If at first you don't secede, keep on suckin' 'til you do secede.
North Carolina is the birthplace of many great artists, musicians and rebels. North Carolina was the first of the original American colonies to begin the movement for independence from Britain in the events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. North Carolina was also one of the first in line to leave the Union in the beginning of the American Civil War one hundred years later. All of those tobacco farms and cotton plantations relied heavily on slave labor. Things really did not change too much after the Civil War. They hid the iron shackles and reworked the rules to make slavery a little more glamorous. Only growing up in Jim Crow Central could produce something like a Nina Simone, a John Coltrane or a Max Roach. It set the stage for the 1960 Woolworth counter sit-in in the segregated City of Greensboro which is one of the pivitol moments of the Civil Rights Movement. North Carolina is now ground zero for fight for the rights of the transgender community with the state's controversial bathroom laws. It is North Carolina that gave America an Edward Snowden.
But despite its ugly side, it is one of the most naturally beautiful areas of our great nation.
From the beginning of the 20th century, native Northern Carolinians were making creative contributions to the arts. Greensboro playwright Wilbur Steele was among the first to deliver plays to modern theatre with his involvement with the Provincetown Players. Wadesboro's Blind Boy Fuller was one of the early great blues players and among the most beloved in the black community and musicians.
Link Wray from the City of Dunn had more sustain on his guitar than Orville and Wilbur Wright's 120 foot-12 second lift off in Kitty Hawk. He introduced distortion and Hendrix histrionics while Hendrix was still a wee lad. He was a Shawnee. A Cherokee descendant named Tori Amos has North Carolina on her birth certificate.
Funkadelic George Clinton, Rufus' dad Loudon Wainwright and Asheville's Root Boy Slim all made names for themselves in the 1970s.
Winston-Salem Mitch Easter's Drive-In recording studio had every musician inspired by REM showing up at his mother's garage door. Easter's own CMJ darlings Let's Active jumped in on the college radio jingle-jangle fray whose finest moment would have to be Every Word Means No. Co-producer Don Dixon was able to carve a post-REM musical career out for himself as well.
The famous triangle formed by Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill contains an extraordinary density of music & arts. The Connells spent years lurking in the shadows of a post-REM world. Cow punks Southern Culture on the Skids made a bigger racket.
It was Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary's Whiskeytown that would shine the national spotlight back on North Carolina and its capitol city Raleigh in the rise of alt-country.
There was Superchunk and the rise of Merge Records.
Latest generation of NC musicians include the Avett Brothers, Mount Moriah and Mandolin Orange.