As long as water runs downhill: The story of Popcorn Sutton

People have been making moonshine almost since the day water started running downhill, and it seems like people have been talking about enigmatic Appalachian moonshiner Popcorn Sutton for just as long. But now, for the very first time, a full-length biography attempts to explore the conflicted life and legacy of Appalachia’s most (in)famous moonshiner. 

This must be the place: Hear that lonesome whippoorwill, he sounds too blue to fly

I’ve been feeling some overwhelming gratitude this week during the premiere and continued rollout of Ken Burns’ 16.5-hour PBS documentary series “Country Music.”

I sat there in utter awe during the first episode on Sunday evening, something I’ve always felt watching Burns’ films since I was a kid. My entire existence is wrapped around his influence on me as a writer, journalist, storyteller, history freak, and as a human being trying to make connections with others. 

Will the circle be unbroken: Ken Burns on new country music documentary, a life in filmmaking

Clocking in at over 16 hours, the new Ken Burns documentary “Country Music” is an extremely detailed and intricate look at the genre through the lens of our nation and the wide variety of its citizens that inhabit it.

The film lays down the foundation and continual evolution of country music. It’s a portal and rabbit hole into this never-ending melodic history and its artists, a true sense of discovery of self — of time and place — through songs about heartache and redemption.

Sunburst — a short history

It was a struggle from the start — getting in, getting people and supplies up and getting the lumber down — but the mostly-forgotten century-old logging camp now hidden beneath the placid waters of Lake Logan in southeastern Haywood County still casts a long shadow on the area and its inhabitants. 

The fog of war: Vietnam vet reflects on service, new documentary

You could see it in his eyes.

Sitting across from James “Jim” Joyce in his office in downtown Waynesville, his direct eye contact, and even more direct answers to questions, alludes to a man who has seen as much destruction as creation.

Cherokee docudrama reveals untold history: Author takes on directing, producing and composing

art frNadia Dean has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to telling a story. It’s a historical account of the complex dynamics of the Cherokee War of 1776, but it’s also a story about relationships, humanity and the decisions that shaped this country. For Dean, who grew up in Haywood County and now lives in Cherokee, it was an untold story that needed telling.

Film crew granted access to Judaculla Rock

A film crew with the show “American Unearthed” will arrive in Jackson County this week to film an episode on Judaculla Rock, despite fears that a mockery will be made of the prehistoric rock art.

The Cataloochee exodus: Story of picturesque valley’s transformation captured in new film

coverRaymond Caldwell was 15 years old when he hitched up a team of horses to a wagon with 30 bushels of corn in tow, leaving the only home he and his ancestors had ever known in the idyllic Cataloochee Valley. 

“I drove the wagon all over the farm, but that was the first time I ever drove it out of there,” said Raymond. It was a high stakes assignment, since the load represented the fall corn harvest and needed to last the family and livestock through the winter at the new farm they were heading to across Haywood County.

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