Setting down deep roots in Jackson County over the past couple of years, Owner of the Sun (Sylva-based by way of Atlanta) is an Americana group, but one whose tone and intent goes far below the surface of you’re atypical “kitchen sink and all” band.
All eyes were on Summer McMahan and company. “We were all so nervous going into the audition,” she said. “But, once we noticed they were liking it, all the nerve went away and we had a blast. We’re so very humbled they liked it and sent us through.”
Often times as a journalist, you just simply can’t get to everything.
Covered in paint speckles, Drew Duncan walked into O’Malley’s Pub & Grill on a recent Thursday evening.
Finishing up work for the day, he wasn’t in search of the 50-cent wing special, nor was he heading to the bar for a beverage. Walking over to the patio stage, Duncan opened up his guitar case, adjusted his microphone stand and took a seat. Front man for Porch 40 (rock/jam), he was soon joined by Colby Dietz of Mangas Colorado (Americana/bluegrass) and Chris Pressley from The Buchanan Boys (rock/country).
Are your ears playing tricks on you?
As you turn the radio dial to a country music station these days, all you hear is pop, rock and hip-hop. Surely, this can’t be the result of the sacred musical traditions of Nashville handed down through the generations by the likes of Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Waylon Jennings?
Heading down N.C. 28, between Bryson City and Robbinsville, is a flat stretch of highway, unusual to the continuous curves on this mountainous route. It indicates a valley, and just past a quaint diner, is a side road to your left, where a sign with an arrow points you in the right direction. You’re in the creative heart of Graham County. You’re at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center.
“We’re not in the middle-of-nowhere, we’re actually the center of everywhere here,” said Beth Fields.
In art, as in life, what matters most is following your heart, never compromising your beliefs and holding steady to a strong sense of integrity.
They are my brothers.
Well, in terms of genetics, they technically aren’t. But, when it comes to heart and soul, we’re carbon copies. When it comes to purpose and intent, we’ve always been on the same page. They’re the members of Lucid — my brothers-in-arms.
Turning the corner at Church and Main streets in downtown Waynesville, I saw them out of the corner of my eye.
Sitting one-by-one atop the brick planter in front of Earthworks Gallery, the five young faces were all smiles amid their sing-along. Each had an instrument, some of which were seemingly as big as the kids themselves. Their sound was a mix of traditional mountain music and modern day Americana. And although these sounds of Southern Appalachia have intrigued folks, young and old, for generations, it was impressive to see these teenagers so interested and passionate about perpetuating the ancient music of this landscape and its people.
Caleb Burress sees a rebirth — in himself and his music.
“2014 was an education for us on many levels — we had a lot going on,” he said. “I think the changes we’ve experienced couldn’t have come at a better time. We didn’t die, we merely took the opportunity we had been presented with to really do some soul searching as a group, and figure out what we really wanted.”