Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina


Every weekend the North Carolina mountains and foothills come to life with the passionate strains of bluegrass, old-time fiddles, and dancing feet. The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina website is your guide to great musical experiences in the region.

New - Road Trippin' with WLOS Channel 13 take viewers along the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

This summer, viewers of WLOS Channel 13, the ABC affiliate for Western North Carolina located in Asheville, are being taken on a “cruise” to visit 14 towns and attractions that feature the traditional music of the region.

Music Trails Guidebook 

A new guidebook to the trails is an excellent resource for visitors who want to hear the music in an authentic setting and learn more about the music traditions.

In the 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 Blue Ridge Music Trails is organized into six regions, each reflecting the traditions of the small towns, communities and counties of the region. Below are maps of the six regions and the counties and towns that include. 

  • Region 1 - Includes Surry, Stokes, Rockingham, Iredell, and Yadkin Counties.
  • Region 2 - Caldwell, Wilkes, Alleghany, Ashe, and Watauga Counties.
  • Region 3 - Mitchell, Avery, McDowell and Yancey Counties.
  • Region 4 - Buncombe, Madison, Henderson, and Transylvania Counties
  • Region 5 - Cleveland, Burke, Rutherford, and Polk Counties.
  • Region 6 - Haywood, Swain, Graham, Cherokee, Clay, Macon, and Jackson Counties.
  • BRMT Overview

Festivals, Jamborees and Jam Sessions

Outdoor festivals are a great way to sample a variety of talent and styles while enjoying local food and sunshine. Seasoned performers also take the stage at jamborees, clubs, and concert halls.

Local bluegrass and old time music jam sessions, which may be held anywhere from pubs and cafes to the general store or public square, provide a great opportunity to hear local talent and experience local music culture. Many jam sessions welcome visitors, so bring an instrument if you play.

Dates and times for many of these festivals, jam sessions, and other musical events can be found on the events calendar of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina website.

Learn to Play Traditional Mountain Music

There are opportunities for enthusiasts at all skill levels to learn how to play, sing, and dance to the music. Several colleges and arts institutions offer week-long and/or weekend workshops or seasonal classes where students learn from master musicians:

Appalachian Mountain Music on the Radio

Tune in to traditional old time music in the mountains on local radio. A variety of stations feature traditional Appalachian mountain music during the week:

The King Pup Radio Show
Pre-recorded programs may be listened to on the website. Programs are also broadcast during the week by affiliate radio stations in North Carolina and other states.

WKBC - 800 AM , North Wilkesboro, NC

WKSK - 580 AM, West Jefferson, NC

WNCW Public Radio - 88.7 FM in Asheville, NC and 92.9 FM in Boone, NC

WPAQ - 740 AM, Mount Airy, NC

WCQS Public Radio - 88.1 FM , Asheville, NC

WWMY - 106.1 FM , Jefferson, NC