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In 1992 Mary Chapin Carpenter released Come On, Come On, and though it’s a little hazy as to how I wound up with a copy, the album has since remained one of my favorite collections of songs and performances.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Nature Deficit Disorder Sometimes, you read an interview and it hits home, hard. Last month’s issue of The Sun, a magazine out of Chapel Hill that is among the most eclectic in print, featured an interview with Richard Louv, a…
It’s the tambourine that gives it away. Those insistent eighth notes from the piano during the chorus, the sparkly harmonies — yeah, these guys are fans of “power pop,” all right. The good stuff too, like Joe Jackson (no, not…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Christine Tyndall’s voice hits a high note as she reads from the Maurice Sendak classic Where the Wild Things Are, pleading on behalf of the monsters for storybook hero Max not to give up…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 14:22

Mountain Momma

I have faint but fond memories of picking strawberries as a kid: the twisty, dusty gravel roads leading to the farm, being handed my very own big-girl pail by the strawberry lady and, most notably, sneaking mouthfuls when my mom…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Sculptures installed in Cashiers

Nine sculptures were installed in The Village Green in Cashiers this past week in preparation for the opening of the 2013 Sculpture On the Green Biennial Invitational Exhibition.  This special exhibit of visiting sculptures is the third such event sponsored…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Festival celebrates Cherokee life, culture

The Cherokee Voices Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian grounds in Cherokee. The event will feature continuous performances of dance, storytelling and music, and more than 25 demonstrations…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Tickets on sale for Miranda Lambert

Mega-country star Miranda Lambert hits the stage at 9 p.m. Friday, July 19, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Lambert is country music’s reigning female vocalist of the year as named by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Buddy Holly musical comes to Highlands

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” will be showcased from June 13-30 at the Highlands Playhouse. Holly’s brief life became the stuff of legend when he died in a plane crash. The production catches that unique mixture of innocence, determination, humor…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Trail release party at Nantahala Brewing

The 5th Trail Magic Ale release party is set for June 7-8 at Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City. 
A showing of the film “Paradise Falls” will coincide with the Jackson County Public Library’s second anniversary, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, in Sylva.
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Harpist plays artist reception

Harpist Betina Morgan will play the artist reception for the exhibition “Appalachia,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86 in Waynesville. The reception is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Dwight Yoakam hits the stage at Harrah’s

Multi-platinum Grammy winning singer-songwriter, actor, director and country music pioneer Dwight Yoakam will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, June 14, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center.
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

This Must Be the Place

Well, hello there Western North Carolina. As the arts and entertainment writer at The Smoky Mountain News, I spend my days wandering between art gallery openings, craft beer releases and front porch pickin’ sessions. Each week, I invite you along…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00

Making the connection, one melody at a time

You’ve sung it in the shower, in the car with the windows rolled down, at weddings, in karaoke bars, and perhaps just because you simply can’t get it out of your head. “All Out of Love” by Air Supply is…
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

The Fine Art of Being Wrong (sort of...)

I spend a considerable amount of time being disappointed by music. It’s sad, because I also happen to love music, and have for as long as I can recall. But when the Grammys were just around the corner, and I…
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Mountain Heart serves up musical surprise

By Chris Cooper To say that Mountain Heart isn’t exactly your “average” bluegrass band is more than a slight understatement. In fact, somewhere around the middle of Wide Open’s first track, “Traveler’s Prayer,” the band breaks it down with a…
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Broadway comes to Cullowhee

By Michael Beadle He’s been a Beast. An alien bounty hunter. A Rum Tum Tugger and Inspector Javert. And now two-time Tony Award-winning actor Terrence Mann is bringing his Broadway, film and TV talents to Western Carolina University as director…
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

“The Painted Veil” Kitty (Naomi Watts), a bored London socialite, marries Walter Fane (Edward Norton), a doctor and student of infectious diseases who is returning to his work in China.
By Chris Cooper When Norah Jones swept the 2003 Grammies, it was more than just a victory for a new artist — many (including myself) felt it was a statement in support of truly dedicated songwriters and musicians everywhere. It…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Downtown Sylva will host a non-partisan stand for peace on Saturday, Feb. 17, with 12 hours of non-stop music.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Honeymoon Edition So my husband and I celebrated our three-month anniversary by finally going on our honeymoon this January. We headed west for a short stay in Las Vegas and then hit the coast of California.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Stone Black aims high with a familiar formula

Expectations are tricky things. You can crack open a CD with basically one of two mindsets: “This is going to be good,” or “Ugh. I need a drink.”
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

The world according to glass

By Michael Beadle Glass dazzles. It bears no secrets. It illuminates the world around itself.
By Anna Fariello • Guest Writer William Rogers has been a professional metalsmith for more than 25 years, but nothing could have prepared him for the work he is doing at the Jackson County Green Energy Park.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Grey Eagle Over the last four years I have had the great opportunity to work with David Holt in his band, the Lightning Bolts.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00

Local lo-fi gets a high five

By Chris Cooper Morning Missed: Broken Cords Of Rotten Wood
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:00

Recommended Diversions

As you probably know by now, we are on the verge of another “revolution in technology.” Specifically, your current DVD and CD players are about to become obsolete.
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:00

Elana James: A fiery violinist takes it solo

By Chris Cooper Swing can take many forms. It can bop and bounce like Calloway and Ellington, or it can sprout a 10-gallon hat and spurs in the hands of Bob Wills and his Playboys. It’s been reborn time and…
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:00

Listening to the stone

By Michael Beadle A goddess rises through ribbons of translucent alabaster. A pair of doves flutters from bronzed hands. An old, wizen-faced Native American man bandages the head of a wounded pioneer.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Recommended Diversions

In putting together my annual list of the year’s best albums, I was reminded of what a terrific year 2006 was — there were at least 25 new albums I actively enjoyed this year, a bumper crop.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Darren Nicholson: Darren Nicholson

By Chris Cooper Yeah, it’s a quip that’s terribly overused — the one about “... there must be something in the water...”
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

In your Internet ear

Just before Christmas, singer/songwriter Ashley Chambliss of Sylva got an email from the online music site where her music is available for download. She would be receiving a deposit into her bank account.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

World wide from Canton

By Sarah Kucharski — Staff Writer John Anderson’s boisterous voice streams out from the computer speakers.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield Margaret Lea, the daughter of an antique book collector, receives a curious letter from one of England’s most famous and eccentric authors, Vida Winter, who asks Lea to write her biography. What unravels in…
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

A hip, humanitarian collaboration

By Chris Cooper Some conclusions could be drawn after listening to Rhythms Del Mundo in its entirety.
By Sarah Kucharski It was Allen Bailey’s aim to bring about a better understanding of black culture and the church’s role in the local community when he founded the Harlem Gospel Choir on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 1986.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Small, but Big Something most retail stores do before a busy Christmas season is run some kind of “sales report” to determine what products were most popular through the year thus far.
By Chris Cooper Christmas is one of those times where there’s a surge of buying in the instrument market, and much of that buying involves some lucky kid (or adult) getting their first guitar. So what I’d like to do…
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Start the year with some drama — HART style

By Michael Beadle What is art? What makes a relationship stand the test of time? How do you move on in life after one event turns everything upside down?
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Traditions It’s over now, but the 24 hours between Christmas Eve afternoon, say around 6 p.m., and the evening of Dec. 25 have fallen into a ritual that is wholly and completely satisfying.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Five questions

Tell us about what you do. How did you learn what you do? What are your duties day-to-day? What about your job do you wish people better understood and why? How can people help you do your job better?
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Speace’s style still rings true

Something I’ve noticed over the years is that the longer you’re on this planet, the smaller said planet seems to become. This observation becomes especially true if you find yourself immersed in a particular field or occupation for a long…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Craft Revival: Shaping Western North Carolina Past and Present Web site is located at http://craftrevival.wcu.edu. Much of what is considered to be historic Appalachian art work began as anything but. The quilts and…
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“A Man for All Seasons” Robert Bolt’s award-winning play was released as a movie in 1966, winning six Academy Awards that included Best Director and Best Actor.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

NPR’s All Songs Considered Podcast Admittedly, I’ve been slow to catch on to the iPod revolution. I received a green, personalized iPod mini almost two years ago, but just this month began puttering around on iTunes’s Podcast Web site to…
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Three from the vault

By Chris Cooper I’m beginning to notice a relationship between the acquisition of “new” used CDs at my place of employment and my need to write in a “multiple CD” review format. Coincidence? I think not. But this week I…
By Michael Beadle Cyrano’s Bookshop in downtown Highlands may be all of 700 square feet, but that hasn’t stopped its new owners, Clair and Arthur Simpson, from setting up book signings for such nationally notable authors as Pat Conroy, Steve…
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Pickles and sun gods?

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer For Germanic cultures having a Christmas tree was all about finding the pickle.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Working her way past the miniature Christmas village homes and a star topped tree, Vickie Horne stood fingering ornaments on the wall of Nancy Tut’s Christmas Shop in Dillsboro with an index card full…
By Michael Beadle Imagine hundreds of stainless steel threads woven together to make a scarf that looks like silk. An optical illusion of sorts, but nonetheless real and exquisite.
By Chris Cooper Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. And as much as a new love, a rainy day or a broken heart can provide the fuel for inspired songwriting and performance, so can the pain of loss and…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Mountain Momma

Count my daughter among the millions of kids whose first word was “doggy.” For a several-week stretch, “doggy” was also her only word. She used it liberally, be it a salutation for the grocery store clerk or pointing out a…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Dog show trots into Waynesville

Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association, an area AKC Kennel Club, will host an American Kennel Club all breed dog show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 15-16 at the Haywood County Agriculture and Activities Center in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

New discoveries in Kephart presentation

A panel discussion will present recent discoveries and observations relating to legendary Western North Carolina figure Horace Kephart at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. WCU’s Mae Claxton and George Frizzell will…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Beer and barbecue in Bryson

A BBQ & Brews Dinner Train will depart at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad depot in Bryson City. The dinner features slow-cooked barbeque and beer tastings, showcasing Nantahala and Heinzelmannchen breweries. Each brewery will…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Pow Wow festival in Cherokee

The 38th annual Cherokee Pow Wow Festival is June 14-16 at the Acqouni Expo Center (Old Cherokee High School).
Kim Richey, Irene Kelley and Thomm Jutz will bring an adventurous musical spirit to the Songwriters in the Round series from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Balsam Mountain Inn.
The Cherokee Bluegrass Festival will run from June 13-15 at the Happy Holiday RV Village in Cherokee.
Storyteller/singer-songwriter Dusk Weaver performs at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at the Waynesville Public Library. Weaver is an upbeat entertainer and multi-instrumentalist. Before he began a professional music career, he worked for decades in training Percheron draft horses, framing houses…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Stecoah arts center receives grant

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced an award of $10,000 to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville for a mobile website, enhancements to a backstage green room and new exhibits for visitors. The center offers…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Finding your roots in Appalachia

Ronan MacGregor didn’t know where he came from. He knew he was of Scottish decent, but that was about it. It wasn’t until he moved to Macon County several years ago and wandered into the Scottish Tartans Museum in downtown…
Smoky Mountain Living prominently features images from across the southern Appalachians in each edition. Photo essays adhere to the issue’s overall theme. The next edition of Smoky Mountain Living will focus on the theme “Water.” The mountains’ ecological diversity relies…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

This must be the place

I had never seen the color green like that before. Touching down at the Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland, the lush, vibrant green landscape of my ancestors took my breath away. It was August 2005, and I was about to…
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Albert Race Sample, aka “RACEHOSS.” (Instead of listing several diversions, I have decided to devote the entire column to a single recommendation. Certainly, “Racehoss” deserves no less.)
By Michael Beadle The leg. The hand. The face. The breast.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:46

Hear a DJ set by The Crystal Method

Electronic gurus The Crystal Method will hold a special DJ set at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. As part of the “Cherokee After Dark” series, the event center is transformed into an upscale nightclub. Ever…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:46

PlottFest returns to Maggie Valley

Showcasing the Plott hound and local music, PlottFest is set for June 22-23 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. The festival opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday. The official state dog of North Carolina, the Plott hound…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:39

Mountain momma

We have lots of bug barns in our house: from the old-fashioned Mason jar with holes punched in the lid to a new-fangled, plastic-domed “ladybug playground” with tiny slides and such.   I wager in most families bug barns are…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:38

Handmade crafts come to Cullowhee

Mountain Artisans’ Summertime Arts & Crafts Show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 29-30, in the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:38

Handmade crafts come to Cullowhee

Mountain Artisans’ Summertime Arts & Crafts Show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 29-30, in the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:35

Billy Idol rocks Harrah’s

Rock-n-roll legend Billy Idol performs at 9 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center.
The Trantham Family will perform from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at an open house for the recently restored Francis Grist Mill in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:28

This must be the place

It was the reason I came to the South. Situated in the southeastern corner of Tennessee, the city of Chattanooga is a rapidly growing, bustling hub of culture and commerce in Southern Appalachia. Like Asheville, both cities went through hard…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:00

In search of the sound

In Western North Carolina, it seems the two most important things are tradition and family – and nothing incorporates those ideals more than the melodic music of Southern Appalachian. “Music is a huge part of our heritage and of our…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:57

Earnhardt to discusses N.C. eco-heritage

Tom Earnhardt, host of the television program “Exploring North Carolina,” will give a presentation highlighting the uniqueness of the state’s ecological heritage at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:57

Bear poachers sent to prison

A U.S. District Court judge has sentenced 10 defendants for illegal hunting activities involving black bears and other wildlife and related offenses. The sentences, handed  down Monday, June 10,  are the result of “Operation Something Bruin,” a multi-agency initiative focused…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:56

Massey Branch Boat Ramp reopened

As of late May, the U.S. Forest Service has reopened the Massey Branch Boat Ramp on the Cheoah Ranger District, just in time for the summer season. The popular site, located near Robbinsville on Massey Branch Road, serves Santeetlah Lake…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:55

Man injured by tree in tornado

An injured hiker was successfully airlifted from Low Gap Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday evening, June 14. Nathan Lipsom, a 53-yearold male from Cambridge, Mass., was injured from a falling tree while hiking the trail during…
Several trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been closed due to extensive damage from wind and rain. 
Batter up ladies and gentlemen. The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a co-ed softball league this summer.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:52

A milkweed by any other name

Every year as summer approaches and the days begin to heat up, I marvel at the beautiful orange explosion that protrudes from an unkempt patch of daylilies and Queen Anne’s lace that was once (BC – before children) a more…
This year’s PlottFest will give hound enthusiasts from the region, across the country and around the globe a chance to celebrate their favorite breed of dog in its ancestral home. Although the fledgling festival, only in its second year, will…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

Mountain momma

As a kid, my sister and I had an unspoken pact. If one of us heard Cyndi Lauper come on the radio, we promptly ran through the house hollering “Come quick, she’s on!” 
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

Wrestling superstars in Cherokee

Pro wrestling stars from the WWE, WCW, NWA and ECW jump into the ring at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at the Birdtown Gym in Cherokee. Key events include the Rock & Roll Express versus Powers of Pain, Matt Hardy…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

Native American speaker at Junaluska

Jonathan Maracle of Broken Walls will be the guest speaker and facilitator at the Native American Conference June 28-30 at Lake Junaluska. Maracle, a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Territory in Ontario, Canada, will share his experiences, skills and knowledge of First…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

American Idol singer in Franklin

American Idol singer Lauren Alaina will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 3, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

Jazz festival heats up Waynesville

Enjoy traditional, bop, and original jazz during the Summer Jazz Festival on Saturdays from June 29 to July 20 at the Classic Wineseller in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

July 4th in Southern Appalachia

Nothing says summer more than the 4th of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto.
The 12th annual Graham County Artisan Drive-About will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 28-29 in conjunction with the opening of the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center’s Appalachian Evening Music Series in Robbinsville.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

This must be the place

Getting poison ivy is my official sign summer is here. Like old men whose knees ache when there’s an impending storm, the symbolic rash and blisters are Mother Nature’s way of telling me spring is over. Ever since I was…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00

Lake Junaluska celebrates 100 years

A hundred years of history and community will come together during the Centennial Homecoming Week at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center from June 30 to July 7. Reunions, dynamic speakers, an impressive lineup of concerts, a golf tournament, a…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 02:09

Mountain Momma

My husband is from South Carolina — the state where you don’t have to wear helmets on a motorcycle and you can detonate a backyard fireworks’ show packing enough TNT to last Wile E. Coyote for a lifetime. 
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 02:09

Cathey memoir on life, metal sculpture

Metal sculptor Grace Cathey will hold a signing for her book, Fire & Steel: The Sculpture of Grace Cathey, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 5; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 6; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug.…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 02:05

SCC quilts for returning soldiers

Quilting students from Southwestern Community College recently participated in the Quilts of Valor project, a non-profit organization with the goal of making quilts that would both heal and comfort returning service men and women touched by war. Quilters from around…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 02:00

Dunham brings comedy to Cherokee

Acclaimed comedian Jeff Dunham will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:59

Spice and tea store opens in Highlands

The Spice & Tea Exchange opens its doors this Independence Day weekend in downtown Highlands. The new retail destination is for food lovers, professional chefs and tea connoisseurs alike. The store is a unique retail experience where guests are encouraged…
The “Mountains in Bloom” fundraiser for The Bascom Visual Arts Center will be July 11-14 in Highlands.
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:53

Battistelli, Jars of Clay play Franklin

Christian singer Francesca Battistelli and rock group Jars of Clay perform at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Battistelli hits the stage on July 12, with Jars of Clay on July 13. Both performances begin at…