Green Acres Music Hall, Part Three

We have covered a lot of ground so far, from the origin, to conversations with many key players and participants, and a lot of great music. Along the way, we have run up against biker gangs descending upon clubs and outdoor festival and taking them for their own, to finding a place on the map that no one had bothered to put on that map, to no sink, to snow collapsing a roof, to exploding concert ticket prices, and losses at the door. There’s a whole slew of stories packed into this little spot out in the western NC hill country.

Sam Bush   in front of an energetic crowd at Green Acres Music Hall. Sam spoke with us at length about his many times on the indoor and outdoor stage at the Acres with everyone from New Grass Revival to his own band and Duck Butter.

Sam Bush in front of an energetic crowd at Green Acres Music Hall. Sam spoke with us at length about his many times on the indoor and outdoor stage at the Acres with everyone from New Grass Revival to his own band and Duck Butter.

In this episode we conclude our history of Green Acres Music Hall, with a focus on later years in its four decade run, and new interviews with artists like Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush and Mike Lynch, along with performances ranging from the very first bluegrass show played at the Acres on December 30th, 1978, to shows from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones in 1991, Larry Keel with Snake Oil Medicine Show in 97, and Sam Bush’s band Duck Butter also in 1997. composition

A trio of artists who are very familiar with Green Acres. Jerry Douglas spoke with us at Merlefest 2018 about his times there, and that conversation if featured in this episode.

A trio of artists who are very familiar with Green Acres. Jerry Douglas spoke with us at Merlefest 2018 about his times there, and that conversation if featured in this episode.

Why not subscribe to Southern Songs and Stories podcasts here via the "Blog RSS" button near the top of the right column? You'll be updated with new episodes as soon as they post. We're elsewhere on the internet as well, and you can find us on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Castbox and TuneIn. Please take a moment to rate the show, and comment on the podcasts on those platforms -- it is one of the easiest ways to spread awareness of Southern Songs and Stories, and the artists we spotlight. And we hope you will support the music of the artists you enjoy hearing on the show -- even though the performances we’re highlighting are from decades ago, most all of these artists are still out touring and making music, and they wouldn’t be able to do it without support from people like you.

Thanks to our supporters, and to Osiris Podcasts and Bluegrass Planet Radio for carrying our series, and to Dynamite Roasting for sponsoring this show!

P.S. I mentioned Duck Butter's cover of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" in the podcast as being a Cannonball Adderly cover. It is also a Joe Zawinul composition.

Green Acres Music Hall, Part Two

Do you remember the 1980s? The Cold War, Reagan, big hair, synthesizers, yuppies, AIDS, MTV? It can be easy to point and laugh at times, maybe easier than it is to remember the good things about the era. It did not make national headlines, but one of those good things was Green Acres Music Hall, which came of age in that decade. 

In our first episode, we touched on some of the history of the music scene in the region and how rough things could get in the 70s, with biker gangs taking over outdoor festivals and rock clubs, and in this episode we get to some more of the history of the live music business in the 80s and early 90s. You know, the days when you didn’t buy tickets online, but at a window after you waited in line. When being social was always in person rather than often on a network. This was the heyday of Green Acres Music Hall.

Victor Wooten, Steve Metcalf, Roy "Futureman" Wooten, Vicki Dameron and Bela Fleck in the early 1990s

Victor Wooten, Steve Metcalf, Roy "Futureman" Wooten, Vicki Dameron and Bela Fleck in the early 1990s

This episode features conversations with artists like Bela Fleck, John Cowan, Darin Aldridge, the band Acoustic Syndicate, Sandy Carlton, Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment, Green Acres regular and frequent emcee Vicki Dameron, Carol Rifkin, former club owner Phil Dennis and Mettie, the “Little King”, Steve Metcalf. We’ll also feature more live music recorded at the Acres, as we have been able to dive into more tapes from Steve Metcalf’s collection, and live shows from archive.org.

Plus, we travel to a place in neighboring Cleveland County called Brackett Cedar Park, which also brought in artists that were fusing bluegrass and country with rock elements, and is still going.

You can subscribe to Southern Songs and Stories podcasts here via the "Blog RSS" button near the top of the right column, as well as  iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud and TuneIn. Please take a moment to rate the show, and comment on the podcasts on those platforms -- it is tremendously helpful in our effort to spread awareness of Southern Songs and Stories, and the artists we spotlight. And we hope you will support the music of the artists you enjoy hearing on the show -- even though the performances we’re highlighting are from decades ago, all of these artists are still out touring and making music, and they wouldn’t be able to do it without support from people like you.

Thanks to our supporters, and to Osiris Podcasts and Bluegrass Planet Radio for carrying our series, and to Dynamite Roasting for sharing their coffee with our listeners.

 

 

 

Green Acres Music Hall, Part One

It all started with a cinder block building that was also an auction house, on farmland in the foothills of western North Carolina. The bathroom had a toilet but no sink. There was no phone, and it was heated by a large wood stove. The owner had a band, and brought in others that played there often as well, starting around the mid 1970s. It went on to add an outdoor stage, amenities, and thousands of fans. It became a key stop for bluegrass, "newgrass" and roots music artists of all kinds. Even the likes of Garth Brooks and Merle Haggard came calling to play there. 

Flyer for Green Acres from late summer and fall of 1995, including a handy map. Think you could navigate your way there? Our episode includes a song from the Flecktones' set with Sam Bush, listed here. Photo courtesy of Vicki Dameron.

Flyer for Green Acres from late summer and fall of 1995, including a handy map. Think you could navigate your way there? Our episode includes a song from the Flecktones' set with Sam Bush, listed here. Photo courtesy of Vicki Dameron.

This is part one of our series on Green Acres Music Hall, with interviews from artists like Bela Fleck, John Cowan, Carol Rifkin and the band Acoustic Syndicate, along with the man who helped take it from its humble beginnings to its peak, Steve Metcalf. Joining them are some of the folks who frequented the venue, myself included. Of course, the music itself is here too, with audio from shows by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the John Cowan Band and others.

We hope you enjoy the show! Please help spread awareness about this independent endeavor, subscribe, and comment on this and other episodes, especially on platforms like iTunes. Becoming a supporter is easy to do, by clicking on the "Tip Jar" button on our site's front page, or by chipping in monthly on our Patreon page, which offers a lot of great bonus material. Thanks for listening, and thanks to our supporters, our sponsor Dynamite Roasting, and to Osiris Podcasts and Bluegrass Planet Radio for carrying our series.