By Madison Fisler Lewis
Jan. 13, 2015. The Pedalin’ Pig in Banner Elk has already become synonymous with great barbeque and a great place to grab a brew for lunch or dinner. But now, the restaurant hopes to become the go-to spot to see live, local music as well.
Front of house manager Scott Pickett is a musician himself, and when he first opened up the restaurant last year, he knew that live music was something that he wanted to provide to his customers as soon as he could.
“I am a musician and I love live music, and there is really nowhere around here consistently in Avery County to find live music,” Pickett said.
“I thought it might be fun to see if we could get something rolling here at the restaurant. I know a lot of musicians and they always say that there are not enough places to play. There are a lot of great local musicians out there and we want to showcase that local talent.”
The first live music shows started back in October, and were met with positive reviews.
“We did it for three weeks back in October,” Pickett said. “We really wanted to start it up in the summer, but we were just opening so we really didn’t have the time to put it together. But when we did it in October it worked out really well.”
After a brief hiatus, the live music is back in the bar at the barbeque joint, and will continue every Thursday evening.
“We try to start around 7 p.m. on Thursday nights,” Pickett said. “I think on Thursday nights people really like to come out and listen to live music. It really seems like the best night of the week for people to go out. Fridays and Saturdays are really busy in the restaurant and juggling that with music is hard, and Thursdays really seem like the perfect night.”
And so far, customers seem to really like getting a free live show with their meals.
“Our customers think it’s great,” he said. “Even people that didn’t know there would be live music were really excited about it.”
The musicians are set up in the bar area, which is partitioned off from the restaurant itself. In this way, the music can be heard throughout the entire restaurant without the sounds being overwhelming for diners.
“The bar is in a separate room, but it flows into the restaurant,” Pickett said. “You can sit pretty much anywhere in the restaurant and hear the music, but it is set off so it is not offensively loud.”
The music featured includes Americana, bluegrass, old-time and country-inspired acoustic sets.
“So far so good,” he said. “We pull some tables out, stick some musicians in the corner and it just really works for us. Personally, I love live music, and when we have it playing in here while people are dining it really adds to the ambiance. So far we have had great reactions and everyone has really liked it.”
Live music is already booked through the end of February, but Pickett says that he is always looking for new local talent. Interested musicians may call Pickett at the restaurant for more information.
“I am always looking for new talent, and it doesn’t have to be a professional musician or even someone that plays live on a regular basis,” he said. “It is really important to me that we support live music. It is getting harder and harder to find and there is so much great music out there, especially locally. I am all about supporting the live music scene.”
The live music schedule so far is as follows:
- Jan. 15 – Adam Shirah (Americana with Irish influence)
- Jan. 22 – Hope Harvey and Friends (Americana, folk, rock and originals)
- Jan. 29 – Jim Fleri (Jazz and blues piano)
- Feb. 5 – Cougar Bait (Soul swinging acoustic blues)
- Feb. 12 – Daniel Johnston (Finger style originals and folk, rock covers)
- Feb. 19 – Dr. Bacon (Appalachian soul grass/funkabilly)
For more information about the live music, the restaurant or for a menu, click here or call the restaurant at 828-898-7500. The Pedalin’ Pig is located at 4235 N.C. 105 South in Banner Elk.
Photos by Ken Ketchie