Our Festival:

See you again in 2016
Thurs Sept 8th
Fri. Sept 9th,
Sat. Sept 10th

Blue Bear Mtn. Campground

196 Blue Bear Mountain Rd.
Todd, NC 28684


Tee Pee Available

Just released! The Teepee at Blue Bear Mountain is now available!  Call 828-406-4226 for more info.



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2016 Happening Sept. 8-9-10, 2016 - Blue Bear Music Fest; More Info Coming Soon

2015 BandsAccousticSyndicate 500




Produced by Grammy winner Stewart Lerman, Acoustic Syndicate showcases a unique legacy of rocking folk and bluegrass with songs that speak of a better world and a richer heart.

Whether they’re tilling a field or digging deeper into their unique blend of rock and bluegrass, the members of Acoustic Syndicate have a distinct way of reaching back in order to move forward. With their evocative new album “Rooftop Garden” the quintet takes a giant leap into the next chapter of their 20-year history of making unforgettable music, working the family farm and advocating for the environment. If there was ever a band that could capture the universal truths of life from the roots up, it’s Acoustic Syndicate.

“The tunes on this album were written with an essentially positive message, one about humanity, earth, responsibility and peace,” said singer/guitarist Steve McMurray. “And not saying ‘Baby’ too much,” he joked.

“It’s been eight years since we made our last record,” Steve added. “With the passage of time, if we are paying any attention at all, we see just how fragile and tenuous human life really is. It gives you a strong sense of the incredible importance of community, family and love. These feelings come out in our writing.”

The band revisits topics of love, kinship and the natural world on this album but in other ways this disc marks a creative shift for the Syndicate. While McMurray has long been Acoustic Syndicate’s charismatic lead singer “Rooftop Garden” captures the rise of another distinctive voice in the band, cousin Bryon McMurray. On this disc Bryon’s familiar, funky banjo often takes a backseat to his Fender electric guitar that along with his warm and even vocals create a sound somewhere between Bruce Hornsby and The Samples.

“I could sing harmonies all day long but I never felt the confidence to sing lead so much until this record,” said Bryon. “My head has always been full of melodies but this time the lyrics just came so naturally. I knew these were songs that needed to be sung.”

In addition to Steve and Bryon, drummer Fitz McMurray (Bryon’s brother) and bassist Jay Sanders create the core of Acoustic Syndicate, with the deeply accomplished dobro playing of Billy Cardine now rounding out their sound.

A favorite of dobro heavyweight Jerry Douglas, Cardine’s music gives the Syndicate a bigger, richer feel. “What Acoustic Syndicate does is so honest and homey it allows me to be this ribbon tying it all together and adding spice at the same time,” said Cardine. “They have such a down to earth quality to their music that in their own way what they do is virtuosic.”

Raised in a valley of the world’s oldest mountains, brothers Bryon and Fitz, along with cousin Steve, still farm the land in Cleveland County, N.C. that has been in their family since the 1700s. The impact of the years spent with their hands in the soil, growing wheat, soybeans, tomatoes and sorghum, has informed their music as much as the hours spent with their hands on their instruments.

“We are farmers,” said Steve about the McMurray men in the band. “We have a strong ancestral tradition and we will never give it up. In many ways it’s what gives us purpose and has much to do with who we are.” And it’s also why the band can bring such genuine home grown music from the field to the stage.

“But the truth is, the concern for the land can not just be important to us,” says Steve, “the folks who work it, grow food on it for others to eat, tend it from one generation to the next. Even the most apathetic and uneducated citizen might one day wonder why the rain burns their eyes or why there is a hole in the sky – why they can’t breathe or escape the heat. For some of us, only then will we truly realize the seriousness of our situation. And then it will be too late.”

And so the band plays on. Jamming and grinning and singing these deep and hopeful tunes encouraging people to think as they dance, expand their minds and open their hearts to the good that can be done around them.

“Through our music, we have tried to maintain a consistent message, a reminder, that this Earth is the only one we will ever have. And though we speak of some lofty ideals in our music, my most fervent hope is that when people listen to us or come to our show, they leave with a laugh and a smile and the satisfaction of having been a part of something positive.”

Now that sounds like seeds well planted.

Sol Driven Train


Sol Driven Train, Music Fest at Blue Bear Mountain, Boone, North Carolina

“If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a kind of train. Yes, a long, lonesome freight train rumbling from generation to generation on an eternally rainy morning: its boxcars are loaded with sighs and laughter, its hobos are angels, its engineer is the queen of spades – and the queen is wild. Whoo-whoo! Hear that epiphanic whistle blow. The train’s destination is the godhead, but it stops at the Big Bang, at the orgasm, and at the hole in the fence that the red fox sneaks through down behind the barn. It’s simultaneously a local and an express, but it doesn’t transport weaponry, and it certainly ain’t no milk run.”Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito

The Revelers

The Revelers, founding members of the Red Stick Ramblers and The Pine Leaf Boys… “unquestionably the two groups at the vanguard of the Louisiana cultural renaissance” have joined together to form a Louisiana Supergroup which combines Swamp-Pop, Cajun, Country, Blues and Zydeco into a powerful tonic of roots music that could only come from Southwest Louisiana.

As individuals, they are each in high demand having performed and recorded with T-Bone Burnett, Natalie Merchant, Linda Ronstadt, Preston Frank, Walter Mouton, Mamadou Diabate, the Duhks, Cedric Watson, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. As a group they play with a sense of empathy and depth that can only be fostered after years of making music together. They have all appeared on the 2011 season finale of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and they also were handpicked by David Simon (producer/creator The Wire) to be featured musicians for the third and fourth seasons of HBO’s Treme.

Equally at home on a festival main stage, a late night dance party, or a performing arts hall, the Revelers have taken their mission coast to coast in the US and around the word from Ireland to Denmark, to their own Black Pot Festival in Lafayette (now in it’s 10th year) The sheer power and raucousness of the band’s sound is tempered only by their unbelievable tightness as a group.

The Carter Brothers Band


CarterBrothers ProjectImage 500


The Carter Brothers Band


My brother Tim and myself have been writing, recording and performing music together professionally for 27 years. It wasnt until the past 10 years or so that the word began spreading like wildfire about us being related to the Carter Family. Well, we indeed are of the same blood. It's something that we never made a big deal about because it just seemed natural for the both of us to be playing music since we could walk. We were always encouraged to be thankful and humble for our abilities. We were also taught to be openminded, original and creative about music and life in general. By no means were we ever required to learn, record or perform the music by A.P., Sarah and Mother Maybelle. After all, they invented their own sound, without even knowing at the time that they were creating something totally new and all their own and we wished to do the same. All of us out here recording and touring understand the philosophy of wanting to write words and music in ways that have never been done before.


We always wanted to be totally new and original as well&.we also wanted to do it all on our own without the using the 'crutch' of the family name. We purposely played down that aspect although a lot of people were saying that we were foolish not to exploit our heritage to help further our careers quicker, especially in the earlier lean days.! We were stubborn and steadfast to prove to ourselves that we could be successful totally on our own merits. And it worked. Our first signing to a major record label, Capital Records, came 14 years ago without the label heads even knowing a thing about the Family connection. They were livid later on, after we were dropped, upon learning our family heritage and the marketing possibilities. Well, we had made it that far without making a big deal about it and that means a lot to us although now I can understand the label's disappointment on a business level.




With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Appalachian or Americana music, and is rarely the lead instrument. But Jeff Little is an exception – and a remarkable one. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.


446 Jeff Little Trio Merlefest

Little’s involvement with fiddle tunes, old time country, and traditional blues dates to his growing up in Boone, North Carolina, where his family, owned a music shop. The shop was a regular gathering place for musicians who would just stop by to pick a few tunes. Beginning around the age of six Jeff would regularly sit in with many of the musicians from the region, including one of America’s most influential musicians: Doc Watson. These influences helped shape Jeff’s approach to the piano which is based on these deep musical traditions. But there is also an echo of more contemporary mountain tradition in Jeff’s performances.

A professional musician since the age of 14, Jeff is conversant with traditional old-time country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and blues. With a rack-mounted harmonica and vocals, he can also be a one-man show. Jeff settled in Nashville for a while, where he worked as a session man in between stints on the road. He also worked with a wide range of commercial country artists as a musician or manager most notably Keith Urban. Several years ago Jeff and his family returned to the Blue Ridge where today he is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Program at Northeast State in Bristol TN.


Performances include:
National Public Radio, PBS, National Council for the Traditional Arts, American Piano Masters, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and  The American Folk Festival just to name a few. Jeff has also performed internationally including concerts in Sri Lanka, Oman, Tanzania, and France.

Steve Lewis:
Steve Lewis is an award winning guitar and banjo player from Todd NC and is one of the most respected acoustic musicians in the country. Steve is well known for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five string banjo. Steve has won many championships for his guitar and banjo playing. Some of the prestigious events include the Walnut Valley Nationals, Merlefest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Renofest and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition. Steve is also a two time national champion on the banjo as well.

Josh Scott:
Rounding out the trio is upright bass master Josh Scott from Fleetwood, NC.  Josh has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.


Mel Jones & His Bag of Bones


Jones, born and raised in Chapel Hill with the blues in his blood, toured as a drummer and singer performing rock ‘n’ roll and R & B for years in the Southeast before he discovered the hotbed of bluegrass and old- time music deep in the heart of Western North Carolina.



Picking up harmonica and venturing on to a new realm of music proved to be just another stopon the musical path for Jones. He formed the first Bag of Bones and the Piedmont blues duo Wicker and Jones in the early 1990s and launched his new career in acoustic music.  Now he finds himself soulfully connected to traditional blues combining all his musical influences to create well-rounded performances that prove blues, jazz and a little humor go a long way.


In the process, Jones has established himself as one of the region’s best harmonica players by winning numerous titles in regional festivals and earning a solid reputation for showmanship.  He’s also an accomplished songwriter, with five CDs to his credit and appearances at Merlefest, the International Blues Challenge, along with festivals and concerts throughout the region.




Charlyhorse is what Americana Music has always strived to be.  A group of outstanding musicians and modern day troubedours who weave tales of small southern towns and the roads they have traveled. Vivid stories in sound, populated by trailer-park queens, hellfire preachers, shuttered cotton mills and down-home philosophers.


The music of Charlyhorse is firmly anchored in the Americana roots tradition.  Influences from rock, country, bluegrass, R&B and soul gives each tune it's own unique feel.



Onstage, the upshot is compelling, soulful performances — spirited rockers paced with wistful ballads of lost love, life and death. Chuck Johnson’s presentation, salted with wry humor, and band camaraderie invites the audience into the act.


Charlyhorse, American made.


Charlyhorse is:

Chuck Johnson:  head troubadour, lead vocals, guitar
Tom Kuhn:  bass, mandolin, backing and harmony vocals
Dale Meyer:  guitar, dobro, backing and harmony vocals
James Brock:  drums, percussion

Chuck Johnson, Lead Vocalist, Guitarist, & Song writer is more than comfortable as frontman and most recognized face of Charlyhorse. Someone once said "If Tom Sawyer had grown up to be Woody Guthrie the result would be Chuck Johnson" He draws his stories from the lore of the land. You can hear his influences of Chuck's song writing musical hero's woven throughout his work:John Prine, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark and Townes Vanzandt. Chucks warm whiskey vocals, and dry wit bring the stories of Charlyhorse alive, and the audience becomes part of a huge family gathering where favorite relatives tell tall tales and spin yarns.


Charlyhorse has recently played at the venues:


Festival in the Park - Charlotte, NC
Americana Music Festival - Lake City, SC
The Double Door Inn - Charlotte, NC
Roof Top Bar - Columbia, SC
Oktoberfest - Hickory, NC
The White Mule - Columbia, SC
The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC
The Peace Center - Greenville, SC
Tilman Arena - Greenville, SC
The Loft - Helen, GA
Greenville Alive - Greenville, SC
Smokey Joe's - Charlotte, NC
Heritage Music Festival - Lake City, SC
Thirsty Beaver - Charlotte, NC
The House 5 Points - Columbia, SC
Piedmont Interstate Fair - Spartanburg, SC
Neighborhood Theater - Charlotte, NC

Melissa Reaves


Melissa Reaves is known to audiences throughout the US and Europe for her avant-garde, fire driven’, deconstructionist approach to rock-n-roll. Reaves has amassed a word-of-mouth following most notably for her experimental guitar work but also for her propensity towards spontaneity and seamless improvisation during live performance. She deconstructs the blues, pushes jazz to the outer limits and burns through rock-n-roll like the love child of Jerry Lee Lewis and the MC5. The real deal! Melissa's, "New Rock Song" was placed on the 55th GRAMMY Awards nomination ballot for Best Rock Performance.



Performing over 200 shows per year, Melissa spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show as well as her band. In January 2000, Melissa was chosen to participate in a "Women of the Millennium" showcase at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France and toured in both England and France which included opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin.


In 1999, Melissa won the Lilith Fair Talent Search for the Charlotte area. She took the stage at Tremont Music Hall by storm and blew the crowd away. Melissa is well-known for her electrifying performances which leave her fans screaming for more. Her performance at Lilith Fair was incredible, and Melissa ended up on the main stage at the end of the night and truly brought down the house.


Melissa's third CD, Sentimental Anthem, includes a blend of some incredible grooves and the powerful extremes of Melissa's vocal abilities. Nine tracks are originals and the CD includes a dynamic rendition of "Purple Haze" with the Willy's, as well as a beautiful acoustic version of "I Know You Rider." For Reaves, one of the goals for this CD was to capture the intense energy of her live performances. Sentimental Anthem was released in May 1999, and has received outstanding reception from both fans and radio play.


Another of Reaves'accomplishments was the independent release of her debut album, Fall From Grace. Reaves wrote and arranged the entire album which includes ten listed tracks along with some extra surprises. Melissa has one track on the GO ON GIRL '97 CD compilation. The CD features female fronted bands from across the U.S. & Canada and is the brain child of Susan White at Fret Less Music.


Originally from North Carolina, Melissa Reaves tours nationally as well as internationally including New York,Boston,Atlanta,New Orleans,Seattle and Vancouver,BC. Melissa has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Leon Russell,Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Doc Watson, Little Feat; and has performed for many benefits and rallies including New York Pride, Battered Women's Shelters, and PETA. Melissa has also been a featured artist at the MIDEM, CMJ, & LMNOP conferences and at the NEA Extravaganza.


Melissa Reaves' unique sound and charismatic presence has received excellent reviews for their shows in Seattle, NYC, and in the Boston area. Rob Bloom of NYC's Manhattan Mirror said that, 'Melissa sings the blues all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place,' while Steve Rylie of Creative Loafing says, 'Reaves will electrify any audience and send chills down your spine.' Melissa has propelled herself forward in the independent music scene with enormous strides. With her dynamic stage presence and burning desire to entertain, Melissa Reaves is someone who will excite and energize any audience!