Neil Cribbs is a blues and Americana guitarist based in Raleigh
Staton Carter Photography

Neil Cribbs has had a full tour of North Carolina scenery in his life. He grew up in Wilmington and attended college at Appalachian State University.

He spent a few years working outside the state after college but returned home and now lives in Raleigh. Cribbs is a guitarist and singer with many musical influences including folk, blues and Americana.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management


Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

An image of blues musician Albert White
Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

American music can be traced back to the blues, jazz, and many more roots music. The legacy of these roots comes alive this Thursday, June 13, with a roundup of Southern roots musicians from the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Captain Luke
MusicMakers Relief Foundation

Captain Luke, legendary blues musician, died early Tuesday morning at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He was 87. 


Captain Luke, otherwise known as Luther Mayer, helped start the Music Maker Relief Foundation with Tim Duffy in the 1990s. The organization works with struggling roots and blues musicians to help preserve their music.


Durham artist Jon Shain is playing The State of Things.


Durham guitarist Jon Shain recorded an album of covers in 2014 entitled Reupholstered

The cover for Rick Bragg's new biography of Jerry Lee Lewis, "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story."


When many people think about the legends of rock and roll music, they think about The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and so on.

Emily Musolino of the Emily Musolino Band at Motorco in Durham.
Emily Musolino Music


When Durham native Emily Musolino left for the Berklee College of Music, the only thing she knew she wanted to do with her life was to make music. 

American Sacred Steel gospel group Campbell Brothers

The Campbell Brothers, a New York-based sacred steel band, will be performing a reinterpretation of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme to kick off the Bull Durham Blues Festival this weekend.

Ironing Board Sam / Music Maker Relief Foundation

  Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.”

This segment was originally broadcast on January 11, 2013. The following is new information:

Elizabeth Cotten conducting a guitar workshop at the 1968 Newport Folk Festival / flickr

In the early 1900s in Carrboro, a young Elizabeth Cotten took her brother's handmade guitar from under his bed.

She started playing the instrument upside down - with her right hand on the fret and strumming with her left hand. The young woman went on to become a famous blues and folk musician. Next weekend, Carrboro will dedicate a historic marker to honor Cotton’s legacy and ties to the town.