Bluegrass Tradition

Bluegrass band

Newland, NC (Avery County)

Billed as "The Epitome of Traditional Bluegrass," at Orchard at Altapass, Herman Coffey and Herb Greene made up Bluegrass Tradition. They performed together in the western North Carolina mountains for more than twenty years. They played as a duet, but often collaborated with other area musicians as a full bluegrass string band.

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George and Brooke Buckner


Weaverville, NC (Buncombe County)

George Buckner is a fourth-generation banjo player, and a native of Buncombe County. His father, grandfather, aunt, and uncles all played oldtime music. Nurturing his musical inclinations, George's aunt Sue, who played and sang, took him to jam sessions and festivals, where he met and learned from Ralph Lewis, Carroll Best, and many other great musicians. In ninth grade, George and some friends formed a band.

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Buncombe Turnpike

Bluegrass band

Buncombe McDowell Counties

The bluegrass quintet Buncombe Turnpike is comprised entirely of western North Carolina natives. The band plays a variety of tunes ranging from traditional and contemporary bluegrass to gospel and hand-crafted originals. It takes its name from the historic thoroughfare that ran through the mountains of western North Carolina from Greeneville, TN to Greenville, SC in the 1800s.

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R.G. Absher

Bluegrass and Oldtime Musician

Elkin, NC (Surry County)

R.G. Absher was born in West Jefferson, in Ashe County, and he has lived in western North Carolina most of his life. He first remembers paying attention to the sound of a banjo at nine years old when he heard the soundtrack for the movie Bonnie and Clyde. He got interested in playing music himself and started learning from friends and older musicians in the area. R.G. spent time with Al Wood, a banjo player from Alexander County, Fred Weaver, an oldtime two-finger banjo player from Alleghany County, and Bill Young, a finger-style guitar picker who also played rock-a-billy.

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