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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:23

This must be the place

“Hey, Garret, what’s up, man?” I looked up from my notebook and there standing in front of me was a familiar face. Tony Casey, from the North Country. It was last Saturday evening and I was sitting at a picnic table…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:20

Soldiering on: WNC band releases debut

What a difference a year makes. For the last 12 months, Haywood County group Soldier’s Heart has been roaming Western North Carolina and beyond with their unique Appalachian porch-n-soul tone. 
Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts department 2014 Graduate Show will run from May 17 through Sept. 14 at the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. A reception will be held from 3…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:19

Blues, Brew & BBQ festival in Cashiers

The Blues, Brew and BBQ festival will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Village Commons in Cashiers. The event mixes local barbecue, craft beers and two of the most popular blues bands in the southeast.…
The Proctor Revival Organization will once again honor the history of Graham County through May 31 with “A Time To Remember” celebration.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:15

Dolly Parton to play Harrah’s

Country superstar Dolly Parton will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 25 at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:13

This must be the place

Short shorts and a neon orange trucker hat. Strolling down Main Street in downtown Waynesville, I found myself adorned with those exact pieces of clothing. You see, I was headed to Tipping Point Brewing, and that evening I was going…
Now celebrating its third season, Cullowhee Mountain ARTS will be hosting creative writing workshops, taught by nationally recognized writers, as part of the 2014 Summer ARTS Series of artists’ workshops, presentations and youth art camps.  The Summer ARTS Series is…
From welcoming backwoods front porches to raucous downtown stages, the music of Western North Carolina weaves together the rich history, passion and camaraderie of Southern Appalachia and its inhabitants. At the heart of this deep love and appreciation for music…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

This must be the place

He was completely shocked. Standing in front of an empty warehouse in Dillsboro, which will soon be the site of his new brewery, Dieter Kuhn couldn’t believe almost 500 people had shown up at the recent launch party of his new…
Brewmaster Clark Williams, owner of Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville, will teach a beer-making class from June 3 to July 1 at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Open call for Jackson art grants

The Jackson County Arts Council is currently accepting applications for the North Carolina Grassroots Grant and the Jackson County Grant. The deadline for applications is June 30.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

‘Unto These Hills’ opens May 31

The “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama will run at 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday May 31-Aug. 16 at the Mountainside Theater in Cherokee.
At the front of the room, banjos and fiddles plow through an Appalachian repertoire. Fingers dance across strings, conjuring the history and tradition that have seeped out of the region’s hills for generations.  “Trying to get’em to play together on…
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:40

Sedaka musical comedy comes to HART

The musical comedy “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” will be extended with showings at 7:30 p.m. May 30, 31, June 6, 7, 13, 14 and at 3 p.m. June 1, 8 and 15 at the HART Theatre in Waynesville.
The New Haywood Art Studio Tour — scheduled for Oct. 25-26 — is open to all artists who either reside in Haywood County or have a working studio in Haywood County.  For artists who have access issues, limited parking or…
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:08

Student/artist sculpture installed

Smokey Mountain Elementary School sixth- and seventh-grade art students were part of a recent Artists-in-Education project that resulted in a metal sculpture now permanently installed at their school. Students invited parents and friends to view their work, meet the artist-teacher…
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:05

Loretta Lynn to play Franklin

Country icon Loretta Lynn will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:03

This must be the place

It’s 8:36 a.m. on a Thursday and I’m in Detroit. Thee Irish Pub at the metro airport to be exact. Besides the usual fast food options I detest, it was the only other place open in Concourse B. And a…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Liar’s Bench says farewell with Lough

The Liar’s Bench will hold its final performance of Appalachian storytelling and music at 7 p.m. May 29 in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 20 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

'An Inconvenient Truth’ Regardless of where you may stand on political issues, one very important truth is making itself abundantly clear on this planet. It’s getting warmer. If you haven’t seen Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” you owe it…
Wednesday, 20 September 2006 00:00

Local pickers’ uncommon talent

By Chris Cooper It would be pretty tough to find someone around here that hasn’t heard at least a little about the hard working congregation of local musicians that call themselves Commonfolk.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Myspace Surely you’ve heard of Myspace. It’s that Internet phenomenon where people can find out a little too much about each other in way too little time, musicians can network with other musicians, and people can continue communicating without actually…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mickey Rooney. Chances are that if you’re into classic Hollywood you’ve seen at least one of his films, and even if you’re not, well you probably know the name. Pretty much everybody does.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Newgrass with strong roots

It seems that in the realm of jam-oriented “newgrass” music, there are very clear lines between the things that work and those things that don’t. Extended improvisations are fine, but they have to be grounded in actual songs, not mere…
By Michael Beadle Take to the rails through Western North Carolina, and you’re bound to hear some history. In the late 19th century, tracks were being laid from Asheville to Murphy by a group of convicts working on a portion…
A Civil War reenactment will be June 13-14 at The Shelton House in Waynesville. Enjoy lectures, Civil War reenactments, displays of period clothing, replicas of the Southern Cross of Honor, museum tours, barbecue and Contra-dancing. At 7 p.m. Friday, June…
The 4th annual Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14, in downtown Waynesville.
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:32

Jim Gaffigan to play Harrah’s

Acclaimed comedian Jim Gaffigan will perform at 7:30 p.m. June 14 at Harrah’s Cherokee. Gaffigan has proven to be a major talent beloved to a wide range of audiences, achieving accolades and awards for his stand-up comedy, acting and writing.…
Western Carolina University is accepting nominations for the 2014 Mountain Heritage Awards, honors bestowed annually on one individual and one organization that have played a prominent role in the preservation or interpretation of Southern Appalachian history and culture. Nominations for…
Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will open two new exhibits highlighting the 125th anniversary of the university’s founding and the 40th anniversary of Mountain Heritage Day. An opening reception for the exhibits will be held from 6 to 8…
The Cullowhee Mountain ARTS summer series will commence June 15-20 at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.  The five-week series includes art and creative writing workshops, youth art camps and the FAM-CMA invitational art exhibit. CMA brings a distinguished faculty, with national…
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00

38 Special to play Franklin

Classic rockers 38 Special will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 13, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:17

This must be the place

“Let’s go back to the 1930s,” said Judy Coker. Standing underneath a large manmade birch tent in the backwoods of the Cataloochee Ranch last Friday evening, Coker welcomed around 40 people — friends, family and visitors alike — to partake…
With each throw, Scott Medlin is connecting to his ancestors. “The Scottish Highland Games need to be preserved because most of the gatherings included athletic competitions, with each clan gathered around cheering on their representative of the clan,” the 58-year-old…
By Michael Beadle Ticket sales and attendance were both up this season for Cherokee’s long-running outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” which saw major changes to its cast, crew and storyline. The retooled production also found its share of detractors, who…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Tsali Recreation Area One of my wife’s best household accomplishments in the last few years has been reducing the car camping gear for a family of five to an easy-to-find, easy-to-load combination of two plastic tubs, a picnic basket and…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Unique bluegrass musicianship

By Chris Cooper For all practical purposes, the County bluegrass label is also the Rebel Records label. CD’s bearing the County brand are typically (though not always) early bluegrass and old-time gems that have been saved from the clutches of…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer There’s money to be had. That’s what National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia told members of several area arts organizations gathered for an NEA grants workshop Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Steep Canyon Rangers climb to the top

The Steep Canyon Rangers, the host band of the upcoming Mountain Song Festival in Brevard, continues to carve out their position as one of the nation’s top bluegrass bands.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Crash” Sometimes a movie or a book can rock us like a hook to the jaw. This movie, which tells the stories of a dozen or more people as they crash in and out of one another’s lives in a…
By Michael Beadle What keeps people coming back year after year to the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival at Lake Junaluska each Labor Day weekend? Maybe it’s the award-winning performers such as Marc Pruett, David Holt and Sheila Kay Adams. Maybe…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Eric Johnson: Live at the Orange Peel 8/30/06

By Chris Cooper OK, the title of this one is a bit misleading, seeing as how Eric Johnson’s appearance at Asheville’s Orange Peel technically hasn’t happened yet. And since I was never able to get my hands on one of…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Charlie Daniels rocks Canton Sept. 1

The Town of Canton’s Labor Day celebrations reach fever pitch this weekend with the Paper Bowl — the football game between Haywood County rivals Pisgah and Tuscola high schools — followed by a concert on Sept. 1 featuring renegade country…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Scoop” The world’s been in need of a good Woody Allen film and this murder-mystery/comedy fabulously fills the void. As the magician “Splendini” Allen is a hoot, essentially playing himself with a few card tricks up his sleeves.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Strange happenings in music today

By Chris Cooper Here are a few things about “modern” rock and pop that I’ve found interesting (in a morbid curiosity kind of way) or just plain depressing recently. Maybe I’ve too much time on my hands. Maybe some of…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer For the past 24 years, crowds have gathered at Happy Holiday Campground in Cherokee for the annual Cherokee Bluegrass Festival.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Storytelling The term “storytelling” has been acquired by a diverse number of creative folks from musicians (the late Harry Chapin, for example) to artists, filmmakers and writers.
Students in Haywood Community College’s Film and Video Production Technology Program just finished an original film written by one of its students.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Remarkable talent shines in Rosser’s latest

By Chris Cooper Man, I don’t want to start off with the whole “He’s done it again!” thing. You know, the kind of review where the author is obviously a fan of the artist already, and can do nothing but…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Hands on the wheel For less than $20, you can buy a decent hands-free earset for your cellular phone. I’m not talking about wearing it walking around town — people with those Blue Tooth things in their ears look a…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Knight rolls with the punches

By Chris Cooper It’s pretty rough going for the characters in Chris Knight’s songwriting. There’s booze, violence and regret lurking around every corner. There are sad folks using other sad people to make themselves feel better, families losing their farms,…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Ebony, ivory and ... chocolate

When world-renowned pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski comes to the Performing Arts Center in Waynesville this weekend, audiences will get a good look at one of today’s rising stars in classical music.
Wednesday, 02 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Books by Larry Brown It’s probably a prejudice on my part, but it seems to me there are more good writers from the South than all the other regions in the country combined, and Brown, who died too young from…
By Chris Cooper Kate Campbell’s roots in southern storytelling and musical tradition run deep. Her earlier albums, specifically Songs From The Levee and Moonpie Dreams bridged the gaps between folk, country and pop in a manner not unlike Mary Chapin…
By Michael Beadle Phil Smathers still vividly recalls those Saturdays as a kid when 25 cents bought a hot dog, sucker and a movie at the Colonial Theatre. He’d be there all day with his friends watching the latest Buck…
By Marian Larson • Contributing Writer They are part camp counselor, part dorm parent, and part U.N. ambassador. As Folkmoot arrives in Waynesville this week, the visiting dancers must somehow orient to their temporary American life in the mountains. Someone…
By Marian Larson • Contributing Writer Not even a broken limb could keep one die-hard fan from missing a Folkmoot performance. But then, “Folkmoot-fanaticism” seems to run in Karen Ford’s family.
By Marian Larson • Contributing Writer So you’ve been to several of the performances, shopped for souvenirs, even hung out with some of the dancers? Here are a few things you still may not know about the behind-the-scenes side to…
Wednesday, 26 July 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever, by Will Blythe For those who enjoy reading about the rise and fall of empires, epic battles and heroic warriors, go and read Blythe’s masterpiece on one of the greatest rivalries…
Wednesday, 26 July 2006 00:00

Canvas stretchers

Yes, this is another of those pesky “music you may want to check out” articles. The “canvas stretcher” opening refers to a few artists that, in my opinion, took a relatively comfortable, recognizable form of music (the canvas, if you…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A warm mid-morning sun beats down on the back parking lot of the Family Resource Center in Webster where cups of color and paintbrushes await hands eager to put the finishing touches on a…
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 00:00

The groups of Folkmoot 2006

Canada – Zephyr Zephyr, a French Canadian dance company from Edmonton, Alberta, in Western Canada was founded in 2002 through Edmonton’s Francophone Dance School “L’Association la Girandole.” This summer, Zephyr includes Folkmoot as part of the group’s first international tour.…
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 00:00

A Celtic slice of France

One of this year’s Folkmoot groups, Bleuniadur, hails from northern France in the region known as Brittany. SMN’s Michael Beadle conducted an email interview with Fabrice David, executive director of the all-volunteer Breton folk music and dance group.
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Bruce Springsteen When my brother-in-law sent me this CD, I couldn’t wait to get it in the player. Although I love the raw, unpolished edge to the disc, other listeners say they can’t get…
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 00:00

Mountain Metal Fest raises a joyous noise

By Chris Cooper Hold one of your hands up, left or right, whichever you prefer. With your palm facing outward, curl your middle and ring fingers, as well as your thumb, into the palm of your hand, leaving the index…
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Instant Sociology Ever had one of those days where nobody, I mean nobody, made much sense? Baffling behaviors everywhere? Here’s my solution: research!
By Michael Beadle Dee Dee Triplett is a woman of the cloth. Her husband, Robert, is a man of strong metal.
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 00:00

Rebel Records roundup

Rebel records, the venerable bluegrass-only imprint that’s as much a home to royalty like Ralph Stanley as it is young upstarts like Steep Canyon Rangers, has issued a slew of fine CDs in the last few months.
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 00:00

Sylva town board cuts DSA funding

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sylva town board members’ minds are unchanged about cutting the Downtown Sylva Association’s funding from $20,000 to $2,000 after a heated public comment session pitted local merchants against budgetary conservatives.
By Michael Beadle As a Broadway hit, “My Fair Lady” made Julie Andrews a star. As a film, it made Audrey Hepburn a Hollywood icon.
By Chris Cooper A rather popular band was recently branded with the criticism of being “a small band trying to sound big.” It’s an interesting idea, because in a different context (and in regards to a different band), it could…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Metropolitan” Writer-director Whit Stillman had a surprise hit with this comedy about a middle-class young man and his encounters with New York debutantes. Stillman is a director with a great eye for nuance both social and personal, and as his…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Pictures of the Week Every Friday CNN features on its Web page a small link to Offbeat Photos and Time’s Pictures of the Week. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, but always interesting, the pictures carve out a little slice of the…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

An eclectic night at Guadalupe Café

By Chris Cooper There’s an age-old argument that rears up whenever there are multiple acts on the roster for a show: who goes first? Nobody wants to go first. It’s like being “volunteered” for the chore everybody else skillfully avoided.…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Pool There is a lot to be said for going out into the woods, finding a quiet, isolated stream, and taking a refreshing swim in the cold pure water. On the other hand, a visit to your neighborhood pool…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer As a child in Diana Fisher’s music class at Camp Lab School in Cullowhee, I never held the mountain dulcimer in very high regard.
By Michael Beadle Growing up in South Carolina, Robert Lathan remembers how just about everything and everyone was named after Wade Hampton — schools, parks, hotels, towns, and especially children. More than a century after Hampton’s death, this wealthy landowner,…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Soul Infusion’s fifth

By Chris Cooper Late Friday night, after the festivities died down and the crickets had begun a serenade for the wee hours, I asked Jason and Karin Kimenker to imagine what they might say 40 years from now about their…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

A Taste of Scotland

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Western North Carolina boasts more people of Scottish descent than Scotland itself — and for that Franklin hosts its annual Taste of Scotland this weekend, June 16 and 17.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Charles Bukowski So, you don’t like poetry? Well, maybe Charles W. Bukowski will ring your chimes. Talk about ugly? This guy was so ugly, people actually cringed when they met him. As a teenager, his acne-ravaged face had to be…
By Chris Cooper The best rock album of the year is about to be released. No kidding. My first encounter with Roman Candle was sometime in 2002. I was slinging beer in a little venue in Charlotte, and the band…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Folkmoot USA, the annual international dance festival with performances held throughout Western North Carolina, always is marked by riotous colors, intriguing costumes and smiling faces, making it a photographer’s paradise.
By Michael Beadle Waynesville art gallery owners don’t just want to sell art. They want people to ask lots of questions about art, see how it is actually made and how all ages can create art. It’s all about the…
By Michael Beadle It’s a story 10,000 years in the making. And now Cherokees and Native Americans from all over the United States will tell it. When “Unto These Hills” opens June 8 for its latest outdoor season, audiences will…
By Michael Beadle Luke Allsbrook has a voice as soothing as his paintings. He explains his craft with the calm of someone who has spent hours in solitary reflection, emerging from nature with gifted insights. Whether it’s a vast stretch…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Records As in old school phonograph records, not world records or dental records. After collecting thousands of CDs over the last 15 years, I have fallen in love with records again. Whenever I get a chance to listen to the…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Sweet vinegar sounds

By Chris Cooper Claiming influences as far apart stylistically as Iron Maiden and Ravi Shankar, Mother Vinegar lean further toward the rocking side of the jam ethic than the majority of their tie-dyed brethren. Off kilter lyrics (understatement?) and a…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Telling a better story

By Michael Beadle There’s a heavy heat inside Mountainside Theatre’s rehearsal studio even with fans blowing and the lights turned off. The dancers, sweaty but still smiling, have been practicing all afternoon, fine-tuning the finale for “Unto These Hills.”
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:09

HART celebrates 30 years

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will celebrate 30 years with a “Hart Hat Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. June 12 in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:08

WCU Bardo Center receives acclaim

The Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University was recently named among BestValueSchools.com’s list entitled “The 25 Most Amazing University Performing Arts Centers.” 
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:06

Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival returns

The Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival will run June 12-14 at the Happy Holiday RV Village in Cherokee. Showcasing some of the finest bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music in the Southeast, the festival will include Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Doyle…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:02

This must be the place

Waylon Jennings is alive. Figuratively. Not literally, folks. Strolling down Haywood Road in West Asheville one evening last summer, I came across the Double Crown, a dive bar of the most enjoyable proportions. And I love dive bars, places where…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:59

Tell it from the mountain

It all started with a drum solo. “My mother was of the big band generation, and she’d watch all of these movies when I was a kid with big bands in them,” said Michael Reno Harrell. “I remember seeing Gene…
The Cherokee Voices Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 14 at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Zeitgeist of Germany, circa 2006

By Michael Beadle Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News Writer Michael Beadle recently traveled to Europe. The following is the second of two stories about his experiences abroad.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Life in the (really) fast lane

By Michael Beadle Welcome to the Autobahn: land of the speedy, home of the brave. You have to be brave if you want to pass a car going a mere 80 miles an hour and not end up as the…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Mental Floss For those who love collecting trivia in bite-sized tidbits, look no further than Mental Floss magazine, the sugar-coated candy that’s spinach for your noggin. (OK, too many metaphors, but this publication inspires such tangents.)
By Sarah Kucharski The Shady Ladies, a diverse group of quilters based in Haywood County, are gearing up for their third annual show at Lake Logan Episcopal Center held June 2-4.