down the road

Samantha Biddix Bumgarner and Eva Smathers Davis hailed from Sylva, North Carolina and caught the attention of Columbia Records at the dawn of the country music record industry. In 1939, Bumgarner traveled to Washington DC with Bascom Lamar Lunsford to play for President Roosevelt and the Queen of England.

Down the Road BRMT | Ep. 12: What is Bluegrass?

Jul 13, 2017

It started in Kentucky but quickly caught on across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Back in the ‘40s and '50s, musicians started playing their old instruments in new ways with lots of giddy-up. From Earl Scruggs to Steep Canyon Rangers, North Carolina has laid claim to the top talents in blistering bluegrass music.

Country music came into the American mainstream with the Carter Family, but A.P. Carter relied heavily on African-American blues guitarist Lesley Riddle of Yancey County, N.C. In 1927, Lesley met A.P. in Bristol, Tenn. and helped the Carters collect the songs across Appalachia that would become country music classics. Now Burnsville pays tribute to the blues musician with annual Riddlefest.

When most people think of mountain music, banjos, ballads or bluegrass usually come to mind, but the Blue Ridge is home to a rich and distinctive blues tradition that dates back generations, and is still played today.

Down the Road BRMT | Ep. 9: How to Join a Music Jam

Jun 14, 2017

In the Blue Ridge, you can find people gathered on any day of the week to play mountain music. Whether on a front porch or a festival ground, the most basic unit of mountain music is the jam session. Here’s a quick field guide to jam session etiquette, to help you get the most out of your tune time.

Click here to learn more about Jam Session Etiquette.

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