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304 pp., 6 x 9, 144 color, 7 maps, index

Published in association with North Carolina Arts Council

ISBN  978-1-4696-0821-1
Published: April 2013

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

A Guide to Music Sites, Artists, and Traditions of the Mountains and Foothills

Fred C. Fussell with Steve Kruger

Includes a CD with 20 music tracks

The music and dance traditions of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains are legendary. Residents continue a musical heritage that stretches back many generations. In this lively guidebook, noted folklorist Fred C. Fussell puts readers on the trail to discover the many sites in western North Carolina where this unique musical legacy thrives. Organized by region and county, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina welcomes readers into the rich worlds of bluegrass, old-time, gospel, and string band music, as well as clogging, flatfooting, and other forms of traditional dance.

The book, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council and its partner, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, features a CD with more than 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, historic recordings of the region's most influential musicians spanning nine decades--available for the first time here--and songs based on true stories of love, crime, and tragedy set in the North Carolina mountains.


* driving directions

* maps

* venue contact information

* color photographs and profiles of prominent mountain musicians

* informative sidebars on musicians and performance styles

* a CD with 20 music tracks

About the Author

Fred C. Fussell is a writer, curator, artist, and documentary photographer whose work focuses on the traditional folk culture of the American South.

Steve Kruger is a folklorist and Appalachian musician who lives in Hillsborough, N.C.


"The book by itself is a pleasure to read, but the accompanying CD immensely heightens the appreciation. . . . An invaluable asset for anyone wanting to know more about traditional music and will serve as a very useful travel guide for those who wish to visit the region."
--New York Journal of Books

"An engaging and essential resource for music lovers, this guide invites everyone to experience a great American musical tradition."
--McCormick Messenger

"Fussell shows visitors how to experience legendary mountain music and dance culture."
--Rocky Mount Telegram

“For anyone with a taste for traditional song and dance. . . . Included is a CD with more than two dozen songs, representing the diverse styles profiled in the text. It’s a fitting soundtrack whether you’re sitting back reading or hitting the road.”
--WNC Magazine

“Fans of traditional, folk, mountain, bluegrass, and/or old-time music and dance will enjoy this book, as will travelers to western North Carolina who want an introduction to traditional mountain culture, and anyone interested in Appalachian and North Carolina history.”
--Library Journal

“It can be used as a traveling guide, an encyclopedia--using the excellent index--or as an engaging and comprehensive compendium of contemporary musical fold culture.”
--Appalachian Heritage

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116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
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