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I decided to not wear the hardhat. Standing underneath the magnificent 215-foot high ancient rock arch at the Natural Bridge…
They are the bridge. In the bluegrass world these days, it seems there are two camps of thought and performance…
It ain’t dead. Rock-n-roll. In an era when sugar-coated pop stars and polished country acts are atop the charts, one…
Through the strewn lights I could see the Empire State Building.
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 16:08

This must be the place

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Home. For me, it’s Plattsburgh, New York. Just down the road from the Canadian border, in the heart of the…
It’s about time. It’s about time someone kicked us all in the ass when it comes to the power and…
But, I’m not sad either. Even with that Charlie Brown quote in the headline to emphasize my thoughts on the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:03

Christmas classic comes to life

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A frigid mountain wind howled through Bryson City last Friday evening as a handful of folks hurried into the Smoky…
“You don’t know me but I’m your brother/I was raised here in this living hell/You don’t know my kind in…
Novels written by a Western Carolina University professor and by his former student are among the 147 titles in the…
“I’m glad you’re here right now.” Standing in line at the Old Europe coffee shop in downtown Asheville, I said…
It’s about staying true to yourself. When you converse with country/bluegrass legend Marty Stuart, you’re speaking to the source. From…
“Blue-collar heaven.” When asked just what the Brar Patch is, Trey Smith was quick with that response. Huddled under a…
It’s a whirlwind. With his group Tiny Universe, saxophonist Karl Denson seamlessly creates this vortex onstage, a sonic hub where…
The haunting final moments of the man at the helm of the worse naval disaster in U.S. history will be…
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 17:27

This must be the place: An Ode to Election 2016

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Hate didn't get us to this point. It also didn’t win the election. A stagnant Congress for the last 16…
Taking a seat on the old couch, my foot began to tap immediately. The living room full of friends and…
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 21:42

This must be the place

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The most important band in America My ears are still ringing. After catching two nights of the Drive-By Truckers this…
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 15:06

This must be the place

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Why don’t you go get your crazy pills? I remember that being said to me by other students when I…
Life is good. That’s the vibe one gets when chatting with Chris Robinson these days. Former lead singer for legendary…
It was weird hearing him speak. As host of “All Things Considered,” the flagship program on National Public Radio (NPR),…
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 15:22

WCU to celebrate Homecoming 2016

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The Western Carolina University community will come together under the theme “Purple Reigns” to celebrate Homecoming 2016 with major public…
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 15:15

This must be the place

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I’m entering hostile waters here, folks. So, bear with me as I bring up this ideology I recently heard, which…
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 16:26

This must be the place

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What the hell, I figured. Sometime around midnight, and somewhere around my third beer, I decided to send her a…
It is the rhythm of life. When you hear the guitar mastery of Tim Reynolds, you’re listening to the joyous…
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 14:32

Mountain Faith wins big in Raleigh

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What a year. That is about all you can say about the past 12 months for Jackson County bluegrass act…
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 14:29

This must be the place

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I underestimated it. Stepping into the grand ballroom at the Raleigh Convention Center last Thursday morning, I really didn’t think…
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 15:18

This must be the place

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Why do you write? I write because I was told at a very young age, at some point in elementary…
Surrounded by piles of debris, old wood and gravel, Joe Rowland sees opportunity. “This is the inevitable next step for…
Thursday, 22 September 2016 17:07

This must be the place

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I teared up immediately.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 20:54

Finding the root of your rhythm

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The RPMs hovered around 4,000, the truck huffing and puffing up the steep hillside. Approaching Sam’s Gap (elevation 3,760 feet)…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:25

WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day

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Celebrating Southern Appalachian culture through concerts, living-history demonstrations, competitions and awards programs, Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day will be…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:23

This must be the place

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It pushed me back a couple of feet.
Can you find redemption within your own consequences? In The Risen, the latest work from famed Southern Appalachian writer Ron…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:37

This must be the place

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I awoke with a bit of a chill in the air.
Where to from here? It’s the lingering question within bluegrass and string circles nowadays. Amid the traditional pickers and grinners,…
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 20:41

This must be the place

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The instant the guitar chords echoed from the Mexican restaurant speakers, a slight grin emerged on my face. Immediately, the…
Who was Bayard Wootten? “She was a wonderful, strong North Carolina woman,” said Pam Meister. “She was a skilled photographer.…
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 21:11

This must be the place

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It’s a feeling rather than an attitude.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 19:46

This must be the place

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It took me a couple seconds to realize where I was.
Turning onto 2nd Street from the hectic U.S. 19/74 highway, you find yourself cruising through downtown Andrews. It’s Saturday afternoon,…
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 15:21

You can go your own way

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From the ashes comes the rebirth.  In all my travels as a journalist, and as a music lover, one of…
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 15:19

This must be the place

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What are you afraid of?
The presence of breathtaking topography, ancient native lore, and centuries of American history makes the Great Smoky Mountains a mystical,…
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 20:56

This must be the place

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As I enter my fifth year living and thriving here in Western North Carolina, I’m also sliding into a space…
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 14:17

This must be the place

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I noticed it two rows behind me. Sitting at the cold, hard tables of my eighth-grade science class in the…
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 20:19

This must be the place

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You can’t ignore it. That little voice in the back of your head, always interrupting your daily train of thought,…
Taking a right off East Main Street, just before crossing the bridge into downtown Franklin, you pull onto Lakeside Drive…
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:43

This must be the place

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It’s when you know you’re home. Those places and faces, those sights and lights that truly signal the arrival back…
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