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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’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.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

A gem from Charlotte’s crown

By Chris Cooper Some songwriters have the gift of saying volumes with very little. They don’t need to spell it out, plaster it with tinsel and candy, and do a little dance to get your attention — it’s as if…
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

The Swiss experience

By Michael Beadle Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News Writer Michael Beadle recently traveled to Europe. The following is the first of two stories about his experiences abroad. You can’t go home again. More than years after Asheville literary giant Thomas…
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

A+ arts schools Call me biased, but Central Elementary School in downtown Waynesville is a great place. All three of my children have attended, and two are still there. The A+ program integrates arts into the standard curriculum and realizes…
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

Crafty, curious Codetalkers

By Chris Cooper To say that Col. Bruce Hampton has carved a colorful swath through the music industry is likely an understatement of considerable proportions. Tossing equal parts Zappa-inspired lunacy, gritty Southern rock, spoken word rants from Mars, gospel, funk,…
By Michael Beadle One thing that paralyzes American tourists about visiting foreign countries is the language barrier.
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

IN Review

By Chris Cooper The Wilders: Throw Down Reading about bandleader Ike Sheldon’s love/hate relationship with old-time music is almost as entertaining as listening to The Wilders’ latest, Throw Down. That somebody could be such a natural talent in this style…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer At age 12, Seth Taylor is a quiet, tanned, tow-headed boy. He seems well mannered, intelligent, and at ease, his lanky frame leaned back in a folding chair. However, he’s unprepared to answer questions…
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Ebay Egad, it’s more addictive than heroin. My family always had a penchant for what some might refer to as “junk,” but what they would refer to lovingly as “antiques.” So I spent a fair amount of my childhood in…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Spring One diversion in my life this past month was the weather. Surely this spring is among the most gorgeous of the last two decades. There is a lush, warm quality to the landscape this season, and the very air…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Five CDs that deserve a spin

I’m going to take a brief detour from the regular album/show review format and present five CDs that I feel are worth seeking out. The idea started out as a “top 5” of the last year, but apparently I got…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer From behind the waist-high counter that divides his studio and gallery in half, potter Mark Karner pauses for a moment to extend a hand and make introductions before getting back to work applying handles…
By Michael Beadle Last week, Cherokee students found themselves stretching, swooning, thrusting imaginary swords and spouting 400-year-old Elizabethan English. All that without textbooks or boring lectures about William Shakespeare being the greatest playwright ever.
Local writer Jeanne Nutter, 72, of the Caney Fork Community took first place in the Jackson County Extension and Community Association’ s recent Cultural Arts Contest.
By Michael Beadle There’s so much art to see in downtown Waynesville, gallery owners are now offering to keep their businesses open extra hours. For the first Friday of the month starting this May, the Waynesville Gallery Association is kicking…
By Chris Cooper There’s this thing that can happen when you research an artist for a review. I’m not sure what the technical term for it is, but it goes something like this: you find that many people (usually well…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Beach Trips My first vacation of any real length is coming up in two weeks’ time. My boyfriend and I are heading south to Delray Beach, Fla. — a place picked solely for being home to the Morikami Museum and…
First, an admission: I didn’t get to talk to Kenny Wayne Shepherd at all. No interview or anything. Kind of a bummer, because it means I couldn’t ask him how it feels to look back on a performing and recording…
By Michael Beadle Helen Keller is an unruly child. She eats food with her fingers, drops her silverware on purpose, kicks and whines, and throws temper tantrums. She also happens to be blind, deaf and mute with very little way…
Wednesday, 26 April 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Back-buying Have you ever noticed that people, for the most part, solidify their tastes — in music, and clothing, and what they like to eat — at a certain time in their younger years? I don’t mean that we can’t…
Wednesday, 19 April 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Leonard Cohen What can you say about a man in his 70’s who is an international sex symbol in Paris, Berlin, London and Dublin? (He doesn’t do badly in Melbourne, Madrid and Stockholm either.) I think I’ll call him a…
By Chris Cooper I’ve seen Danielle Howle completely abandon the stage and microphone in the middle of a song and wander through the audience while singing, beating on the tables and bar counter as her only accompaniment.
Western Carolina University students are filming the last scenes from the Theatre in Education Company’s performance of “Young Cherokee,” concluding a year-long theatre initiative that has captured attention at national conferences and connected university students with the Cherokee people.
By Michael Beadle It’s Thursday morning and Cherokee High School junior Brandi Oocumma is preparing to read a news story on the radio about the risks and benefits of caesarian deliveries. She wants to become a pediatrician one day, so…
Wednesday, 12 April 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Drive-By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse I first saw the Truckers eight or nine years ago in a little dive in Asheville called the Basement. There might have been 20 people there, including the staff and guests of the…
Wednesday, 12 April 2006 00:00

Stillwell earns fans the hard way

By Chris Cooper What do the words “music career” mean to you? For many it’s big fancy studios, nice cars and whopping cash advances from a record label. Maybe a house in Malibu with a gold plated toilet. Worldwide superstardom…
Wednesday, 05 April 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

National Poetry Month April may have been “the cruelest month” for poet T.S. Eliot, but for me it is truly a gift, a time of budding flowers and warming weather. April is also National Poetry Month, a time to honor…
By Chris Cooper The name Radney Foster takes me back to the earlier days of home satellite dishes and music television. It was still a novelty to have access to so many things to watch, and in an effort not…
As part of an innovative fundraising effort called “Doctors for Doc,” Haywood County physicians affiliated with Haywood Regional Medical Center are helping fund an upcoming concert featuring Grammy Award-winning musicians Doc Watson and David Holt.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer There are two things Arthel Watson fans are sure to mention when asked about the folk musician — his voice and his character. They say his voice channels everything that is true Americana. They…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer History books and literature long have recounted and regaled the Civil War, examined its long-lasting effects in determining who “we” are as a great and unified South, and how “we” are not yet ready…
Wednesday, 29 March 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism Haynes Johnson’s 2005 book isn’t frightening, but it should at least make thinking people think about some fundamental issues facing Americans. How, he asks, can we “safeguard the nation’s security without jeopardizing its…
By Chris Cooper Silly, psychedelic and monstrously musical, the teaming of Keller Williams with Larry and Jenny Keel on Grass is sure to produce something that’s out there, to say the least. As well, it’s an opportunity to hear Williams…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

PlottFest returns to Maggie

A benefit for Head Start of Haywood and Jackson counties, PlottFest will be held June 21-22 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday.
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

‘Oklahoma!’ rolls into Franklin

“Oklahoma!,” the first musical written by the dynamic duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. June 27- 28 and July 5 and at 4 p.m. June 29, July 4 and 6 at the Smoky Mountain Center…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

Cabaret show at The Classic Wineseller

Singer-songwriter James Hammel will present a cabaret story through song in “Celebrating a Collage of Life — a Journey Through Some of Life’s More Poignant Moments” at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville.
Haywood Community College’s Appalachian Music Program will be offering a handful of classes funded by a generous grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. 
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Time sure does fly, eh? It hit me this week that my column recently crossed over the one-year anniversary threshold. How crazy, huh?
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

New state tax hits entertainment venues

When the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Eve, a new North Carolina state tax took effect. “This isn’t a tax reform, it’s a tax shift,” said Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville. “It’s just part of the shift by…
Alternative rock bands Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Marc Pruett has won a Grammy and played the Grand Ole Opry stage, but his biggest concern on this day is sinkholes. “Where is it? Canton?,” he asked a coworker.  Director of erosion control for Haywood County, Pruett sits at…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

39th annual Pow Wow returns to Cherokee

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Pow Wow will be held July 4-6 at the Acquoni Expo Center.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:39

Smoky Mountain Folk Festival returns to Lake J

The 44th annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival will be held Aug. 29-30 at the Stuart Auditorium in Lake Junaluska.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

Cullowhee Mountain ARTS programs

There will be a handful of youth arts programs held throughout July as part of the Cullowhee Mountain ARTS summer series. Held in the School of Art and Design on the Western Carolina University Campus, these camps allow young artists…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

Haywood arts council gets new director

The Haywood County Arts Council recently hired Jodi John Pippin as their new part-time executive director as of June 2014. 
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

Singing In The Smokies returns to Bryson

The Singing In The Smokies Independence Weekend Festival will run from July 3-5 at Inspiration Park in Bryson City. 
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

This must be the place

It’s a sound that immediately turns your head. Sitting at a table within the 5 Walnut Wine Bar in downtown Asheville one lazy, sunny Appalachian afternoon, a trio of musicians took to the floor and eased into the subtle ambiance…
Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber students and recent graduates recently won awards in the national juried student fiber exhibition Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends 2014 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries at the University of Georgia in…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Stained glass classes in Dillsboro

Appalachian Art Glass will teach the Tiffany method of making stained glass through August at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Acclaimed musicians Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth will open the Songcatchers Music Series at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at the Cradle of Forestry in America.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Screw it all. There have been days, many days, where I’ve found myself sitting in traffic, standing in line, waiting on the phone, ordering something I really don’t want (or need), drinking and eating something that probably isn’t good for…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

An Appalachian Fourth

Nothing says summer more than the Fourth of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto. Between majestic fireworks, sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, games, live music and craft demonstrations, there’s a little of…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Folk festival in Franklin

The 11th annual Folk Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in downtown Franklin. The event includes over 100 heritage demonstrations, which include basket making, woodcarving, moonshining, weaving, spinning and more. There will also…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Sweet Corn Festival in Franklin

The 17th annual Sweet Corn Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12 at St. Cyprian’s Church in Franklin. Food, with a focus on sweet corn, can be enjoyed at tables under the shade of large…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Contestants sought for youth talent contest

The Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest will be held at 3 p.m. July 19 during the Franklin Folk Festival.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

‘Hello Dolly’ to hit HART stage

The 50th anniversary production of the Broadway blockbuster “Hello Dolly” will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 11-12, 17-19, 24-26, Aug. 1-2 and at 3 p.m. July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

ArtFest to feature Folkmoot performers

The Haywood County Arts Council will once again host ArtFest (formerly called International Festival Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19 in downtown Waynesville. 
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Emporium to bring the dance, funk to Sylva

Funk/soul group Emporium will perform as part of Concerts on the Creek from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 16:17

This must be the place

It’s the soundtrack of my life. Growing up in the Champlain Valley (Upstate New York/Vermont), the music of my native land echoed through the albums of moe. They are North Country boys, whose central blend of rock, jam, funk and…
All is not well at the Uptown Gallery in Franklin. “It’s pretty bad,” said Sue Weathers. “We’re losing money, and keeping the gallery open is getting pretty hard.” Co-director of the gallery and a member of the Macon County Art…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Summer Jazz Series returns to Waynesville

The Summer Jazz Series returns for the month of July at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. The series takes place at 7 p.m. July 5, 12, 19 and 26. 
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:24

Folkmoot, 30 years in the making

It was a phone call Rolf Kaufman will never forget. The year was 1983, and on the other end of the line was the voice of Dr. Clinton Border, a Waynesville surgeon and Kaufman’s neighbor.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:23

Bringing the world into your home

The house is silent, but soon, it will be overflowing with voices, faces, words and languages known and unknown. Awaiting her guests, Jay MacDonald stands in the kitchen of her home in downtown Waynesville.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:00

Tapping into Folkmoot

Folkmoot is a Western North Carolina tradition, and this year, the festival is tapping into the growing craft beer industry that has become a thriving part of the WNC cuisine scene.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:56

The countries of Folkmoot USA

Japan: Quichar Paradise The name Quichar Paradise means “Be Happy Anytime.” This performing group is from Tokyo, Japan, but represent dance of the Okinawa region. The group has participated in numerous folklore festivals including Hohhot Inner Mongolia in China, Yilan International…
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:50

Folkmoot: Schedule of events

Bringing together world culture and Southern Appalachia traditions, Folkmoot USA transcends any and all barriers. Whether it’s language, physical boundaries or appearance, the art of live performance found at this international dance and music festival erases any differences by creating…
By Michael Beadle Succulent shrimp. Marinated roast beef. Creamy soups and sweet vegetables. And don’t forget dessert.
By Chris Cooper It’s tricky when you find the word “hype” used repeatedly in the glowing fan reviews of a band, as in: “living up to the hype” or “easily surpassing the hype” and so forth.
Wednesday, 15 March 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Fortunes of War” Based upon the autobiographical novels of Olivia Manning, this BBC production tells the story of Guy Pringle (Kenneth Branagh), his wife Harriet (Emma Thompson), and their involvement in the dangerous politics of Romania and the Balkans during…
Wednesday, 08 March 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Ali Farka Toure Guitarist Ali Farka Toure has been hailed for his distinctive mix of Arabic-influenced Malian sound and American blues — often billed as the West African answer to John Lee Hooker. Toure was born in 1939 into a…
By Michael Beadle A farm girl recounts her memories of a special calf named Rupert and a gravedigger tells of his long career around a cemetery. These two poignant and yet comical stories about birth and death feature masterful storytellers…
By Chris Cooper Duncan Sheik demonstrates a sort of understated brilliance that’s almost alarming when you hear it. Ballads slip from majestic to broken at the turn of a phrase. Grit and political outrage collide with hypnotic guitar and carefully…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County Art Association publicity manager Pat Mennenger busied herself arranging crackers on a platter while a gaggle of fellow board members unwrapped homemade hors d’oeuvres, positioning them on two tables in the back…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Kindergarten The other day I went to a kindergarten class for “Career Day.” I had 15 minutes to talk about cartoons, draw some cartoons, and find out what these 5-year-olds knew about cartoons. When I was a kid, adults talking…
By Michael Beadle OK, first things first — Craig Karges is not a comedian though he makes his audiences laugh. He’s not a magician, though he uses magic. And he’s not a psychic, though psychic happenings occur in his shows.…