If you don’t know the difference between bluegrass and “old-time” music, listen up. And a good time and place for that is March 27-28 at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, held at Surry Community College in Dobson.
Bluegrass is a type of Americana/country/folk music largely derived on what people in the Appalachians called “old-time.” Bluegrass emerged after World War II, was shaped and popularized by musician and band leader Bill Monroe. Initially categorized as hillbilly music, it soon became a popular genre of its own.
What’s considered “old-time” is a catch-all for historic Appalachian folk music built around fiddles, banjos, dulcimers and other stringed instruments. It comes in a variety of styles – many tied to specific mountains in North Carolina and Virginia.
Dobson has a front-row seat on the genre: Nnearby Mount Airy, the Wilkesboro area to the southwest and Galax, Va., to the northwest, are all “old-time” hotbeds.
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The Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, in its sixth year, includes a three-band Friday night dance March 27, and an array of jam sessions, competitions and workshops the following day.
Admission is $5 daily, 12 and younger, free. Saturday’s contestants also get in free. Hours are 7-11 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. For info on the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, call 877-999-8390 or visit www.surryoldtime.com.
For area info, go to www.YadkinValleyNC.com.
While you can make an enjoyable weekend by staying there, know that Dobson is an easy day trip: just 90 minutes due north on I-77 to Exit 93.