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By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Travel writer and National Public Radio commentator Jeff Biggers spent 20 years collecting and researching the stories and historical papers that make up the backbone of his new work The United States of Appalachia.
By Chris Cooper The brainchild of programmers Robert Smith (no, not the guy from the Cure) and Bill Walters, Blue Stone produces evocative, dreamy textures that skate between subtlety and head-spinning surprise. Taking cues from Enigma, Tangerine Dream and maybe…
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:45

Storytellers at Franklin Folk Festival

Two renowned storytellers will be performing during the Franklin Folk Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Franklin Town Hall Meeting Room. Teller Wendel Craker will spin yarns and share folklore drawn from a range…
The Andy Roddick Mountain Challenge will be July 25-26 at the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers.
Renowned rock band Collective Soul will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:39

Folkmoot brings music, dance to Franklin

Folkmoot USA, North Carolina’s official international folklore festival, will hit the stage for a special performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:37

This must be the place

I am the human sponge. As far back as I can remember, into the early days of my youth, I have always wandered, wondered and wished. My senses have been my guide, with maps thrown out the window as I…
Hundreds of Elvis Presley fans converged on Cherokee last weekend to pay homage to the King. They arrived from a five-state area for a tribute to beat all tributes. The goal: to amass the most Elvis impersonators ever convened under…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Joni Mitchell “Anything that moves me, influences me.” — Joni Mitchell
By Michael Beadle “Pivot Points” is not your typical art exhibit. Then again, the new Fine Art Museum on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is building a reputation for unique exhibitions that challenge typical notions of what…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Boggs represents country music’s greatest hope

Though it’s become a standard target for critical blasting, not all of modern country music is bad. Keith Urban turned in a rousing performance at the Grammy awards, Emmylou Harris really can do no wrong, and the same can be…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Bubble” Director Steven Soderbergh, the darling of the Sundance film festival, had an audacious idea. Take a bare bones script into a small town, find locals to play the major roles, use their actual homes as “sets,” encourage the “actors”…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

New talent and old influences enter jam genre

By Chris Cooper Approaching the “jam band” thing from some very different angles, Umphrey’s McGee manage to bring shades of vintage Yes, Peter Gabriel and Rush to the mix in lieu of the usual suspects (Grateful Dead, Phish, Allman Bros.)…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:11

Kansas string duo to play Bryson City

Sister string duo Scenic Roots will continue the Summer Music Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. The Kansas-based band combines old-time mountain melodies, bluegrass drive, Irish traditions and down-home humor.  The…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:11

Bluegrass to hit Robbinsville stage

Acoustic bluegrass quartet The Special Consensus will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville. With a repertoire that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions, and songs from other musical genres performed…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:05

Dinosaur Train rolls into Bryson City

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has partnered with Rail Events Inc. and The Jim Henson Company to bring the PBS KIDS series “Dinosaur Train” July 18-20, 25-27 and Aug. 1-3, at the Bryson City Train Depot. For this event, families…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:05

HCC instructor elected to Craft Guild Board

Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Wood instructor Brian Wurst was recently elected to the board of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville.  Wurst graduated from HCC’s Professional Crafts Wood program in 2001 and began teaching at the college in…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:01

Change in leadership at WCU arts college

Western Carolina University Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar announced a change in leadership in the College of Fine and Performing Arts. Robert Kehrberg, founding dean of the college, is stepping down from that position and will return to the faculty in the…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:00

Hillbilly Woodstock returns to Maggie

The 5th Annual Hillbilly Woodstock will be held 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug 1-2 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
The Waynesville Public Art Commission will hold a dedication of a new public art piece entitled “Chasing Tadpoles” during the Frog Hop at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, in the Historic Frog Level District.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:58

Join Jackson’s Farm, Garden & Studio Tour

Metalsmith William S. Rogers is one of several studios participating in the July 26-27 Jackson County Farm, Garden, & Studio Tour. The combined farm and arts tour is a first for Jackson County.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:57

Tritt presents country hits July 26

Country music megastar Travis Tritt will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:56

This must be the place

There’s no place like home. Amid my first few weeks living in Western North Carolina, there were times I got homesick. Though I have bounced around the country for many years now, I, too, have moments where I start to miss…
The 2nd annual United Community Bank Mountain Challenge featuring American tennis legends Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers. The event will be hosted by…
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:41

BBQ festival in Maggie Valley

The Smokin’ in the Valley Western North Carolina BBQ Festival will be from noon to 9 p.m. July 25 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 26 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
By Michael Beadle For 56 years, the outdoor historical drama known as “Unto These Hills” has been a fixture for summer tourists coming to the region looking for entertainment and a chance to learn about Cherokee history. But in recent…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

A changing audience

“Unto These Hills” first opened on July 1, 1950, as an outdoor drama to celebrate the history and honor the sacrifices made by the Cherokee tribe. The play features dances and music as it tells the story of early encounters…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein If you love the goofy wordplay of Spoonerisms — switching the beginning sounds of words like “dishes and plates” to “plishes and dates” — then Runny Babbit is your bind of kook. It’s full of…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Hayseed’s latest falls flat on its grass

Some jokes are really, really funny. Some even get better with age, as if their repeated telling somehow increases the comic potency. Then again, some jokes just get beaten into the ground, weren’t that funny to begin with, or suffer…
Wednesday, 01 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Most Secret I was given this book over Christmas and finally got around to reading it. It’s a fascinating tale about World War II from British writer Nevil Shute. Shute was born before World War I and was an engineer…
By Michael Beadle The Duke of Milan and his daughter have been shipwrecked on a strange island far from civilization. Then, along comes a violent tempest that shipwrecks some of the very people who once put them there — and…
Wednesday, 01 February 2006 00:00

A little frisky — much better than fair

By Chris Cooper It’s harder than you would think to write a song. As a musician, it is tempting to reject anything that sounds traditional or just throws together a bunch of fancy chords. And melody — that which makes…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Deep in the mountains that surround Jackson County’s Tuckasegee community, the sound of metal on metal rings out with a sharp ping as blacksmith David Brewin begins to shape a steel rod. The rod,…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:33

This must be the place

When the camera bulb flashed, it hit me — had it really been that long? Standing in the Belhurst Castle, a Great Gatsby-esque property situated on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y., I realized it had been around a decade since…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:22

BBQ Festival & Car Show in Franklin

The 6th Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center in Franklin. Gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.…
“A Songcatcher’s Notebook: Traditional Music and Storytelling” with singer-songwriter/storyteller Lee Knight will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:18

Sylva welcomes Whitewater Bluegrass Co.

The Whitewater Bluegrass Company will perform as part of the Concerts on the Creek Series at 7: 30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Karyn Tomczak, director of the Western Carolina University dance program, will receive the 2014 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education at the Dance Teacher Summit to be held in New York City in August.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:14

In other beer news

A home brewing class for beginners will be led by Clark Williams of Frog Level Brewing Company every Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5-26 at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:10

WCU to wrap up 125th anniversary celebration

Western Carolina University will wrap up the yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding with the It’s a Wrap Party at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at the Ramsey Center in Cullowhee.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:12

Franklin brewery readies for spring opening

As the snow melts in Southern Appalachia, the beer will begin to flow from the taps of the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in the former Franklin Town Hall.
In the last two weeks, Joe Rowland has soaked in the California sunshine, rafted the Grand Canyon, wandered the Rocky Mountains, gone skydiving and tamed the endless cornfields of the Midwest, all the while cruising the country in a rock…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

TV Yeah, fine: burn your television, TV is bad. It’s mind numbing and makes us lazy. Blah blah blah. But if you’ve been without it for three years like I’ve been, getting the “basic cable package” is quite a joyous…
The Franklin Chamber of Commerce will host its 2nd annual Gingerbread House Competition during the Winter Wonderland Celebration Dec. 5-12. The gingerbread creations will be located in the board room at the Franklin Town Hall on Main Street.
By Michael Beadle For Victor Raul Moraloza, each day is a gift. From being a high school wrestling champion to surviving a grenade explosion in the Vietnam War to treasure diving off the coast of Colombia to creating award-winning metal…
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 15:48

New wood studio opens in Frog Level

Woodworker Ronnie Atkins recently opened Studio 36 in the Frog Level District of Waynesville. The studio features handcrafted, one-of-a-kind furniture composed of both new and reclaimed components. Atkin’s interest in woodworking began in the 1980’s during his career as a…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

A mysterious masterpiece

By Chris Cooper Beautiful and alarmingly odd, Andrew Bird makes music that ambles pretty far outside description or categorization. “Chamber pop” perhaps? And what the heck is he talking about half the time? How did he find so many things…
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 15:52

Rowan returns to Cataloochee

Bluegrass legend Peter Rowan will perform on Sunday, Dec. 7, at Cataloochee Guest Ranch in Maggie Valley. 
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:09

Pisgah/Tuscola tailgate in Canton

The inaugural Haywood County Fall Sports Tailgate Kickoff Party will be from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at Smathers Square on Main Street in Canton.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:08

Student films to screen in Cashiers

Some of the most riveting and moving student-created films from Western Carolina University’s Controlled Chaos Film Festivals in recent years will be shared at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:07

Energy park open call for artists

In anticipation of the growing popularity of the Youth Arts Festival, the Jackson County Green Energy Park is seeking both new participants and returning alumni artists to assist with this year’s event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to…
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:05

This must be the place

For all the naysayers, rock-n-roll is alive and kicking — especially in the hands of Rich Robinson. Guitarist and founding member of The Black Crowes, he has circled the globe for the last 25 years, spreading the mighty word of…
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:03

Boiling down the essence of humanity

Heading west out of Bryson City, just before the highway narrows into a twisting two-lane road, a small, ramshackle hut watches over the crossroads of Southern Appalachia — a last stop before descending into the remote Nantahala Gorge ahead, or…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Backstage at Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, the rehearsal room buzzed with activity as musicians tuned guitars, rosined their bows and warmed up their voices in preparation for last Tuesday’s (Jan.…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

The Sounds and the stories

By Michael Beadle In gathering the performers who would help make the Sounds of Jackson County a reality, organizers invited 40 different local musical groups to donate their time and talents to record an album and play a concert that…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

A Soldier of the Great War Recently a friend recommended this book to my 17-year-old son as a sort of fictional primer for growing into manhood. Though I had enjoyed the novel when I read it 10 years ago, I…
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00

Carolina Brass to play Waynesville

Carolina Brass will feature a variety of holiday and classical songs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Waynesville First United Methodist Church.
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Ordinary World: twisted, welcome catharsis

By Chris Cooper When the bio sheet for a band arrives with the greeting “Dear Pop Revivalists,” I feel a mixture of curiosity and dread. Good pop or bad pop? Classic pop, schlock pop, punk pop (ugh) or what? For…
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00

‘John Parris’ Christmas’ returns to Webster

The Webster Historical Society will present its 4th annual “John Parris’ Christmas” at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Webster Methodist Church. Curtis and Janice Monteith Blanton will both read the Christmas stories of Parris and the second original…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Adam’s 29 falls short of past achievements

By Joe Hooten When it seems like you’ve heard all there is to hear from our Carolina troubadour Mr. Ryan Adams, he follows through with his promise and comes out with his third release in one year. The album 29…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Firefly” As a proud member of the Star Wars generation, I enjoy a healthy dose of otherworldly sci-fi plots and special effects. Enter the world of “Firefly.” Five centuries into the future, the totalitarian Alliance regime rules an outer space…
By Sarah Kucharski John Nickerson is a very exacting man. Tall and solidly built, he moves with efficiency, his speech measured and pointed as he explains how he came into being a glassblower. “I don’t do this to make tons…
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

King of the Hill I picked up a nasty rumor that Fox is planning to terminate my favorite cartoon show, “King of the Hill.” Shame, Fox! Shame! In my opinion, KOTH is not only the best cartoon show; it is…
By Chris Cooper It’s not unusual in music circles for one’s sound to be recognizable but the name to be mostly unknown. Such is the case for bluegrass veteran Curly Seckler.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:18

Craft beer fest returns to Waynesville

The Waynesville Craft Beer Faire will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the American Legion Post 47 in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:12

This must be the place

He was beloved by all who knew him. Richard Coker embodied the spirit of Appalachia. As a co-owner of the Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley, his warmth and hospitality radiated from the top of the mountain and shined brightly to anyone…
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 16:17

Foxworthy to bring laughs to Harrah’s

Superstar comedian Jeff Foxworthy will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at Harrah’s Cherokee. Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. He is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:09

So funky you can smell it

Who the hell are those guys? It’s a question constantly asked about Porch 40, a Sylva-based funk/rock outfit barreling out of the Southern Appalachian woods like a black bear on speed. “We’re like a ’69 Corvette, fire engine red, revving…
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:10

Franklin welcomes Dailey & Vincent

Bluegrass/gospel legends Dailey & Vincent will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Penland School of Crafts has open spaces in a number of workshops in two upcoming sessions available at half tuition to residents of the following counties: Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell,…
An open call for artisans is currently underway for the Shining Rock Riverfest that will be held from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Camp Hope in Cruso. All arts and crafts must be handmade, and can include…
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:32

Local Food Crawl served up in Haywood

The Buy Haywood initiative will host the inaugural Uniquely Local Food Crawl around Haywood County Aug. 21-24 and 28-31.
A red carpet release party to celebrate the release of “Bigfoot Wars,” a major motion picture based on the novel written by Canton author Eric S. Brown, will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the RE/MAX Mountain…
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:30

Botanical watercolor class in Highlands

A botanical watercolor workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Highlands Biological Station.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:29

Southern gospel to hit Franklin stage

Acclaimed southern gospel groups The Whisnants and The Old Paths will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

York-Bridgers brings mixed media to Sylva

Mixed media artist Dr. Rachel York-Bridgers will hold a workshop at noon Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:27

This must be the place

This sucks.  One of the finest actors, comedians and pop culture icons of our lifetime, Robin Williams, gone, just like that — a bright flame, snuffed out.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:39

This must be the place

There is a lot of truth to it. “Money can’t buy happiness,” the old adage goes. It’s a sentiment that has permeated through society for generations. And while most of us are aware of the phrase, how many of us…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 00:00

The trick to achieving your dreams

When he was just five years old, Michael Turco knew what he wanted to do with his life “All I wanted to do was be a magician,” the 29-year-old said. Now a professional magician, Turco tours across the country and…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

WCU to present ‘Appalachian Songbook’

A performance of the “An Appalachian Songbook: North Carolina in Word, Music and Song” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:16

In search of the best sweet potato recipe

The 40th annual Mountain Heritage Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, at Western Carolina University.  The event will once again feature the traditional foods competition A Gathering In, where baked goods, canned and dried foods and — this year…
“Tracking Time,” an exhibition of paintings by Anna Jensen and Karen Ann Myers, will open with an artist discussion and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:16

Masters of Illusion come to Harrah’s

The Masters of Illusion’s Believe The Impossible professional magic showcase will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:15

WCU Big Birthday Bash celebrates 125 years

Western Carolina University’s 125th anniversary Big Birthday Bash will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn in Cullowhee. All alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community are…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:14

Music, animals and fun return to Haywood fair

The 2014 Haywood County Fair will be held Aug. 19-24 at the Haywood County Fairgrounds in Lake Junaluska. Bingo will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in the Apple Orchard Building. Just a few of the door prizes…
Liner notes for the new album released by the Great Smoky Mountains Association — “Carroll Best and The White Oak String Band: Old-time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains, 1956 & 1959.”
French Kirkpatrick can sum up Carroll Best. “What he did with the banjo was above and beyond,” Kirkpatrick said. “He was the most, probably without a doubt, the most creative banjo player I was ever in a room with.” Recently at…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

SCC offers $3,000 in artist biz plan contest

Professional craft artists in Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary have a $3,000 incentive to create or update their business plans.
Author Michael Beadle will present an illustrated talk focusing on the history of the town of Canton and, specifically, the town’s annual Labor Day Celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

Learn the art of paper cutting at two events

Valentine’s Day paper arts class A book/paper arts workshop will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:02

Catch the Spirit scholarships available

A nonprofit organization, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia wishes to once again provide four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for Appalachian Studies to be presented to four deserving seniors in the Western North Carolina counties.…
Local residents will have an opportunity to learn interesting and historical details about their family quilts during the Quilt Discovery Evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:48

Irish psych-mystery stages at HART

The winter theater season continues with the Tony nominated Broadway play “Shining City” that will run at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30-31 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:30

HCC to offer sound recording, engineering

Haywood Community College’s Workforce Continuing Education Creative Arts Department will offer an Introduction to Sound Recording/Engineering class on Mondays from March 2 through May 18.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:42

SCC’s first craft beer program to kickoff

With new equipment secured from onsite craft brewing, Southwestern Community College will host a brewing program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 4-Nov. 20 in Sylva. 
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:47

Nicholson to bring bluegrass, Americana to WCU

Award-winning mandolinist Darren Nicholson of Balsam Range will perform with his solo band as part of the First Thursday concert series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:41

McGraw to hit Harrah’s stage

Country megastar Tim McGraw will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 20:51

Cullowhee teen wins film contest

The National Coalition Against Censorship announced Anne Wade of Cullowhee as the winner of the 11th annual Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest, which asked teen filmmakers to explore censorship issues of the past, present and future.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:36

This must be the place

What to do? That was the question I posed to myself when I found out my girlfriend was visiting from Upstate New York. She is someone who has never been to Western North Carolina, never been to Southern Appalachia, let…