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.

This must be the place: ‘Didn’t wanna get me no trade, never want to be like papa’

So, amid the whirlwind this past week of being published by Rolling Stone — my biggest dream and top bucket list item as a writer — I’ve found myself looking over my shoulder and reflecting on the road to the here and now. 

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: ‘If everything could ever feel this real forever’

As a Rolling Stone magazine subscriber since I was in ninth grade, it has my biggest dream as a writer to get a piece — just one single article — published by them. Well, as of this week, I’ve now had two pieces published by Rolling Stone. And it all came completely out-of-nowhere.

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. 

Band culture is a thing, a good thing

When our daughter told us a little over four years ago that she was interested in trying out for the color guard for the Tuscola High School marching band, I thought it had to be part of some elaborate prank. She had never been much of a “joiner,” and had never expressed even a whiff of interest in extracurricular activities in elementary or middle school.

On the right track: Alma Russ

Business owners aren’t just retail or hospitality-based bricks and mortar shopkeeps; often overlooked are the sole proprietors selling a service or skill that comes from within, and many of those are members of the so-called “creative class” — artists, writers, performers and the like. 

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. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.