art frIn art, as in life, what matters most is following your heart, never compromising your beliefs and holding steady to a strong sense of integrity.

art theplaceThey 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.

art frTurning 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.

art frCaleb 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.”

coverDanielle Bishop only cries when she’s mad.

“And was I mad,” she said.

Sitting in a booth at the Papertown Grill in downtown Canton, Bishop’s eyes light up when asked if her aspirations of becoming a touring musician were ever influenced by the fact that she was a woman. Already an acclaimed fiddler at only 20 years old, she has spent most of her life in pursuit of a dream of taking to the open road and sharing her talents with the world. Recently, a popular regional bluegrass outfit was in need of a fiddle player who could also play mandolin and guitar. Bishop is well versed in all three instruments and decided to call for a tryout.

art theplaceOne of the beauties of music is that it is the gift that keeps on giving.

When a band releases an album, it’s a melodic present eager for the listener to unwrap. When someone hands you a record, it’s the excitement of the unknown, the notion that whatever sound radiates from your speakers you’re hearing for the first time. It’s that chance to discover a song, phrase or chord that sends shivers down your spine and throws a jovial kick in your step.

fr noisesylvaConflict surrounding noise complaints at No Name Sports Pub — and the Sylva town ordinance that addresses how those complaints are handled — brought out a crowd of about 25 to the town board meeting last week.

Good for what ales you

art frA rising tide lifts all ships.

It’s not only a motto for life, but also for the ever-evolving cultural ambiance in downtown Sylva. From mainstays City Lights Café, Heinzelmannchen Brewery, Lulu’s On Main and Guadalupe Café, to newcomers like Innovation Brewing, Mad Batter Food & Film and The Winged Lion, the nightlife options of this small mountain town has made it a hot spot for the curious and intrigued “after 5” crowd.

And coming into the fold with its “Grand Opening” Feb. 5-7 is Tonic, a craft beer market specializing in hard-to-find ales, food delivery service, jovial conversation and a hearty helping of Southern Appalachian string music. 

This must be the place

art theplaceIt is the single greatest influence on my life.

The people, music and culture that encompasses the Grateful Dead is the exact reason I find myself typing this right now. The sights and sounds associated with this melodic ocean liner sailing the high and often rough seas of society set the course for my entire existence.

This must be the place

art theplaceThey say all great art comes from conflict. It’s conflict of the soul, the heart and the mind, everything that either nurtures or tortures us. And for the Drive-By Truckers, conflict is what fuels their intent. 

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