Archived Arts & Entertainment

This Must Be the Place

art thisplaceWell, 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 on the ride as I bring to life all the creative people, places and things that make Southern Appalachia so unique.


Along with our regular rich smorgasbord of arts and culture coverage, I’m launching a new column this week in conjunction with a revamped design. You’ll find even more event listings, features and two new columns — all aimed at keeping you better apprised of what’s happening in this region.

I named this column after one of my favorite songs from the Talking Heads, “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody).” The tune has always held a special place in my heart. Immersing oneself into the first line (Home is where I want to be/Pick me up and turn me around) conjures innumerable memories of simpler times in all of our lives, moments we carry with us through thick and thin.

And I think that’s the true power of music, which is being able to transport the listener to a place of bliss and serenity when seemingly all else fails to do so.

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It’s that exact feeling of comfort that I’ve been chasing for years as an obsessed music lover and journalist. Each note seems to bleed into every aspect of society, every form of art. Chasing these things, these sounds and people who create them, has led me around this great country, from dive bars in South Dakota to mansions in Vermont, California shorelines to the deep Ozark woods of Arkansas. 

Along the way, I’ve transitioned from my forte as a music writer into writing about other mediums, like sculpture, theater, painting, literature or the culinary arts. What connects the vast arts community in its many forms is the creators, who let the essence of their soul escape through their hands — eager to mold, shape and see the fruits of their creative labors. 

With that said, I look forward to sharing with you more of what I see out here in the depths of Western North Carolina. It will be an ongoing conversation, one that began when mankind first realized the power of imagination. And, as the Talking Heads say, “I’m just an animal looking for a home/And share the same space for a minute or two.”

If you have story ideas, comments or suggestions on the arts and culture front, send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Hot picks

• Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City will have its 5th Trail Magic Ale release party on June 7-8.

• “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” a musical about the life of the storied rock-n-roller, hits the stage at the Highlands Playhouse starting June 13.

• The Smoky Mountain Bike Fest and Swap Meet comes to Salty Dog’s Seafood and Grill in Maggie Valley beginning June 5.

• A tribute to beloved singer/songwriter Carole King featuring Sheila Gordon finds its way into the Classic Wineseller in Waynesville on June 7.

• Shot in WNC, the 1997 film “Paradise Falls” will be shown at the Jackson County Public Library on June 11 in celebration of the building’s two-year anniversary.

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