Since we’ve moved out here, I have developed a fondness for bluegrass, since it really serves as a nice backdrop for driving around these mountains and curvy roads.
But the ringing of steel drums may be the real soundtrack of Smith Mountain Lake.
Last weekend, Jim and I went to the Show of Shows, a Variety Extravaganza and steel drum concert held to benefit the Smith Mountain YMCA. Some of our friends play in the bands and suggested we come check it out. It was a an eye opener!
And yes, I said bandS. According to the Laker Magazine, back in 2013 a couple of lake residents went to a steel drum concert in Roanoke and were so impressed that they asked the Smith Mountain Arts Council to bring the group to a lake event. It didn’t take long for the first band, the Parrot Pan Band, to form, quickly followed by the Toucan Pan Band and most recently, the Island Pan Band.
All three bands were in full effect on Saturday night, along with the Star City Swag Jazz Quintet, Star City Squeeze Accordions, jazz guitarist Bill Hoffman, and Ernie Freedman, Latin trumpeter.
The bands perform at nonprofit events all around the lake. And while Trinidadian tones are not at all what you might expect during an evening out in south central Virginia, they sure sound nice and they sure have a great time.