Mon05292017

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The key element of bluegrass music is the “unspoken” — in practice, in performance and in personality.  Whether you’re 8…
It came as a shock that has had a ripple effect within music circles around Western North Carolina and beyond.
I didn’t know what to say. Standing in the doorway of the music venue, he said it so casually. 
It’s brutal honesty. Within the wide-spectrum of creative mediums, standup comedy may just be the most vulnerable and jarring of…
So, you have the talent, imagination and output of an artist. But, do you also have the drive, business savvy…
It was during the first sip of my second beer when it struck me. “Let’s go see Dave Davies.”
It’s as timeless as the soundtrack of our lives, regardless of age. When you listen to big band music, you…
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 20:50

This must be the place

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It was immediately familiar.  Stepping into the Canton Middle School last Friday morning, the sights, sounds and smells of the…
I had just reached for the eggplant parmesan sandwich when it was asked. “What do you think about God?”
It’s about finding your center.  Though they’re hundreds of miles from the closest ocean, the members of Sylva-based Positive Mental…
I remembered immediately. Scrolling through the Facebook stream on Monday afternoon, I came across a post from a dear high…
Stepping out of a large passenger van into the sunshine last Saturday afternoon, a group of around 10 people entered…
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 16:10

One small step toward ending discrimination

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North Carolina and its citizens are better off with HB2’s repeal. It’s a giant step forward, and despite criticism from…
It was familiar, yet weird.  Over the last two weeks I’ve crossed paths twice with my immediate family. Once down…
When you’re in the presence of Terrence Mann, you find yourself within reach of an energy — a vibe, perhaps…
It’s needed now more than ever before. The place of the singer-songwriter in a modern world is a tricky spot.…
You don’t know me. In recent weeks, I’ve found myself saying that exact statement above to folks I love and…
She is still a fox. Midnight. Last Tuesday morning. Wide-awake and in front of a large HD television at my…
He’s the common denominator. When you look back at the career of iconic bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman, you’re diving deep…
Once they announce your name, you stand up and move towards the bright lights. Meandering around a sardine can ballroom…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:11

Through the fingertips, echoes the history

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“You know, history becomes personal,” Reggie Harris said to a silent auditorium last Sunday afternoon. “These are our stories, and…
It came out of the blue. Sunday morning. My smart phone dinged next to my bed. I groaned, rolled over…
What would you do? A pile of drugs. A stack of cash. More money than you’ve ever seen in your…
I finally had a moment of silence. After a raucous Saturday night attending the Perpetual Groove show at The Salvage…
Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is known for is top-rate shows and high-caliber acting not typical of community theaters. But HART…
It wasn’t the film that was shocking. It was the mere fact I had previously thought “I was aware,” and…
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 16:40

Sharing the craft: Jo Ridge Kelley Fine Art

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With the traffic and noise of a busy Main Street in downtown Waynesville zooming by outside her window, Jo Ridge…
I hadn’t slept that long in years. After driving up and down the East Coast for the better part of…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:57

Feet in the sand, not your head

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How could something so beautiful be so ugly? Standing at the edge of the ocean on the Gulf Coast of…
They wanted to shake things up. In 1971, a young Sam Bush aimed to create a new kind of bluegrass…
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 14:57

The love that we need: WNC welcomes Hayes Carll

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Sitting in the back of his tour van in a Texas parking lot on a recent cold prairie night, Hayes…
Popping the tailgate down in my truck, I jumped up, my eyes gazing straight ahead.
In her short tenure, Executive Director Lindsey Solomon has righted the unknown direction of the ship that is the Haywood…
I had just enough water left. Squeezing the last of my water bottle onto my dry toothbrush, I managed to…
It was a 1963 station wagon with six musicians and their equipment. When Tony Butala reminisces about the beginning of…
Has it really been that long? When I looked at the calendar this week, I realized it said 2017, which…
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…
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