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News Review
Downhill Strugglers with John Cohen to Perform at MECC
Posted Date: 6/10/2015
Big Stone Gap, VA: Renowned musicologist John Cohen will join the Brooklyn-based old time string band, Downhill Strugglers at Mountain Empire Community College on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m.

A founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers as well as a musicologist, filmmaker and photographer, John Cohen is one of America’s most celebrated participants in the folk and traditional music scene for more than fifty years. His 1962 film “High Lonesome Sound” is a seminal document about traditional Appalachian music. He has been one of the nation’s foremost “discoverers” of traditional musicians, finding and recording many of the greatest names in bluegrass and old time music.

Cohen will play with the Down Hill Strugglers, a Brooklyn band that has devoted itself to the authentic presentation of traditional music, especially that found in the Library of Congress’ archive collection of music collected by famed folklorist Alan Lomax. The Downhill Strugglers recently collaborated with T-Bone Burnett on the “Inside Llewyn Davis” soundtrack and have released their latest album on Smithsonian Folkways. An exhibit about the Alan Lomax archives from the Library of Congress will be on display at the College from June 3rd through June 20th.

Tickets for the June 19th concert are on sale now and available locally at the Wise County/City of Norton Chamber of Commerce, 765 Park Avenue, SW, Norton, Virginia; at Food City Stores; and online at

A nine-day celebration of Southwest Virginia’s heritage and music, The Crooked Road’s inaugural Mountains of Music Homecoming will take place June 12-20, in cities and towns across the 8,600-square-mile Crooked Road Region. Over 200 artists will perform 34 different Crooked Road Concerts. The Homecoming will feature over 260 additional cultural experiences presented by local communities and organizations highlighting the culture of scenic Southwest Virginia.

Known internationally as a mecca of old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music, The Crooked Road connects the home places of some of the most cherished figures in American music – the Carter Family, the Stoneman Family, the Stanley Brothers, and bluegrass pioneers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, among others – and spans a region celebrated for its beautiful landscape and seminal contributions to the nation’s art and music.

Travelers seduced by the sweet sound of all that music will also discover first-rate wineries, outstanding cycling, fly-fishing, hiking, theater, galleries and museums, community picnics, pancake breakfasts, and a wealth of unforgettable experiences to wile away the hours between concerts along The Crooked Road.

For a complete listing of all Mountains of Music cultural events and ticketing for the 34 Crooked Road Concerts, visit

Mountains of Music Homecoming has been made possible through the generous support of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Food City, Your Local Farm Bureau Insurance Agents, Emory & Henry College, Barter Theatre, Blue Ridge Beverage, Virginia Commission for the Arts and many other organizations and businesses.