Tag Archives: Shakori Hills

Jim Lauderdale Leads the Pack of NC Songwriters

Stars in the Round Showcases NC’s Songwriters

Jim Lauderdale hosts Stars in the Round at Shakori Hills
Jim Lauderdale hosts Stars in the Round at Shakori Hills

When it isn’t raining, Shakori Hills is a magical place to take in a variety of music, visual art, and dance events. Once a year they host the Stars in the Round, featuring regional songwriters followed by a hootenanny inducing featured artist.

This year’s inducer and Grammy winning host, was endearing and prolific songwriter, Jim Lauderdale. Lauderdale’s tireless dedication to the craft of songwriting is evident through regular coverage in American Songwriter Magazine, and his involvement with Merlefest’s annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, and Swannanoa Gathering’s Contemporary Folk Week.

After an opening set by local blues legend, Ironing Board Sam, the Round commenced in a flurry of heartbreak, murder ballads, protest, storytelling, and mountain songs.

Leading the pack of local songwriters was Laurelyn Dossett, whose song, Leaving Eden, was the title track of the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Grammy winning 2012 Best Folk Album. She also wrote Anna Lee, which was featured on Levon Helm’s emotional Grammy winning comeback album, Dirt Farmer.

Heartbreak master and “smooth as butter” baritone, John Howie Jr. took us to those deep dark places of heartbreak honky tonk, while Allegheny newcomer Daniel Justin Smith’s balanced out the dark with his earnest debut. Brevard’s bewitching sirens, Shannon Whitworth and Nikki Talley dueled out some serious clawhammer banjo songs, enchanting songs of Spring, family, and good ole’ mountain folk.

Lauderdale & Dossett Credit:Justin Catanoso

Lauderdale & Dossett
Credit:Justin Catanoso

Proceeds from the annual Stars in the Round benefit the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center.

“Shakori Hills Community Arts Center was created with the mission to purchase, preserve and enhance the Shakori Hills farmstead for community building through music, dance, arts and education. Our mission has further evolved to provide music education opportunities in schools through our Hopes & Dreams program.” – Shakori’s Mission Statement

 Justin Catanoso

Justin Catanoso

Cool Projects

The Healing Blues, Greensboro artists brings the homeless and music community for a unique collaborative storytelling project.


Aug. 27 Chuck Prophet (FREE!) – Hillsborough

Sept. 4  Chatham County Line (FREE!) – Durham

Sept. 6 The Monti Storytelling is back! –  Carrboro

Sept. 12 Holy Ghost Tent Revival CD Release – Carrboro

Sept. 13 Velcro MC from Puerto Rico – Durham

Sept. 17 – 21 Americana Music Festival – Nasvhille, TN

Sept. 20 Rubblebucket – Raleigh

Planning Ahead

Sept. 13 Farm Aid 2014 is in Raleigh YAWL

Sept. 20-21 CenterFest – Durham

Oct. 3-4 Wide Open Bluegrass – Raleigh

Oct. 9-12 Shakori Hills Grassroots & Dance Festival

More Good Stuff to See and Hear

GR8MUSICROX CALENDAR   Try the Agenda view. I like that best.

GR8MUSICROX’S Guide to Successful Shakori-ing

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival Time

shakorihdrlogo1April 17-April 20

A repost

True Story.

He showed up at my door wearing a nice lavender polo shirt, a sweater wrapped around his neck, freshly pressed Dockers, and Italian loafers.

“Shakori Hills Time!” He said with his nervous “eager to please (me) I hope Gr8 thinks I’m cool” smile.

While he looked rather dapper, I knew that I could not let him show up to Shakori dressed for a day of civil discourse while sipping on a mint julep on the verandah.  This is Shakori Hills. It’s NC’s haven for musical survivalists. I asked if he had any other clothes with him and picked out an alternate outfit from his gym bag.

Shakori Hills – Getting it Right

You might feel the urge to feed your  love for live music by attending Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival for the first time.  That’s great news. The festival offers a multi-genre musical sampling of artists, bands, and DJs from NY to Florida, as well as showcases our own local offerings.

However, if you plan to come in from the big city to the beautiful grounds of Shakori Hills, allow me to pass on a few tips. Shakori tips.

First, Shakori Hills doesn’t have crazy strict rules except no pets, where you camp, and no open alcohol containers.

No Pets. It needs mention again.

No judgment. Shakori is a place where you can express yourself as you wish. I have sang or danced with hippies, pirates, the Chicken Man, hipsters, fairies, hula hoopers, kids, the Easter Bunny, staff, and artists. I just love the variety of people that come to Shakori.

What to Bring: Pack like you are day camping or on a picnic. DEET strength mosquito and tick repellent. Flashlight or headlamp will come in handy when you have to use the PortaJohn at night. Sanitizer. Wipes. Chairs. Umbrellas. Blanket. Coffee Cup. Water bottle.

Picnics Welcome.

BYOB or buy there. No Glass, cans, or plastic. Must be poured in a cup.

Water is good there. Bring empty water bottle. They do not sell water. 

FOOD: The Veggie Thing from the Sugar Shack. Food is good and affordable.

Keep away from the perimeter. Ticks abound.

Consider bringing a change of clothes and shoes. If it rains or you decide to sleep off the fun from the Beer and Dance Tents, you’ll appreciate it.

ALLERGIES / ASTHMA: It can get smoky from the campfires and drum circles.

DRINKING AND DRIVING. Don’t even think about it. The Sheriff and HWP stake out the exit and follow the cars that leave the grounds. I am not kidding. I have seen them pursue six cars in a row by parking in a staggered formation, then they picked off festival goers before they even made it to 87.

These guys know how to run a festival. Read the information on the website.


Who Should You See?

The magic of Shakori (to me) is exploring bands and artists I don’t know. I tend to start with them first.

This year’s national artists include the Del McCoury band, Ben Sollee Indigo Girls, Jim Lauderdale, and event hosts, Donna the Buffalo.


A few I’ll be checking out include Jim Lauderdale, the Greg Humprheys Trio, the Jon Shain Trio, DJ Yogi, Rising Appalachia, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, Shamu Garcon, Afrobeta, Baloji & L’Orchestra de la Katuba, Cortadito, Miami vinyl DJ Richard McVay.

The one I do NOT want to miss is Bubba Norwood, who was Ike and Tina Turner’s drummer. He’s featured as a Music Maker artist during the yearly revue. That’s one of my fave Shakori offerings.

The program includes excellent bios on each artist, workshop, and contests.

Full Schedule: Don’t forget to check out the Front Porch Workshops, Drum Circles, Art, Hula Hooping Workshops, Seminars, and more.


Artists Bios: http://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/festival/performers-spring-2014