Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Caleb Johnson from Asheville NC Wins Americal Idol

May 21 - Asheville NC native Caleb Johnson proves that persistence AND talent counts as he won the 2014 American Idol designation. Johnson's consistent performances were key to moving up through this year's weeks of competition. With a voice and style that combine the best of rock and pop his genuine and caring nature (well, he IS from Asheville) shine through to make him a favorite with young and old.

American Idol took a step up this year with the addition of Harry Connick Jr., one of the best musicians and musical artists this country has ever produced. Not to mention his acting, song-writing, support of family and hometown (New Orleans), humor and - OK - in the looks department it doesn't get much better. But hopefully his influence has brought more emphasis to the previously tedious show to musical skills, artistry and maybe even a little originality. Like Caleb Johnson.

So a big congratulations and "well deserved" to Caleb. And best wishes for a bright future. And for those of you who haven't yet been to Asheville, see what you're missing...among many, many other things?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catch the Spirit of Appalachia Publishes New Children’s Book “18 Letters”

Written from the perspective of a child, the book “ 18 Letters” demonstrates the frustration of the child as he learns how to spell his name. However, by the time the book concludes, the child has learned the importance of his name, for it represents generations of his heritage.

Author Rebecca Whitmire Fowler is a retired public school teacher. She taught Kindergarten – Second grade in Jackson County, NC, 1973-2005, and two years of preschool after retirement. She says she taught at Scotts Creek School so long she had the privilege of teaching several children of her former students. Good friend, Renae Spears, owner of the Kitchen’s Shop in Dillsboro, NC, has also given her vision of the story by illustrating the book.

Both author and illustrator will be on hand Saturday, May 24, 2014,
to autograph the book in an all day book signing event at the Kitchen Shop, 170 Front Street in Dillsboro NC. The public is invited to come out and meet the Rebecca and Renae at this important time in their lives.

“18 Letters” is the 79th book to be published by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia in it’s quest to honor and preserve the heritage and creativity of the people of Western North Carolina.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Art in the Park in Blowing Rock NC Kicks off for the 2014 Season

May 17   Art in the Park   A juried arts and craft show featuring 90 artists held in the picturesque downtown Blowing Rock park once a  month from May through October.  Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more. 

Blowing Rock NC is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the North Carolina mountains, and is a storybook village filled with upscale shops and unique attractions. Blowing Rock offers outdoor adventure that ranges from whitewater rafting to skiing, performing and visual arts, fine dining and family restaurants, and a range of accommodations including mountain cabins, bed and breakfasts and ski resorts. Stay in a Blowing Rock Inn and walk to downtown stores, restaurants and festivals.  


Thursday, May 15, 2014

RiverLink Needs Volunteers for RiverMusic

RiverLink's popular RiverMusic concert series is just around the corner.  The first concert featuring Orgone is May 30, 2014 from 5 to 10 PM at the RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza, 144 Riverside Drive in the River Arts District. For a complete schedule, including a link to a map,  CLICK HERE.

Volunteers  may sign-up via Signup Genius,  or e-mail to, or and the old-fashioned way by phone at 828- 252-8474, ext. 11.

Volunteers are needed to do every job there is - beer, parking, ID checks, wristbands and tokens, etc. Although just about everyone wants to serve beer, please consider taking on a task that may not be as much fun, but is just as worthwhile in helping RiverLink accomplish everyone's greenway dreams.

RiverLink also needs to get some mulch on the concert site and could use volunteers for a few hours on the morning of Saturday, May 24 from 9:00 AM to 11 AM.  Some tools will be available, but more pitchforks would be very helpful. The mulch will be delivered and distributing it should be able to be done  in that amount of time.  If you're available, just contact RiverLink's Dave Russell at or 252-8474, ext. 11.

RiverLink is located in Asheville's River Arts District, and is a regional organization spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River watershed as a destination where everyone can work, live and play.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stories of Mountain Folk for 5-10-14

Stories of Mountain Folk is a weekly podcast produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and archived at Western Carolina University.

May 10, 2014:
Storytelling:  Amy shares her feelings about her Mom and Dad, in her special story for Mother’s Day:  “I’ll Be Loving You Always.”   Music: “Always” 

Creative Corner:  Doreyl's guest is Paul Lormand, Director of the Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center at WCU. Paul gives a history of his musical background and his10  years with Western.  Music: “Forked Deer” by David Holt
Stories of Mountain Folk: Amy’s guest is Barry Clinton, who speaks about the Macon County Heritage Center at the Historic Cowee School, and their musical lineup for 2014.   Music: “Down in Caroline” by Balsam Range.
Black Roots of Appalachia:  Victoria spends time with Roderick Blaine Davis, while they discuss his 33 years of employment at WCU beginning in 1962, working at Reed Gym, and the Water Plant.   Music: “Abiding in the Vine” by Betty Brow.
Going Down Another Road: Judy talks with her mother, Arbie Cook Rhodes, about her time as a student at WCU in the early ’50s.    Music: “Smoky Mountain Days”by Keith Shuler.
Closing Song: “Big Mon” by the Rye Holler Boys

CLICK HERE to listen to Stories of Mountain Folk

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Asheville's Chocolate Fetish offers Special Mother's Day Chocolates

The Chocolate Fetish, 36 Haywood Street in Asheville NC, is once again offering a variety of special delights in celebration of Mother's Day. The popular and highly rated chocolatier has created a number of special collections which will be sure to bring a smile to Mom's face.
Spring Classics Collection
Spring Classics Collection

Sea Salt Caramel Collection
Limited Edition Mother's Day Sea Salt Caramel Assortment

Mother's Day Decorated Heart Flutes
Mother's Day Decorated Heart Flutes  

Every year the local weekly paper, The Mountain Xpress, hosts a Best of Western North Carolina Contest for local businesses. For 12 years in a row The Chocolate Fetish has been voted Best Chocolate in Western North Carolina. You can help them win for a 13th year by casting your vote.

Click on the link below to vote for The Chocolate Fetish as your favorite Chocolate and your favorite Gift Shop in Asheville. (Eats: Chocolate, Shopping: Gift Shop) The  ballot is a little long, so be prepared to spend a few minutes. Keep in mind while you are completing the ballot you only need to fill in 25 categories and if you're not familiar with Asheville businesses just fill in The Chocolate Fetish 25 different times and the ballot will be counted. Voting is available until May 21.  VOTE HERE

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Brevard Music Center Summer Festival Tickets Now on Sale

May 1, Brevard NC: The Brevard Music Center (BMC)  Box Office opened at 10 AM with single tickets for the Brevard Music Center's 2014 Summer Festival available for purchase. The 2014 season includes orchestra, chamber, and opera favorites, the new BMC Presents series, and the Brevard Music Center debut of Itzhak Perlman.

Don't miss out if performances sell out - get tickets for your favorites in advance. Purchase tickets online at, or call the box office at (828) 862-2105.

Special Concerts:

Opening Night: An Evening with Itzhak Perlman

June 21, 6 PM - The Center is thrilled to open the 2014 festival with a special performance by one of the world's most acclaimed violinists - Itzhak Perlman! A Kennedy Center Honoree and multiple Grammy winner, Perlman's 50-year career has included performances with the world's top orchestras, television and film appearances, and concerts for heads of state including Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama. Perlman will join BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra for an evening of his best-loved works from film and television. The program also includes a performance of Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's beautiful suite from Romeo and Juliet. 

Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms
Keith Lockhart leads the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in a performance of two timeless works. The concert opens with Beethoven's beloved "Pastoral" Symphony. After intermission the BMCO will be joined by internationally-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson for a performance of Brahms's demanding second piano concerto.

Season Finale:  Pictures at an Exhibition
The 2014 season closes with sensational pianist Conrad Tao joining JoAnn Falletta and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra to perform Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Tao returns to the Music Center after his highly-praised performance on our 2013 Opening Night concert. After intermission, Falletta will lead the BMCO in a performance of Mussorgsky's ever-popular orchestral suite Pictures at an Exhibition.

The 2014 summer festival includes over 80 performances. A complete listing is available on the Center's website.

Mountain Spirits: Home Brew Night at Hops and Vines

May 1, 2014 at Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in Asheville NC: Home Brew Night tonight and every FIRST Thursday of the month. Homebrewers bring a few bottles of your brew to share with others.  Brewers please label your bottles with your name and style of beer. This event has proven to be one the best and most popular tastings at Hops & Vines.  FREE and open to the public.

May 2 is Draft Beer Night at Hops & Vines. Come out this Friday from, 5-7 PM for $2 Pints. There will be  three tasty brews for you to choose from, all for only $2 a pint. Come kick back and enjoy one on the back deck or at the tasting bar. Cheers!

Mountain Spirits: Beer Tasting Tonight at Brusin' Ales

May 1, 2014 at Brusin' Ales, 66 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville NC: Rogue Ales.  Enjoy a free flight of Rogue at the Tasting Bar from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. 

Integrity Ale (25th Anniversary): "Born in a basement in Ashland, Oregon, Integrity Ale is Rogue's original Golden Ale from 1988. Now John Maier brews it with ingredients from Rogue Farms in Independence and Tygh Valley, and the serigraphed silver bottle is dedicated to 25 years."

7 Hop IPA: "This is John Maier's secret recipe that blends all seven hops grown in the hopyard of Rogue Farms. It is a true taste of the terroir of the Wigrich Appellation, the oldest hops growing region in Oregon."

Hazelnut Brown Nectar: "Dark brown in color with a hazelnut aroma, a rich nutty flavor and a smooth malty finish. Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale is a blend of Great Western 2-row Pale, Munich, Hugh Baird Brown, Crystal 80 and Crystal 135, Carastan, and Beeston Pale Chocolate malts; hazelnut extract; Perle and Saaz hops."

XS Imperial Stout: "Deserving the title "Emperor of Ales" (unlike the bourgeois "King of Beers"), Imperial is the strongest and fullest of all stouts. Imperials originally were brewed with large quantities of hops and a high alcohol content to withstand long, unrefrigerated journeys. Rogue Imperial Stout, considered the high end of stouts, is made of 2-row Great Western Harrington & Klages, Hugh Baird XLT-80, Black, Munich and Chocolate Malts; Willamette, Cascade and Chinook hops; rolled oats; and two secret ingredients."

Get a link for other Asheville Breweries, Pubs and Wine shops HERE.