Bluegrass Camps in Cary


Cary, NC — Fans of roots music will appreciate what PineCone is doing for the millennial generation when they offer a growing series of Bluegrass camps through the Town of Cary’s Parks & Rec department. Read more


Weather Changes Outdoor Plans in Cary


Cary, NC – It’s summer and that means thunderstorm and often unpredictable weather here in Cary. Within 10 minutes, various Cary outdoor activities changed dates and venues on several outdoor concerts. Here’s the latest. Read more

Shana Tucker: Show Went on Despite the Weather

Story and photos by Lindsey Chester.

Cary- Once again, PineCone‘s organizers with help from the Town Of Cary, had to plan for inclement weather for a concert scheduled at Sertoma Amphitheater in Bond Park. The storms were looming all day Saturday, so the equipment for the Shana Tucker Concert was set up in the Kiwanis Shelter. She played to a packed, and dry, crowd. Read more

Merle & Kris: “This is Country Music, Ladies and Gentlemen”

Story by Matt Young.

Cary, NC – It’s become a pattern. Rain, thunderstorms off and on all day, only to clear in the late afternoon, bringing lower temperatures, right before a concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Read more

Music: Shana Tucker at Sertoma This Saturday

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hannah Pearce for Shana Tucker.

Cary, NC – There’s no shortage of musical entertainment in our area this summer- but only a few shows are free. Shana Tucker graces the Sertoma Amphitheatre stage this Saturday, August 11, 2012. Read more

Music: “Blind Boy” Paxton, A Last Minute Hit

Story and photos by Lindsey Chester.

Cary, NC- PineCone, the group that promotes traditional music in the Piedmont, had a last minute hole to fill this past Saturday night. The scheduled act, Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks had broken up and William Lewis from PineCone was able save the evening by booking  Jerron “Blind Boy ” Paxton as a last minute save. A colleague had recommended Paxton to William after hearing Paxton play at FolkAlliance.

Blind Boy Paxton

This young man charmed the crowd who came out to Sertoma Amphitheater in Bond Park despite the dire forecast of increment weather. With thunderstorms in the area, the concert was quickly moved to the Kiwanis shelter, and was played to a packed and appreciative crowd.

With his Louisiana blues style, Paxton picked up his banjo to start the evening off and all could see he knew his stuff. His humorous banter kept the crowd engaged, and he was willing to take old favorite requests from the audience. Not being a blues aficionado, I just soaked up the sound and enjoyed the crowd and the cool breeze blowing under the roof. Folks nibbled on picnics and petted their dogs. It was that kind of relaxed crowd with plenty of hiking clothes sprinkled amongst the hippie gear, and not many kids.

From  the PineCone website: He is witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting, skilled as a musician and a fine singer. He is the son of Robert Johnson’s cousin, so you could say it’s “in the blood.”…Louisiana blues developed in the period after World War II. It is generally divided into two sub-genres: the jazz-influenced New Orleans blues based around the city, and the slower tempo swamp blues, which incorporated influences from zydeco and Cajun music from around Baton Rouge. Paxton currently lives in New York, where he is in school. Paxton plays a lot of old Cajun songs, old blues and hillbilly tunes, and old jazz numbers.

A few of the crowd favorites were familiar to me,  such as “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” which was covered by Led Zeppelin. Paxton’s version was considerably more laid back and the listeners loved it. Another request from one fan up front whom Paxton kidded occasionally for her depth of blues knowledge, “Bill Bailey”.  He picked up a violin (or fiddle) part way through and also worked songs with someone’s borrowed guitar.

The type of blues he plays has a long black American history, and in one intro to “Shady Grove” he discussed the song’s lineage as having been performed since the mid-17th century by black banjo players.

It’s a Southern Thing

Much of the evening was interspersed with humor, “Lazy Bones” with its message of non-motivation was particularly funny. The music that evening was all about living and breathing and being of the South. The heat, the sounds, the humor, and much is steeped in Paxton’s roots from Louisana. He even mixed in some Cajun patois in one song and had the audience learn a phrase or two along the way.

He is often cited to have said that at the age of fifteen–about the time he started to go blind–that he just didn’t like anything written after 1934. He raised himself on 78s. He is a joyous entertainer, humorous with a dazzling wit, and a terrific storyteller who exudes an affable excitement.

Recently my brother took a trip to Georgia from his home in Oregon. He really couldn’t handle the heat and humidity, and as one particular song played I thought of him. The lyrics went something like this “If you don’t like milk and honey.. stay outta the South”. The sounds of “Blind Boy” Paxton made me realize I do like the land of Milk and Honey and love the sounds of the South.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, before the thunder began to roll in and cut the concert a few minutes short. Thank you PineCone for bringing this traditional music to Cary, rain or shine!

Check out this video of Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton:

Blind Boy Paxton Playing For Change


Cary Arts Center: Grand Opening Weekend

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Drum Roll, please – the new Cary Arts center marks its official opening and dedication this weekend on Saturday, August 13, 2011.  An entire day of activities is planned on Saturday including a cornerstone ceremony and lots of music in the new theater. Read more

PineCone: North Carolina’s Rich Musical Tradition

Cary, NC – North Carolina, and specifically the Piedmont, has a rich tradition in, well, traditional music.

Upon my arrival in the Piedmont some 17 years ago, I stumbled across The PineCone Blue Grass Show on 94.7 FM, which I listen to pretty religiously. Come by pretty much any Sunday before dinner and it’s coming from my garage, especially when I’m smoking ribs or fish in the driveway. Neighbors make fun, but the homeowner’s association hasn’t stopped by yet. Read more