On the Crooked Trail

We have been to Franklin County, Virginia, y’all, and have sampled some of Franklin County’s Finest!! 

As promised, John and Cathy and I (Kass, the Kangaroo, mate) went to a bluegrass jam in the Hills of Virginia. Before the highways and byways got built, this was the back of beyond, and everyone took care of each other.  It was a long way to the local corner store, so they were pretty self-sufficient.  Just like us Aussies!

Self sufficiency stretched not only to growing their own food and building their own houses, but also to making their own music and their own hootch.   Yes, the Pride of Franklin County is MOONSHINE!

(In Australia, moonshine happens at night. CHECK. It looks clear and cold. CHECK. It’s sometimes hard to find. CHECK. But in America, it also means hiding from the local constabulary, packaging in plain bottles and carried in plain brown paper bags.) (and hiding the still…..)

The Crooked Trail, on the other hand has everything to do with music. It is Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail for mountain music, but Cathy and John called it BLUEGRASS.  I had never heard any music like it. The closest thing I’d heard to it is bush music at home in Australia, but this was a LOT faster! And louder.

Jam at Johnathan Dillon's house

We listened to Donny, Bobby, Jane and Johnathan for a few hours, and they were HOT! (I kept waiting for the jam and bread to appear, but it seems they have a different use of the word “jam” than I do.)  They’re all great musicians; Johnathan has even won banjo competitions (he’s the 2010 winner of the Merlfest Banjo Competition) on the Crooked Trail.  He’s got his own band, plays mandolin, guitar and bass and sings. He has recorded 5 CDs of his music AND:  he’s got his own tour bus!  (John B was pretty interested in that – he keeps trying to get Cathy to buy one. With driver.)  Thing is: Johnathan Dillon is only FIFTEEN YEARS OLD!!!  See his website at www.johnathandillon.com

Cathy is wondering if she’s in the wrong end of the music business.

So, you’re wondering how the  “Franklin County’s Finest” is? Smoooooothhh (cough, cough)  Pardon me if I hop a bit crooked – blimey!  THAT’s why they call it the Crooked Trail!

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