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Archive for the 'Music' Category

If it’s Saturday night in the Smokies, there WILL be music

Throughout the Summer, Bryson City offers many options for lovers of traditional mountain music. On Saturday evenings through October, you can take in the free 6:30 pm “Music in the Mountains” concerts at the train depot. And throughout July and August, the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center presents “An Appalachian Evening”, the annual Summer concert series, now in its 12th season.

In the ’40s and  ’50s, Stecoah’s historic stage (above) was graced by such top bluegrass performers as Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and The Carter Family. This year’s 10-concert series begins on June 28 with the internationally-known Kruger Brothers. Other groups include Balsam Range, Dismembered Tennesseans and the Jeff Little Trio.

The Bryson City area offers even more music and entertainment options. It’s all in this area performance schedule.

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And You Thought All Smoky Mountain Dancers Were Cloggers

You may associate southern Appalachia with square dancing and clogging, but another dance form is alive and well — bellydancing.

Recently, the newly-formed ‘Bryson City Bellydance‘ organization invited the community to a dance party, or “Hafla”, where dancers from Waynesville, Morganton and Bryson City performed different styles of bellydance.

The group’s mission is to “share the ancient art of bellydance with the Bryson City community through education, instruction and performance and to use this empowering dance form to create a sense of self and community for the women of Bryson City.”

The Bryson City Bellydancers above are (l-r) Raquel Moore, Kim Holt, Diane Cutler, Tayla Holt, Sarah Miller, Paige Christie. The group is currently offering beginner, intermediate, and cardio-bellydance classes and welcomes anyone interested in joining the performance troupe.

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Tempers Flare in Bryson City Jury Room

Can a room full of angry jurors ever reach a verdict? You’ll find out when you attend the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre’s current production of “Twelve Angry Jurors,” a play by Reginald Rose. Remaining performances are July 23, 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are $8 for adults, and $5 for students ages 6 to 18. Children under six are admitted free. For information or reservations, contact Director Toby Allman at 828-488-8103 or 828-508-6645.

The Smoky Mountain Community Theatre is just one of the entertainment options available when you visit Bryson City and the North Carolina Smokies this Summer. There’s Saturday evening music at the Depot and Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center; as well as programs at the Swain County Center for the Arts and the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in nearby Franklin. You’ll find a complete schedule here.

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Bluegrass Is Steeped in Tradition

A tradition of southern gospel runs deep in bluegrass music, almost as deep as the traditional cowboy hats that many groups wear on stage. Except when it’s time to sing a gospel song, the hats generally come off — another tradition observed by the Rye Holler Boys at the Freedom Fest celebration last weekend.

Ranging in age from 15 to 17, the Bryson City foursome has attracted a growing fan base. They’re scheduled to perform twice at the Saturday evening Music In The Mountains concerts at the Bryson City depot — August 7 and September 18. You can learn more about the free Music In The Mountains concerts here.

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Music in the Mountains Begins June 5

The 2010 season of Bryson City’s Music in the Mountains gets underway the first Saturday in June with a free concert by Dusk Weaver, a performer whose music has been described as “unique, toe-tapping, thought-provoking fun.” The following week’s concert features Bryson City’s own “The Barn Cats”, pictured above.

Each Saturday night, through October, Music in the Mountains brings a different performer to the stage at the Bryson City train depot. The groups range from old-time country to bluegrass, to jazz, to Celtic music. And Elvis will even make an appearance as the final show in October. The concerts are free and last from 6:30 to 8 pm. You’ll find a complete schedule on the Bryson City area entertainment calendar.

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Bryson City Librarian Makes One-of-a-Kind Musical Instruments

By day, Jeff Delfield is the Librarian at Bryson City’s Marianna Black Library. And in his spare time, he’s a maker of unique hand-crafted musical instruments, filling requests from as far away as Australia.

Above, he’s putting the finishing touches on a tackhead banjo with a distinctive “patchwork quilt” design — a specific request of the buyer. To achieve the multicolored pattern, Jeff constructed the rim from eight different woods. And to fully display the beauty of the woodwork, he hid the head tensioning system on the inside of the rim, a technique he borrowed from the makers of Irish Bodhrán drums. The head is calfskin, the neck walnut and the fretboard is made of bloodwood.

Jeff makes just one instrument at a time, a process that usually takes about six weeks. You can see more of his hand-crafted folk instruments, including videos, on his Deep Creek Strings website.

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Are You a Picker? Join These Twice-Monthly Jam Sessions.

Twice a month, there’s an informal gathering of string musicians at Bryson City’s Marianna Black Library for the Community Music Jam. The group generally includes a mixture of professionals, amateurs and learners; and in the Summer — when they usually gather outside under the shade tree — there can be as many visitors as locals. Anyone with a banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle (anything unplugged) is welcome.

Larry Barnett of Grandpa’s Music keeps the music flowing and the fun going. Normally, Larry calls out a tune and its signature and the group plays it together. But there’s also an opportunity for anyone to perform a favorite tune for the group. The jam sessions offer a chance for musicians of all ages and levels of ability to share music they have learned over the years or learn the old-time mountain songs.

Community Music Jams are held on the first and third Thursdays of every month, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Marianna Black Library. For more information, call 828-488-3030 or visit the library web site.

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The Bluegrass is Free on Saturday Evenings

Reel Tyme performs at Bryson City\'s train depot

Mountain music is very much a part of the Smoky Mountains experience, and it’s yours to enjoy every Saturday night through October at the Bryson City train depot. “Music in the Mountains”, the town’s free Bluegrass concert, features regional talent including the popular group Reel Tyme (above). The two-hour show begins at 6:30, courtesy of the Swain County Tourism Development Authority.

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The Mountains Are Alive With The Sound of Music

Adam Masters and Roger Howell at Stecoah\'s 2008 Mountain Music Championship.

The Smokies are where mountain music was born and our homegrown music is very much alive today. On Saturday evenings throughout the Summer, you can hear area artists perform at the Bryson City train depot. On Thursday evenings, there’s music on the lawn at the Bryson City library. Also on Saturdays, there’s the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center’s summer concert series, An Appalachian Evening. Above, Adam Masters (left) and Roger Howell perform at Stecoah’s 2008 Mountain Music Championship.

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