To commemorate his forthcoming appearance at the Richmond Folk Festival, Virginia Living Magazine has posted "Old-Time Man," my expansive 2008 cover interview with the legendary Ralph Stanley. The banjo master will perform Oct. 14 on the Virginia Folklife Stage, as part of the festival's tribute to Virginia's National Heritage Fellows.
The tourists are taken aback at the impromptu exhibit. They have braved twisting mountain roads to reach the far-southwest Virginia town of Clintwood this Tuesday in March in order to visit the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center, and there’s the man himself, leaning back in a white rocking chair in the Music Center’s front room. “I’m thinking about doing another recording and doing a lot of religious songs a cappella on it,” the longtime leader of the Clinch Mountain Boys says softly. He’s sporting a sharp, brown western suit and a neatly coifed hairstyle that was probably not acquired in Dickenson County.