Back to Asheville's Musical Roots

Back to Asheville's Musical Roots
Where to find mountain sounds in the Blue Ridge

Asheville, N.C. has a long history with music, beginning with traditional songs and tunes brought to the area by Scotch-Irish settlers.

Over the years, the legends of what was once called "mountain music"--people like Jimmie Rodgers and Bill Monroe, and later Doc Watson and the Steep Canyon Rangers--contributed their own work to Asheville's cultural scene.

Today Asheville is home to the Moog synthesizer factory and is a favorite recording destination for headliner groups like The Avett Brothers.

Traditional music, which includes both old-time mountain music and bluegrass, is still alive and well in Western North Carolina. Local musicians David Holt and Laura Boosinger talk about what makes Asheville unique in this video:

Music-lovers looking for authentic mountain sounds will not be disappointed. Mark your calendars for some of these events and festivals:
  • Shindig on the Green: Free music event in downtown's Pack Square park, held on Saturday evenings, June 27-September 5, 2015
  • 88th Annual Mountain Dance & Folk Festival: The longest-running festival of its kind, this gathering welcomes the best musicians, singers and dancers in the Southern Appalachians, August 6-8, 2015
  • Bluff Mountain Music Festival: Free celebration featuring all kinds of musicians and highlighting the strong ballad-singing tradition of the area, held in nearby Hot Springs, June 13, 2015
  • Bluegrass First Class: Annual weekend even with three days of bluegrass performances, workshops and jam sessions, held in February at the Crowne Plaza Resort

And there's even more mountain music to be found weekly:
  • Isis Music Hall, located in West Asheville, features bluegrass groups every Tuesday evening. Go for dinner; stay for the show.
  • Jack of the Wood, a favorite downtown pub, hosts an Old-Time Jam on Wednesday and a Bluegrass Jam on Thursday evening. Both are quite popular, so show up early to get a good seat.
  • Mojo Kitchen & Lounge dishes up some tunes for your weekend at their Sunday Bluegrass Brunch.
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