I'm sitting here on a summer morning entering a new page of mailing list members into our database, thinking how grateful I am that all of you have joined us! We have met so many wonderful people this year during our travels and want to keep up with you and let you know what's up with us and our calendar this summer.
August brings a bunch of opportunities to see us locally, especially with activities related to the 100th year of the National Park Service, the 89th year of Bascom Lamar Lunsford's Mountain Dance & Folk Festival, and the FIRST year of the Jam in the Trees festival!
I remember when I was 20 years old and worked as an intern in the Great Smoky Mountains NP. I lived by myself for a summer in a cabin way up on Balsam Mountain that I shared with dozens and dozens of mice. No phone, no internet back then, just lots of bears, wonderful views, long-john weather until the summer solstice. I have spent time in so many of our parks and am thrilled to help celebrate the centennial with two fantastic events they are putting on in our area with the "Feast to the Beat" road trip that features music, food and other delights, like some of my favorite Asheville musicians (Balsam Range, Aaron "Woody" Wood, the Broadcast...) and Asheville beer (Highland Brewery).
Thursday's event on 8/4 will be held at Highland Brewing where we are honored to open for Haywood county's fantastic bluegrass band Balsam Range. On Friday 8/5, Feast to the Beat moves up the the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor's Center for the Jam in the Van, a day-long festival (11AM-5PM) with a host of bands performing in a solar-powered video-studio-stage, sets interspersed with a foodie cooking contest...come up for lunch and stay til happy hour! We go on at 12:00PM. Click here for the video from Ziggy Marley's Jam in the Van session from the Channel Island's Feast to the Beat...so cool.
More info on both events at www.feast2thebeat.com.
Also on Friday 8/5 we will perform on the second of three days of the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville. The festival was started by Madison County native Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928 and the influence of Lunsford and the festival itself is enormous in the history of American music. In 1937, Pete Seeger attended the festival at the age of 17 where he said he had a "conversion experience" and took up playing the banjo. Bob Dylan also listened extensively to recordings of Lunsford's anthology of regional musicians and songs, and incorporated songs and lyrics into his own material in the 60s. Most importantly, Lunsford's legacy lives on locally through the annual Festival as well as Shindig on the Green to share and celebrate mountain music and dance traditions from Appalachia so that they live on for the next generation to enjoy. So honored to join together with the area's finest traditional musicians and dancers of all ages, should be a great night!
Finally, Steve Johnson, artist relations director at MerleFest, has put together a fantastic lineup for the weekend of August 26-27 at Pisgah Brewing in Swannanoa for the very first annual Jam in the Trees! We are really excited to be opening the weekend ahead of Old Crow Medicine Show's Willie Watson on Friday night 8/26. Then all day Saturday 8/27 is an unbelievably good lineup of music including Del McCoury, The Wood Brothers, Mipso, Junior Brown, Chatham County Line, Jim Lauderdale and much more...this event will sell out so be sure to get your tickets early! Click here for ticket info and schedule.
Anya and Tellico