Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

The Hometown Opry

Posted November 15, 2007
Updated November 19, 2007

Doc Watson has played there. So has Ricky Skaggs and many others. If you're into bluegrass music I would suggest a trip to North Wilkesboro some Friday morning to Minton Pawn & Music Company downtown.

Every Friday morning at 7:00 A.M. pickers and grinners gather for a two hour back porch bluegrass session. It's free and tons of fun. Just ask WRAL Multimedia Producer Nathan Clendenin who put together a cool black and white photo show of a "full throttle" Hometown Opry. This is the latest addition to WRAL's ongoing "Tar Heel Treasures" series.

Local radio station WKBC broadcasts live on location in what many are now calling "Little Nashville." Wilkes County has a rich reputation for its colorful characters and talented musicians. As Tut Taylor, the legendary dobro player, put it: "You'll find a picker here behind every tree."

Check out Nathan's slide show and let me know what you think.

Also, where do local musicians gather in your community to play in similar fashion? Let us know and maybe we can come for a visit soon.


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  • ksikes Nov 29, 2007

    easier(shorter) directions to Reno's from Raleigh. Take 64 business into Pittsboro. Turn left onto hwy 87 at Al's Diner(not at the courthouse circle a mile west of it) Turn right on Pittsboro Goldston Rd. It's about 7 or 8 miles down on the left at Reno Sharpe Store Rd.

  • ksikes Nov 29, 2007

    here are some pictures from the September 15th picking at Reno Sharpe's Store

    Fish fry that day. Now that it has gotten cooler we're inside the store... till we get tired :)

  • ksikes Nov 29, 2007

    I go to Reno's on the 3rd Saturday, the bluegrass picking. It's a really good picking circle and everyone gets a chance to call tunes. Normally there is food, last time it was pintos, boiled cabbage and cornbread. They do fish fries twice a year and cookouts when the weather is nice. Friendly folks and good bluegrass music.

  • bleslie Nov 16, 2007

    I received the following information on the music near Pittsboro. Special thanks to Julie Groce.
    1. Reno Sharpe's Store, Pittsboro/Goldston Rd. (take Hwy. 64 west to Siler City, take Hwy 421 South to Pittsboro/Goldston Rd. -- head toward Pittsboro, store is on the right) From WRAL, the drive will be about 50 minutes to an hour.
    2. Open gospel every 1st Saturday of each month
    3. Open bluegrass every 3rd Saturday of each month (which would be tomorrow for November!)
    4. Starts at 10 a.m. and goes until they get tired. (I love it!)
    5. Open to any singers, pickers and listeners
    6. Free!

  • bleslie Nov 16, 2007

    Someone called this morning to recommend Reno Sharpe's Store near Pittsboro for some great gospel and blue grass music on Saturdays. Has anyone ever been to one of those sessions?

  • fishnett5977 Nov 15, 2007

    If they are still doing it, there is a place at McGee's Crossroads where they gather on Friday evenings. They gather in a converted barn and it is owned by the McLamb family. I know this because it is some of my mother-in-law's family. Maybe someone else can confirm they still meet there. My mother-in-law has said it was a wonderful place to hear locals and family play music and for the younger set to hear the old time bluegrass.

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