Stina's picksA point in the right direction
Just when I was thinking things were feeling a little slow around here, last Saturday shook me awake. In the morning, I was treated to one of the most beautiful and serene (if jarringly hilly) 10Ks around, the Lake Junaluka Bunny Run. An hour or so later, I got to photograph the lake’s incredibly cute and hilariously competitive Easter egg hunts. Later, as the day turned dark, it was time for a night of bluegrass and gospel by Balsam Range, featuring — as many had hoped — Buddy Melton. I plan on doing a story about that evening and Melton’s recovery sometime this week, but I don’t think I’m ruining anything by saying his return to the stage was a joy to watch. I know my eyes were wet, and I have to believe so, too, were most of those in the grateful audience. They did give him a standing ovation at least three times, after all. I was stunned and moved, more than I ever have been at any concert, anywhere.
As for Balsam Range’s next gig, you can catch Melton and the rest of the band opening for Jeff Foxworthy Saturday night at the Smoky Mountain Center for Performing Arts in Franklin. If that long drive isn’t in the cards, here are a few bluegrass-free — but otherwise promising — options.
Putting WNC into words
I don’t know much about Ron Rash, but I feel I might be in the minority out here. With several novels, collections of poetry and short stories to his name, Rash was a regional rock star in the literary scene long before it was announced one of his books would become a movie. Now, it seems talk of him is everywhere, especially with his newest book, “The Cove,” hitting stores. This Saturday is your chance to meet one of Western North Carolina’s most visible writers, and maybe even ask him a question or two. He’ll be at Blue Ridge Books at 2 p.m. If you hurry up and buy his newest novel, you might even get two tickets for reserved seats (while supplies last). Call 456-6000 for more information — and good luck.
I’m amazed by anyone who can steer a canoe or read a map with his or her longtime spouse without strife, let alone make art together. For Karin and James “Doodle” Lyle, however, that shared creativity is an important part of their connection. The music-making pair is playing an acoustic, family-friendly show at 3 p.m. this Sunday at the Haywood County Library in Canton during April’s Sunday Concert Series. The afternoon sounds like it will be an upbeat one, with the pair doing a special palindrome-friendly tune in honor of the library and Doodle talking a bit about his other love and work, cartooning. For more information, call the library, located at 11 Pennsylvania Ave., at 648-2924.
A ‘Killer’ meal
Mystery, intrigue, wine — what’s not to like about the Herren House’s monthly dose of murder-mysteryfilled dinner theater? So far, I’ve been to two of Killer Theatre’s completely interactive evenings, and I’ve loved them both. While it was fun to meet the various characters created by the actors, it was just as enjoyable to see the audience members’ alter egos come out to play. At Killer Theatre shows, which always include a tasty dinner buffet, people give themselves permission to be someone else for a night. Where else do you get to do (or see) that? This month’s show, “Wack Job,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, will be set in the roaring ’20s. Flapper hats and a sense of wild abandon are encouraged. Call the Herren House, located at 94 East St. in Waynesville, at 452-7837 for more information.
Meet your Naber
It’s likely you’ve already heard Jeanne Naber. All you’ve had to do is stroll through downtown Waynesville on a bustling summer evening or enjoy a meal at Cataloochee ranch on a Wednesday night. If none of this is ringing a bill, this Friday night is the time to change all that. Naber, guitar in hand, will be belting out her usual mix of rock and folk tunes, and maybe even a few requests from the crowd, at Waynesville’s newest coffee shop, Main Street Perks. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., you can drink in Naber’s overwhelming optimistic sound, while staying well caffeinated at this spacious new meeting spot. Call Main Street Perks, at 26 N. Main St., at 456-8488 for more information.