The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina form the heart of a traditional music-making legacy found nowhere else in America.

Welcome to the temporary Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina website. While we finish building the new website — a guide to music sites, artists and traditions of the Mountains and the Foothills — we invite you to explore here.

Western North Carolina has a national reputation as a music-rich region and its traditions of old-time stringband music, ballad singing and bluegrass are internationally renowned — with musicians from the region shaping many forms of American music.

Today, bands like the Steep Canyon Rangers, the Kruger Brothers and younger musicians in the region are learning these traditions and creating new forms of roots music.

The same types of sites that were gathering places for musicians of past generations are still in place today. Fiddler’s conventions abound throughout western North Carolina with some tracing their beginnings back to the 1920s.

Traditional music from the Blue Ridge is nationally and internationally recognized - from the birth of team clogging and the fiddle and banjo ensemble tradition developed in the Round Peak community to the intense, bluesy, fiddle-driven sound mixed with banjo that has become synonymous with old time music worldwide. Learn more about North Carolina’s superlatives in traditional music.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, our partner, also has a wealth of information on the music traditions of the region, as well as a Traditional Artist Directory that includes profiles of more than 500 artists and groups. The directory is the only juried directory of its kind in the region and allows you to book an artist for a performance or plan a trip to an artist studio or music event.

Stop by to discover more about traditional music.


Featured Story

Doc Watson

Arthel “Doc” Watson, who passed in 2012, showed how one gifted musician from Deep Gap could share the music of western North Carolina with the entire world without ever leaving home.


North Carolina Department of Cultural ResourcesLogin

The North Carolina Arts Council is a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, a state agency.
Susan Kluttz, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor