Mary Cox And Tim Gardner To Open Songcatchers Music Series - Brevard, NC


June 26, 2017

Two-time Florida Banjo Champion and recording artist Mary Z. Cox and award winning North Carolina fiddler Tim Gardner will open the Cradle of Forestry in America’s annual Songcatchers music series Sunday, July 2.

Now in its 15th year, the series is held each Sunday afternoon in July, beginning at 4 p.m. It honors traditional mountain music and the talented performers who preserve it, share it and make it their own. The Songcatchers music series is an official event of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.

Concert-goers can expect to hear tunes from North Carolina, West Virginia and Florida played on banjos, fiddle, guitar and banjo ukulele. Blues, banjo/ fiddle duets, ukulele madness and songs will be delivered in a fun and friendly performance.

Cox has taught clawhammer banjo and mountain dulcimer from coast to coast, including banjo for a decade at the John C. Campbell School in Brasstown, N.C. Her articles on banjo and dulcimer have appeared in Banjo Newsletter and Dulcimer Player News.

Gardner has been around traditional music since his early childhood, when he would travel to festivals with his parents, old-time music community pillars Lo and Mary Gordon. He began learning the fiddle at the age of 7, inspired by Kentucky fiddler J. P. Fraley, whom he met at the 1986 Galax Fiddlers Convention. Since then he has won high honors in fiddling at a number of events, including the historic Fiddlers Grove competition in Union Grove, N.C. His recording, “Timmetry,” conveys his skill and understanding of different fiddling styles. He also plays clawhammer banjo and guitar and builds Cedar Mountain banjos.

Concerts take place in the Cradle’s covered outdoor amphitheater and move indoors if the weather is stormy. The stage show begins with warm-up music at 4. The main performers play from about 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Local old-time musicians are often on-site to play informally at 3 p.m. before the concert.

Concert-goers are welcome to arrive early and enjoy indoor and outdoor exhibits, two interpretive trails, the Giving Tree gift shop, and food from the Café at the Cradle. The site, including the amphitheater, is wheelchair accessible. The Forest Discovery Center will be open until 6 p.m. on Songcatchers Sundays.

The series continues with Crooked Pine on July 9, Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth on July 16, Amy and Bob Buckingham on July 23, and Pretty Little Goat on July 30.

Admission for all shows is $6 for ages 16 and older; $3 for youth 15 and under and America the Beautiful and Golden Age pass holders. The Cradle of Forestry is located on Highway 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles North of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information call (828) 877-3130 or go to

Visitors enjoy mountain music at the Cradle as it fits into the late 1800s-early 1900s feel of the historic site. On this land, part of the Biltmore Estate during that time, modern forestry was first practiced and America’s first forestry school prepared students for conservation careers.


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