Toe-tapping fiddle tunes that celebrate the history and natural beauty of Virginia.
I've long been a fan of Virginia's historical past and natural beauty. I wrote and recorded these fiddle tunes in honor of the state, and I hope that listeners will enjoy them.
Founded in 1607, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Three ships carried the original inhabitants of Jamestown, who faced unexpected suffering, disease, and conflict in the early years of the colony. When they embarked for Virginia, though, Jamestown's initial settlers were excited and optimistic about the future. I wrote this tune with these hopeful emotions in mind.
Built in 1735, Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington. Tourists come here to learn more about Washington and the early history of the United States. They also enjoy a spectacular view of the Potomac River.
"Mother Of Presidents"
Virginia is famous for being the birthplace of eight American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.
Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's iconic home, was one inspiration for this song. Another influence was Jefferson's long-range vision for America, which led to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. I also was thinking about Jefferson's dreams for his University of Virginia, and I included some of UVA's "Good Old Song" in the piece.
Visitors to Manassas National Battlefield Park may find it hard to believe that this gorgeous and peaceful place was the setting of two significant conflicts during the Civil War. In July of 1861, the first major land battle of the war was fought at Bull Run creek. The Second Battle of Bull Run, which took place in August of 1862, was larger in scale and claimed more casualties than the first encounter at this site.
The Shenandoah Valley is home to hot springs, waterfalls, caves, and Civil War battlefields. It lies beneath the beautiful and popular Shenandoah National Park. Long ago, Native Americans gave the area its name, which meant "daughter of the stars."
"The Rocky Road To Richmond"
Fans of Irish traditional music may recognize this melody as "The Rocky Road To Dublin." I rearranged it to honor Virginia's capital city and its cobblestone streets.
Virginia's Natural Bridge stands 215 feet above Cedar Creek in Rockbridge County at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. Visitors come from all over, in awe of this National Historic Landmark. Natural Bridge is conveniently located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the prettiest drives you'll ever take.
Located in the northern Blue Ridge Highlands, Blacksburg is known for its mountain scenery. The town is also home to Virginia Tech and Lane Stadium's spirited football fans.
The 113,000 acres of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge offer hiking, boating, hunting, bird watching, and biking to visitors. In previous centuries, many people believed this mysterious region was haunted. Runaway and freed slaves lived on islands in the swamp, and part of the area was a route along the Underground Railroad.
Sandbridge Beach, located 15 miles south of Virginia Beach's Resort Area, is a fine place to catch a wave or two. In addition to providing trails for hiking and biking, the neighboring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect spot to watch a sunset.
Fans of time travel experience 18th century life at Colonial Williamsburg. You can immerse yourself in the sights, smells, and tastes that were common in Virginia during the colonial period. For this song, I blended a traditional-sounding fiddle melody with modern instrumentation. This arrangement mimics what you might find at Williamsburg, since your hike through history is never too far from air conditioning and running water.
Measuring seven miles in length, Chincoteague Island is a fishing village on Virginia's Eastern Shore. While Chincoteague is known for its oysters and clams, this island is most famous for its horses.
Immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and England brought their music with them to Virginia. I put together this medley of Irish tunes that may have crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the Emerald Isle to the Blue Ridge Mountains and elsewhere in Virginia. The songs are "Banish Misfortune," "Larry Grogan," and "The Eastern Harper."
"Crooked Road Medley"
The people along the Crooked Road Music Trail of southwestern Virginia are dedicated to preserving traditional music. This medley includes three songs you might hear at an old time music performance along the Crooked Road: "Cindy," "Big John McNeal," and "Liberty."
Jefferson's View 2:470:00/2:47
Chincoteague Island 1:310:00/1:31
Natural Bridge 2:150:00/2:15
Mount Vernon 2:150:00/2:15
Bull Run 1:490:00/1:49
Mother of Presidents 2:190:00/2:19
Dismal Swamp 2:220:00/2:22
Blacksburg Blitz 2:160:00/2:16