What should I say? Greensky Bluegrass returns to WNC

Why not?

Why not include Greensky Bluegrass in the sacred — sometimes stale and stuffy — pantheon that is bluegrass music? Why not include the Michigan group in the annual celebrations of string and acoustic music, which mainly originated in Western North Carolina and greater Southern Appalachia? Why not consider the quintet a direct descendent (a rebellious one albeit) of the original rebel himself — Bill Monroe?

A part of my generation’s soundtrack

We were pretty full of ourselves, I guess. Barely 19, barely finished with our freshman year in college, having left our provincial little town behind for the urban chaos and the infinite possibilities of university life just over a year ago. Now here we were again, back in town for the summer. We knew we were going back to school soon enough, so we wanted to cram every bit of experience and drunken camaraderie into those last few weeks together before packing up our junk, moving back into the dorm, settling on a major, and getting serious about the future after a few false starts and narrow escapes during our freshman year.

This must be the place: ‘You never slow down, you never grow old’

Tom Petty.

I can’t remember a time without him and his band’s music in my life. It’s always been there, just like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson have always been there for my parents’ generation. I grew up on the sounds of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. We all did. Every single one of us, whether we realize it or not.

Giving back at Goodyacre: Ambitious plans in play at Canton area farm

At one time or another, many of us have thought about giving up on the hustling, bustling daily life of the modern world — especially on those mornings where you wake up feeling like Charles Bukowski.

Two Canton residents lucky enough to do so are so grateful for the opportunity that their first instinct was to give back.

Take it or leave it: Foghat to headline Cherokee Blue Ridge Run

It’s the intersection of American blues and British rock.

When you throw some Foghat onto the stereo, you’re entering a realm as big and powerful as the tunes radiating from a quartet that was at the heart of the soundtrack of the 1970s.

When my last song is sung: A conversation with Rob Ickes

In the bluegrass world, it doesn’t get much bigger than Rob Ickes.

Fifteen-time “Dobro Player of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Ickes was a founding member of Blue Highway, a group as innovative to the genre as they were successful.

The music of the heart: 48th annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival

It gets to the point without distraction.

Folk music — the intersection of the human heart and the greater world — lies at the foundation of American culture. From the folk traditions and musicians of the British Isles that eventually made their way to the high peaks and low valleys of Southern Appalachia centuries ago, folk music is a timeless sound nurturing urgent lyrics.

Play by your own rules

An iconic mandolin and fiddle player, Sam Bush has rewritten the game of bluegrass, especially when it comes to live performance within the genres of string, acoustic and rock-n-roll music.

Among his many accolades and awards was his 2001 “Album of the Year” Grammy as part of the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” film soundtrack. With his early days as a member of the groundbreaking New Grass Revival, to his current role fronting the endless touring juggernaut that is the Sam Bush Band, he continues to be an open book — in inspiration and in conversation.

Balsam Range turns 10 atop IBMA nominations

Leading this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association awards with eight nominations, Haywood County group Balsam Range is atop the mountain of bluegrass.

This must be the place: ‘Tired, but wiser for the time’

The trifecta.

By this past Monday morning, I was running on fumes heading back to my humble abode in downtown Waynesville in preparation for the solar eclipse. Three nights. Three bands. Three genres of music — and also attitudes — that shaped who I ultimately am today.

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