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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The holidays have come and gone, and we are in that New Year period where the kids are still out of school and all the days blend together. This is a great time of year to begin thinking about spending for Christmas 2023.