WASHINGTON, Va., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In 1749, a teenaged surveyor "laid off a town" on the Eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The 17 year old was working for Lord Fairfax, then Proprietor of much of The Olde Dominion. The village he surveyed has not changed all that much in the ensuing 255 years. But even with an official population of only 134 citizens, the tiny little town in the hills has a whole lot to brag about.
For the teenager's name was George Washington and the village was later the first to be named after "The Father of Our Country". Washington is the county seat of Rappahannock County, a rural haven with no stoplights and a total population of only 7,000.
Young George visited his namesake town many times through the years. It was said he loved to dine and dance at Mrs. Coxe's Tavern, which still stands directly across Main Street from the world famous Inn at Little Washington, the Five Star restaurant and Five Diamond hotel which is annually rated as one of the world's best.
"To say that Washington, Virginia is 'quaint' is an understatement," says Ben Jones. "That is one reason it is a perfect place for our Americana Music Festival." Jones and his wife, Alma Viator, residents of Rappahannock County, are producing The Rappahannock Americana Music Festival, which takes place on Saturday, May 17th in the town.
Among the artists appearing at the Festival are: David Olney and Sergio Webb, Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group; Big Buster and The Dirty Dawgs, songstress Irene Kelley, the North Carolina old-timey string band Craver; Hicks, Watson, and Newberry, Gold Top County Ramblers, Piedmont blues guitarist and nephew of legendary John Jackson, Jeffrey Scott; Mandalélé; Ben Mason; and Manabu and John.
"I don't know of any place in the nation that better fits the description 'Americana'," says Viator. There are only about 150 residents here, and the village hasn't changed much since George Washington's time. Our county is unique in that there are no stoplights, no fast food joints, and no franchised chain stores. Everything is 'mom and pop' operated, the food is fresh from the fields, and just about everybody knows everybody else. You can feel the history here."
Jones is the former Congressman who played "Cooter" on the ever-popular "Dukes of Hazzard." "To me, Americana music means the home-grown music of America," he says. "It is influenced by old time string music, jug bands, the blues and rhythm and blues, country and bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, and whatever else that came from the bottom up instead of from the top down. Some people call it 'roots', some people call it 'folk" music, but it is all of that and more, because a lot of it is new music made in the traditional way."
"A lot of folks who have never been out to Rappahannock will be especially surprised by the beauty of our county, and the laid-back atmosphere of our little town," says Viator. "We have an amazing arts scene here, the best food in the world, and plenty of old-fashioned hospitality."
The Festival will take place in two sessions. The afternoon concert will be outdoors at Avon Hall in the middle of town from noon until 6 p.m. (indoor rain location is Washington Schoolhouse). The evening concert will be held in The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. The admission for each concert is $25, and admission for both is $40. Children 12 and under are admitted free, and parking is also free.
Avon Hall is located at 22 Avon Lane, and the Theatre at Washington is located at 291 Gay Street, 22747.
For tickets and further information: www.rappahannockamericana.com
SOURCE Ben Jones