MusicThe mix of multicultural musical roots that West Virginia’s early settlers brought together creates our distinct Appalachian sound, with influences like folk, bluegrass, Celtic, African, blues, gospel and more. Join in on the jams at our unique venues, festivals, events and even informal pickin’ circles where you’ll more than likely be asked to dance or strum along. Aside from authentic mountain music, you’ll be surprised at the variety of genres you’ll hear our musicians playing across the state to eager audiences.
Soak in the many sounds of the Mountain State, from bands with fresh songs of their own, to groups pickin’ along to old-time tunes. Begin your discovery of our music scene in the cities of Charleston and Huntington.
Spend an afternoon in Huntington, where you might come across live outdoor music at Pullman Square or the shops at Heritage Station. Duck into Now Hear This record store to flip through selections of local musicians. On your way out of town, don’t miss Heritage Farm Museum & Village’s various exhibits, including one dedicated to old traditional Appalachian instruments like a banjos and mandolins.
West Virginia’s State Museum will also give you an opportunity to learn more about our mountain music heritage and roots, with a room entirely dedicated to the subject with various items, including the late Senator Byrd’s fiddle. Charleston also prides itself on having live music on every single night of the week, so take your pic from going to a concert, enjoying local musicians, or bring along your own instrument to join the jams at various open mic venues across town.
Carnegie Hall is the central heartbeat to the creative culture of Lewisburg, one of West Virginia’s prestigious certified arts towns. It brings in musicians year-round for visitors to enjoy. Carnegie Hall also hosts the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame exhibit, where you might learn about some familiar names like Bill Withers, Little Jimmy Dickens, Kathy Mattea and more.
Take a lunch break at Hill and Holler for handcrafted, wood fired pizzas. It also happens to be an official partner of the Mountain Music Trail which spans 5 different West Virginia counties along Route 219. More Mountain Music Trail partners in Lewisburg includes the Irish Pub, Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, Hawk Knob Cidery and Meadery, and the Wild Bean.
Spend your evening visiting one of the many spots mentioned above in Lewisburg, or head into the New River Gorge to see how one of West Virginia’s coolest small-towns, Fayetteville, celebrates its music scene. Have you been looking for a festival that combines music, the outdoors and adventure? Look no further than the Mountain Music Festival at ACE Adventure Resort. This festival celebrates outdoor adventures in West Virginia, amazing live music and brings the spirit of Appalachia to life. Catch a show at The Grove to catch musicians live on stage.
Header deeper into the high Potomac Mountains of the state, bringing you through towns like Cass, Marlinton and Elkins, all of which host an impressive assortment of musicians with a deep connection to old time music and a passion for sharing it with others.
The Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins is a perfect opportunity for those interested in hands-on opportunities to learn more about the music culture of West Virginia. Evenings are packed with lively jams, slow jams, song swaps, square dances and concerts. Plan in advance to learn from master musicians. Be sure to catch dinner and a show at Gandy Dancer Theatre, West Virginia’s only Branson-style musical theater.
No mountain music road trip is complete without a stop at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas. In fact, it’s such a popular venue that its music schedule practically fills itself six months in advance with nationally touring acts that are eager to play in its mostly acoustic and intimate atmosphere with an attentive audience. It also happens to be a family friendly venue, although you can still taste a local craft brew. Convenient lodging at its hostel or the Cooper House Bed and Cocktail next door makes it a perfect stop to spend an extra day or two in town or exploring the outdoors.
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