It starts where it ends: Perpetual Groove headlines Franklin festival

When it comes to the truly innovative and distinct jam acts of the modern era, Perpetual Groove is a name that’s been roaring back into the scene in recent years.

Formed in Savannah, Georgia, in 1997, the group was ahead of its time with a seamless blend of exploratory rock-n-roll and electronica influences. The foundation was built upon the curious melodic nature and reflective songwriting of Phish and Widespread Panic, but was also highly immersed in the sonic possibilities found in the late-night rave and festival circuits back then.

All in the family: The Brothers Gillespie to play hometown album release show

In a leap of faith move last summer, Americana/indie act The Brothers Gillespie left its native Waynesville and took off over the state line to Johnson City, Tennessee. 

Comprised of three Gillespie siblings — Davis (singer/rhythm guitar), Clay (drums), Aaron (lead guitar) — and longtime friend Max Pollifrone (bass), the quartet chose Johnson City to create and perform its music as Clay finished up college at nearby East Tennessee State University (where he’s currently studying Appalachian music). 

If wishes were horses: Bluegrass icon Claire Lynch to play Folkmoot

The voice of Claire Lynch is incredibly soothing — in conversation and in front of a microphone.

With a songbird tone and cadence, the singer is like a free-flowing breeze, something that swirls around you and picks you up, as if you’re a fallen leaf at the peak of beauty, eager to once again sit high in the sky.

Feels like the first time: Jeff Pilson of Foreigner

When you run through the gamut of truly great rock bands, the name Foreigner tends to usually be somewhere near the top. With over 80 million records sold, the group soaked the radio dial through the 1970s and 1980s with a string of iconic hits, many of which becoming lifelong anthems for countless fans. 

This must be the place: Haynes conjures rock spirit through symphony

Arguably the hardest working man in rock-n-roll, guitar legend Warren Haynes has never been one to shy away from testing his own boundaries, blurring the lines between the knowns and unknowns of music — especially when performed live. 

Devil on my shoulder: With new live album, The Get Right Band to play Boojum

The hardest balance for a rock band is to straddle the line between honest emotions in your lyrics and also simply being able to get people to groove along to what beats and tones swirl around the wordplay. 

In pursuit of the moment: Greg Ormont of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

In a day and age where everything that glistens and captures society’s short attention span is seemingly a smoke screen blurring the lines between appearance and reality, one of the most intricate and sacred of human experiences remains pure and untouched — live music. 

What lies beyond the horizon: Porch 40 kicks off ‘Pour 40’ tour, new album

Coming into seven years together, the members of Porch 40 continue to hold steady and elevate each other’s craft, with a constant motto of “all for one, one for all” echoing loudly through the band’s purpose, passion and performance. 

Last November, the Cullowhee-based quintet rolled down to New Orleans, Louisiana. They headed into the studio of musician Robert Mercurio, bassist for legendary funk/rock act Galactic, whose personal collaboration and professional influence on Porch 40 is not only evident, but clearly bountiful. 

WCU chancellor interview process begins

In a search that is now entering its second year, Western Carolina University’s Chancellor Search Committee is preparing to interview the top candidates applying for the job left vacant by the late Chancellor David O. Belcher. 

Out in the open: Steep Canyon Rangers to play homecoming show

Adjusting his baseball cap, Graham Sharp leans forward and takes another sip of coffee. It’s late morning at the Tastee Diner in West Asheville. The constant traffic buzzes by the small restaurant bordering Haywood Road. 

Banjoist/singer for the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, Sharp is part of one of the marquee acts in string music today. The Western North Carolina group isn’t bluegrass. It isn’t Americana. It’s isn’t folk or indie, either. It’s all of the above, which is something Sharp and his bandmates have purposely set out to present to the listener.

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