Banjo Extravaganza set for Saturday at the Hagood Mill

PICKENS — Appalachian music lovers are invited to gather at Hagood Mill this Saturday for a “Banjo Extravaganza” featuring Nitrograss with Charles Wood.

The sonically unique Asheville-based band creates a carefree and exciting atmosphere of pure acoustic pleasure. The percussion rhythms of Wood, a two-time national banjo champion, lay the foundation for the band’s unique style. Wood is a veteran showman who has made appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Wood has toured in Austria and Germany with The Lonesome Road Band and taught at the esteemed Munich, Germany, Banjo Camp in 2009. Wood has also starred at many regional and national bluegrass festivals. Other members of Nitrograss include Caleb Hanks on mandolin, Micah Hanks on guitar and Dakota “Smokey” Waddell on the stand-up base. This promises to be a very entertaining show highlighted by this unique and energetic band.


BanjoWood and Nitrograss will be performing from 1-3 p.m., so don’t miss out on an opportunity to witness one of the nation’s best banjo players in action.

The Blue Ridge Rounders (Bob and Amy Buckingham) will open the day, playing traditional, country roots music and Appalachian dance tunes. It is old-time music made for now. It is the sound of the banjo and fiddle intertwined with the singing of old ballads and peppered with other instruments such as guitar and stand-up bass. They have just recorded their second CD, “Chickens in Paradise.” The live music will begin around 11:30 a,m.

As a special treat for musicians, Hagood Mill will be offering variety of old-time instrument workshops during the evnet as well.

Bob Buckingham of the Blue Ridge Rounders will be hosting a morning workshop from 10:30-11:30 a.m. emphasizing the intricate and melodic “claw hammer” style of strumming most often associated with the old-time banjo. This workshop will be free of charge.

In addition, the time is rapidly approaching for the South Carolina Old Time Fiddling Championship at Hagood Mill on Sept. 17. The mill has arranged for a two-hour workshop Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon to sharpen skills in Appalachian old-time fiddling, which is the featured fiddle style of the competition. The workshop will be taught by Marion “Weasel” Boatwright of Brevard, N.C. He will showcase bowing style, competition song selection, and how to create dynamism in your performance. If you are a bluegrass fiddler and want to expand your skills or an old-time style fiddler and want to ramp up your performance, this class is for you. It will also help new fiddlers put their skills on the right path. The cost for the class is $5, to be paid 15 minutes before class starts.

The gristmill and other demonstrations will be running from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

As always, visitors are encouraged to bring their favorite old-time instruments and join in on the “open jam” which takes place throughout the day under the ancient cedar beside the site’s beloved 1791 log cabin.

Admission is free to both the Hagood Mill Site and the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site, although there is a $5 parking fee which is used to help Hagood Mill.

Visitors are also reminded not to forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

There will be lots of other things to see on Saturday as Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations. There will be blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, metal-smithing, leather working, bee keeping and more. You can ask questions of the artists and make a purchase of their traditional arts to take home.

The centerpiece of the Hagood Mill historic site is the water-powered 1845 gristmill. It is one of the finest examples of 19th century technology in the Upcountry and operates just as it has for the last century and a half. The mill will be running throughout the day. In the old mill, fresh stone-ground corn meal, grits, and wheatflour will be available. In addition rye flour, Basmati rice flour, oat flour, oatmeal, popping corn meal, and grits, organic yellow corn meal and grits, and buckwheat flour are produced and may be available. Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill related items are also available.

Food will be available on site from the Gatehouse Restaurant.

The Hagood Mill historic site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. all year long. The mill operates, rain or shine, for a special festival the third Saturday of every month.

The Hagood Mill is located three miles north of Pickens off U.S. Highway 178 or 5.5 miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic S.C. Highway 11 just off U.S. 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road.

For more information, contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or visit