Asheville, where deep-seated bluegrass roots harmonize with new talent and innovative sounds, has been lauded as one of America’s top music cities. Here are two new ways to dive into the scene:

  • Rabbit Rabbit in the South Slope district is a new outdoor event venue from Asheville Brewing Company and The Orange Peel, Asheville’s nationally known rock club that has hosted acts such as Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, The Flaming Lips and The Beastie Boys. The space, which has been a welcome retreat during the pandemic, offers live music, movie screenings, DJ-spun dance parties, socially distant igloo pods, local beer and food trucks.
  • Recently opened, Citizen Vinyl offers an immersive music experience with a record-pressing plant, independent record store, music cafe and bar. Powerhouses of Asheville’s maker scene have combined on this project and include Gar Ragland (music producer and president of NewSong Music), Susannah Gebhart (OWL Bakery) and Chef Graham House (formerly of Sovereign Remedies). 

Bluegrass Heritage Rediscovered: While making plans for Citizen Vinyl’s first-floor record plant and music cafe, it was recognized that the third floor of the building was once home to WWNC Radio – one of the leading radio stations in the country within just a few years of starting in 1927, bringing entertainment, news and public-service broadcasts to the rural mountains that could be heard clearly as far away as Texas – and was the location where Bill Monroe (known as the “Father of Bluegrass”) and the Bluegrass Boys introduced the world to bluegrass music in 1939. Ragland’s studios are now located in the original WWNC Radio space, with original architectural details.

Photo courtesy of Dolo Digital | Citizen Vinyl.