Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tazewell Virginia Barbecue and Mountain Blues Music

Here's a farm outside of Tazewell. The area is really beautiful.

Mom is headed to the Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell, Virginia today for barbecue and to see the new exhibit "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music."

The museum is right on 460 in the southwest tip of Virginia. It's close to Bluefield, Virginia (West Virginia) and not a real long haul from Bristol, Tennessee. Really pretty mountain country. Great road trip views.

The new exhibit is provided by the Smithsonian Institution and is a traveling collection. It features blues music which is not usually associated with the Appalachian mountains but can certainly be felt in a lot of the songs.

My great grandpa, W. E. Myers, wrote a song that will be featured. He wrote a lot of songs including what was probably the original version of "House of the Rising Sun." That was made famous by The Animals. Some words are changed around, but my Grandpa's song sure sounds like "House of the Rising Sun." Grandpa took a boat trip down the Mississippi to New Orleans when he was a young man, and he visited the House of the Rising Sun. He also met my great Grandma, so maybe he stopped visiting cat houses after that.

The barbebue (North Carolina style) is tonight (June 7, 2008) from 5 to 8 p.m., but the exhibit will be available through July 13, 2008. If you're not around during that time, still put Crab Orchard Museum on your "visit" list and check the museum calendar. They have a lot of great music events including the Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers' Convention.


Bob said...

Your great grandfather wrote "House of the Rising Sun"?? Wow! That is seriously cool.

It's a little musician secret that the chords and melody to House of the Rising Sun and Amazing Grace resemble each other quite a bit, and I thought for years that the author of HOTRS must have done that deliberately. And thought it was very funny.

Really, HOTRS is one of the all-time great American blues songs.


Grill Girl said...

Thanks! I always thought that was cool too.

My Mom has the song my Great Grandpa wrote. It is really close. Only a few words changed.

Back then I think (not certain), writers had to send off and pay for copyrights. This was during the Depression when my Great Grandpa was sending some songs/stories/poems in. Little Grandma (his wife and 4 foot 11 inches) did not like him spending the money on stuff like that. This was one that does not carry a copyright.

The history does match up. Great Grandpa road the river, visited the House of the Rising Sun, and he married my great grandma after. He always wrote songs, poems and so on. His background was Appalachian mountains, so I could see the sound being like a gospel song as well. Many mountain sin songs combined such elements.

I can't swear to it, but my best guess is that my great Grandpa did write House of the Rising Sun.