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Artists Salute The State In Song
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North Carolina music connections run both ways. Communities that musicians called home honor the artists with monuments and other signs, and shout-outs to North Carolina and its towns appear in songs and album titles. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Grammy-winning string band based in Durham, even draws its name from the state.
Here are a few of our favorite tributes to the state:
“The North Carolina Toast and Breakdown,” Red Clay Ramblers. The Ramblers harmonize on the state’s official toast on their 2012 release, “The Old North State.” The string band’s name invokes the Piedmont’s copper-colored dirt and Eden native Charlie Poole’s pioneering band, the North Carolina Ramblers.
“Carolina in My Mind,” James Taylor. Easily the best-known “Carolina” title, the song comes from a singer who spent much of his childhood and adolescence in Chapel Hill.
“Carolina Day,” Livingston Taylor. James Taylor’s younger brother recalls “breathing that fine clean Southern air” in a song that brings in the whole family.
“Pretty Girl From Matthews,” The Avett Brothers. This crowd-pleaser, which mentions a suburban Charlotte town, was the first of many “Pretty Girl” songs by the genre-busting Concord band.
“Oh My Sweet Carolina,” Ryan Adams. Emmylou Harris sings backup on the track, which Adams, a Jacksonville native, included on his solo debut, “Heartbreaker.”
“Asheville Turnarond,” Del McCoury Band. The bluegrass hall-of-famer hits the highway near his hometown of Bakersville because “There ain't a woman finer/Than the one in Carolina.”
“Carolina Home,” Steep Canyon Rangers. The celebratory number leads off the Brevard-based bluegrass band’s second album, 2002’s “Mr. Taylor’s New Home.”
“Carolina,” Eric Church. The country singer-songwriter from Granite Falls looks longingly homeward from Nashville on the title track of his 2009 release.
“Carolina (I Hear You Calling)” and “Carolina (I Remember You),” Charlie Daniels. The Wilmington-born singer-songwriter reflects on home on 1990’s “Christmas Time Down South.”
added: February 22, 2012
updated: March 5, 2012