This must be the place: Don’t ever let life pass you by

With over 2,000 folks piling into the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville for Incubus on Thursday evening, those in attendance walked away from the gathering with way more than simply “hearing the hits.”

Celebrating the 20th anniversary release of the California rock act’s breakthrough album, “Make Yourself,” the performance unfolded with a retrospective film being projected on the large backdrop behind the drum kit, the entire audience on its feet cheering along.

Don’t sweat the small stuff – just play: A conversation with Jimmy Herring

Longtime guitarist for legendary rock act Widespread Panic, Jimmy Herring’s sole focus as a musician is — and has always been — about creating an inclusive melodic platform with his electric six-string, by which he and other musicians onstage can stand atop and swirl around each other with ease. 

Mountain of pain: Beloved Missouri blues-rock act to play Water’n Hole

Cutting through the onslaught of monotonous bar bands and diluted midnight hour showcases like a buzz saw gone haywire, The Hooten Hallers remain one of the most mesmerizing, innovative and raucous acts on the national scene these days.

Learning American history through songs

In February 2019, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation released the results of a nationwide poll of 41,000 Americans testing their knowledge of our country’s history. 

“The Foundation found that in the highest-performing state, only 53 percent of the people were able to earn a passing grade for U.S. history. People in every other state failed; in the lowest-performing state, only 27 percent were able to pass.” (Bold-print is from the Foundation.)

In search of that ‘high, lonesome sound’: IBMA awards showcase celebrates 30 years

Just before he entered the main auditorium of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh this past Thursday evening, Darren Nicholson stood back for a moment as he watched the entire bluegrass industry mingle before his eyes.

Where I’m going I’ll be seeing you: A conversation with Marcus King

At 23, guitarist Marcus King has quickly transitioned from a prodigy into a bonafide legend on the electric six-string. 

Crisscrossing the globe since he was a teenager emerging from Greenville, South Carolina, King and his band have risen to the upper echelon of rock-n-roll and soul music, a modern-day realm inhabited by the likes of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and JJ Grey & Mofro. 

This must be the place: Their music being born of love, children danced night and day

This past weekend at Kickin’ It On The Creek marked my 20th music festival in the last 27 weeks.

Free from society’s handpicked hypocrisy: A conversation with G. Love

For the better part of the last three decades, G. Love (aka: Garrett Dutton) and his band Special Sauce have been crisscrossing America with its signature blend of hip-hop, blues and jazz.

Coming up through the 1980s hip-hop scene in Philadelphia, G. Love soon found himself a young street busker in Boston, eventually taking his intricate rapping skills, old-time harmonica and folk guitar stylings into the studio for the group’s groundbreaking 1994 self-titled debut album. 

Will the circle be unbroken: Ken Burns on new country music documentary, a life in filmmaking

Clocking in at over 16 hours, the new Ken Burns documentary “Country Music” is an extremely detailed and intricate look at the genre through the lens of our nation and the wide variety of its citizens that inhabit it.

The film lays down the foundation and continual evolution of country music. It’s a portal and rabbit hole into this never-ending melodic history and its artists, a true sense of discovery of self — of time and place — through songs about heartache and redemption.

Right from the source: Smoky Mountain Folk Festival celebrates 50 years

Atop a hill on the western edge of downtown Waynesville, just past the invisible line where the delicious smell of down home food stops wafting from nearby Bogart’s Restaurant & Tavern, sits a picturesque century-old home. 

With a fresh cup of coffee in hand one recent sunny morning, Joe Sam Queen sat in a rocking chair on the side patio of his serene abode and reminisced about the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival. 

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