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

River Whyless, a four-piece folk group from Asheville, makes waves with a wash of harmonies and lush violin melodies on its new album, We All the Light. more

Dec 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

The Asheville Symphony Sessions

Jesse Kitt photo

Music weaves its way through the hills of Asheville. A fiddle tune unfurls on a busy street corner, jazz floats out the windows of a wine bar, and rock clubs shake with raucous energy. Down the street, the Asheville Symphony spins its own magic. more

Aug 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

New Harp of Columbia

Carroll McMahan photo

Harmonious voices—often described as spirited, soulful, poignant, even haunting—ring out from Middle Creek United Methodist Church in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. These shape-note singers practice an art older than the church where they’ve assembled. more

Aug 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia



A Mighty Fine Memory pays tribute to regional treasure Roger Howell, the master fiddler from Madison County, North Carolina. more

Jun 1, 2016 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


Aaron Dahlstrom photo

Long the heart of Appalachian roots trio Red June, husband-and-wife musicians John Cloyd Miller and Natalya Zoe Weinstein recently released their first album, Equinox, as Zoe and Cloyd. more

Dec 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia


Kathryn Ray

A spirit of craftsmanship has always imbued these mountains. These days, Southern Appalachia’s most innovative artisans and entrepreneurs honor the past and this region while pushing their crafts to new limits. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features


Elizabeth Aaron photo

Kevin Abernathy shamelessly proffers his rock-and-roll roots on his spring release of Ain’t Learned Yet. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia


Sandlin Gaither photo

​Amanda Anne Platt, songstress and bandleader for the Honeycutters, has a voice like a honey-coated hammer. more

Oct 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

For many folks, beer and music go together like banjo and fiddle. All of the above find a warm reception here in Southern Appalachia—often at the same spot. more

Jun 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

Rhiannon Giddens's self-assured debut solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, belies the true message. Forget tomorrow: The singer, violinist, and banjo player’s day has arrived. more

Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

I never expected to buy a banjo, and certainly not for myself. And yet I recently found myself ogling an Irish tenor on the showroom wall of Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, North Carolina. This was not my first visit. more

Apr 1, 2015 12:00 AM Blog

2014 Merlefest

Merlefest photo

As the weather warms, festival season gets underway. Whether one seeks music or crafts, heritage or craft brews, there’s a celebration for it somewhere across the region. more

Feb 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

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

The Orange Peel

Garret K. Woodward photo

As the festival season slowly starts to kick into high gear, music lovers who prefer a seat rather than standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers are reminded of the plethora of opportunities to hear high-caliber music in quality venues. more

Feb 1, 2015 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

What Big Ears

Scott Chris photo

A lute player, an Inuit throat singer, and a punk rocker walk into a bar in Knoxville, Tennessee … That’s not a joke. Actually, it’s the setup for Big Ears, a music and arts festival that is making global waves. more

Feb 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

Fletcher Feed and Seed

Max Cooper photo

The Blue Ridge Music Trail in North Carolina is a musical guide established by the North Carolina Arts Council that is aimed at guiding visitors and residents alike to the region’s most authentic and traditional music. more

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

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