Ring in the new year at Hagood Mill

PICKENS — Traditional musicians from the Upstate area will gather to celebrate a new year with 100-year old music from the mountain culture that surrounds the beloved Hagood Mill.

Pretty Little Goat String Band

Pretty Little Goat String Band

This Saturday, Jan. 17, Hagood Mill will feature the “Pretty Little Goat String Band” delivering a fresh, driving, energetic take on old-time string band music.

The five-piece group from Brevard, N.C. includes the driving and innovative bass fiddle work of J.T. Linville, the train-whistle fog-horn buck dancing of Tim Fisher’s fiddle, the cigar-box-chunking mandolin rhythm and leads of Josh Carter, the charming percussion of Mallory Carter’s home-made washboard contraption and Owen Groom’s fretless banjo sounds like water rolling off rocks.

Everyone in the group trades off strong old-time vocal leads and harmonies. Just as musicians of the Southern Appalachians have done for centuries, the band creates its own music from old mountain ballads and fiddle music while paying as much respect to the tradition as possible. Gates will open at 10 a.m. Pretty Little Goat String Band will be performing between noon and 3 p.m.

The 2003 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient, Steve McGaha, will be heating up the stage around 11:15 a.m. McGaha will be playing a variety of traditional folk songs, along with a sampling of acoustic blues.

There will be lots of other things to see throughout the day, 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, bee keeping, leather-working 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 wheat flour 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.

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.

“Music in the Mountains 2015” is sponsored by a private benefactor. For more information, contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or visit