The Untapped Southwest VA

By Joe “Yeti” Collier

Southwest Virginia is a place that doesn’t exist if you ask northern Virginians. They will tell you the state stops at Roanoke.

The southwest portion of Virginia may be a small area, but it has put out many of great musicians. The Carter Family, Dock Boggs, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Carl Martian and Spike Carson all begin their musical journeys in this part of Virginia and we are continuing that rich tradition.

We have bands like Folk Soul Revival and If Birds Could Fly that are known in many different states, on both the east and west coast, and are crowd favorites at local venues and festivals.

We have bands like Earth By Train who are working their way up, and just had their single “Roll” included on Relix Magizine’s January/February sampler.

Bands that are not recognized on a national level are drawing a good following at local venues and festivals. Bands like Scratch River Telegraph Company, Craig Street Ramblers, and 49 Winchester to name a couple.

Musicians and song writers that could play or write better than anyone in the world. Song writers like Ron Short, Anthony Wanye, Seth Barnett, Davie Smith just to name a few of the many that the area has cultivated.

We have an untapped music scene that needs a spotlight placed on them. We have outside venues that set unused during the summer that could host music once or twice a week. Festivals like Gathering in the Gap need to tap into this talent pool, and set up different stages or expand into the downtown area of Big Stone Gap, VA. Hopefully the new Rte 23 Music Festival coming up in August will help build more recognition for the scene. Bristol Rhythm and Roots has done a good job over the years of letting local bands pick up new fans in a festival setting.

My point for saying all this is I hope this is where Yeti Review can help. I know this blog isn’t popular (yet), but I hope that it will be. I want to get the area music and musicians out to the world. I want to do reviews, interviews and even a Yeti Review music showcase channel on YouTube. I am here to help this area out and continue the rich tradition of music in my own way. If you would like me to review a new album or interview you or your band please email and we will set up a date.

Peace, love and may the music gods be with you,

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