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FREE PRINTED TRAVEL GUIDE Travel Guide
August 01, 2014

Honey bees make life sweeter in the mountainsAsheville goes by many names, ... more

August 01, 2014

PLUS: Win Passes to Asheville's premier foodie festThis August, Asheville ... more

July 31, 2014

New cultural museum tells women's storiesPhotos courtesy of aSHEville ... more

July 31, 2014

Visitor Center offers new one-stop shop for activity ticketsVisitors ... more

Asheville Music Scene

From Bluegrass to Newgrass to Nograss

A progressive and collaborative arts community, Asheville's modern music scene melds old and new with surprising ease. Music permeates the city from the street musicians who serenade you downtown, to multi-generation bluegrass jam sessions, to a rock club (Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club) named one of the best in the country by Rolling Stone.

Today, Asheville's music scene is all encompassing. Traditional mountain music still rings out from national artists such as David Holt and Laura Boosinger who live in the area. Classical music from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra fills the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium throughout the year.

These Hills are Alive with the Sound of Appalachian Music

The instruments needed for distinct mountain sound have old world origins. The banjo hails from Africa and the fiddle has European roots. However, the only native instrument to the mountain region, is the Appalachian dulcimer. This instrument is considered to be one of the easiest to learn due to its small string count and simplified fret system. Want to find one for yourself? Visit the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville where the Woodrow stringed instruments are sold. If you travel to Black Mountain visit Song of the Wood to see a wide collection of mountain dulcimers for sale.

Roots & Trails: New Guidebook!

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

Mountain music traditions are alive and well in the Blue Ridge and a new travel guidebook, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, offers an epic tour to the public settings where folk music and dance still thrive. Mountain musicians are as laid-back and welcoming as they come, so when heading out to find some Asheville music, bring your dancing shoes and banjo and play on in…

Musical Road Tripping

A CD Guidebook for the Ears

Listen while you explore. Many of the region's historic musicians are featured on a 20-track companion CD for the newly released Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. Imagine driving along the famed Blue Ridge Parkway with sweeping mountain views—nothing could be more fitting than a soundtrack of authentic Asheville music with that distinct Appalachian flavor.

Songs from this “guidebook for the ears” include “Swannanoa Tunnel,” “Frankie Silver's Confession,” and “Tom Dooley” and are based on actual events that took place in the region. The rich storybook of folk songs features raw, field recordings made in musicians' homes as well as professionally recorded tracks.

Top 8 Toe-Tappin' Adventures in Asheville

  1. Shindig Under the Stars - Bring your lawn chair (and an instrument, if you play one) for a free evening of traditional Southern Appalachian music, jam sessions and folk dancing at Shindig on the Green, Saturday nights under the stars from June through August in Pack Square Park. This is one of the most popular Asheville festivals of the year.
  2. Pick 'n Pie – Learn the secrets of mountain kitchens and mountain music in the same evening! Native Ground Music and Log Cabin Cooking partner to share their deep knowledge of Appalachian arts in beginners' classes in a charming farmhouse setting.
  3. Old Time Jam Session – Appalachian and Celtic music legacies are honored at the informal weekly jam sessions at Jack of the Wood. Rub elbows, and instruments, with Asheville bands and the locals while you enjoy a fresh, hand-crafted pint from Green Man and some time-traveling acoustic tunes.
  4. The Nation's Longest Running Folk Festival – Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves "along about sundown" the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
  5. Bluegrass Buskers – Nowhere is the music culture and bluegrass influence more accessible than on the streets of Asheville. When the weather is nice, nearly every downtown corner offers a spontaneous stage. Head to Pack Square or the iconic Flat Iron statue along the Urban Trail for bands like 13 Strings and a Two Dollar Bill, Flat Creek Trio and The Leather Britches.
  6. Asheville Music Hall Haunts – From intimate listening rooms to large music halls ideal for dancing, Asheville area music venues run the gamut: Grey Eagle, White Horse Black Mountain, Isis Music Hall and The Orange Peel offer variety in their line-ups, but bluegrass and roots can always be found if you watch the schedules. Tip: Asheville's breweries are also musically inclined. Pisgah, Highland, Wedge and French Broad Brewing all offer live music with craft beer cool.
  7. Asheville Drum Circle
  8. Contra and Square Dance – Pack a skirt that twirls! European and American folk dance is seeing a revival, and nowhere is that more clear than in the mountains of Western NC. At Grey Eagle, Warren Wilson or White Horse Black Mountain, the locals will take you in their arms, quite literally, and show you the steps.
  9. Asheville Drum Circle – You might hear a fiddle or banjo thrown in the mix, but the instrument of choice for this 10+ year Asheville music tradition is the drum. Follow the pounding rhythm downtown to a dance party under the stars. You can't help but move your feet.

A Thriving Music Scene

Miike Snow and Petter Winnberg on stage at Moogfest 2012

The sounds of the modern era also thrive in Asheville. Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music, spent his final years in Asheville and set up a company here that continues his musical vision.

Alternative rockers The Smashing Pumpkins made Asheville their temporary home with a nine-show residency in 2007 at the Orange Peel. And well-known artists such as Gladys Knight, Warren Haynes and David Wilcox have made Asheville their newfound home and drawn inspiration from the area.


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Upcoming Events

Live Music Thursday with Carver & Carmody

Join us at Renaissance Asheville Hotel for live music by Carver & Carmody. When Michael “Country” Carver and Mare Carmody harmonize together, their voices and guitar styles create a blend of country, blues, and Southern rock. Enjoy their covers of classics and original songs.

Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day Perform in 2014 Biltmore Concert Series

  • August 21, 2014
  • Location: Biltmore
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore

Thursday, Aug. 21 – Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day Steven Curtis Chapman is known as one of the most awarded artists in Christian music with 57 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, five Grammy’s, 47 No. 1 singles and approaching 11 million albums sold. The Georgia-based band Third Day has provided a vibrant soundtrack in the lives of this generation of believers. “Show Me Your Glory,” “I Believe,” “Cry Out to Jesus,” and “Mountain of...

Alarm Clock Conspiracy Duo - CD Release

Highland's Tasting Room is a unique blend of fresh beer in a family-friendly, top-quality music venue. Voted WNC's "Best Overall Brewery" in 2013 and 2014 by Mountain Xpress voters! Enjoy all of our beers, a tour and specialty offerings rarely found outside the brewery. Next in our line-up of musical talent: Alarm Clock Conspiracy

DIG Festival

  • August 22, 2014
  • Location: • The Orange Peel • Asheville Music Hall • One Stop • Broadways • Tressa's • 5 Walnut • The Social • Wicked Weed •
  • Address: 101 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

DIG FESTIVAL DOWNTOWN INDEPENDENT GROOVE FESTIVAL AUG. 22nd & 23rd ASHEVILLE, NC Two days, 8 venues , 40+ local and regional bands! Alanna Royale • Alarm Clock Conspiracy • Blushin Roulettes • Bubonik Funk • Bulgogi • Camp David • Carolina Wray • Dave Dribbon & The Stomping Rain • Can't Kids • Debrissa and Bear King • Doc Aquatic • Empire Strikes Brass • The E Normous Trio • Hank West • Hearts Gone South • ...

6th-Annual Rock Academy Show for Give to the Music

Rising star Joe Lasher Jr. headlines the sixth-annual Rock Academy concert for Give to the Music at The Orange Peel on Saturday, August 23rd. Give to the Music provides tuition for private music lessons, performance classes, and tutoring, as well as musical instruments for children who are in need of financial assistance. The concert will also feature Rock Academy youth bands, who frequently play throughout the Asheville area. A Joe Lasher Jr. meet-and-greet is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Hop Harvest Tour

  • August 23, 2014
  • Address: 24 Middle Mountain Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711
  • Venue:  Hop'n Blueberry Farm

Our annual Hop Harvest Tour on Aug. 23 at our farm near Black Mountain. We supply various breweries with fresh hops for "wet hop" beer production. This year, we sent hops off the vine to Hi Wire and Lookout Breweries to be put in the boil within 5 hours from picking them off of the vines. The event will feature a tour of the hop yard and education about hops, followed by a tasting of beer made from our hops by Hi Wire and Lookout. Music will be provided by Unnamed Suspects. Ticket...

Live Music Thursday with TLQ + 2

Join us at Renaissance Asheville Hotel for live music by TLQ +2. Terry Lynn's soulful, honest, sometimes gut-wrenching vocals are reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt meets Bonnie Raitt, with a little bit of country mixed in.

Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris Perform in 2014 Biltmore Concert Series

  • August 28, 2014
  • Location: Biltmore
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore

Thursday, Aug. 28 – Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and Emmylou Harris A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. A 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer an...

Boston Performs in 2014 Biltmore Concert Series

  • August 29, 2014
  • Location: Biltmore
  • Address: One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
  • Venue:  Biltmore

Saturday, Aug. 23 – Boston Boston burst onto the music scene with their eponymous best-selling debut album in 1976, and never looked back. With more than 17 million copies sold, Boston generated hits such as "More Than a Feeling," "Peace of Mind," and "Smokin'" – all rock staples that are still in heavy rotation today.

Lyric Live at Highland Brewing Company

Highland's Tasting Room is a unique blend of fresh beer in a family-friendly, top-quality music venue. Voted WNC's "Best Overall Brewery" in 2013 and 2014 by Mountain Xpress voters! Enjoy all of our beers, a tour and specialty offerings rarely found outside the brewery. Next in our line-up of musical talent: Lyric.

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