Our Festival:

Thursday Sept 7th

Friday Sept 8th

Sat Sept 9th
Blue Bear Mtn. Campground

196 Blue Bear Mountain Rd.
Todd, NC 28684


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The Teepee at Blue Bear Mountain - Call 828-406-4226 for more info.



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2017 Happening Sept 7-8-9 2017 - Blue Bear Music Fest

The Darrell Scott Band


The Darrell Scott Band


Darrell Scott is a Grammy-nominated performer and recording artist, a highly demanded multi-instrumentalist (he plays 13 instruments!), and an ASCAP songwriter of the year. Darrell delivers his soulful performances in solo, duo, trio, band, and string quintet configurations, all equally dynamic and powerful. Darrell will be touring in 2016 in support of his new CD “Couchville Sessions.” Songwriting credits include the Grammy Award winning “Long Time Gone” and “Heartbreak Town.” When not on tour with his own shows, Darrell plays in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy.

“I look like an insider because of everything I‘ve done but I always felt like an outsider,” Darrell Scott says. “And that’s important—to be an outsider.” He’s also a master.

Whether its’ rock, folk, country or blues, Darrell Scott, the 4-time Grammy nominated Nashville songwriter, has written hits all the way from Brad Paisley and the Dixie Chicks to Del McCoury, Sam Bush and Keb Mo; contributing songs to three of 2016’s best albums alone. ‘It’s not surprising that Scott wrote nine of the 14 songs on his own new album, “Couchville Sessions,” and less surprising that he wrote three songs with the like-minded Americana artist Hayes Carll on Carll’s magnificent new disc, “Lovers and Leavers,”’ in addition to “1000 Things” from Sarah Jarosz’s award winning “Build Me Up From Bones” album.

What’s more surprising is that Scott came off of a year and a half of touring in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy with a co-write on R&B star Anthony Hamilton’s new recording, “Save Me,” the opening track on “What I’m Feelin.” Over the past two years Darrell has produced, co-written and performed on three songs from Zac Brown’s latest project “Heavy Is the Head,” in addition to producing Jonathan Edwards latest and Malcolm Holcombe’s upcoming 2017 release, “Pretty Little Troubles.” But these partnerships all makes sense: Although they hail from different genres, these artists are master craftsmen at fitting words to notes.

Witness his ability to make just about any instrument talk, listen to his vocals and songwriting to hear him contain every emotion between joy and pain within one verse in his singing and in his pen. Nowadays he’s taking the outsider role even more seriously; after 23 years in Nashville he spent the last year devoting himself to a self-sufficient lifestyle in the country while simultaneously putting together his best album in years.

The Steel Wheels


The Steel Wheels


Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here.

The Steel Wheels recorded their album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members – Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.


Larry Keel Experience

Lexington, Va.


Larry Keel Experience



Larry Keel is described by reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Country and Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that disciplined musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing the guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country players and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with Americana  giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams, Steep Canyon Rangers (with Steve Martin), Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.   
Keel has a variety of musical formats swirling around the calendar each year: look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience (featuring Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, penetrating vocals and exceptional song-writing contributions and Jenny Keel on upright bass, with impeccable timing, solid yet imaginative bass lines and vocal harmonies), Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music of Jerry Garcia), Keller Williams and The Keels, Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and appearing as special guest with a multitude of  major acts and artists on the tour circuit.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 15 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, “Experienced” is an entirely original work that showcases both Larry’s and band-mate Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Jenny Keel’s upright bass-playing and harmony vocals. Added to the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style are several guest musician-friends who appear on various tracks: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers) and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass Band)

In addition to his performing and recording work, Keel also plays host to a special music event concept, ‘Fishin and Pickin’, which combines 2 unique but thoroughly complementary pleasures: the satisfying thrill of sports fishing, and the energizing intensity of live music, all conducted in all-inclusive style settings hosted on live water properties. There, experienced musicians teach every level of acoustic instrument players how to advance their musical ‘chops’ , while also having the chance to catch some big fish in the process. Bass and Grass takes place in Georgia each year in the fall, always with a fantastic roster of musician-instructors, and outstanding bass fishing! Similarly, there have been memorable events at Trout and Tunes featuring fly-fishing styles and mountain-music study and entertainment set in the misty mountains of West Virginia. More destinations on tap: The Salmon and Henry’s Fork Rivers in Idaho and the Maury River in Rockbridge County VA. There’s no end to the places Keel wants to play music in and fish, with like-minded folks!

For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill and excellence, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.



Accoustic Syndicate


Accoustic Syndicate




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.


 acousticSyndicateLogo 300

Acoustic Syndicate is a musical institution. Since 1994, their unique blend of bluegrass instruments, rock sensibilities, and conscious songwriting has inspired a generation of musicians. Through 7 albums, thousands of performances, and tens-of-thousands of miles, Acoustic Syndicate has long been heralded as one of the important influences on the modern roots-music revival.


Always a family affair, the band is fronted by Steve McMurry on guitar and vocals, and his cousin Bryon McMurry on banjo, guitar, and vocals. Their signature three-part harmony is rounded out by Bryon’s brother Fitz on drums and vocals. Jay Sanders holds down the bass with style, while dobro maestro Billy Cardine completes the quintet with his world-renowned tone and precision.


“Their modern take on traditional bluegrass and rock values culminates in a glimmering, driving sound rich with acoustic textures and glowing vocals,” said Paul Kerr, of JamBase.


If there was ever a band that could capture the universal truths of life from the roots up, it’s Acoustic Syndicate.




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


Tim Carter


Tim Carter


I tour mostly with my brother as the Carter Brothers.. it's a combination of blues rock and appalachian roots... I play banjo, mandolin and acoustic guitar. I own and operate my own recording studio in Ridgetop, TN, just north of downtown Nashville, where I produce and engineer cd's for other artists... I've been very fortunate to have engineered several GRAMMY winning and GRAMMY nominated records... I've also won awards for my original banjo compositions... I also am a partner in Tree O Records, an indy label that signs touring singer/songwriters..I like trout fishing, stick pond fishin, golfing, pickin, eatin, resting and then eatin some more... oh yeah, I love my dog.

Sally & George


Sally And George


Nothing inspires a deep house clean like the impending visit of a new flame. For Sally & George’s Joel Timmons (“George”), such a visit inspired not only some serious floor scrubbing, but also a new song, “Love Is Gonna Live.” He wrote the verses while sweeping his floor and finished the song with the love interest herself, ex-Della Mae bassist Shelby Means (a.k.a. “Sally”) for a song that is equal parts Buck Owens (“Love’s Gonna Live Here”) and Johnny and June.

“I was living in an old house on James Island, South Carolina when Shelby and I first started dating,” Timmons says. “With both of us working in full time touring bands (Sol Driven Train and Della Mae) there were considerable logistics involved in getting us together. She was flying into Charleston for a springtime visit, and the house was definitely in bachelor pad mode. The melody came to me as I was sweeping and mopping up the kitchen. As I scrubbed away the grime from the bathroom sink, I realized I was also purifying and preparing my heart for a new visitor. When she got to town, I played her an early version of the song underneath the live oak tree in the yard. She liked it, but felt liked it needed a bridge. Together, we fine-tuned the lyrics and wrote the bridge. I didn’t live in that house too much longer, but love lives in this heart again!”

The duo’s debut album Tip My Heart is out February 10. Listen to “Love Is Gonna Live” below.


The Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project


Josh Daniels/Mark Schimik Project 700


The Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project is a fiery string band blending bluegrass, soul, reggae and rock n’ roll into a style uniquely their own. Respecting their Appalachian roots, these passionate multi-instrumentalists have a way of blending their harmonies and intricate string work in to something that appeals to a wide variety of listeners. “A little of everything finds its way into their sound.” – Jim Lauderdale

The band’s first official show was taped live in front of a studio audience with Hayes Carll & Parker Millsap in Nashville and ended in a grand finale of the Meters funk classic “Hey Pocky Way” that featured Mark, Josh and Hayes trading verses. Just a short time later JDMSP were asked to celebrate the grand opening of The Earl Scruggs Museum in Shelby, NC, playing alongside Sam Bush and The Steep Canyon Rangers. By early spring, the band had made even more notable appearances, invited to the stage by Al Schiner of moe. to play a few songs as well as a surprise appearance at Merlefest where they brought the crowd to their feet with a tribute to Doc Watson.

Josh (Charlotte, NC) and Mark (Asheville, NC) have been fixtures on the Americana circuit for years, Josh with The New Familiars and Mark with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. Together, with upright bassist, Greg Howell the trio recorded a full length self titled album in Chapel Hill with producer Jerry Brown (Carolina Chocolate Drops). This album made it on to WNCW’s top 100 releases for 2016 and was recognized for its mix of styles and eclectic songwriting.

The band continues to tour throughout southeast and beyond attracting crowds of all ages who enjoy their unique spin on acoustic music!

South Hill Banks

SouthHillBanks 700


Lance Thomas (vocals, guitar), Eric Horrocks (mandolin, vocals), Ryan Horrocks (banjo), Dan Fiasconaro (guitar, vocals), and Matt Eversole (upright bass) – have carved a niche for themselves in the Richmond music scene with their genre-bending psychedelic bluegrass sound. Formed in August 2015 in Richmond, Virginia, South Hill Banks pulls from a wide range of influences such as Phish, Tony Rice, The Grateful Dead, and Doc Watson, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass to keep audiences entertained with a blend of sounds old and new.

Since the release of their debut album, Riverside Dr., South Hill Banks have taken central Virginia by storm, headlining a multitude of small- and medium-sized venues and working aside national touring groups with a devoted and ever-growing fanbase following every step of the way.

South Hill Banks are currently performers-in-residence at The Camel in Richmond, Virginia, appearing on the 2nd Friday of every month. Be sure to stay tuned, as the band has big plans to make a name for themselves throughout the rest of Virginia and beyond in 2017.



Will Maring & Robert Bowlin


Wil Maring Robert Bowlin


Will Maring and virtuose guitarist and fiddler Robert Bowlin have been recently combining talents to create beautiful original acoustic music which straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk and country music.


Wicker & Jones


Wicker And Jones


Wicker and Jones have been playing their blend of Piedmont blues, vintage jazz, ragtime, and Gospel in the Piedmont and beyond for over 20 years. During that time they have played at festivals, clubs, restaurants, coffee houses, and private venues throughout the Carolinas and Virginia.

Danny Wicker, the King of the Piedmont Guitar, has developed a powerful finger and slide technique that harkens back to the golden age of Southeastern acoustic blues of the 20's and 30's. He counts among his heroes Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, and Blind Blake but his style is truly his own creation, sometimes pounding out a dance tune, sometimes caressing a ballad.

Mel Jones brings a rhythmic, melodic harmonica, percussion, and a storyteller's soul to the duo as well as original blues compositions that make the traditional blues of the Carolinas live again to the beat of our millennium. A seasoned entertainer, Mel has won many regional harp competitions and has toured with numerous R&B, blues, and Americana bands throughout the Southeast.

Together they have released two CD's and have twice won the Charlotte Blues Society's competition to advance to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Handlebar Betty


Handlebar Betty 700


Handlebar Betty is a harmony driven folk-grass band singing modern stories with an old-time feel.

Hometown - Boone, NC

Laced with elements of bluegrass, folk, blues, soul and rockabilly, Handlebar Betty creates a unique sound that is dark, driving, and earthy; bringing forth a genuine, soulful and eclectic approach to acoustic/electric music.

Band Members

  • Meris Gantt - Guitar, Vocals, Bass, and Banjo
  • Anna Huffman - Guitar, Vocal, Bass, and Mandolin
  • Chad Berry - Banjo, Guitar, and Vocals
  • Jordan Lamb - Guitar (electric and acoustic), and Vocals
  • Blake Bostain - Mandolin, Trumpet, and Vocals


John Gillon


John Gillon


John Gillon is an acoustic Americana singer-songwriter from Concord, North Carolina. He plays a broad range of music from traditional songs, country, folk, gospel and soul as well as original material. His genre-bending performance is intimate and energetic with a focus on inspiring and impacting the audience through music.