Gangstagrass. Photo by Melodie Yvonne

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Emmy-nominated Gangstagrass to hit Harvester stage in August

The Emmy-nominated bluegrass/hip-hop ensemble Gangstagrass will perform at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount on Saturday, Aug. 20, according to a release from the venue. 

The group is known most widely for the opening theme for the FX crime series “Justified.”

Gangstagrass combines great American traditions of bluegrass, hip-hop, and beyond to create a whole new musical genre. As the band’s latest album “No Time For Enemies” climbed to #1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart, Americana Highways magazine proclaimed Emmy-nominated Gangstagrass “America’s Band” because of the way it fuses different genres.

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

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Lynchburg’s Craddock Terry Hotel now affiliated with Marriott

The Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg is now affiliated with Marriot as part of the chain’s Tribute Portfolio, described as “a collection of characterful, independent hotels.”

The property was once a turn-of-the-century shoe factory for the world’s fifth-largest shoe company, with a tobacco warehouse on the other part of the site. It’s now a hotel with 44 rooms and suites.

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Junior Achievement ‘urgently’ seeks volunteers in Roanoke, Salem

Junior Achievement says that volunteers are “urgently needed” to help mentor students at Westside Elementary in Roanoke and East Salem Elementary in Salem.

Volunteers are needed at Westside March 14-15 and at East Salem March 14-April 4.

To volunteer, email

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W&L presents Kimono demonstration and lecture

Washington and Lee University presents a public demonstration and lecture on the Japanese kimono with Sachiko Houck and Terry Sherwin, members of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai association in Philadelphia, on March 12 at 2 p.m. in the Northen Auditorium of the Leyburn Library at W&L.

This lecture is free and open to the public. A kimono and obi (sash) will be displayed on the first floor of Leyburn Library from March 1 through April 8.

The kimono is part of traditional Japanese attire often worn during special occasions. Depending on how the garment is worn, it can reflect details about the wearer, such as age and marital status. During their lecture, Houck and Sherwin will discuss the versatility of the kimono and how to “read” some of its language. They will demonstrate the wearing of a woman’s kimono and obi (sash) and show a variety of kimono-related apparel.

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Wytheville Community College holds bluegrass and old-time jamboree on March 19

Wytheville Community College will present the free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree on March 19. This month the Jamboree will feature Cabin Creek Bluegrass Band and the Whitetop Mountain Band from 7-9 p.m. The Jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium on the WCC campus in Wytheville, located at 1000 East Main Street. Attendees are encouraged to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

Cabin Creek Bluegrass Band is a local Bluegrass Band that plays around the North Carolina and Virginia area. The band members are Carrol Shores on guitar; N.R. Taylor on Dobro; Will Eller on bass; and Jack Wells on Mandolin.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. The band includes Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals; Martha Spencer on guitar, fiddle, banjo, and vocals; Kilby Spencer on fiddle; Ersel Fletcher on guitar and vocals; and Debbie Bramer on bass.

Doors to the Snyder Auditorium open at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7 p.m., Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.

The WCC Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree was first organized in 2006. The event is hosted by WCC English faculty member, Jason Settle, whom you may find playing the fiddle along with one of the bands. The WCC Jamboree is an affiliated venue of The Crooked Road.