The Spirit of the Valley Festival on October 28, 2018, is a Valley-minded mini-Americana Roots Music Festival. The festival will highlight the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley through the music, food, beverages, crafts, agricultural tools, and activities that have made the Shenandoah Valley the agricultural heart of Virginia.
Four bands have been chosen to represent the best of Americana Roots Music.Andrew McKnight andrewmcknight.net, the well-known artist whose song “Good Things Matter” won the 2005 Great American Song Contest (Acoustic/Folk), will start off the day at 11:00 AM with a gospel hour. Other artists include: Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders, The Howlin’ Brothers, Frank Sullivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Town Mountain.
Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders andrewmcknight.net/theband Andrew McKnight’s music traverses influences from Appalachia, tasteful slide and jazzy blues, feisty anthems, rustic folk, and guitar-driven rock. Featuring founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson, Les’ wife Stephanie Thompson, and Lisa Taylor, Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders blends his charming tenor voice and acoustic and electric guitars with banjo, upright bass, drums, and percussion. The band has delighted concert and festival audiences since their collective debut at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington (March 2008), as well as on their acclaimed 2012 CD/DVD set One Virginia Night.
The Howlin’ Brothers thehowlinbrothers.comare a Nashville-based string band composed of Ian Craft, Dan Swan, and Jared Green. Anchored in a bed of old-time blues and bluegrass, their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica, and old-time fiddle. Sounding like what would happen if a bunch of Appalachian punk rockers formed a jug-band, The Howlin’ Brothers play with a ferocious energy that drags you in and finds you boogieing along in spite of yourself.
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen dirtykitchenband.com. Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, award-winning guitarist Chris Luquette and bassist Jeremy Middleton, simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal, and songwriting skills so hot, they’ve been named Washington Area Music Association’s Best Bluegrass Band of the Year for four consecutive years.
Town Mountain townmountain.net. Raw, soulful, and with plenty of swagger, Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival. The hearty base of Town Mountain’s music is the first and second generation of bluegrass spiced with country, old school rock ‘n’ roll, and boogie-woogie. It’s what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life both on stage and on record and reflects the group’s wide-ranging influences – from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon, and Merle.
The Festival will feature a Rockingham County Classic Chicken Bar-B-Que cook-off contestwith 10 of the best crews from the county and beyond! The chicken will provide the day’s meal for all of our festival goers, and the crowd will get to help choose the winners. Locally sourced fresh seasonal sides and desserts will also be available.
For the adults gathered, a selection of local breweries, cideries, and distillerieson the Shenandoah Spirits Trail shenandoahspiritstrail.com, among others, will share their local spirits. Imagine sitting on a hill, under a tent or out in the open, listening to bluegrass and sipping locally (now legal) Shenandoah Valley moonshine.
Family-friendly agriculture activities will be provided by The Heritage Museum, home of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, and The Farm Museum in the Shenandoah Valley. Educational history exhibits will remind everyone why our ancestors chose the Shenandoah Valley as their home and how they claimed it as their own. Fun games will encourage outdoor play like in the days before electronics.
And what better place for all this happen than On Sunny Slope Farm! onsunnyslopefarm.com
Sunny Slope Farm is a Virginia Century Certified Farm vdacs.virginia.gov/conservation-century-farms-rockingham.shtml and the historic homeplace of the Wampler family since 1828. It is inarguably the birthplace for the modern turkey industry. Charles Wampler, Sr., built an incubator in 1922. When he hatched 52 turkey eggs on Sunny Slope Farm just outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia, the modern turkey industry in America was born. For that and many other innovations in the turkey world, Mr. Wampler earned a place in the Poultry Hall of Fame as the Father of the Modern Turkey Industry. The Wampler family has been an agricultural and community leader for centuries. We look forward to hosting the Spirit of the Valley Festival and sharing our story as well.
Join us on Sunday October 28, 2018, for the Spirit of the Valley Festival On Sunny Slope Farm.
Tickets Available beginning July 17, 2018.