Keep on the sunny side: A conversation with Jim Avett

At 72 years old, singer-songwriter Jim Avett is a modern-day Renaissance man. Avett is a beloved Appalachian folk musician. Up at the crack of dawn farmer. Served in the Navy during Vietnam. A social worker for a period. And a welder for almost four decades. He’s traveled across the country and around the world, and never once losing that childlike wonder that resides at the crossroads of curiosity, discovery and adventure. 

Closer now and you will see what I mean: Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits

The history of rock-n-roll music is as wide and deep as an ocean, each drop of water a band, song or feeling radiating a sense of self into the endless universe.

And within that massive and undulating history, no wave was larger than that of the British Invasion in the 1960s. Sparked by The Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show Feb. 9, 1964, the musical charge “across the pond” from England to the United States included the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Who, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Zombies and Herman’s Hermits. 

Carry me back to the days I knew then: Rock Hall of Famer Denny Laine rolls through WNC

Simply put, singer/guitarist Denny Laine is one of those mystical characters you cross paths with almost serendipitously. 

He’s an old soul really, someone who’s seen and experienced the world over. But, Laine is also happy to share that wisdom with whoever will sit and chat for a moment. It’s a cosmically curious conversation between two souls playfully in search of the answer to the eternal question — what does it all mean? 

Can’t keep a good man down: Banjo legend Raymond Fairchild on turning 80, a life in music

Though his fingers seemingly wrap around a walking cane more than his trusty banjo these days, Raymond Fairchild remains one of the finest musicians who ever picked up the five-string acoustic instrument — alive or six feet under. 

Whole lotta highway (with a million miles to go): A conversation with Marty Stuart

When you find yourself in the presence of Marty Stuart, you find yourself in the presence of the entire living, breathing history of country and bluegrass music. 

Hailing from the small rural town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, the legendary singer/musician took off for the open road at age 12, performing with various groups throughout the Southeast. By the time he was 14, he had secured a position in bluegrass forefather Lester Flatt’s band. 

Out of sight ain’t out of mind: Grizzly Goat to kick off CMMF

Up-and-coming on the Americana/indie scene, Grizzly Goat was formed in Provo, Utah, and is now based in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Just look at us now: Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids

It’s part Simon & Garfunkel, part Abbott & Costello. 

When you listen to The Milk Carton Kids, you’re hearing some of the most poignant, soul-searching and timeless acoustic music of this century — perhaps any century, truth-be-told. 

Buddha on a hill: A conversation with David Crosby

The world has gone haywire and David Crosby is mad as hell about it.

And though the years may change on the calendar, the issues affecting our society tend to remain front and center — corruption, discrimination, poverty, pollution, and so forth. 

Can’t keep a good man down: Banjo legend Raymond Fairchild on turning 80, a life in music

Though his fingers seemingly wrap around a walking cane more than his trusty banjo these days, Raymond Fairchild remains one of the finest musicians who ever picked up the five-string acoustic instrument — alive or six feet under. 

“I just count myself another mountain picker. I don’t think I’m no better than anybody else, but I think I’m as good as any of’em — that’s the legacy,” Fairchild said with his trademark grin. “When they ask me when I’m going to retire, I say when somebody comes along and beats me at picking the banjo — and they said, ‘you’ll never retire.’” 

The beauty of simplicity: Bird in Hand & Ivory Hollow Farmstead

These days, Megan and Bryan Thurman call a 31-foot Airstream home. The iconic silver travel trailer is currently parked on a picturesque property in the rural southern edge of Sylva. 

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