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A Country Rag New Year's Bash Country Calendar

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For armchair travelers:
Live Action 24/7 High Country (and beyond) Webcams

For cyber-couch tomatoes: HomeFront Action

* . * Support Performing Arts * . *
* .. * Fine Arts * .. *

(Click on any word above for video'd live performance)
(And don't miss our very own Lightnin' Charlie!)

ETSU bluegrass band
made up variously of mostly ETSU Department of Appalachian Studies Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music degree program professors, students and grads

Go to
Celebrate! -- Activate! -- Consecrate!

"A Cornucopia of Free and Inexpensive Regional Delights"
(Check Listing of Legendary Mountain Empire Music Venues for specific performance details)

... and don't forget the Empire's excellent local theatres and repertory companies!
seasoned thespian Jay Daily  of Knoxville TN and Serling VA


Graphic below: Magic Colors II, by Patricia Allingham Carlson -- Click for her website, information and more artwork
Magic Colors II, by Patricia Allingham Carlson -- Click for website

Video below: Beloved regional musician/songwriter Ed Snodderly, creator/owner of the similarly popular and reknowned Down Home performance venue in Johnson City TN


go to
mountain empire happenings/events -- regional on-going and upcoming events/happenings
appalachian arts and healing resources -- freely distributed magazines and newspapers
appalachian visitors centers -- inter/national cultural events/happenings

mountain empire happenings/events
(several selections and suggestions from a vast variety available on land and on-line)

links to regional sites listing on-going and upcoming events/happenings
some strongly suggest advance tickets and reservations
(several selections and suggestions from a vast variety available on land and on-line)

Video above:
Chic Street Man, widely-awarded and endearing teller/musician and 2009 artist in residence for Jonesborough TN's International Storytelling Center

  • Arts Alliance Mountain Empire, organization covering and listing regional events monthly
  • The Crooked Road, heritage music trail in SW VA
  • The Loafer, Tri-Cities bi-weekly coverage of arts and other activities
  • Mountain Homes Southern Style, quarterly coverage of events and developments
  • Music On The Square, Jonesborough TN's popular warm weather weekly outdoor performances by outstanding regional musicians and artists in other media
  • My Asheville, published by the Citizen Times
  • The Orange Peel, Asheville NC, one of the five best music venues nationally according to Rolling Stone magazine

  • WNCW, widely popular, venerable and venerated NPR affiliate with outstanding live and recorded, mostly regional music, commentary, news and regional happenings broadcast from Boone, Charlotte, Greenville and Wilkesboro as a service of Isothermal Community College, Spindale NC
  • WPVM, community-based internet and radio presence
Go to Activate! -- Go to top

freely distributed, mostly monthly, magazines and newspapers
distributed through art and visitors centers, restaurants and shops
(several selections and suggestions from a vast variety available on land and on-line)

appalachian arts and healing resources
(several selections and suggestions from a vast variety available on land and on-line)

"Val Lyle of Bristol TN is the Virginia Highlands Festival's 2009 signature artist. The Festival selected Lyle after seeing her award-winning sculpture 'Feminine Entwinement' on display in Bristol, and a newer piece, 'Entwined Dancers,' at William King Museum in Abingdon. 'Feminine Entwinement' is constructed of tugboat rope, 'Entwined Dancers' of aircraft carrier rope made of Keviar. The two sculptures are heavily coated with resin. Both are whimsical and lyrical, 'dancing between abstraction and representation.' Lyle says, 'The rope as a metaphor entered my sculptural vocabulary around 1987, a metaphor for what ties people down and for what binds people together. Meditations on the simple baling twine used for square hay bales I helped put up in my grandparents' barn led to reflections of time and heritage as a series of twisted and woven events.... The textures of hand-hewn wooden barns, tobacco leaves, bailing twine, and trees grown around barbed wire fences have influenced my visual vocabulary.' She continues, 'I look for ways to make contemporary sculpture more approachable -- using common materials in an uncommon way and a figurative reference help to accomplish that. I believe one of the primary purposes of art is to help us consider ourselves as well as the world around us in a fresh way.'... In addition to contemporary sculpture, Lyle creates portrait sculpture. She also teaches one-day and six-week classes several times a year and occasionally does public demonstrations in portrait sculpture.... Born in Johnson City TN, Lyle grew up in Knoxville TN, longing to find out what was going on 'out in the real world.' She spent much of her adult life in Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and New York City, where she credits much of her artistic development.... She earned her BFA in sculpture at the Ringling School of Art and Design and her MFA while maintaining the family home place in Bristol TN. She teaches art courses and workshops, and is a full-time studio artist." -- Highlander Magazine 7/25-8/9/09, introductory brochure and scheduling for Virginia Highlands Festival, Abingdon VA

"[John Case, lecturer, appraiser, editor and owner of Case Antiques, Inc.,, Knoxville TN said] .... There is a profound mystery afoot regarding the redware from the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia area. While our region was often considered the 'backcountry' in the 19th century in respect to culture, population density, economic conditions, and the arts, we had some of the most aesthetically beautiful pottery forms being produced anywhere in America. For many years, the earthenware found in our region was considered to have been made elsewhere, because no one could conceive that such complex and artistically beautiful pieces could have hailed from our region.... It was even said that antique dealers in the early 20th century like Joe Kindig from Pennsylvania would come through the region, buy our pottery and other antiques, take them back up North, and sell them as 'Northern' pieces. Consequently, it is very plausible that there are some magnificent East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia pieces in New England Mid-Atlantic pottery collections. We have difficulty understanding how the population from our region could have supported potters making such magnificent and iconic objects. The use of complex copper oxide and manganese glaze decorations with elaborate stamping that we find on Greene County pieces was both time-consuming and expensive.... Some of the more beautiful jars and jugs made by Sullivan and Greene County potters have the artistic and historical merit deserving to be displayed in major museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the finest American examples of their day.... The consignor who previously owned the record-setting J.A. Lowe ($63k) jar said her children were using it as a waste can.... Christopher Alexander Haun (1821-1861) was a potter from Greene County TN. Haun was a Union sympathizer during the Civil War. He and several other potters conspired and succeeded in burning a Confederate railroad bridge (Lick Creek) in Greene County. In 1861, Confederate forces captured the perpetrators. Five conspirators were hanged, including Haun. Haun's pots clearly speak to his having been a master potter... East Tennessee is rich with sutiable clays for both redware and stoneware.... the large number of potters operating in East Tennessee during the 19th century was an indicator of the number of rich clay deposits available. The redware clay from East Tennessee is often recognized by an orange appearance versus darker red clays found in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The stoneware from the region will often have a red tinge and dark grey colors, indicative of iron deposits in the region.... One of the potters who worked with Haun was J. A. Lowe. Lowe joined the Confederate Army shortly after Haun was hanged for burning the Lick Creek bridge.... There was a wide variety of forms produced. The most common forms were cream pots, canning jars, jugs, pitchers, and jars. Less common were butter churns, bowls, plates, inkwells, cups, and presentation jars with names and dates with elaborate decoration.... Most regional pottery was sold within the region.... Ceramics is the general term covering a broad category that includes pottery.... Redware is fired at lower temperatures (1800 to 2100 degrees) than stoneware (2200 to 2400 degrees). The lower firing temperature of redware results in a higher porosity, often requiring it to be glazed to hold liquids.... Stoneware clay becomes 'vitreous' at the higher temperatures and the clay transforms to a 'glassy' surface that is essentially impervious to liquids...." -- A! Magazine, publication of Arts Alliance Mountain Empire ("nurturing, advocating and celebrating the arts"), July 2009, in Early Regional Pottery by Angela Wampler

  • Angela C. Alexander, artist in acrylics and custom pet portraits
  • Appalachian Quilt Trail, Northeast Tennessee's enviable history of colorfully creative and functional quilting is explored through well-mapped regional tours
  • Art of Life, artist explorer, coach Damaris Pierce
  • Art of Spirit, healing art near and distant, reiki, spiritual counseling and ceremonies, ministerial training, shamanic practices, chi lei qigong, soul portraits, spirit hoops
  • Jo Carson, Johnson City TN's widely-awarded and prolific author, actor and activist
  • Center for Holistic Medicine, Asheville NC, Carla Green, licensed, therapeutic massage, reiki
  • Colin's Creatures, multi-media sculpture artist
  • The Crooked Road, Southwest Virginia's heritage trail for bluegrass, old-time and country music winds through "glorious mountains" of Dickenson, Wise, Lee, Scott, Washington, Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Patrick, and Franklin Counties, from the town of Breaks to that of Rocky Mount
  • Curious 3D, digital image artist
  • Rebecca D'angelo, artistic photography
  • Divine Expression/Intuitive Direction, intuitive reader, reiki practitioner, artist
  • Down Home Eclectic Music Room, Johnson City TN, venerated guitarist and singer/songwriter Ed Snodderly's legendary venue psince 1976 for performances by original, up-and-coming musicians from the Mountain Empire
  • Ed's Doodles, multi-media and computer graphics
  • John Faulkner, Burnsville NC, artist in lighting, furniture, display, garden, metal fabrication
  • Jane Filer, innovative artist with impressive collections and shows cross-country
  • Gingko Tree Gallery, Black Mountain NC
  • Haen Gallery, Asheville NC
  • General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Gray Fossil Site, exciting new venue for exploring the Miocene Epoch through archeological finds dating back 7000 years and era reproductions, including interactive media presentations, as well as contemporary art in exhibits rotating monthly
  • Hardy's Artistic Expressions Studio, artist in portraits, illustrations, originals
  • Integrated Health Concepts, emotional basis of disease, holistic approach to illness, role of forgiveness in healing, services with reknowned practitioners including M.D. and other degreed professionals
  • Bill Lea's Photography and unusually skilled professional with a perceptive eye and persistence in getting just the right extraordinary image, most particularly of The Smoky Mountains
  • Val Lyle, native-born and much-awarded artist in all media who's traveled and lived extensively in studying artforms and lifestyles
  • Manding Imports of Africa, fabulous collection of original, affordable Mande artworks (25,000 in on-line store) from West African coastal areas of Burkina Faso, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, available through traveling festival tents as well as their Atlanta GA homebase
  • Timothy McCoy, Asheville NC, photoimagery artist
  • Metal Art by Carro, Black Mountain NC
  • Music on the Square, Jonesborough TN, weekly performance schedules and links to artists' websites
  • Pat Perkerson Art, paintings ceramics sculpture
  • Jeff Pittman, countryrwide and Asheville NC artist
  • Mary-Ann Prack, her sculptures "resonate pure harmony, balance and the relentless positive spirit of humankind" (Renee Philliips, Director of Manhattan Arts International)
  • Radavie, emotional clearing and soul retrieval for inner peace
  • Sacred Symbols for Peaceful Places, one-of-a-kind ceramic wall plaques
  • Clayton Santiago, Atlanta GA-based artist who "celebrates the Spirit of his faith and a deep love for the natural world"
  • Shamanic Counsel
  • Sister Space
  • Soul Star, reiki, prayer, sound, color & crystal therapies, guided angelic meditations
  • Source for Wellbeing, acupuncture, chinese herbology, nutrition, qi gong
  • Sourwood Gallery, Black Mountain NC, oustanding collection of over 20 member artists' work
  • Starships, science fiction in art, science and literature
  • Star*Talk, yoga therapy
  • Kristi Taylor, artist
  • Tennessee Association of Crafts Artists, connecting crafts and people" through unique artistic all-media presentations
  • Tiger's Eye Dousing, metaphysical ministering, reiki, and dowsing
  • Rebecca Tolk, photography
  • Unbeweavables, fiber artist Brenda Cameron
  • Womens Art Space, project of Western North Carolina Woman magazine
  • Zig Zag Soul Studio, "Be the Twist and Turn in the World Of the Straight and Narrow," Justin West, contemporary fine art
Go to Activate! -- Go to top

appalachian visitors centers
providing free brochures, magazines, newspapers,
and staff for travel directions and area information

Alabama [Huntsville and Birmingham] -- Georgia [Rome] -- Kentucky [Ashland and Middlesboro] -- Mississippi [Tupelo] -- New York [Binghamton] -- North Carolina [Winston-Salem and Asheville] -- Ohio [Portsmouth] -- Pennsylvania [Scranton, State College, Pittsburg, and Cumberland] -- Tennessee [Knoxville and Chattanooga] -- Virginia [ Bristol] -- West Virginia [Wheeling and Charleston]

For help in choosing a destination and traveling or moving, check out the federal government's high-tech and multiply informational atlas.

Go to Activate! -- Go to top

inter/national cultural events/happenings
(several selections and suggestions from a vast variety available on land and on-line)

Video above: Anadolu Atesi (Fire of Anatolia) belly and folk dancers from Turkey
here for more of their music and dancing)


The Global Drum Project and Mickey Hart for National Geographic

The Power of Positive Thinking

The very affable, attractive, and charismatic Roberta Herrin, PhD, Chair of Appalachian Studies and Services, ETSU, presented on the morning of March 13, an engrossing and inspiring lecture to the Alliance for Continued Learning class at Carnegie Library on the Johnson City Veterans Administration grounds. Among her helpful observations:
  • there's a new field called Positive Psychology and the new ETSU department chair is a graduate of that;
  • we live in an "instant gratification" society -- based upon external, rather than internal healing -- of discontent and unhappiness, with a market created for selling solutions and encouraging the identification of more and more physical and psychological problems and an enveloping, pervasive message of fear, guilt, violence, threats to our health in every way brought to us particularly through media -- radio and television, newspapers especially.
  • maybe it's time for humans to follow the great teachers of the ages -- Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Ghandi, King -- or for the demise of humanity
  • Oprah has a new Web seminar based upon A New Earth
  • we spend a lifetime "trying to get it right"
  • there is a magnetic energy, which can and has been measured, attached to thoughts, which become a field and can even go through steel walls. We all vibrate, like tuning forks. Turning one on will turn on all the others at the same frequency because the same wavelengths attract each other
  • a total identification with the material is defined as evil
  • forgiveness means "it doesn't matter"
  • in response to stress, we can turn on anabolic endorphins or adrenalins
  • malice makes us literally sick; laughter and joy heal
  • we should react to each other as spiritual beings, not physical bodies
  • we have eternal souls in temporary expressions of flesh, an inner voice, and a stream of consciousness which are not the same as the self
  • there is a universal mind of pure energy which creates us
  • some good books are Power Versus Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior; The Eye of the I, and I: Reality and Subjectivity; Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, by Wayne Dyer (2007); The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (2006); Feelings Buried Alive Never Die.... by Karol K. Truman (1991); The Power of Intention, by Wayne Dyer; Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth, by T. Harv Eker (2005)
  • Grabhorn has a four-step process for channeling positive energies: identify what you don't want; identify what you do want; get into the feeling place of what you want; expect, listen, and allow it to happen

Dr. Herrin also distributed a chart of the energy released by different emotions/levels, etc. Those at the top around 1,000, like Ghandi, release enough to affect 10 million people. That's the course of [God-View] Self, [Life-View] Is, [Level] Enlightenment, [Log #] 700-1,000, [Emotion] Ineffable, and [Process] Pure Consciousness. The next lower course is All-Being/Perfect/Peace/600/Bliss/Illumination which affects 1 million people. The lowest level is Despising/Miserable/Shame/20/Humiliation/Elimination and the next up above that is Vindictive/Evil/Guilt/30/Blame/Destruction. I brought up the holocaust and she said that some of the survivors felt a release in having lost their personal possessions, but nothing about the physical and psychological harm to people personally and in their seeing, in some cases, relatives and friends harmed and/or killed. About being a victim of crime, she said the stress at the time must be off the scales but it's what you do about it afterwards that counts and heals. After her presentation, a sampling of members from ETSU/CASS's Bluegrass Ensemble played for half an hour to an enthusiastic and grateful group of around 40 mostly retired or semi-retired participants.

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Whisk me away -- Where the heck am I?

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Original material © A Country Rag, Inc. October, 1996, 2012. Jonesborough TN. All rights reserved.

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