Garret K. Woodward

Largely unknown outside of East Tennessee, The Monday Movement can immediately turn a small room into an enormous arena of tone and sound. more

Dec 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

The key to Balsam Range’s success is a long-time group of friends, all open to new ideas, new techniques and approaches to that high, lonesome sound that remains at the core of their identity. more

Oct 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Acoustic Syndicate

Lynne Harty photo

Straddling the lines between bluegrass, mountain music and rock-n-roll, Acoustic Syndicate is a result of their miles on the road, where they soaked in the sounds of the landscapes they passed through, the countless stages they took each night. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

'Rocky Top' Celebrates 50 Years

Tennessee Athletics photo

Tucked away in the heart of the Old City in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, the Jackson Terminal is a former railroad freight depot now modern-day event venue. And on a recent Saturday evening, Andy and Ashley Wagner got hitched. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

As the Monday through Friday host of WDVX’s “Blue Plate Special” on 89.9 FM, Red Hickey oversees a legendary radio program in the studio located on bustling Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia


Garret K. Woodward

Clayton, Georgia, recedes in the rearview mirror. Head farther west on Highway 76. The last of the day’s sunshine falls behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. Take a right on Persimmon Road, an easy-to-miss turnoff into the backwoods. more

Jun 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Situated in the heart of downtown Canton, North Carolina, the Colonial Theatre is surrounded by buildings with signs saying “For Rent” or “For Sale” in the windows. It’s a remaining cultural crown jewel of a community that has seen better years. more

Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Standing behind the counter of High Country Tire in Sylva, North Carolina, Summer McMahan is a long way from the bright lights of New York City. Outside the shop and convenience store, cars zip and zoom by nonstop down U.S. 441. more

Dec 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia


Garret K. Woodward photo

An old church stands just a few yards away from Patton Avenue, a main artery of hustle and bustle in downtown Asheville. On the outside one might mistake it to be abandoned or forgotten. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Led by the Asheville-based sister duo of Leah and Chloe Smith, Rising Appalachia creates mountain music accented with everything from hip-hop to world fusion. more

Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Balsam Range in Fines Creek

Garret K. Woodward photo

In July 2012, I wandered into The Smoky Mountain News office in downtown Waynesville, North Carolina—tired, hungry, a little delirious and full of inertia and caffeine after a nonstop haul from upstate New York. more

Feb 1, 2015 12:00 AM Good Reads

In the early days

Courtesy of Louise Best

Music is like a memory—each performance a moment preserved, notes recalled but replayed never quite exactly the same way. And like a memory, music survives long after its makers. more

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM Features

Raymond Fairchild

Garret K. Woodward photo

Journalism, like the music industry, is an industry in flux. On my first day of my first journalism class, my professor casually walked in, set his briefcase on the table, and scanned the room slowly, silently. After few moments, he finally spoke. more

Jun 1, 2013 12:00 AM Good Reads

Overlooking the countryside

Garret K. Woodward photo

The road gets smaller and smaller to Ron and Rachel Clearfield’s home. Pavement turns to gravel, then to dirt, the route lined by majestic rolling hills and thick woods. It’s Saturday and the sun is shining. more

Feb 1, 2013 12:00 AM Features