Walking around downtown Asheville, you can be entertained without spending more than a few dollars on tips, or a drink in a bar. On almost every corner, entryway, and sidewalk are street entertainers.
Some, like the Bumtown Messaround, have unique talents you might find as an opening act on a Las Vegas stage.
Others, like Big Nasty Jazz Band, could be performing at any local club.
Of course, a stroll around Asheville would never be complete without a visit to the famous Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café.
When Saturdays roll around, you can drive just one hour east of Asheville to the tiny town of Drexel to hear some quality bluegrass at the local barber shop. At around noon, local musicians saunter in one by one, and head into the back room of Carroll Anthony’s barber shop for some high energy jammin’. Never knowing who will show up, every week is a surprise—and a pleasant one at that!
The tradition was started by Carroll’s dad, Lawrence, in 1949 in his first barber shop. Always a picker, Lawrence carried a second hand guitar through WWII, where he proudly served in General Patton’s army. Carroll is carrying on the tradition to honor his father who passed away in 2009. This venue is so unique and the music so professional that an Emmy-nominated documentary was filmed here in 2012, called Pickin’ and Trimmin’. Here’s our tribute to Lawrence Carroll’s memory.