laura boosinger

Arvil Freeman
Blue Ridge National heritage Area

Master fiddler Arvil Freeman of Madison County has married elements of old-time and bluegrass in his distinctive “long-bow” style of playing. As a veteran performer and a longtime teacher, Arvil was honored with the 2018 North Carolina Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for traditional artists.

The Podcast

Nina Simone became one of the iconic singers of jazz and soul of the 1960s and a strong voice for Civil Rights. She got her start in her hometown of Tryon, N.C., playing piano and singing in her church choir. The "Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina" podcast highlights bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina.

Image of Lula and Glenn Bolick
NC Arts Council

Glenn and Lula Bolick of Caldwell County are 2018 winners of the N.C. Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for traditional artists. Lula is a member of the Owens family of Piedmont potters. Glenn grew up in a family whose heritage of music-making, sawmilling, and storytelling goes back generations. He carries on all three arts today, in addition to the pottery-making that he learned from Lula and her family.

Woman smiling holding banjo
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

Many of today’s outstanding old-time and bluegrass musicians carry on longstanding family traditions. One such artist is multi-instrumentalist and flatfoot dancer Marsha Bowman Todd. A musician all her life, Marsha is one of the leading lights of the legendary musical community of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Men performing on stage
Bill Lindsey

Way back in 1928, Bascom Lamar Lunsford helped start a festival of local musicians and dancers in Asheville. 90 years later, it's the longest running folk festival in the country. Musician, curator, and all-around mountain music expert Laura Boosinger joins Martin Anderson as guest DJ to spin recordings from some of the legendary string bands and balladeers that have played there over the years, as well as new releases from some of this year's headliners. The festival runs "along about sundown" August, 3, 4, and 5 at A-B Tech.