Tar Heel Traveler Celebrates N.C. Bluegrass Music as IBMA’s Approach Raleigh

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Tar Heel Traveler This Monday night, September 23, 2013, WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler presents a bluegrass special on WRAL-TV at 7pm.   Scott Mason profiles some extraordinarily talented musicians from North Carolina, and each has their own compelling story.

Some are famous, others less well known, but their music is all part of the state’s rich heritage.  No other state in the country has a bluegrass tradition like North Carolina.

More specifically, the show features several interesting profiles, including one on the Steep Canyon Rangers. The band is from Transylvania County and won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album this year. The group also became well known for its association with comedian and banjo player Steve Martin.

The Tar Heel Traveler also meets Sheila Kay Adams of Madison County who’s recently been honored as a National Heritage Fellow, which is extremely prestigious. Adams is well known for singing and preserving the mountain ballads of her ancestors.

Mason interviews two young, remarkable violin players, a 16-year-old boy from Guilford County and 10-year-old girl from Charlotte, both fiddle phenoms.   

He tells the story of Earl Scruggs who grew up near Shelby and had a huge impact on bluegrass music. Tar Heel Traveler also listen in on a bluegrass band from Cary that’s produced eight CDs and three number one bluegrass songs in America.

“Shooting these bluegrass stories was a bit like peeling an onion,” said Mason.  “We kept finding one talented musician after another and came to realize just how rich and layered the history of bluegrass is to North Carolina. People love the music, both for its tradition and its sound, and say they love it because it makes them feel alive.”

Watch this Tar Heel Traveler special: Monday, September 23rd at 7pm, which happens to be on the eve of a major 4-day bluegrass event in downtown Raleigh.

WRAL is a proud sponsor of Wide Open Bluegrass.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story & graphic.

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