Frequently Asked Questions
What geographical area is covered in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina?
The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BRMT) project highlights the musical heritage of the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina. The BRMT region includes 29 counties—25 of which were designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area by Congress and President of the United States in 2003 in recognition of their unique character, culture, and natural beauty and their significance to the history of the nation.
The BRMT counties are: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Clay, Cleveland, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rockingham, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
Larger cities and towns in the region include Asheville, Boone, Hendersonville, and Mount Airy. The North Carolina portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are also part of the BRMT region.
What kinds of music and dancing will I experience at BRMT sites?
BRMT sites feature traditional North Carolina mountain music and dance. This encompasses many kinds of music traditions, including bluegrass, old-time, blues, early country, gospel, ballad singing, and shaped-note singing, Cherokee music and dance, and such heritage dance styles as clogging and square dancing.
Is there a designated route to follow the Blue Ridge Music Trails?
This website and the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina guidebook provides the information you’ll need to design your own itinerary for a music-filled visit. You can visit these venues in any order, and join the trails from any direction. The interactive map and calendar on this website can help you plan your route.
Are some times of year better than others to hear music in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
There are music events throughout the year. The majority of outdoor music festivals take place in the summertime. Concerts, jams, dances, and other indoor events happen in all seasons.
How can I find out about lodging and dining options near BRMT sites?
The Plan Your Trip page provides links to a variety of local tourism planning websites which include listings for hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, restaurants, and cafes.
Is the information on this website the same as what I’ll read if I buy the book Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina?
The website and the guidebook are companions, with each offering unique special features. In the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina guidebook you can read extended profiles of artists, read in-depth discussions of the roots of mountain music, and enjoy more than 150 color photos. We recommend both!
What resources are available to help me continue learning about traditional music from the North Carolina mountains and foothills?
Visit our Listen & Learn page to find resources to learn more about our music traditions.
I’m an organizer of a music-related event or venue. Can my event/venue be listed in BRMT?
If your event features traditional mountain music and dance and is located within the 29 counties of the BRMT region, we encourage you to submit information about the event for possible inclusion on this website. Please visit our Submit an Event page for details.
I’m a traditional musician/dancer/craftsperson in/from the Blue Ridge. Can I be listed in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Traditional Artist Directory?
The Traditional Artist Directory was initially developed between 2007 and 2010. A panel of folklorists and arts representatives from across the region considered the work of hundreds of nominees, selecting artists for inclusion in the directory based on the excellence of their work and their representativeness of the region’s heritage. While we are not currently adding profiles to the Traditional Artist Directory, we would love to know about your work. When the directory is next updated, we would be glad to provide your information to the panel for consideration.
I’ve spotted something on the website that needs to be updated. Whom should I contact about it?
For updates, corrections, suggestions, and feedback, please contact:
Donna Ray Norton
Music Trails Coordinator
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership