Let the universal language of peace calm your soul
LENOIR, N.C. — Here, in the county seat of Caldwell County in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the late musical legend Doc Watson got his start. Before he gained worldwide fame, Watson, of Deep Gap in neighboring Watauga County, earned some of his first money as a street musician at the Hog Waller Market in downtown Lenoir.
Caldwell County is also part of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, and holds the Annual Caldwell Traditional Musician’s Showcase, which in its 22 years has seen well over 200 Caldwell County-based musicians take the stage. One such group that has taken the stage is Sycamore Bones, consisting of Andrew Massey, Cory Kinal and Abigail Taylor.
In days gone by, the county’s porches were gathering spots for some of Southern Appalachia’s best musicians. They’d gather spontaneously — just as at Hog Waller’s — on weekends and holidays. As Paul Harvey would say, there is a “rest of the story.” That will come, but not today.
Without further delay, allow me to introduce Sycamore Bones singing Andrew’s original tune, “Don’t Let the World Get You Down.” Indeed! Take a moment to let beautiful music, voices and harmonies calm and lift your soul. It was recorded in Lenoir at Charlie and Susan Frye’s Folk Keeper Gallery & Antiques.
© Michael M. Barrick, 2020.
PS: In time, we’ll be able to gather again. When that time comes, y’all visit Lenoir. Good people, good music, good beer.