North Country native Garret Woodward will give a reading and discuss his book “If You Can’t Play, Get Off the Stage” on Wednesday, December 27 at Champlain Meeting House in Champlain, NY, and on Thursday, December 28 at Nine Pin Cider, both starting at 6:30pm. Currently based in Asheville and serving as the Arts/Entertainment editor for The Smoky Mountain News, as well as music editor for Smoky Mountain Living magazine, Woodward published his debut book earlier this year to rave reviews.
Diving into the rich, vibrant and controversial history of bluegrass music, “If You Can’t Play, Get Off the Stage: Bluegrass in Western North Carolina and Beyond” features interviews, profiles, quotes and conversations with the biggest names in bluegrass, mountain and string music, including: Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), Balsam Range, Billy Strings, Bobby Osborne, Claire Lynch, Dave Johnston (Yonder Mountain String Band), David Grisman, David Holt, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Eric Gibson, Frank Solivan, Graham Sharp (The Steep Canyon Rangers), Jeff Austin, Jesse McReynolds, John Cowan, Larry Sparks, Marty Stuart, Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass), Peter Rowan, Raymond Fairchild, Rhiannon Giddens, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Reno, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, and many more.
Born in Rouses Point, Woodward graduated from Quinnipiac University and then crisscrossed America for several years as a music journalist, covering backyard get-togethers and festivals like Burning Man, Rothbury, Grand Targhee, Outside Lands and Wakarusa. In 2015, Woodward won first place in the North Carolina Press Association awards for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting” for his cover story “Bless Your Heart — The State of Women in Bluegrass.” In 2016, Woodward was nominated for “Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). The NCPA also recognized him with another first place in 2016 for “Lighter Columns” for his weekly column in The Smoky Mountain News, “This must be the place.”