Spotlight On Music In Appalachia 2010

Spotlight On Music In Appalachia – Music Is Easy To Find

Western NC is a haven for music-and the musicians who play it. It only takes a little looking or asking around to find live music-mostly free for the listening.

-Just before 7:00 on Tuesday nights you can find folks lining up to contra dance at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The actual musicians who play for the dancers may vary-but the quality of the music is always outstanding. If you’re not into dancing-just come hear the music-it’s free either way.

-On Friday nights the folk school offers free (but donations are welcomed) concerts open to the public you can read more about it here.

-Twice in the last few months I’ve seen Cornbread Ted & The Butter Beans. If you’ve never heard their music-you should-they’re so good someone told Paul they felt sorry for the Blind Pig Gang having to perform after them at the JCCFS’s Fall Festival.

-A few weeks ago-me and the girls visited Jimmy’s Pick N Grin in Andrews, NC. Live music-and a whole dance floor of folks from the audience flat footing-now that was fun to watch. Of course Chatter and Chitter had to get in on the dancing too.

-Paul and I recently drove over the mountain to Franklin, NC and caught a show of one of my all time favorite groups-The Del McCoury Band. They put on an outstanding concert at the Smoky Mountain Center For The Performing Arts-of course this one wasn’t free-but I promise it was worth every cent of the money.

-The Blind Pig Family’s new favorite music venue in western NC-takes place on Saturday nights-at the Ice Cream Parlor in Hayesville, NC. You can eat supper-they serve more than icecream-then enjoy the free jam session that goes on in the back of the old timey store.



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  • Reply
    October 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Dale-thank you for the comment! Hope you drop back by the Blind Pig often!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    October 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Here in WV we have a great music festival called the vandalia festival where people come out of the mountain hollers just to play their music and dance. It’s incredible. Just thought I’d mention my fav way to hear mountain music

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    October 25, 2010 at 10:47 am

    One day I’m going to show up at your doorstep, Tipper, and travel to all these gems! 😉
    I can only imagine the feast for the senses, Tipper! :))

  • Reply
    October 25, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Oh! Now you know I want in on that drawing.
    I would love to travel around with you and listen to all that music. I might even get up and dance a jig or two.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 25, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Yes, Cornbread and the Butter Beans were good as were the Blind Pig Gang. I’m with Ken, I like to watch the videos of Pap, Paul, Guitar Man, Mandolin Man, and the girls….Chitter, Chatter and Tipper!

  • Reply
    Nancy Wigmore
    October 25, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Oh my, how I long to go for a visit…the closest thing around these parts is Orchard House Booksellers here in Smithfield, NC…They have open mic night and sometimes they have bluegrass musicians perform…serve up some fancy coffees and home baked goods. Having grown up around fiddlin’, guitar playin’, banjo pickin’ and mandolin playin kinfolks…it does my heart good to visit your sight and listen to some good ole music playin…Thanks Tipper for the posts…Have a beautiful day!

  • Reply
    susan kinkki
    October 25, 2010 at 4:30 am

    well, i havent been here for awhile but i read it all, the girls are growing up so fast, i like the sunburn above the boots on one of em. always so much info. i bet that concert was great, i think me and mark would of really enjoyed it too. not much good music scheduled at either casino we go to for music in 2011, kind of disappointing. but i am going to austin from nov. 17 to dec.1; and am hoping we go to the part of two that has all those clubs and tons of music.last time i went in 2002 i didnt get to go, i am sure we will have lots of fun this trip. mark will stay at home. bernie and mary couldnt pay his air fare and he said he didnt want to go if he didnt have any money, he is still layed off. but, i am planning on having a real good time. i just landed another quilt shop who wants to carry my hand dyed fabric. hoping she will buy at least forty or so packs before my trip. that would be perfect. i cut up fifty yards of mercerized cotton last night into 39″ pieces, that way they will diffenately be fqs after all that washing and manipulation. good to hear you are all well and havin a great ol time. take care

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    October 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    So many great artists … so precious little time. We saw Del McCoury at Bristol last month and many more but the list of incomparable artists we wish we could see seems to grow longer by the day.
    Now here’s a special artist: We went to see Little Jimmie Dickens last week; got to talk to him and Jeannie Sealy and they signed the poster we had with us. Not the same as Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans (and I wish, I wish we could see all those great performers you mention) but Little Jimmie is a legend and still (at 90 years of age)an amazing artist.
    It is a blessing for them that you have raised your girls to love so many of the right things in this world.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 24, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Tipper–For those among your readers who are fascinated by this subject, as I certainly am, I would strongly recommend reading the wplendid life of Bascom Lamar Lunsford written by Loyal Jones and entitled “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” Lunsford was a man of great musical vision as well as a rare talent (among the songs he wrote were “Old Mountain Dew” and, I am pretty sure, one I’ve heard Chitter and Chatter sing, “There Is a Time.” Old-time WNC residents will be familiar with his long-running song and dance festival in Asheville.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

    i would love to visit some of those “hot night spots” in NC…LOL
    We have one little place close by that let young aspiring musicans sing and play in front of an audience…It’s a small country restuarant…family oriented..they accept donations..
    Most of the music is country or country rock…NO HARD ROCK…that would spoil the dinner atmosphere…LOL Sometimes some of the small children get encouraged to stand up and sing along…such fun…!

  • Reply
    Steve Smith
    October 24, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Tipper, you continue to amaze me with all the things you are a part of! I guess you find time for the things you love, so keep on loving life here in NC, and tell us all about it!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2010 at 3:24 am

    We also have the chance to enjoy local bands playing traditional greek music for free but not as often as you do. In Cyprus free concerts take place in the open air in the summer and everyone is welcome to watch the performance and even sing along.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Oh, I hope to go on Tues. to the school and Sat. to the ice cream parlor. I saw Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans at the festival in Haysville this past July and enjoyed them very much!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I was at the concert when Cornbread Ted and the Butter Beans
    performed. They were good, but the
    Blind Pig Gang did great too, and
    besides it was gettin’ colder when
    you all got to come on. I listen to your radio player whenever I have work to do, but my favorite thing is all those video songs of
    Paul and Pap and the Pressley Girls…Ken

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    October 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Tipper,
    We knew about some of those venues, but I think we may have to try the ice cream parlor….if we can find a dog-sitter…

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    October 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    tipper: is there any other music to compare with any where else? unless you were to travel out to sedro wooley wa. or north carolina west as we like to call it. with the migration came the music. just ask the ” dillsboro darter”. but nothing like the home ground huh? k.o.h

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I do love to hear The Del McCoury Band! I’ve been lucky enough to see them a couple of times. We have a lot of music in our area,too. There’s a big bluegrass show twice a year with some big names (like Del McCoury), and then there is music in several places every Friday and Saturday night~but no place as cool as the ice cream parlor you mentioned!

  • Reply
    Donna W
    October 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I wish we had jam sessions like that around here.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Would have loved to have been there to see Del McCoury!! Years ago, I went with a group of folks from Sunday School after church to a pasture in the middle of South Florida almost to Okeechobee. Under a tent in the pasture was a great bluegress group playing – it was Bill Monroe!! Total surprise and what a memorable afternoon!!

  • Reply
    Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups
    October 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Such a wonderful heritage!
    BTW, a band we listen to a lot around our house is from N. Carolina — the Avett Brothers.

  • Reply
    Patrick Tomlinson
    October 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    Patrick Tomlinson
    October 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for the heads up tipper.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Would love to visit your part of the country and listen to the music. Do enjoy listening to what you put on your blog for us to hear. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Dale Anderson
    October 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Have had the privilege of attending Campbell Folk School classes three times and enjoy the Tuesday night dances and Friday night concerts. Love the music. Must be in my blood as I was born in Western N.C. and love to visit there. Wish I lived closer.
    Lost in Mississippi!!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for this great post Tipper, having all those places to go hear music seems like heaven to me. So much wonderful local talent what an asset to NC.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Hi, Tipper: Well, I’m going to have to have our managers try to get us down to the Smoky Mtn. Center. Looks gorgeous. I have to agree with Haystack above, the upper midwest isn’t the usual place for mountain music, though Monroe Crossing is up this way though–did a show with them last season, and they are the real deal.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    keeping my fingers and toes crossed! but if not, that’s okay cuz i can always come here to hear the best music of appalachia!

  • Reply
    haystack jackson
    October 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I want to come out there so bad to see, and be in a few jams. it’s
    pretty far from northwest wisconsin. i think the jams in your area are a lot different than up here.

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