Switzerland may be a long way from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, but for the Kruger Brothers, who grew up learning bluegrass and the music of Appalachia, coming to North Carolina was like coming home. (6:40)
Switzerland may be a long way from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, but for the Kruger Brothers, who grew up learning bluegrass and the music of Appalachia, coming to North Carolina was like coming home. Arriving for the first time in 1997 in order to play at Merlefest, they soon became very involved with the music and the players of the region, even becoming friends and picking partners with some of their long-time musical heroes, including Doc Watson, Tut Taylor, and Bobby Hicks. (Story continues below videos.)
They also found inspiration—in the people, the environment, and music being played here—both for their musicianship and their song writing. “When I listen to something like ‘Frosty Morn,’” says Jens Kruger, “there is a loneliness and something mystic about it. There’s a [sense of] longing that draws me to the music. I want to reflect [in my music] some of those ideas that I have about this place.”
That inspiration can be heard in songs like “Carolina in the Fall” but also in entirely new musical forms, as recently in Jens’ Appalachian Concerto which premiered in November 2010 at the Ashe Civic Center in Ashe County. The Kruger Brothers are as likely be at a concert hall as they are local venues, such as the Cook Shack in Union Grove, but throughout they work to celebrate some of the things that make Carolina and its musical heritage so special. They give it a twist perhaps, but nevertheless remain true to a tradition that grows directly out of the music of this region, its history, and its people.