CDs Recorded by Madison County, NC Musicians

If you are fan of traditional music, you can find an artist to provide listening pleasure. Many of these local musicians perform at venues all over the county, but if you want to take their music home and listen to it on your own time, their CDs are the solution to that. To learn more about Madison County’s traditional music heritage and more detail on the musicians described below, go to the Traditional Music Heritage page.

Arvil Freeman

Regenesis (with the Crowe Brothers)

Arvil Freeman contributed to the top notch instrumentation which accompanies the harmonies of the Crowe Brothers (Josh and Wayne) on this CD. It is a combination of old and new recordings from the Crowe Brothers. Originally released in 1981 and titled “Always True,” nine of the original ten songs are reissued here along with five new songs which complement the old. The style has more of the feeling of the classic country duets of the past. However, calling the music bluegrass is a stretch since some of the songs include piano, drums or harmonica.

Josh Goforth

Cutting Loose (with David Holt)

Multi-instrumentalist Josh Goforth, joins the fabulous David Holt on this great, Grammy-nominated collection, which was recorded live at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. David plays countless instruments and sings. Using the musical heritage of Madison County as the theme, they open with a reminiscence of Josh’s Aunt Zip from Sodom—a community in Madison County—and a tune that David learned from her – “Black Eyed Susie.” David next tells the story of another of Josh’s relatives. The two play and sing “Cripple Creek,” accompanied by only the paper bag and mouth bow. (A mouth bow made by this ancestor is in the Smithsonian) Josh exhibits his skill with the guitar in “Guitar Boogie” and with the fiddle in the music at the end while David plays bones and spoons.

Josh & Laura

Most of All (with Laura Boosinger)

Josh Goforth joins old time banjo picker and singer Laura Boosinger on this CD of old time and swing tunes and songs. He is able to showcase his talent on many different instruments –fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Their banter makes it clear why they have won a huge following not only in Madison County but nationally and internationally as well. At the age of thirteen, Goforth appeared in the film Songcatcher as Fiddlin’ Will and contributed several pieces to the movie’s soundtrack. He went on to be named Fiddler of the Festival at Fiddler’s Grove in 2000, 2003, and 2005 and, after winning the third title, was designated “Master Fiddler” and retired from that competition.

Bobby Hicks

Fiddle Patch

Multi-Grammy Award winner chose to make Madison County his home several years ago and has given back in many ways to the musical community here. You can catch him weekly at a free bluegrass jam or annually at the Fiddlers Concert in Marshall. But, if you want to listen to his music on your own time, check out this CD which includes several other fiddle players. The selections are full of energy and offer songs from Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, and others. A great CD for those who love fiddle music as much as the residents in Madison County love having Bobby as one of our neighbors.

Roger Howell

Hills and Heroes

The county considers itself extremely fortunate to have Roger Howell as a native. Not only is he one of the best fiddlers around (just check his credentials from Fiddlers’ Grove Festival), but his work in documenting our musical heritage is priceless. And, if you want a fiddle restored, Roger can do that, too! The CD is filled with a trip through traditional music history showcasing his many influences from these mountains and more. He is accompanied by a couple of his talented friends—Cathy Arrowood & Frank Pomeroy and the guitar of Leonard Hollifield. Find out why Roger is one of the best fiddle players not only in Madison County, but in the entire region.

Ralph Lewis and the Sons of Ralph

When I Find Time

This is an eclectic blend of American music featuring bluegrass, country, blues, and Southern Appalachian Mountain folk music by The Sons of Ralph (featuring Ralph). Ralph Lewis started playing mountain music in the 1940s and now plays with his family and the band has been named the “Best Band in Western NC” eight of the last ten years.

Adam Masters

Adam Masters Plays the Fiddle

Adam Masters grew up in the right place. Taking lessons from Arvil Freeman and Bobby Hicks, he was able to truly develop his innate talent. Although he started with classical music as a child in the Suzuki School, he moved on to playing bluegrass. He now plays what he describes as “gypsy jazz” as well with Viper’s Dream. This CD includes selections that display his wide range of styles and tunes. He has a voice of his own.

Joe Penland

On Shakey Ground

This CD is a collection of the songs that Joe Penland learned as a boy. He wanted to record them for his children and grandchildren. These are the ballads of our ancestors who brought them to the colonies. Many remain the same as they were hundreds of years ago. A special treat is the backup group of youngsters (ages five to fourteen) who were members of the Joyful Noise Music and Art Center. And, so, Joe accomplished his goal of passing on the music to a younger generation.

’53 Pontiac

Joe is one of the favorite storytellers in Madison County. And, for this CD, he decided to include some of his stories that have inspired songs that he has written about life in the mountains. The album is divided into two parts so that if you just want to listen to songs, play the first group. But, if you want to picture yourself in his home, listening to Joe tell stories and intersperse them with songs, play the second group. This is the tradition of passing on the stories of life captured in one CD.

The Answer to My Prayer

There are certain times in life when a person chooses to reflect back. It might be a significant birthday, a special event like marriage or the birth of a child, the death of someone close, or dealing with a major illness. The songs on this CD are a collection of songs that resulted from Joe’s reflection as he made a list of the important but unrealized things that he wanted to accomplish in his life. Listening to them may evoke some thoughts that you, too, may have had during one those significant times in your life.

Standing on Tradition

Madison County’s rich music tradition has its roots in the Wallin family. When Joe was a teenage, he learned the traditional ballads from those ballad singers in Sodom Laurel—Lee, Doug & Berzilla Wallin, Cas Wallin & Dellie Norton. Their different songs and different styles come out in the songs on this CD providing a musical picture of why Madison County natives take so much pride in our heritage. The “Old Man of the Mountains” is a personal one which Joe wrote after Lee Wallin’s death.

The Mary Sands Project Volume I

In 1916, the British folk song collector Cecil Sharp traveled to Madison County to collect the old ballads. In the town of Hot Springs, Mary Bullman Sands sang twenty-five love songs for Sharpe to form a wonderful foundation for his collection. Almost 100 years later, Joe has been collecting bits of the legacy of Sands to document her contribution to preserving the cultural heritage of the English, Scot and Irish settlers of this area. The result will be a three-part series of sound recordings of the ballads she sang for Sharp.


Madison County Kin Musicians Living Elsewhere

Daron Douglas

Apple Seed & Apple Thorn

Great-granddaughter of Jane Hicks Gentry, Daron Douglas’ music is influenced by years of living in the mountains, playing Renaissance music, leading contra and English country dance bands, some music school, the spell of New Orleans, and much old-time music making. This CD includes a selection of the ballads that Jane Hicks Gentry would have sung to Cecil Sharp when he collected music in Madison County in 1916. She weaves on her grandmother’s loom, fiddles on a violin her father made, and plays in the dance bands Goldcrest and Foxfire and sings songs passed down in her Madison County family.

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Mad Co. Brew House

45 North Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Mad Co. Brew House

Mosaic Gourmet

159 Bridge Street Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743

Mosaic Gourmet

Hot Springs Rafting Company

22 U.S. 25 Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

1459 Caney Fork Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Toops Photojournalist Services

774 Wilson Cove Branch Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

Little Creek Cafe

11660 U.S. 23 Mars Hill, 28754
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

9800 Old US highway 25-70 Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

133 South Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

The Berry Farm, LLC

2260 Revere Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions


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    Mars Hill, NC 28754