Music, Barns and Mother’s Day

And what a musical weekend it was! Saturday night brought Balsam Range, a local bluegrass band made good (top of the national charts for months), to the wonderful Madison County Arts Council in Marshall.  Balsam Range’s  exceptional singing and picking brought down the house  at this fundraiser for the Appalachian Barn Alliance (ABA).  The Alliance works to document the historically significant barns of Madison County, NC where there are 21,000 people and more than 10,000 barns!

This shot from the ABA website is one of my favorites. Raising tobacco is pretty much a thing of the past around here, but as a child, I thought tobacco hanging to dry in the barns was a beautiful sight. It would light up like it was on fire when the sun hit it.

You can see more barn photos and see more of Tim Barnwell’s work at these sites.


The Meadows’ tobacco barn by Tim Barnwell, from the Barn Alliance’s website.


There is no end to the good music found in our area and Sunday night, we headed down to the big city of Asheville for a different kind of scene. After a fun family dinner in honor of Mom (she’s the best), we saw Frank Vignola and Vinnie Raniolo at the Altamont Theatre. This excellent listening room seats about 100 people so it was up close and personal as the world class jazz guitarists made our jaws drop. My hubby Paul is a perfectionist when it comes to music and he couldn’t get enough of those two.

Two nights of top-notch music. Who needs city life when we have entertainment like this? Seeing Balsam Range and then Frank and Vinnie in small venues was a real treat and it was a great family weekend with my sister and her husband as well as my parents along for the fun. In their mid-eighties, Mom and Dad would be happy checking out live music every night of the week. Remind me to act like them when I’m their age!