The Blue Ridge Music Trails Initiative began in March with the announcement of the project and was followed in April with the release of the “Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Guidebook.” More than 1,000 copies sold in the first month of publication. Coinciding with the guidebook release, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area conducted listening sessions throughout the 29-county region. Several more listening sessions have been added through June and July, including a session at Franklin Town Hall on Monday, June 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. The Blue Ridge Music Trails is seeking input from individuals and groups of Macon County who are interested in the traditional music of Western North Carolina and who want to become part of the effort to continue to support and grow this vital cultural heritage legacy.
During the meeting, attendees will receive updates on the progress of the guidebook and programming timeline. Participants will be asked to provide input on ways to keep our music traditions alive for future generations, strengthen music sites/events, promote traditional music to visitors, educate citizens about the importance of the history of traditional music in Western North Carolina, and discuss opportunities to work together.
Macon County is featured in Region 6 of the Music Trails Guidebook under the chapter title “Walking the King’s Highway,” a reference to the smooth-dancing style originated in Haywood County, which falls in the same region. Other counties in “Walking the King’s Highway” chapter include Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, and Swain.
The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Guidebook is available for purchase through the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area website at www.blueridgeheritage.com.