Melodies create memories at Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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GALAX, Va. (WDBJ) - Every August, the world of bluegrass music turns to Galax for the Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

“It’s such a wide range of people that play this type of music,” attendee Allen Mann said. “You never know when you walk up to somebody whether they play or not.”

The annual convention turns into a reunion for Mann and his friends. They always meet in Galax, and they always bond through music.

“It just binds you together,” Mann said. “Just the history, the heritage and we’re just trying to keep it going.”

For this group, the recipe for a successful convention calls for more than 10 friends, over seven days, with little to no sleep, and a whole lot of music.

“Year after year, you see them again, and you pick a little more and you know him a little better and it’s it’s just built over time,” attendee Ralph Edwards said.

They’re friends from many different places and walks of life, but during the convention, it’s the notes coming off a six string that share their stories.

“It can be a eight-year-old kid come down and pick a song with the 80-year-old man and they both know how to play it the same way, and it’s just special,” Attendee Barry Martin said.

As the eyes of the bluegrass world turn to southwest Virginia, there’ll be at least one group of friends, sharing a melody and a smile, connecting over the common bond of bluegrass music.

“These people that we play with down here, they’re our family and and we come back every year like it’s a family reunion,” Edwards said.

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