Series highlights traditional and bluegrass music and stories
SPINDALE, N.C. — A new Blue Ridge Music Trails podcast has begun on WNCW-FM. Episodes of Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, a series highlighting traditional and bluegrass music and stories, began Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 on WNCW-FM at Isothermal Community College, based here. The series is created by the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and the North Carolina Arts Council, in partnership with WNCW-FM.
The segments air on WNCW-FM (88.7) Mountain Mornings on Tuesdays at the end of Morning Edition alternating with Southern Songs and Stories. Down the Road is also repurposed as online content by the partners.
“At WNCW, we love our mountain music and Appalachian cultural traditions, so it is a natural fit to air Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails on FM as well as via podcast,” stated Joe Kendrick, WNCW’s director of programming and operations. “It is a great pleasure to join in with their team and work together to preserve our region’s music and strengthen its future.”
The partnership includes the production, broadcast and online distribution of the new series of radio segments and podcasts featuring Laura Boosinger, celebrated musician, folklorist and storyteller, as host. The segments highlight bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers and musical traditions across the 29 mountain and foothills counties included in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina footprint.
Produced by WNCW-FM, the short segments cover such subjects as a story about the journey of a fiddle once owned by Madison County legend, Byard Ray; the influence of the Farmers Federation on music in Western N.C., and a look at the banjo builders in the region. Boosinger’s long history as a performer of traditional and bluegrass music as well as her musicologist background and knowledge of the region provide rich context for the segments.
“We are excited to offer this new set of Down the Road episodes to convey the rich music legacy of Western North Carolina, from our heritage artists to rising traditional music performers of today,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
The title of the segment is based on the tune “Down the Road” from the Doc Watson Family.
The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina is a project of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council. The Trail covers 29 counties in Western North Carolina and highlights old-time, traditional, piedmont blues and bluegrass music and musicians carrying on the distinct sounds of the region. For more information, visit www.blueridgemusicnc.com