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Southern Strings and Stories With Craig Havighurst

Craig Havighurst
Michael Weintrob
Craig Havighurst

Conversations touching on the Earl Scruggs Music Festival where this episode was recorded, artists from North Carolina like Aaron Burdett, River Whyless, and Scruggs Fest featured artists Fireside Collective and Chatham Rabbits, plus up and comer Cristina Vane, who calls Nashville home. You will get to hear music excerpts of all of those artists in this episode. Of course, we also talk about the festival’s namesake, Earl Scruggs, who grew up in nearby Cleveland County, North Carolina. It is a lively conversation with Craig Havighurst, one of the best podcasters and music journalists you will ever find.

It is easy to think of someone who has incredible talents and intellect as unapproachable, like they exist on some other plane of reality. If it were a question of bona fides, I would have some doubts about being on the same stage with someone on the level of Craig Havighurst. Taken from his bio, Craig is a writer, multi-media producer and speaker in Nashville who has won awards for his work in print, radio and television. He also wrote the book Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City, and hosts The String, a weekly show on WMOT where he interviews music artists ranging from icons to those newer to the scene. The String is also podcast on platforms worldwide, and here, we collaborate on a special episode, calling it Southern Strings and Stories.

Having brought Craig onto this series as a commentator in 2018 (in our episode on Jim Lauderdale), we had in the time since talked about collaborating on an episode, and the inaugural Earl Scruggs Music Festival finally gave us our opportunity. There, we met and set up shop on a balcony overlooking the grounds of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, at the heart of the festival honoring the music and legacy of the iconic banjo player. The concept was simple: record our conversation and use it in both The String and Southern Songs and Stories, with our own individual intros and song selections. So here you have it: a warm conversation touching on everything from the festival’s namesake to other artists (many from western NC where Earl Scruggs was born and raised) like Aaron Burdett, River Whyless and Fireside Collective, as well as Nashville newcomer Cristina Vane, and others. We also delve into the music scenes in Asheville, NC, and Nashville, and get to know Craig a bit more with his spoken word bio, which lets everyone know from the jump that, while estimable, he is anything but unapproachable.

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Joe Kendrick