkey). Picturesque setting with the Blueridge Mountain backdrop, you can let the kids pick pumpkins and play on the playground at this fantastically fun venue. Renowned in the region for the Pumpkin Farm, kids and adults have a blast at this beautiful location.
When you hit Christiansburg, VA you should check out our cool businesses (I mean WE think they are cool!) Due South BBQ and Fatback Soul Shack, both located on Roanoke Street (the old Lee highway) in Christiansburg. We have traditional rock, bluegrass and variety of acoustic musicians 3 nights a week.
Just down the street at Fatback Soul Shack, we wanted to showcase the talents of all Appalachians, and not just our down home southern charm and cuisine, but also the original sounds of our area. Fatbacks has regional artists like the Mad Iguanas from Roanoke and local rock and roll acts like our very own Hard 40 with lead singer, local Realtor, Wendy Brown!
We hope you love our venues as much as we do! Our goal is for you to experience the unique flavors and music of the South, just across the Mason-Dixon line.
While heading into Blacksburg, don’t miss The Cellar restaurant! Great food, and I mean, it IS REALLY good! And lots of beer on tap, they were our first music experience when moving to the NRV. Folks dancing and jiving to a cool local band in the dining room. It’s loads of fun and the food, again, is way good!
And if you simply have to leave the NRV and are heading southbound on I-81, you are still in the NRV and don’t wanna miss Draper Mercantile or ‘The Merc’, as the locals call it. It is a restored beauty and has fantastic food. During the holidays they offer live music, and occasionally dinner theater. You absolutely need to check it out! And don’t forget to get a slice of homemade dessert and coffee for the road home!
We don’t want to see you leave the NRV… Be sure to grab a Go Local Card and
Come see us again soon, ya hear?