Last weekend, we revisited Floyd, Virginia. We had been given a gift of lodging at the Eagles Wings Estate, so we decided to make a weekend of it and connect back up with Fred First and his wife Ann. Fred writes Fragments From Floyd and is getting wider recognition from his performances on NPR and local venues.
Floyd is an out-of-the-way town, at the crossroads of routes 8 and 221 in southwest Virginia, but it has become a home to all sorts of musical events. This group, Sheryl Warner and the Southside Homewreckers, was performing at Oddfellas Cantina. Their music was surprisingly good, as was the food at Oddfellas. We were treated to a powerful blues performance by a gifted singer with flawless support on harmonica and guitar. I was so taken by their performance that I bought their CD.
The Floyd Country Store, just down the street, has visitors coming
from around the world to play, listen, and dance to authentic bluegrass
and old time music. I saw several other places in the tiny downtown
area that had signs announcing live bluegrass music.
The biggest shock for me was seeing a poster announcing that Leon
Russell and his band will be performing at the Sun Music Hall in
downtown Floyd on November 21. Talk about time warp, I hadn’t heard
anything about Leon in thirty years, and here he is performing with his
daughters in Floyd.
Here are a few other highlights of our visit. Eagle’s Wings Estate
is a restored colonial set on 150 acres with an atmosphere of country
elegance. The owner, Betty Lineberry, is a gracious hostess and an
unparalleled source of information about the people and events of
Floyd. She sets a wonderful breakfast table and her warm hospitality
makes every trip to Floyd a treat.
Oddfellas Cantina is
a restaurant that would be right at home in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove,
or Woodside, California. The fact that it graces Floyd is a happy
circumstance for all concerned. The food is eclectic and ranges from
Morroccan to Mexican, with every dish a real winner. Rob, the owner,
performed at a Spoken Word event hosted at Oddfellas and was one of the
most entertaining performers of the evening.
It was a great visit and it won’t be our last.