Between the heavy and the light: Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers

With the recent departure of founding member Woody Platt, the Steep Canyon Rangers found themselves at a crossroads — now…
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This must be the place: If you lived here, you’d be home by now

Sitting in The Scotsman in downtown Waynesville on Sunday evening, I found myself sporadically watching the last NFL game of…
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This must be the place: ‘Goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again’

There’s an old backpack in my apartment. I’ve had it since college. And since those academic days back in Connecticut…
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Finding a sense of balance: Cherokee artist unveils latest pieces

Balance, rhythm, and equilibrium are all words that mean so much, yet we as a society struggle to grasp the…
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Litmus test of a community: A look back at the arts in WNC 2022

As it has been stated in this publication many times before, the litmus test of the strength of a community…
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This must be the place: ‘Can’t live without you so it seems, honey sew another patch on my jeans’

New Year’s Eve. A little past 9 a.m. in Room 211 of the Holiday Inn Express on the outskirts of…
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Show Me Something Higher: Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon

It’s 2:54 a.m. in the rural backwoods of Virginia and Vince Herman hands me a shot of high-end tequila. With…
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This must be the place: ‘You will receive a big compliment from others. Lucky numbers: 15, 18, 30, 32, 40, 42’

It was another quiet Sunday morning in the ole humble abode in downtown Waynesville. But, this go-round, it was Christmas…
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This must be the place: Remember no man is a failure who has friends

Sunday morning. Across the globe, Argentina and France were battling it out in the World Cup soccer final in Qatar.…
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This must be the place: Know it’s a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness

It’s 51 degrees with a warm sun and blue skies hovering above downtown Waynesville. A little after 2 p.m. Monday…
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Art Basel brings indigenous work to Miami Beach

Throughout the ages, art has given us a means to display all facets of our lives to the world; it…
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The sound of community: With Christmas Jam back from hiatus, ‘Jam By Day’ returns

After four years of radio silence, the nationally revered Warren Haynes Christmas Jam will return for its 31st installment on…
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This must be the place: Morning comes wearing diamonds, where she is, the sun is shining

Hello from Room 128 at the Red Roof Inn in Hardeeville, South Carolina, just north of the Georgia state line…
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Brotherhood and backwoods tradition: A retrospective on Balsam Range

Writers’ Note: Since I started in the position of arts and entertainment editor at The Smoky Mountain News in 2012,…
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This must be the place: Lace up the running shoes, head out the door and get after it

As of yesterday, Monday, Nov. 28, I’ve run 2,525 days in a row. I hadn’t checked in on “the streak”…
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This must be the place: And a man must forfeit all he owns for a glimpse at the reason why

I was about an hour behind schedule leaving my native Plattsburgh, New York, the truck aimed for Waynesville and greater…
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Choices and changes: A conversation with Sierra Hull

At just 31 years old, Sierra Hull is already a legend in the bluegrass world. With her signature songbird vocals…
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This must be the place: One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls

I had about an hour window of no rain before the remnants of the tropical storm would slowly, but surely,…
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I am one of you forever: A conversation with Fred Chappell

In conversation, Fred Chappell is a man of few words and sentiments. Perhaps that’s because he uses all of his…
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This must be the place: It takes a lifetime to find, a life like the life you had in mind

It’s a dreary early late fall afternoon here at my folks’ farmhouse, tucked away on a side road, just off…
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‘We Will Not be Silenced’ exhibit, reception

A reception for the “We Will Not be Silenced: Standing for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” exhibit will be held…
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This must be the place: You want to find the truth in life, don’t pass music by

Hello from Room 307 at the Hilton Garden Inn amid the coastal community of Monterey, California. It’s 11 a.m. and…
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That’s the only way we get it right: A conversation with Chris Staples

Sliding into a chair at a table in Orchard Coffee, in the heart of downtown Waynesville, singer-songwriter Chris Staples lets…
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It’s workin’ all right for me: A conversation with Lilly Hiatt

At the core of all beloved singer-songwriters is this raw honesty and genuine compassion, to conjure the good, bad and…
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This must be the place: And we all will die, and even the stars will fade out one after another in time

Slowly opening my eyes in the waning hours of Sunday morning, I could hear the last of the fall foliage…
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Preserving the past, perpetuating the future: Smoky Mountain Heritage Center sparks inspiration, camaraderie

Cruising along Soco Road in the heart of Maggie Valley, one immediately notices the bright lights of the sign in…
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This must be the place: The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great

Editor’s Note: While on assignment for Rolling Stone out in Monterey, California, last weekend, Garret decided to hang out in…
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Hopping right along: Waynesville brewery expands Frog Level footprint, opens Asheville location

Grabbing the last empty picnic table behind Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville one recent afternoon, Frank Bonomo gazed along the…
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This must be the place: I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry, and when I get thirsty I’ll lay down and cry

Emerging from his merchandise table at The Grey Eagle in Asheville last week, legendary troubadour Ramblin’ Jack Elliott moseyed on…
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Still got this dream that you just can’t shake: Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler

Since 1987, New Jersey-based Blues Traveler has remained one of the hardest working and most resilient rock acts in the…
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This must be the place: Could have been the Willie Nelson, could have been the wine

Waking up in the hotel room at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, last Saturday morning, I rubbed my…
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This must be the place: Beg, steal or borrow two nickels or a dime to call me on the phone

Room 424. Marriott City Center. Raleigh. Thursday. Awakened by the sounds of a banjo and laughter in the hallway, the…
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This must be the place: Instead of insight, maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while

What’s that feeling you get pulling back up in front of your humble abode after weeks away, wandering and pondering?
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Hidden amongst the tree line: Highland’s Skyline Lodge combines natural, culinary beauty

Pulling up to the Skyline Lodge, a peaceful silence washes over you while emerging from your vehicle. Walking toward the…
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Ready to try theater?

The Haywood Arts Regional Theater in Waynesville is currently offering a wide variety of classes in the theater arts for…
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Opening the doors of creativity: Haywood Arts Studio Tour to be held Sept. 24-25

The Haywood County Arts Council’s annual Haywood County Studio Tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,…
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This must be the place: Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved

Monday afternoon. Plattsburgh, New York. Grabbing a few things for my intended hike up near Tupper Lake, in the depths…
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This must be the place: Well, I love home, but the road’s got all I need

The alarm on the smart phone shook me out of some foggy, odd dream. Par for the course, in terms…
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Time don’t wait on nobody: A conversation with Marty Stuart

At age 63, singer-songwriter Marty Stuart is regarded as an American musical institution. With a core tone radiating the sounds…
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Because of you I’m seeing open doors: Chicago indie-soul act rolls into Sylva

Sliding into a booth at The One Stop, a storied basement music venue in the heart of downtown Asheville, lead…
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Days we left behind: Arnold Hill to play Canton Labor Day

One of the finer experiences of being a bona fide music freak is to witness and appreciate the growth and…
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Cherokee Bonfire & Storytelling

The Cherokee Bonfire & Storytelling will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays through Oct.…
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This must be the place: Set of keys and a dusty suitcase, car wheels on a gravel road

What’s that feeling the day before a big trip? More so, a road trip? Where you’re mulling over what to…
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This must be the place: Time waits for no one, lord, why did I hesitate?

Stepping out onto the porch late Sunday morning, the air was cool. The first sign of an impending fall, even…
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This must be the place: Ode to the flood, ode to Cruso, Bethel and Canton

Sitting on a barstool at The Water’n Hole in Waynesville last Monday afternoon, I took a pull from the cold…
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Keep it real: A conversation with Jim Lauderdale

A pillar of the Americana, country and bluegrass realms, legendary singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is one of the few artists who…
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Bardo Arts Center fall season announced

The Bardo Arts Center (BAC) at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is excited to welcome patrons into its spaces for…
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This must be the place: When the west was wild and the land was free, how a western word would travel for a country mile

Once the paved road turned to dirt, I noticed a small pull-off to the right. Putting the ole Tacoma in…
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Folkmoot returns to WNC

Folkmoot, North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival, returns to hosting programs and events beginning with its “Summerfest” scheduled from Thursday,…
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Go tell it from the mountain: Jackson County venue offers world-class music, food

Not far from the intersection of N.C. 107/281, just down Shook Cove Road in the heart of Tuckasegee, a large…
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