The Lucketts Bluegrass concert Series is America’s longest running, continually scheduled bluegrass concert series, an achievement for which Lucketts was awarded the Virginia Folk Music Association Distinguished Achievement Award in 2010. Lucketts Bluegrass began on January 12th of 1974 at the Old School House in Lucketts, Virginia—where it remains today.
The Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation, sponsor of the concerts, has built upon the deep cultural heritage long-resident across Blue Ridge; where generations of musicians have picked, sung, and handed down Appalachian mountain music from generation to generation. In doing so, something very special was created—a nationally-recognized series that has had the honor of presenting literally hundreds of performances by local, regional, and national bands from Ralph Stanley and Mel Goins to the Seldom Scene, The Country Gentlemen, and Nothin’ Fancy. It has been referred to as “the Ryman of bluegrass”…a reference to Nashville’s Ryman auditorium, the long-time home of the Grand Ole Opry.
One of the truly significant events in the rich history of Lucketts Bluegrass was the recording of The Johnson Mountain Boys, Grammy-nominated Rounder Records album, “At the Old Schoolhouse” on the Lucketts stage. Making this recording even more special is that The Johnson Mountain Boys selected this evening as their final performance—an honor that remains an indelible symbol of the role Lucketts Bluegrass has played in preserving and growing Bluegrass as a cultural treasure over the last 38 years.
Today, Lucketts Bluegrass continues to host national talents like Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers or Dry Branch Fire Squad…performances not to be missed. On Saturday nights, you can often stop by and see National award-winning bands including recipients of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) National Bands of the Year, Vocalists of the Year, and Instrumentalists of the Year on the Lucketts stage…don’t be late seats do go quickly!
Bluegrass, however, is not only about the national acts; it is also about preserving the music, culture, and passion from generation to generation. To this end, Lucketts Bluegrass remains a nationally-recognized venue for local and regional bands to stand where many of Bluegrass’ best come to play. It is this deeply-rooted tradition of families making the unique music of the Blue Ridge that is the core of the Lucketts Bluegrass annual schedule. This heritage is often seen as Performers at Lucketts often tell of the time when their parents’ played on the Lucketts stage—a tradition we are particularly proud of.
The Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation is beginning to take an even more active role in the preservation of our shared cultural heritage—reaching beyond our 38-year history of weekly music performances to broader preservation activities. Recognizing that much of this cultural heritage remains an unwritten history that has survived within families; we are beginning to reach out to today’s children…sharing across the generations the musical history of immigrants that settled in the Blue Ridge many generations ago. When they came to America, they brought with them the music of their homelands. Over the years, Scottish and Irish populations moved further down the Shenandoah Valley. Eventually the Americanized Celtic music intermingled with the African-American culture, which introduced the banjo, and eventually evolved into what is now called “old-time” or Appalachian Mountain music. By the 1930's the depression forced many young residents of the mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky to leave the family “home-place” to find work in the cities. Bluegrass music is, in part, an urban music of these displaced workers who reminisced about the families and farms in the mountain “hollers.” The result was classic bluegrass songs such as “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains,” “West Virginia, My Home,” and “I’d Like to Wander Back to the Old Home,” all of which have been and will continue to be performed on the Lucketts stage. It is this special local heritage that the Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation is striving to preserve and pass on to the next generation.
To ensure the music continues, the Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation has formed an endowment to raise monies that will provide sustaining support for cultural awareness, musical education, and continuation of the 26 Saturday-night performances each year (October through April) at a modest cost and to support events like the Lucketts Fair (10,000-12,000 attendees annually) and our annual Lucketts Bluegrass Picking Party—a free event that reaches out to amateurs and professionals alike.
With your help, our all-volunteer staff can continue to pass-down the rich musical heritage of the Blue Ridge to a new generation so that they too can appreciate what the Washingtonian calls the “Schoolhouse Stomp,” in Lucketts where “Saturday nights…are for old-fashioned, foot-tapping music.”
The Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization; your donations are tax deductable.