The songs & stories of Haywood County as sung by Buddy Melton

The songs & stories of Haywood County as sung by Buddy Melton

Honoring the Talents Bringing American Cultural Diversity to the 37th Folkmoot 

Talents from around the country are coming to Haywood County for a weekend filled with clapping, dancing, and cheer. Get to know our 2021 artists and we hope you get to meet them live from July 22-25. 

Folkmoot is unique in the way that performers have had the opportunity to be housed within the Folkmoot Friendship Center. As a Folkmoot tradition, artists get to socialize and exchange culture, ideas, and laughter for the week that they are housed in Waynesville. This is an opportunity for folks to honor the creativity of one another and cultivate cultural understanding. Volunteers, guides, and guests get to know the performers and share a good time. Lifelong friends are made in the Friendship Center!

Detailed are the descriptions and festival appearances for the 2021 Summerfest performers:

Los Texmaniacs

Folkmoot is proud to bring the Los Texmaniacs, a top conjunto band to share uniquely Texan (Tex-Mex) music and culture. The Texmaniacs specialize in Tejano music, a word that translates to ‘Texan’, a popular music style that rose from centuries of cultural fusing of Mexican and US influences, indigenous to Texas, USA.

What is a conjunto? The term conjunto literally means group or ensemble that
includes elements from Mexican-Spanish vocal traditions, Czech and German button accordion, dance tunes and rhythms that migrants brought to Texas in the mid19th century. Mexican migrants and farm worker who came to the US over the last
century made conjunto music a centerpiece of social gatherings and an important force of social unity, bringing Mexican influences with them. The genre combines the storytelling and vocals of Mexico with the distinct Texas rhythm and music.

Los Texmaniacs was created by Max Baca in 1997, following his father’s footprint in the genre with two thoughts in mind: to base the group’s sound on a rock-solid foundation of Texas Mexican conjunto music, and to infuse new sounds
that are part of the contemporary Mexican American soundscape in the Southwest into the group’s style and repertoire. The music that results is built on the classic conjunto instrumentation of a three row button accordion, a bajo sexto guitar with 12 strings in six courses playing bass melodies and chords, an electric or acoustic bass, and a drum set. The result reflects the expansive musical background of its members, with occasional tints of, and excursions into, blues, rock, country, and jazz.

Band members are Max Baca on bajo sexto, Josh Baca on accordion, Noel Hernandez on electric bass, and Lorenzo Martínez on the drums.

Over the years, Los Texmaniacs have collaborated with various well known artists from both Tejano and other genres, including Rick Trevino, Flaco Jimenez, and Los Lobos. In 2010, Los Texmaniacs won a Grammy Award for Tejano Album of The Year, Borders y Bailes. And renowned country singer Lyle Lovett sang Deportee, a song penned by Woody Guthrie, for their album, Cruzando Borders.

Read more about Los Texmaniacs online at


Thursday. July 22 @ Opening Night Gala

Friday, July 23 @ Summerfest Night One (9:30 pm)

Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble 

Folkmoot proudly welcomes the Trinity Irish Dance Ensemble from Illinois and Wisconsin for Summerfest to bring the traditional dance and music of Ireland.

Trinity Ensemble is the Trinity Academy’s top tier junior performing arts troupe. From leading Trinity’s local performances, to performing around the world at international festivals, these dancers act as ambassadors bringing Trinity’s mission to “elevate children, the community and the world through the power and grace of Irish dance” alive.

For nearly 40 years, the Trinity Irish Dancers have been the most widely recognized
Irish dance program in the world. Founded by Mark Howard in 1982, Trinity has
thrilled audiences worldwide with its innovative approach and attention to detail,
winning the first world title for the United States in 1987.

Trinity has appeared in both feature films and on national television programs including the Tonight Show, CONAN, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Trinity has the unrivaled distinction of winning more world titles than any other American Irish dance school, and elevating the traditional form of Irish Dance through a performing arts lens.

Learn more about Trinity Dance Ensemble online


Friday, July 23 @ Summerfest Night One (8:45 pm)

Sunday, July 24 @ Summerfest Closing Ceremony



The songs & stories of Haywood County as sung by Buddy Melton & Milan Miller is the unforgettable evening awaiting those who attend – September 6 –  the inaugural chapter in our Southern Storytellers Supper Series.

Yes, it’s true. Two of Haywood County’s favorite sons, awarding winning vocalist and musician for the world-renowned Balsam Range band, Buddy Melton, will team up with his favorite writing partner, award-winning and world-renown singer and writer, Milan Miller, to entertain and educate with stories and songs unique to our treasured valleys and mountains.

Tickets, $25, for what is sure to be an incomparable evening are available here.

Folkmoot has teamed up with Blue Ridge Books and the Haywood County Public Library to create The Southern Storytellers Supper Series, which will bring southern culture and our region’s authors and musicians together with the community for wonderful and educational nights of food, fun, and discussion.

Four special evenings have been planned for this coming fall, come to one or come to all!

Each installment of the series will be held at the Folkmoot Friendship Center. Blue Ridge Books will be at all events to offer book sales.   

The songs & stories of Haywood County as sung by Buddy MeltonNominated again for 2018 as male vocalist of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) as male vocalist of the year, Buddy Melton sings and plays fiddle in Balsam Range, one of the most acclaimed bluegrass bands in the world. He won the IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 2014. Balsam Range and its individual members have won more IBMA awards than we have space to list here. 

Milan Miller is not only an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and recording artist, but an incomparable songwriter whose list of achievements includes thirteen number one songs on the bluegrass charts, including songs he wrote for Balsam Range.

Buddy and Milan have been friends for many years and have collaborated on many projects and records, including Songs from Haywood County and Secrets, Dreams and Pretty Things in 2016.

Popular songs from Miller’s pen include, “Pretty Little Girl from Galax,” by Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, “Carolina Any Day,” and “What’ll I Do,” by Terry Baucom. A long list of popular favorites from the Balsam Range catalog, including, “Caney Fork River,” “Papertown,” “Chasing Someone Else’s Dreams,” “Eldorado Blue,” and “Something ‘Bout That Suitcase.”

Miller wrote or co-wrote the top three most played songs of 2016 according to the year-end compilation of airplay data by Bluegrass Today: “Around the Corner,” by Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, “Carolina Wind,” by Irene Kelley and “Adeline,” which he co-wrote with Melton to honor Melton’s daughter.

The pair will be performing some of their most indelible “story” songs for us, as well as discussing the art and craft of telling stories through their music. Get your tickets and come out to the Folkmoot Friendship Center Thursday, September the 6th at 6pm and enjoy a special night of great food, great music, and great storytelling!

Music CDs available to check out from the Haywood County Public Library:

Homegrown music Volume: a Haywood County tradition / featuring Haywood County’s traditional musicians compiled by James A. Trantham.

The songs & stories of Haywood County as sung by Buddy Melton
Milan Miller

Marching home / produced by Jerry Salley; executive producers, Mickey Gamble & Chris White. Production coordinators, Jeff Collins & Jerry Salley ; recording engineers: Van Atkins, Jack Mascari, & Eric Willson  

Songs from Haywood County / performed by Buddy Melton, Milan Miller and Mark W. Winchester.

Our second event, Thursday October 4th at 6pm, features Ashley English.

Homesteader, author, and blogger Ashley English has crafted a “homespun” life with her husband and two sons in a small Western North Carolina mountain community.

She is the author of the Homemade Living book series which showcase a variety of topics related to small-scale homesteading, as well as A Year of PiesHandmade Gatherings: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties, and Quench: Handcrafted Beverages To Satisfy Every Taste and Occasion and most recently, Southern From Scratch: Pantry Essentials and Down-Home Recipes. This most recent book shows how to build a from-scratch Southern pantry with 50 essential recipes. You will discover the versatility and flexibility of cooking from your larder with 100 more recipes for fresh takes on Southern favorites. Ashley understands how food tells the story of culture and is a charming and engaging storyteller. Dinner will feature recipes from Southern from Scratch so come hungry!

More information about the November and December events coming soon.

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