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Picnic on the Parkway

A day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway should always include a stocked…
Travel Guide
February 26, 2015

A New Kind of Pet-Friendly VacationThe Aloft hotel's adoptable pets program ... more

February 18, 2015

Beard Foundation Names First Round PicksIf the 2015 list of James Beard ... more

February 06, 2015

Where to Eat in Asheville for Valentine's DayPretty in Pink at MG Road, one ... more

February 05, 2015

75 stores prepare for May openingPhoto courtesy of New England ... 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

Aereo-Plain String Band

Pulling from a catalog of four decades of John Hartford music, the Aereo-Plain String Band pays tribute to the work John Hartford and the great musicians he teamed with throughout his career. The band’s mission is to weave more Hartford tunes into the mainstream of bluegrass culture while honoring the unique contributions made by the songwriter who could very much be accredited with the invention of newgrass music.

Live Music Thursday with Carver & Carmody

Michael "Country" Carver and Mare Carmody discovered a kindred musical spirit upon meeting. Their voices and guitar styles come together with a blend of grit and honey, covering classics, original songs, and a few unexpected gems too.

The Great Thaw: 3 Nights of Papdosio

  • February 26, 2015
  • Address: 38 North French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  New Mountain Asheville
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily

Papadosio is excited to bring you a wonderful new event this February 26, 27 & 28, 2015 at New Mountain in Asheville, NC The Great Thaw: A Local Showcase 3 unique nights of Papadosio along with daytime workshops, organic food & local activism. More info coming soon... Lets celebrate the end of winter together in style Tickets on sale Thursday Dec 18th at 10am EST

Comedian Dave Stone (CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Adult Swim)

  • February 27, 2015
  • Address: 66 Asheland Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  The Millroom

Based in Los Angeles, by way of Atlanta, Dave has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, season 8 of Last Comic Standing, and provides voices for Adult Swim's animated series "Squidbillies". Dave was selected to the prestigious "New Faces" showcase at the 2013 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and was picked by LA Weekly as one of the "12 Comics to watch" in 2012. Dave's laid back charm and self-predicating style make him a hit with a wide ran...

DJ MoTo - dance hits - No Cover Charge

  • February 27, 2015
  • Location: United States
  • Address: 20 South Spruce Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Pack's Tavern

DJ Moto spins the best dance hits in town! Never a cover charge!

Fireside Collective w/ The Bread and Butter Band

FIRESIDE COLLECTIVE Fireside Collective, a Progressive Folk band heavily influenced by American Roots Music, features strong musicianship, colorful harmonies, and contemporary original music. Proud to be a part of Asheville, North Carolina’s burgeoning music and art scene, the Collective seeks to bridge the gaps between early folk music, the urban folk revival, and the current folk renaissance happening today. Expect to see an energetic live show featuring songs of leaving, songs of love, ...

Solas

Solas — February 27, 2015 Celtic-Americana-folk-country barely hints at the seamless mix, the elegant melodies, and the masterful musicianship of Solas, “Irish America’s most influential band” (NPR’s The Thistle and Shamrock). Mainstage Celtic Series, Diana Wortham Theatre. Friday, February 27, 2015, 8:00 p.m. Tickets/Info: (828) 257-4530 or www.dwtheatre.com.

Live Music @ Pack's Tavern - Grand Theft Audio - No Cover

  • February 28, 2015
  • Location: United States
  • Address: 20 South Spruce Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Venue:  Pack's Tavern

Grand Theft Audio plays all of your favorite classic rock tunes in the South Bar. Never a cover charge!

Phuncle Sam

Phuncle Sam is Asheville’s own Dead~Centric “jam band”. Since their formation in 2004, Phuncle Sam has been firmly rooted in musical exploration. The band serves up inventive interpretations of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead and many others. They have built up a faithful following by using an approach that respects the improvisational traditions of The Dead, while exploring what can happen when individual band members bring their unique influences and interpretations into the mix.

Who’s Bad - The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band

Who’s Bad’s live performance is an unrivaled celebration of pop music’s one true King. Their powerpacked performance of Michael Jackson’s expansive catalog has ignited crowds on every continent and can only be described as a jaw-dropping, musical must-see. As the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute band, and the only one to predate his untimely passing, Who’s Bad has awed even the skeptics, selling out nearly 50 venues in the United Kingdom including London&rsqu...

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