Music in the Mountains Part 2 : Brews and Bands

Well hello there and welcome back to the ongoing, epic three part series, Music in the Mountains…Last week I gave you guys an idea of just how metal the local music here can be. Just to recap, It was Rock Retreat, 2018. Heavy metal, small Southwest VA community, good times.

Today we switch gears a bit to talk about a more “area inclusive” event held in Wytheville, Virginia at cozy Withers Park. I say area inclusive only because heavier music tends to draw its own crowd. An event like “Brews and Bands”, a part of Wytheville’s yearly Chautauqua event schedule,( if you don’t know what Chautauqua means, look it up. I had to back in the day. I’m not ashamed ) tends to draw a very diverse crowd. Good music, good people and of course good brews! Time for part 2 of Music in the Mountains. Brews and Bands…

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My initial view upon arriving at Brews and Bands…perfect photo op

When I arrived I was met by one of the coordinators, Bryan Lawson. I’ve known Bryan for a good many years and it’s always cool to get to cover events that your friends are involved with. Upon receiving my “I get to go anywhere, good times” badge, we walked around and checked out all the fun. Tons of people were gathered here, all enjoying a sunny Saturday in the park. Everyone was wearing their “beer bands” as I called them. Each wristband allowed the guest so many taste tests of all the different brews to be offered. All in all there, were about ten different craft beers to sample, and there was plenty of sampling going on.

 

 

There was also, of course, live music.  Five bands were competing on the stage for prizes on this day. The first prize was not only some cash, but also an opening spot for Jenny Gill, during  prime time Friday night, at the Chautauqua fest. Ahh…those summer nights of music…This is music that fills all of Wytheville during these muggy but comfy evenings. I have spent many an afternoon walking through the town as the sun went down, hearing the tunes echo into the night, thinking of everyone gathered, smiling, dancing and just having a great time. But hey, I’m reminiscing about a different festival here. Snap back to reality, Nate. So as I was saying, five bands duked it out for the number one spot. The stage was wonderfully rocked by Night Train, One Side Missing, Squirrels in the Attic, Virginia Remnants, and Bicycle. What a cool opportunity to get some new fans, have a great time in the community, and showcase your stuff. I myself would love to see more musical events in and around the wonderful and growing town of Wytheville.

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I swung by the judges table to see how the difficult process of descision was going. As I had assumed, I was told it would be a tough call, but in the end first place went to fellas in One Side Missing. Upon speaking to drummer, Gage Freeman, I learned that these dudes are doing ALOT of stuff. Sounds like good things to come for these rockers. Congrats to you guys and good luck in your many future endeavors.

Second place was given to Virginia Remnants, and third was awarded to Squirrels in the Attic. All three bands also received trophies. I know this had to be hard to judge, so hats off to the judges as well. I cant stress enough how important it is to support your local musicians, people. These guys do this for the love of the art and to share their visions with us. The least we can do is show up and support. But enough ranting about that. For now. You know me. You know I’ll rant.

All in all , “Brews and Bands” was a great little day event. There were raffles, prizes, and people of all ages just having a great time. Also food vendors and just..well a bit of everything. Seemed like all who attended were respectful, in good spirits and just generally happy. Which is a testament to what the town of Wytheville is and is becoming even more so. A nice and comfortable place to gather. I had a blast reconnecting with friends, being generally silly and laughing alot, all the while getting a bit cooked under the midday sun. Totally looking forward to next years “Brews and Bands” and all the other fun events entailed in our yearly Chautauqua Festival.

Thanks again to Bryan for helping Blue Ridge Report get involved and giving me a nice itinerary to go by so I wouldn’t get too confused. I guess he knew me better than I thought…

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Caught ya standing around Bryan…get to work...

So this, concludes my second piece to the three part puzzle that is Music in the Mountains. Check in soon for the final installment, A little bit about the monster 3 day event called Mountain Music Fest…

 

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