Theatre Program for Antlers & Acorns, 2022

Peak Insurance, Conviction Bourbon, and Explore Boone presents

Antlers & Acorns at The Appalachian Theatre

Welcome to the historic Appalachian Theatre, the home of Antlers & Acorns, The Boone Songwriters Festival. These mountains have long been the inspiration for creativity and this stage the place it was shared since 1938. Thanks to the unfailing faith of John Cooper that it could, again, bring music to this community it was renovated and restored and reimagined. It’s our history and our bright future. Tonight, you are a part of both.

Tuesday, September 6th 2022

A Tribute to Guy Clark Hosted by Radney Foster, Del Rio, TX/Nashville, TN 

with Chris Buhalis, Ann Arbor, MI

Caleb Caudle, Winston Salem, NC/Nashville, TN

Eric Erdman, Mobile, AL

Matt King, Asheville, NC/Nashville, TN

Heidi Newfield, Healdsburg, CA/Nashville TN

And the Antlers & Acorns Band

Charlie Richards, New York/Austin, TX- musical director, guitars, lap steel

Rob MacWilliams, Charlotte, NC -bass

Dann Sherrill, Nashville, TN- drums/percussion

Shari Smith, Boone, North Carolina, background vocals


Without Getting Killed or Caught

Documentary by Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

An Evening with Kyle Petty, Damn the Banjos, and Radney Foster presented by Booneshine Brewing Company

Your Host- Mark Bumgarner, North Carolina

Kyle Petty, Randleman, NC

Guitar, vocals

Kyle drove fast cars but has the heart of a poet. He writes of love and loss and knows something about both. If being born to a family famous for one thing stifled others it didn’t even slow Kyle down. His is a full life with broadcasting and babies, wood and wire, brakes and books. His memoir, Swerve or Die, is available now in bookstores and here, tonight, at the theatre.

Brief Intermission

Damn the Banjos

Tim Carter, High Point, NC/Nashville, TN – Banjos, mandolin

Mike McAdam, Richmond, VA/Nashville, TN – guitars

Scotty Huff,  – Bass

Dann Sherrill, NC/Nashville, TN – drums

Brief Intermission

Radney Foster and the Antlers & Acorns Band

Radney Foster, lead vocals, guitars

Charlie Richards, Musical Director, guitars, lap steel

Eric Erdman, guitars, vocals

Rob MacWilliams, bass

Dann Sherrill, drums

Shari Smith, background vocals

Special Guests Tim Carter on mandolin, Mike McAdam on guitar

Radney grew up in Del Rio, Texas and went to college at Sewanee where his talent for songwriting was discovered. Moving to Nashville, he worked as a staff writer where he met Bill Lloyd and formed Foster & Lloyd, a powerhouse duo that has kept critics, and Foster & Lloyd fans, talking about them, and their nine charted singles, to this day. Radney’s solo record, Del Rio, Texas 1959, produced four consecutive Top 40 Hits including the Number One Nobody Wins. Radney’s songs have been recorded by Keith Urban, (Raining On Sunday, I’m In) Sara Evans, (Real Fine Place to Start), and, speaking of New Grass Revival, (Love Someone Like Me), and The Chicks, (Godspeed).

Darius Rucker said, “Every time I sing Country Music I’m trying to be Radney Foster.”

Radney spends time in these mountains at Working Title Farm, five minutes and five hundred feet above Boone and, with Eric Erdman and Shari Smith, is working to bring a television show, a combination of Daryl’s House, Prairie Home Companion, and Austin City Limits to this very theatre.
For tickets

Thursday, September 8th

A Tribute to North Carolina Songwriters hosted by Mark Bumgarner

Mark Bumgarner, guitar, vocals

Tim Carter, banjo, mandolin, vocals

Eric Erdman, guitar, vocals

Milan Miller, guitar, vocals

Carrie Welling, guitar, vocals

Mark Bumgarner has curated this tribute to the songwriters of North Carolina to show the depth of creativity and long list of hits. You may not have known that some of the artists being lauded were from North Carolina while others are claimed as our own as soon as their name is mentioned. If you’re from this state you’ll be proud. If you’re not, you are tonight.


Matt King & Heidi Newfield

Matt King, vocals, guitars

Heidi Newfield, vocals, harp, guitar

The Antlers & Acorns Band-

Charlie Richards, guitars

Rob MacWilliams, bass

Dann Sherrill, drums

Rick Bragg, arguably the best writer in The South, said of Matt King, “Matt King writes and sings songs that are so achingly true to life that they make you want to cry, or ball up your fists, or burn something down. He writes and sings, not in silly cliches about a South that no longer is, but about the scourges of my modern South, about meth and layoffs, and men and women grabbing for their last hope. And somehow, makes it a joy to hear.” Charlie Richards, musical director and lead guitarist for The Antlers & Acorns Band called Shari Smith, festival director and said, “Hey, do you know Matt King? You need to, I think. I think you need to.”

Charlie was right.

A good timing, honky-tonkin’, band-leading, song-written, love-song-singing, blues-harp blowing, tradition-nuturing, genre-busting, crowd carrying, full hearted flag bearer all that’s about music. That’s Heidi Newfield. Heidi recorded three albums fronting Trick Pony but now, it’s all her. It’s all Heidi. And all that she is.

Tickets here.

Friday, September 9th, 2022

Caleb Caudle, John Paul White

Caleb Caudle, guitar, vocals

Forsythia,The latest studio LP offering from Caleb Caudle, is a portrait of his truest self, of the artist at his most solitary and reflective. Thematically, it meets anticipation for the unknown future with nostalgia for the past, and reconciles both with meditation in the present. It paints a vision of who Caudle was, is and will hopefully be someday. The album, recorded at Cash Cabin and produced by John Carter Cash, features acclaimed session players Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Dennis Crouch and Fred Eltringham, and the vocal talents of Carlene Carter, Elizabeth Cook and Sarah Peasall McGuffey. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Caudle saw Forsythia as possibly his final album, and somehow turned that fear of the unknown into his most meticulous and expertly crafted collection of songs to date. 


John Paul White, guitar, vocals

With The Hurting Kind, John Paul White has crafted a stunning album that draws on the lush, orchestrated music made in Nashville in the early 1960s. Yet these songs retain a modern feel, whether he’s writing about overwhelming love, unraveling relationships, or fading memory of a loved one.

White grew up in tiny Loretto, Tennessee, and now lives in Florence, Alabama, not far from Muscle Shoals. He has cultivated a music career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher, then half of The Civil Wars – a groundbreaking duo that won four Grammy Awards before disbanding in 2012.

Because The Civil Wars were so hard to categorize, White has earned a fanbase among indie rock listeners, folk audiences, Americana outlets and AAA radio. So, what will happen if people hear The Hurting Kind and call it country? “Well, that doesn’t scare me in the least,” he says. “As a matter of fact, it kind of thrills me.”

Tickets, here.

Saturday, September 10th, 2022

A Special Thank You- Eric Erdman, Charlie Richards, Shari Smith


Lisa Carver, Eric Erdman, Jaimee Harris, Carrie Welling, and Chad Wilson

Voices is festival director, Shari Smith’s, curation of artists who have found a way to tell stories no one else is telling in phrases no one else is using. From “Carver Killin Songs” to the insight of Jaimee Harris and the sweet heartbreak of Carrie Welling women hear their own inner voices in their songs. Eric Erdman is a one-man songwriting machine. There is no human emotion he hasn’t found a way to bring to song and Chad Wilson cuts through all of it right to the bone.

Mary Gauthier with Jaimee Harris

With songwriting as powerful as hers, there’s no need to go looking for qualifiers. She’s a unique, intrinsically valuable musical voice. And there’s never a surplus of those.” — Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Time

Her eleventh album, the first record in over 8 years consisting of all her own songs, Dark Enough to See the Stars, follows the profound antidote to trauma, Rifles & Rosary Beads, her 2018 collaborative work with wounded Iraq war veterans. It garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album, as well as a nomination for Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. Publication of her first book, the illuminating Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting, in 2021, brought her more praise. Brandi Carlile has said, “Mary’s songwriting speaks to the tender aspects of our humanness. We need her voice in times like these more than we ever have.” The Associated Press called Gauthier “one of the best songwriters of her generation.” 

Mary’s songs have been recorded by dozens of artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Dolly Parton, Boy George, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Bettye Lavette, Mike Farris, Kathy Mattea, Bobby Bare, Amy Helm and Candi Staton and have appeared extensively in Film and Television, most recently on HBO TV’s Yellowstone. 

Tickets, here.

Antlers & Acorns, The Boone Songwriters Festival, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Thank you for believing.

Presenting Sponsors:

Peak Insurance, Conviction Bourbon, Explore Boone

Supporting Sponsors:

Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Booneshine Brewing Company, Lost Province Brewing Company, Mast General Store, Jeff and Suzanne Zimmer, Sky Best Communications, Yeti, Mountain Elevation Realty Group-Jonathan Lehman, Blue Ridge Bootleg Coffee, MountainBound Fly Guides, Irene Sawyer in honor of High Country Breast Cancer Foundation, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Blue Hydrangea Florals

Songwriter Sponsors:

Lucky Penny, Dr. Pat Holmes, Reid’s Catering, The Beacon, Lost Province Brewing Company, Coyote Kitchen, Susan G. Stelling, Real Estate, High Country Guide Service

Venture Chocolate & Wine Bar, Ben & Jerry’s, Lowes Foods

I was hired to write about a music festival and decided I could do it better. The shameless ego it takes to even form that thought should be the last thing I admit to. Deciding on where took me longer but it was seeing this theatre when where you are sitting was still a hollowed-out pile of dirt with a rickety stage that sealed the deal. You couldn’t stand in it and not feel what it could be, what it would be, as it had been before someone else’s shameless ego decided it should be a restaurant or a club or godknowswhat. He was wrong.

I wasn’t. 

This stage will be filled with my people, friends who are more family than anything. The backstage and front of house crew of Kim Bost, Renee Cannon, Diane Novacek, Mandy Cansler, and Lisa Campenella all volunteered to answer the same question nineteen times, put stickers on things, cut up apples, tote amps and guitar cases, and sell t-shirts with grace and humor. These are my girls. My daughter, Abbie Smith, taught me more than I thought I would ever want to know about spreadsheets. Obviously, there will be some form of punishment for that. She took on some moral support and some lessons in things I should have been teaching her. Michael Cansler has played the role of Town Crier, sharing every social media post and will be Radney’s guitar tech.  

There are songwriters who sacrificed to be here, to help me get his started, who took less than they are worth, who took nothing, only giving, only, only, only giving. Don’t think I will forget that.

Patrick Crouch saved the day with sound in all the smaller venues. Mark Bumgarner took on more roles than I can count and didn’t ask me questions. He just got it done and then told me what he did and he lets me listen to him sing. Kim Bost-there’s simply no way any of this would be happening without you. I know that. I hope you know I know that.

You’ll hear Charlie Richards play the guitar and lap steel and think, “wow, that guy is great” and will never know the work he did behind the scenes. I dare you to count how many songs he will play before this week is over, how many songs he had to learn and how many musicians he had to get to play them together and well. Day Sheets, charts, what key, what time, what location, what the what? He was the person I most loved to talk to and the person I needed to talk to the least. He was that self-sufficient. He brought me my Matty King and Matty King brought me Heidi. Charlie made me laugh when I thought nothing could be funny. But mostly, I love to hear him play. 

Rob and Dann, bass and drums. God, I love y’all.

David Jackson, Wright Tilley, and Lynne Mason kept taking my calls long after they must have been tired of seeing my name on the Caller ID. I don’t know how anything gets done in this town without them. I don’t actually think it does. All the same, I think I will leave them alone for a while after this week and not press my luck.

My brothers in every way that really counts, Eric Erdman and Radney Foster, give me joy, support, reassurance, and absolutely drive me crazy. That is as it should be with brothers. I love you. On the last day of this festival it will be Eric who helps me say a proper thank you, a better one than this letter. Be here for that moment. You’ll know how much gratitude I truly have.

Charlie Richards said that this theatre is on a “short list of places I want to haunt when I die.” I’m not sure there is higher praise coming from a musician of his caliber. And it’s ours. It’s in Boone. And we’re here. We’re on the stage and in the dressing rooms and in the seats and trusting George with sound and Jason with tickets. And maybe, just maybe, Doc has decided to stop by.


Shari Smith,

Director of Antlers & Acorns, The Boone Songwriters Festival