Between the heavy and the light: Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers

With the recent departure of founding member Woody Platt, the Steep Canyon Rangers found themselves at a crossroads — now what? 

Show Me Something Higher: Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon

It’s 2:54 a.m. in the rural backwoods of Virginia and Vince Herman hands me a shot of high-end tequila. With his trademark Cheshire Cat grin, Herman then pours himself a shot, soon raising it high into the air in honor of another incendiary performance. 

Choices and changes: A conversation with Sierra Hull

At just 31 years old, Sierra Hull is already a legend in the bluegrass world. With her signature songbird vocals and mandolin virtuosity, the performer has also taken home “Mandolin Player of the Year” at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards five times. 

It’s workin’ all right for me: A conversation with Lilly Hiatt

At the core of all beloved singer-songwriters is this raw honesty and genuine compassion, to conjure the good, bad and ugly of the human condition, all in an effort to put forth solidarity to the listener that, regardless of what happens, tomorrow is another day to get out of bed and push ahead. 

That’s the only way we get it right: A conversation with Chris Staples

Sliding into a chair at a table in Orchard Coffee, in the heart of downtown Waynesville, singer-songwriter Chris Staples lets a slight sigh out into the late night — one of appreciation for the moment that just flew by. 

Still got this dream that you just can’t shake: Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler

Since 1987, New Jersey-based Blues Traveler has remained one of the hardest working and most resilient rock acts in the mainstream music scene, something championed by the group’s vast network of diehard fans the world over.

Because of you I’m seeing open doors: Chicago indie-soul act rolls into Sylva

Sliding into a booth at The One Stop, a storied basement music venue in the heart of downtown Asheville, lead singer Brett O’Connor readies himself to soon take the cavernous stage, standing before a microphone in front of a sea of anonymous faces — all eager to see just what he and his band, Sneezy, have to offer.

Days we left behind: Arnold Hill to play Canton Labor Day

One of the finer experiences of being a bona fide music freak is to witness and appreciate the growth and development of a particular group. You’re not only seeing new layers added to an ensemble, but also the continued trajectory of their artistic and creative pursuits.

Ode to the traditions, past and present: A conversation with John Duncan

Amid the evening whirlwind of friendly faces and hearty banter at Boojum Brewing in downtown Waynesville, John Duncan sips a craft ale, pauses momentarily, and ponders just what it means to be a conduit for the sacred traditions of Southern Appalachian music in the 21st Century — it’s preservation and, ultimately, it’s perpetuation.

American pastoral: Brothers Gillespie release new album, plot summer tour

Within its upcoming sophomore album, “American Pastoral,” rising Haywood County-based Americana/rock act The Brothers Gillespie has cultivated a vast, vibrant landscape of sonic and lyrical textures.

Page 1 of 4
Smokey Mountain News Logo
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.