Archived Arts & Entertainment

Blue Ridge Music Trails podcast

Merle Watson, David Holt and Doc Watson. Merle Watson, David Holt and Doc Watson.

Listen for new episodes of “Down the Road” on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a series highlighting traditional and bluegrass music and stories, beginning this week on WNCW-FM at Isothermal Community College in Spindale. 

The series is created by the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and the North Carolina Arts Council, in partnership with WNCW-FM.

The segments air on WNCW-FM (88.7) Mountain Mornings on Tuesdays at the end of “Morning Edition” alternating with “Southern Songs and Stories.” “Down the Road” is also repurposed as online content by the partners.

“At WNCW, we love our mountain music and Appalachian cultural traditions, so it is a natural fit to air ‘Down the Road’ on the Blue Ridge Music Trails on FM as well as via podcast,” stated Joe Kendrick, WNCW’s director of programming and operations. “It is a great pleasure to join in with their team and work together to preserve our region’s music and strengthen its future.”

The partnership includes the production, broadcast and online distribution of the new series of radio segments and podcasts featuring Laura Boosinger, celebrated musician, folklorist and storyteller, as host. The segments highlight bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers and musical traditions across the 29 mountain and foothills counties included in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina footprint.

Produced by WNCW-FM, the short segments cover such subjects as a story about the journey of a fiddle once owned by Madison County legend Byard Ray, the influence of the Farmers Federation on music in Western North Carolina and a look at the banjo builders in the region. Boosinger’s long history as a performer of traditional and bluegrass music as well as her musicologist background and knowledge of the region provide rich context for the segments.

“We are excited to offer this new set of ‘Down the Road’ episodes to convey the rich music legacy of Western North Carolina, from our heritage artists to rising traditional music performers of today,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

The title of the segment is based on the tune “Down the Road” from the Doc Watson Family.

The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina is a project of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council. For more information, visit 

WNCW-FM is an independent public broadcast service of Isothermal Community College and broadcasts at 88.7FM with WNCW 88.7 FM is a public radio station owned and operated by Isothermal Community College. 

The station, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, is a nationally known leader in the Americana and Triple A, or adult album alternative, formats. WNCW 88.7’s main signal can be heard in parts of five states. 

The station also has translators in Boone, Charlotte and Greenville, South Carolina. In addition, WNCW broadcasts over the 90.7 frequency on WSIF FM in Wilkesboro. For more information, visit:

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