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. 

Cold Mountain Music Festival returns to Lake Logan

The third annual Cold Mountain Music Festival will take place May 31 and June 1 at the Lake Logan Conference Center. The festival will feature top-notch national and regional acts, with styles ranging from Americana to soul, folk to indie-rock, singer-songwriter to bluegrass. 

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. 

This must be the place: You’ve got to trust your instinct and let go of regret

With the wind howling in my face, the Polaris ATV rounded the third curve of the Rockingham Speedway. The odometer read 60 mph. It was midnight. Sunday into Monday. And all I could think of was the absurdity of this serendipitous moment.

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. 

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. 

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