The Moss Arts Center celebrates Virginia’s heritage music during the Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming

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The Crooked Road: Mountains of Music Homecoming winds its way through Blacksburg with an afternoon and evening of performances and events celebrating heritage music that includes a concert by Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys, with special guests Ricky Skaggs and Larry Sparks.


Presented by the Moss Arts Center, “Mountain Music Legends: The Stanley Brothers Legacy,” will be held on June 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

The performance will honor the legacy of the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys. With the passing of Ralph Stanley in 2016, his son, Ralph Stanley II, now carries the torch of this influential music family.

Bluegrass legends Larry Sparks and Ricky Skaggs were inspired by the Stanley sound when they performed as Clinch Mountain Boys early in their careers and will join Ralph II to perform the songs that have profoundly shaped traditional bluegrass music.

Since first taking the stage with the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1995, Ralph II keeps his family’s mountain music traditions alive and is an innovative solo performer. After eight albums, including 2014’s “Side By Side,” a collaboration with his famous father, Ralph II inherited the Clinch Mountains Boys band following Ralph Stanley’s passing in 2016.

Beginning as a mandolin child prodigy, Skaggs joined the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1971 and backed up Ralph Stanley on numerous classic traditional bluegrass recordings. Eventually, Skaggs left the band and began playing and recording progressive bluegrass and mainstream country music. By the mid-1990s, he returned to his bluegrass roots and fronted his own band, Kentucky Thunder, releasing a series of acclaimed albums and winning numerous Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association awards.

Sparks began his music career playing country, rock, and bluegrass before joining the Stanley Brothers at age 17. In 1969, Sparks formed his own group, the Lonesome Ramblers. Sparks – nicknamed “the King of Country Soul” – was named Male Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2004 and 2005, and was inducted in the association’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

Prior to the performance, join Ralph II, Skaggs, Sparks, and other current and former Clinch Mountain Boys as they reunite and share stories. Panel Discussion: Clinch Mountain Boys Reunion will be held on June 11 at 5 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre. Moderated by author, performer, and Stanley Brothers music historian Gary Reid, of Roanoke, Virginia, the event is free and open to the public.

Also on June 11, at 2 p.m., the center presents “Floyd Radio Show, On the Road” in the Moss Arts Center Cube. Each month the Floyd Country Store in Floyd, Virginia, produces a radio program in an old-timey variety show format. Each program features guest hosts, musical acts from around the region, original radio plays, and comedy bits.

Now in its sixth season, the Floyd Radio Show visits Blacksburg for the first time to create a show in front of a live studio audience, featuring performances by Bill and the Belles, Amythyst Kiah, the Jeff Little Trio, and the Earl White Stringband.

The Mountains of Music Homecoming is a nine-day music and cultural showcase event that stretches across the 333 miles of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. With 25 featured concerts and 130 cultural events, the Mountains of Music Homecoming invites travelers to follow the music through the heart of the scenic, culturally rich Crooked Road region. The theme for the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is “The Year We Sang.”

Tickets for “Mountain Music Legends: The Stanley Brothers Legacy” are $25 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 and under.

Tickets for “Floyd Radio Show, On the Road” are $15 for general admission and $5 for students and youth 18 and under.

Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center’s box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.