Drifting back down to earth at the peak of beauty

With brightly colored leaves falling from nearby trees in my front yard, the mountains appearing in the morning fog, and the whirlwind that is summer in the rearview mirror, I began to slow down and slide into the serenity only found in this magical time of the year. 

Blue collar dreams: Balsam Range wins big at IBMAs

Sitting on a bench in the lobby of the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium last Thursday evening, Marc Pruett waits quietly for the rest of his band, Balsam Range, to arrive for the International Bluegrass Music Association award show. 

In my life, I’ve loved them all

With the massive rainfall from Tropical Storm Florence on Sunday, my truck carefully navigated its way through deep puddles and down slick backroads, the windshield wipers barely able to keep up. 

The church was just off the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, tucked above Barber Orchards in Balsam. It’s had been awhile since I stepped foot in a church. Raised in a Catholic family, I’d go to church sometimes twice a week (Thursday for school, Sunday for family). Though a deeply spiritual person, I hadn’t crossed the threshold of a house of worship in some time. 

This must be the place: I wanna be an American cowboy, and I ain’t never moving away

Every-so-often, I’d look around the crowd and wonder if I’d have known any of these folks, perhaps called them dear friends, if I had stayed all those years ago.

Standing in the middle of Teton Village, in the shadow of the Grand Teton Mountains, just outside Jackson, Wyoming, this past Sunday, I immersed myself in the raucous sounds of rock act Futurebirds. I thought of who I was and what I wanted out of life when I was 23 years old and living in this part of the country. 

This must be the place: Tomorrow’s gonna be a brighter day

Back to square one.

Dammit. You’d think that after existing on this earth for 33 years, and being a legal adult for the last 15, that I’d get this relationship and/or love thing correct, eh? Somewhere on I-40 West right now is my now ex-girlfriend, bolting across the Mississippi River toward the next, new chapter of her life in New Mexico. 

A rapid series of comical noises: A conversation with comedy genius David Cross

If there was a single voice of reason amid the bombardment of deafening noise in the digital age — of mass media, of used car salesman politicians, of everyday informed/misinformed folks rambling on (and on) — David Cross might be that single voice.

Whether through his iconic stand-up routines, his groundbreaking sketch comedy series “Mr. Show” or his immortal role as Tobias Funke in the sitcom “Arrested Development,” Cross is a bonafide comedy legend. For him, it isn’t about taking cheap shots or reaching for the low-hanging fruit of material. Cross comes from a more cerebral approach, an analytical mind that knows no bounds, and uses his intelligence to reach the masses with his wit and wisdom through the wide-open channels of entertainment. 

This must be the place: With a little help from my friends

Bolting up Interstate 95, just outside of Portland, Maine, this past Monday, I finally could smell that smell that conjures innumerable cherished memories, genuine emotions and deep thoughts in my mind — the ocean. 

This must be the place: Finding Nirvana is like locating silence

Emerging from the Appalachian Trail on the North Carolina/ Tennessee state line this past Sunday afternoon, a hot southern sun hung high, beads of sweat rolling down my face. I turned around and saluted the dirt path I just had finished running. 

Constant evolution: Jam-rock act to play Highlands

In an era when rock-n-roll has seemingly taken a backseat to hip-hop and electronic acts — on the radio and on the charts — it’s refreshing to come across such a finely-tuned entity like The Orange Constant.

This must be the place

I still don’t really know what day it is.

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