It’s the soundtrack of America.
Forty-five years ago, The Allman Brothers Band burst onto the scene. With an intoxicating blend of squealing LA rock-n-roll, poignant Greenwich Village folk and bayou voodoo blues, the Macon, Georgia band plugged in and kicked off a whole new genre of sound — Southern rock.
In a beloved mountain town already filled with great restaurants, cafes, breweries and independent businesses, Sylva recently became home to two new downtown locations — The Winged Lion and Tonic Delivers. The Smoky Mountain News tracked down the owners of both of these establishments just to see exactly what they’re all about:
I’ve always felt the greatest gift is the gift of music.
Though I’ve never been a huge fan of receiving presents (I’d rather spend quality time with a loved one, save your money), the gifts that meant the most to me where melodic. It was a dear friend giving me a mix CD of the “Best Road Trip Songs,” my uncle handing me a copy of The Who’s “Who’s Next” or my mother buying me a ticket for my 18th birthday to see The Rolling Stones on their “Forty Licks” tour.
Patterson Hood is a sponge.
The defacto front man for the Drive-By Truckers, a bastion of nitty-gritty rock-n-roll, Hood soaks in the essence of the world around him. He sees the good, the bad, the ugly, and filters it through a prism of blood, sweat and tears. It’s a creative lens of performance and songwriting that conjures comparisons to the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Band, MC5 and Big Star.
They call him the “Tao of Bluegrass.”
It was exactly eight years this month when I first met Peter Rowan. I was 21 and on my first feature assignment as a wet-behind-the-ears journalist still in college. The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Massachusetts was our rendezvous point. I sat in that old basement green room, Rowan laid out across a musty couch, as we talked about the magic of music and performance.
Dave Mason has seen it all.
As co-founder/guitarist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Traffic, Mason, alongside band mate Steve Winwood, found himself at the forefront of the music industry in the 1960s. With iconic hits like “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Feelin’ Alright,” the ensemble was a vital sound amid the era’s spirit of political turmoil and societal freedoms.
It never ceases to amaze me the incredible people, places and things I cross paths with here in Western North Carolina. From craft artisans to world-class musicians, stealthy moonshiners to stoic veterans, backwoods folks and cosmopolitan socialites — they’re all here in Southern Appalachia.
It’s not only a time capsule, but also a window into the future.
With guitars in-hand, The DuPont Brothers are two men, two voices that become a singular melodic force. The Vermont-based siblings are quite possibly the finest acoustic duo out there today, nationally or internationally. Their mesmerizing sound and pure intent perpetuates a long line of powerhouse harmonic acts, bringing names like Simon & Garfunkel and Seals & Crofts to mind.
I’m alone, again.
As of last Tuesday, I am newly single. To be honest, I’m not happy about that fact. Not one bit. This was the relationship where I felt she was the “one,” a person I truly could see myself marrying and having a family with. That notion — a wife and kids — has been the furthest things from my mind for years.
If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he might have painted a record store.
It’s as American and iconic as children playing outside until the streetlights came on or a young couple sharing a milkshake at a soda fountain. The record store is a place of congregation, of discovery, and of communicating the universal language — music.