Listening to Traditional Music in Madison County, NC

BRMT logoThere are plenty of opportunities to hear talented musicians just minutes from Asheville in Madison county, a place that seems to have a fiddler in every holler. Ranging from every week at selected locales to scheduled concerts by the Arts Council to annual festivals, you can find music everywhere. You might even hear the Elementary School Principal sing at one the local functions. To truly appreciate the music, treat yourself to a live concert whether impromptu or scheduled. As Josh Goforth commented, “In all the years I’ve been playing traditional and oldtime music, I’ve always said that if all people could really see and hear it live, they’d fall in love with it.” Delight in the intimate, comfortable settings whether outside with Bluff Mountain or Bailey Mountain on the horizon or inside in a cozy coffee shop or at the friendly, informal Arts Council.

The Depot

The Depto Marshall NC

282 South Main Street
Marshall, NC 28753

Directions
(828) 206-2332

Every week on Friday at 6:30pm. The Depot (a converted railroad depot building) has both music and dancing and is located on the railroad tracks which run along Main Street in Marshall. Come early and soak up the atmosphere. Fun with a cake walk each Friday. FREE admission. Be sure to visit this stop on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.
Listen to a radio interview on wART with Pat Franklin about The Depot from July 17, 2015:

Zuma Coffee

7 North Main Street
Marshall, NC 28753

Directions
Website
(828) 649-1617

Every week on Thursday night at 7:00pm. Bluegrass Jam Session is open to the public (yes–FREE!) in historic downtown Marshall. Such local musicians as Arvil Freeman, Roger Howell, Cathy Arrowood, and Leonard Hollifield often join in. And, if he’s in town and not touring, you might see Grammy-award winner Bobby Hicks with his fiddle. One of the best stops along the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

Madison County Arts Council

Photo by Pat Franklin

90 South Main Street
Marshall, NC 28753

Directions
Website
(828) 649-1301

Madison County Arts Council provides concerts both at the Arts Center on Main Street, Marshall and at other venues throughout the county during the year, too. A few times a year, the concerts are performed in the renovated auditorium of the historic Ebbs Chapel Community Center. So be sure to check their events calendar for upcoming concerts. You might catch one of our Madison County treasures–Grammy-nominee Josh Goforth–at one of these or maybe even the Arts Council Executive Director, Laura Boosinger, a traditional musician who is recognized not only in the area but is an internationally renowned talent.

Ebbs Chapel Performing Arts Center

Ebbs Chapel Performing Arts Center

271 Laurel Valley Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Directions
Website
(828) 689-3858

The 225-seat theater in the restored old rock school which now serves as a Community Center is one of the most modern-equipped in the area. Here you can experience diverse performances ranging from traditional to classical music designed to be responsive to the wide interests of the community. Enjoy local musicians and more in this historic building constructed in the late 1930s. Prices are always affordable, too. Tickets are available for purchase for events online

Fiddlers of Madison County Concert

Madison County Arts Council
90 South Main Street
Marshall, NC 28753

Directions
Website
(828) 649-1301

Every second Saturday in March, the Madison County Arts Council hosts a concert at the Arts Center on Main Street, Marshall which brings together in one AMAZING show the best talents in the county to wow the audience with fiddling genius. Since the first on in 2007, this has become one of the most anticipated events on the entire Arts Council schedule. On the list of performers are Grammy-award winner Bobby Hicks, Grammy-nominated Josh Goforth, as well as several awards winners such as Roger Howell, Arvil Freeman, and Ralph Lewis and the Sons of Ralph.

Bluff Mountain Festival

Grounds of Hot Springs Resort & Spa
315 Bridge Street
Hot Springs, NC 28743

Directions
Website
(828) 649-1301

The second Saturday of June every year, the Bluff Mountain Festival in Hot Springs, NC is FREE to the public. Featured are some of the region’s best Traditional Old-Time and Bluegrass Music, ballad singing and clogging followed by an evening Square Dance until dark! Bring the family and the lawn chairs to enjoy a day full of music under the shade trees! Originally held as a fund raiser to assist the Bluff Mountain Coalition to save the mountain from having 480 acres of timber cut, the success of the campaign resulted in just 86 acres cut with just 10 acres in the pristine part of Bluff that the coalition was trying to protect. The festival is now a fund-raiser for the Madison County Arts Council. www.madisoncountyarts.com. Proud to be on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Summer Music venues.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival

Mars Hill University Campus
44 College Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Directions
Website
(828) 689-1262

The festival takes place the first Saturday in October each year. This is an all-day festival celebrating regional music and dance traditions. The event is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Numerous music and dance performances, jam circles, and a ballad & story swap occur throughout the day. The traditional evening concert takes place inside Moore Auditorium on Cascade Street (Hwy 213). The event is part of the Fall Music Venues on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.
The daytime segment is located on the upper quad of Mars Hill University’s campus from 11 am until 4 pm; admission is FREE. The evening concert is held in the college’s Moore Auditorium. It begins promptly at 7 pm and concludes around 10 pm; admission is $12 for adults, $6 for children.