Beginning in early May, the Blue Ridge Music Center (milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway) schedules mid-day performances by local musicians and bands five days a week. From Memorial Day to the end of summer, these performances are held seven days a week.
The performances are informal and run from noon until 4 pm. They are held in a breezeway at the Center, which is a Visitors Center, museum, and gift shop.
Between songs, interactions involved asking visitors about their hometowns. One conversation went:
"We're from Staunton (VA)."
"Home of the Statler Brothers."
"Do you play any instruments?"
Then came an interesting question: "Do you have it with you?" followed by a slight laugh.
And an even more interesting answer: "Yes."
Several birds find the breezeway a convenient, safe winter haven.
Our feathered friend seemed to be showing off with this maneuver of seeming to turn its head 180 degrees.
After each selection, the members would talk about the song's history, characteristics of old-time music, of the culture of the area.
The setting in the hills of Appalachia, combined with musicians who enjoy playing the music of their culture and sharing their knowledge with visitors, makes for many enriching afternoons.
(Information on the performers was obtained from blueridgemusiccenter.org.)