6:30-7:15 pm: Youth program performances by WiseJAMS-Big Stone Gap (Black Box Theatre) and Henderson JAM (Atrium).


Carson Peters is a 15-year-old wunderkind—a nationally recognized bluegrass and gospel fiddler and singer who has been entertaining audiences for a dozen years. He began playing the fiddle at 3 years of age when his parents bought him a 1/8 size fiddle. In recent years, Peters has regularly performed publicly in and near his home in the Tri Cities area, including at such prestigious venues and events as Mountains of Music Homecoming, Song of the Mountains, the Carter Family Fold, the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival, Asheville’s Bluegrass First Class, and WDVX’s World Class Bluegrass. He has also appeared on several national television programs, including “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey, as well as the 2018 Country Music Association Awards show. Peters has also performed on The Grand Ole Opry, initially as a guest of bluegrass and country music legend Ricky Skaggs and later with his own band, Iron Mountain (featuring Peters’ father Jamie, father-and-son Eric and Ben Marshall, and Austin Tate). Having recorded two well-received albums with Iron Mountain, Peters is widely considered one of the finest young musicians working in bluegrass and gospel music.

Presley Barker is a phenomenal young guitarist who lives in Wilkes County, North Carolina, which was also home to one of Barker’s guitar heroes, Doc Watson. First learning to play the guitar at the age of 7, Barker won the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention guitar contest in the adult division when he was 10; over the next couple of years he won the West Virginia State Flatpicking Guitar competition and the Wayne Henderson Guitar competition. As a member of the talented youth bluegrass band Shadowgrass (alongside Kyser George, Luke Morris, and Clay Russell), Barker has performed at such major festivals as the National Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass, the annual SPGBMA conference, HoustonFest, and Merlefest. With accompaniment from such leading musicians as Steve Lewis, Scott Freeman, Josh Scott, and Wayne Henderson, Barker’s 2015 album, Just Ten, featured the young musician singing bluegrass and gospel songs and playing some classic acoustic guitar tunes (some of which were associated with Doc Watson). More recently, Barker was invited to perform at MerleFest with another of his guitar heroes: 10-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year Bryan Sutton and guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel as well. Presley has opened for famed guitarist Albert Lee and in 2018, Presley performed at the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Ricky Skaggs. Now as a teenager, Barker hopes to continue to expand his range on acoustic guitar while at the same time learning to play electric guitar.

The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming is made possible by the Appalachian Regional Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, VA Dept of Housing & Economic Development, Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Blue Ridge Beverage, Food City, Virginia Commission for the Arts, David and Judie Reemsnyder, Dominion Energy, McGuireWoods, LLC., Virginia State Parks and other generous supporters. For the deaf and hard of hearing community, signing interpretation services can be made available if requested at least 21 days in advance of the concert. For requests received less than 21 days prior to the concert, every effort will be made for accommodations, but interpretation services are not guaranteed. To request services or for more information contact The Crooked Road office by email at or by calling 276-492-2409.

Directions to this Event

I-81 Exit 26