Sonic Spaces

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Sonic SpacesIf you like ambience as much as the sounds coming off the strings, check out these five essential music rooms in the South.

The Purple Fiddle
Thomas is a tiny town on the Blackwater River near West Virginia’s Monongahela recreation mecca, filled with epic mountain biking trails and enough backcountry to get lost for days. A town fixture is this quaint country store with homemade ice cream and a delicious deli that also likes to host a bold schedule of touring acts on the weekends. See homegrown bands like the New Familiars and Stephanie’s Id before they inevitably move into bigger venues.

This music hall in Alexandria, Va., is legend in Americana circles with two distinct rooms—a seated listening side and a dance-friendly bandstand—for soaking in tunes by Asleep at the Wheel (August 26) or Nanci Griffith (October 8-9).

Summit City Lounge
Progressive arts appreciators in coal country came together to open this new small town hangout in Whitesburg, Ky., just over the southwestern Virginia line. The relaxed space with great coffee has stepped up and booked an impressive roster of acts including former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and the Hackensaw Boys.

The Down Home
Accomplished musician, actor, and all-around arts Renaissance man Ed Snodderly owns this intimate listening room In Johnson City, Tenn. The warm cabin-style feel attracts some of the best players in roots music from established bards Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien to younger upstarts like Scott Miller.

The Crimson Moon
High in the mountains of North Georgia the eclectic town of Dahlonega holds this house built in the 1850s that has been transformed into a funky art gallery and café. National singer-songwriters and local bluegrass jams fill the Moon’s seven-night-a-week music calendar.

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