The Steel Wheels presented the 7th annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys Park and campground in Mt. Solon, Virginia, last weekend. It was three days across five stages with 40 bands performing along the North River, under the Natural Chimneys, known as the Cyclopean Towers.
The Steel Wheels are a Virginia-based acoustic Americana band from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Harrisburg, Virginia. They hosted the first Red Wing Roots Festival in 2012.
From the program:
As you join us for Red Wing, we don’t know where you’re coming from: the birth of a child, the passing of a parent, the blossoming of a new relationship, the treatment of cancer, the graduation of your grandchild. It’s life, and we’re all in the middle of it. We meet each other somewhere in the “middle” each year. We meet in celebration of music and a hope that the music will meet us wherever we are. We are here, in the middle of it, too. We have experienced profound loss, though we are excited to release an album as the festival gates open this year.
We welcome you to the Red Wing 7. We welcome you in pain, in mourning, in celebration, and in awe. We are grateful you are here. We are grateful for each opportunity to play and be with each one of you. We are grateful for the music. Welcome, from wherever you come.
The Steel Wheels.
Watch a short video taken at a campsite at Red Wing Roots Festival, where musicians gathered to jam:
On July 12-14, the 2019 line up included Lucinda Williams, The Wood Brothers, Mandolin Orange, Peter Rowan’s Carter Stanley’s Eyes, The Tim O’Brien Band, The Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Charley Crockett, The Lil Smokies, Fruit Bats, River Whyless, Lindsay Lou, Birds of Chicago, Big Daddy Love, Hush Kids, Feufollet, Lonely Heartstring Band, The East Pointers, Sam Reider, Larry Keel, Dead Horses, Lula Wiles, The Hollering Pines, Sean McConnell, Kaia Kater, Fireside Collective, Cedric Burnside, Courtney Hartman, Cedric Watson, Danny Knicely, Kristin Andreassen, Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, Locust Honey, John R Miller & the Engine Lights, Justin Jones, Jordan Tice, Oliver Craven, The Judy Chops, Corner House, Saw Black, Dogwood Tales, The Wildmans, The Walking Roots Band, The Bright Siders, Ragged Mountain String Band, Dirt Road Sweetheart featuring Nora Jane Struthers, The Fernandez Sisters, and more!
Red Wing Roots Music Festival has the whole experience. Located under the towering limestone chimneys, with shady trees along the North River which are great for swimming or wading on a hot day. There’s also a playground for the kids, yoga, rock climbing, hiking, biking trails, with a variety of crafts, food vendors, and a beer garden to pick from. This year, the festival had a golf cart pick-up and drop-off locations around the park, along with a shuttle bus which help you to explore areas of the park you might miss.
What a great place to bring a chair or blanket, under the shad of a tree and enjoy the variety of music in a beautiful setting in the outdoors of Virginia.
Here are some pictures of the 7th annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt. Solon, Virginia, on July 12, 13, and 14, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Chester Simpson.