Let my life be a light: After banner year, Balsam Range release ‘Aeonic’

Following a second “Entertainer of the Year” award from the International Bluegrass Music Association this past September in Raleigh, the members of Balsam Range went immediately back into the recording booth. 

Hunkered down in the Crossroads Studios in Arden, the quintet burned the midnight oil far into the foliage season, which has resulted in the band’s eighth album, “Aeonic” (out Jan. 4 on Mountain Home Music Company). The record is a testament to the hard work and determination Balsam Range not only possesses, but radiates to inspire those around them, onstage or off. 

Patience, persistence and power chords

The core of any sincere and determined musical circle is a simple formula: camaraderie + compassion = musicianship. 

Anyone who tries to find footing at all in this haphazard organized chaos of creating and recording music, of booking and promoting shows, can can surely attest to the madness felt — onstage and off. You’re chasing a dream that can seem further and farther away each day you get up and try again, a recognition and stability you fight for with a reckless abandon.

Choices and changes: A conversation with Sierra Hull

Though part of the scene most of her life, singer/mandolinist Sierra Hull has been making some big waves in the world of bluegrass in recent years. 

This must be the place: ‘We’ll climb that hill, no matter how steep’

There was something so cozy about that navy blue 1992 Toyota Camry.

With my mother behind the wheel of her new car, I was a 7-year-old kid cruising along to the sounds of 105.1 FM. The radio station call letters were WKOL (aka: KOOL 105) and the tunes were golden oldies from the late 1950s to early 1970s. All the good stuff, you know?

Let the world decide: Travers Brothership release latest album

Just about a decade ago, on a school bus somewhere on the back roads of Black Mountain, four teenage boys sat together and conversed excitedly about their mutual love of music. 

Two of them were twin brothers, Kyle and Eric Travers. The other two were friends Ian McIsaac and Josh Clark. Though the siblings had been playing music since they were kids, Kyle on guitar and Eric on drums, talk surfaced to start jamming out in their parent’s garage. 

‘Any old road will take you there’: Balsam Range reflects on successful past, a bright future

In 12 years together, Haywood County-based Balsam Range have played some of the biggest stages in the music industry, and have also taken home some of the highest awards in the bluegrass world. 

Don’t judge the book, read the book: ‘Liberal Redneck’ brings wellRED tour to WCU

What Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester are doing is artistically and politically groundbreaking in the world of comedy.

Known worldwide as the “Liberal Redneck,” Crowder and his touring/writing partners on their “wellRED” tour rolled into the Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University on Oct. 29. Performing to a packed audience, the comedians presented their completely unique — and increasingly popular — brand of southern comedy.

Today is a video game: Vermont singer-songwriter returns to Waynesville

About six years ago, I moved from Upstate New York to Western North Carolina. I was, and remain, some 1,100 miles or so from all things familiar and beloved back in my native North Country. 

But, it was always the music of that place, and also of my time there, I would return to for comfort whenever that feeling of being homesick would rear its ugly head, usually on those nights when you’re simply alone on your front porch amid a sometimes-deafening silence. 

It ain’t over yet: Rodney Crowell reflects on life, role of the songwriter

Like a tumbleweed from his native Texas, Rodney Crowell has bounced and rolled along through life to wherever the four winds of the cosmos push him. 

In his 68 years on this earth, the singer-songwriter remains the fiery epitome of a troubadour, where truth is stranger than fiction, and the only way to make it through the day is to make sense of it through song and dance — with or without company, no matter. 

This great life we wish to attend

When one is in pursuit of their dreams, once-feared obstacles become golden opportunities, where you see what it will take to achieve what you need to do, in your own time, and you simply chip away until you overcome and overtake what it is you ultimately want, and need, to accomplish.

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