Ryan Cavanaugh: From Russia with a 5-string banjo and an 8-string guitar player.

food, music, writing

Pretty quickly, you can figure out that Ryan Cavanaugh has phoned in a preview interview a time or two. He kindly spells out the more curious-sounding words, mid-conversation.

Like, Sochi. S. O. C. H. I.

Cavanaugh has recently returned from a tour in Russia with Bill Evans’ Soulgrass project, where the band played a festival in Sochi, a coastal town on the Black Sea. And Sunday, Ryan brings his solo project — Ryan Cavanaugh and No Man’s Land — to the Rooster’s Wife.

Ryan Cavanaugh and No Man’s Land Sunday, July 22 at the Rooster’s Wife. Tickets available online or at the Spot. 

Order tickets here.

Evans started the Soulgrass project with Bela Fleck, a crazy fusion of funk, soul, and bluegrass, Cavanaugh says.

“It’s very rootsy. Jim Hendrix with a sax.”

On the Russian tour, Cavanaugh and the band played with Igor Butman–Russia’s jazz offering to the world, and later gigged at “Le Club,” Moscow’s most famous jazz club.

“People responded to the banjo quite nicely,” Cavanaugh says.

Ever since Cavanaugh picked up the banjo at age 10 and started working his way from Earl Scruggs to John McLaughlin, Cavanaugh has been trying to bring the 5-string banjo back to jazz.

“Sometimes it’s really positive,” Cavanaugh says about the audience reaction. “The Bee Bop purists may not like it.”

Sunday’s show will, however, bring together a few world-class players from North Carolina.

“This is a unique line up. I don’t have a bass player, and I don’t have a keyboard player, but I have an 8-string guitar player, Chris Boerner, who plays both harmony and bass on one instrument. He’s from Raleigh.

“And Nick Baglio, on drums, one of the best drummers in North Carolina.”

It’s the first time these players will get their hands on Cavanaugh’s original material, but they’ve played together before, Ryan says.

Finally, when asked if he picked up a few Russian phrases on tour, he responds:

“I learned how to say ‘thank you,’ ” Ryan says, saying something that sounds like spah-seeba. “I don’t even know to spell it.”

(In case you were wondering, it’s Спасибо.)

by Molly McGinn, who has never been to Russia, but has been to Aberdeen.

Eat a Peach: recipes and tips for August peaches


Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog

LOCAVORE’S DELIGHT: The Series # 16. Follow us all summer long as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.


Nothing’s better than late summer peaches. It’s the platonic ideal of what a peach should be. Juicy, supple, and free of stones. Most folks think a peach ripens all summer to get to this perfect, late summer state. Not so.

Timing is everything. Of the 200 peach varieties, there are 12 that thrive in North Carolina, according to NC State’s agriculture department. Each variety comes and goes — thrives in its own window of the season. A few varieties are peaking right now with one more to go before the end of summer.

To honor late summer peaches, we offer four recipes for the three stages of a peach: underripe, ripe, and overripe, as well as a few peach-picking tips if you’re picking off a tree, or off…

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5th generation, 4-season farmer, organic by a fluke: Faucette Farms


Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog

LOCAVORE’S DELIGHT: The Series # 15. Follow us all summer long as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.


You can’t round out a good locavore’s veggie plate without Mike Faucette and Faucette Farms.

The Lucky’s plate pictured above is like a mini-United Nations of community-owned farms: Guilford College squash, Schicker’s Acre kale, and Faucette Farms cucumbers.

If somebody can’t make it to the plate — if Schicker’s kale is between seasons — Mike is there to represent.

The 5th generation and 4-season farmer grows food year round, stocking his farmers market booth with certified organic green apples, eggplant, blackberries, blueberries, garlic, tomatoes, and these little cutie pies: pattypan squash.

About half of Faucette’s 500-acre farm is certified to grow organic foods that Mike supplies to restaurants, like Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, and to niche grocery stores and foodie centers such as Green’s Grocery in Gainesville…

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The rarity of raspberries: Plum Granny Farm


Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog

LOCAVORE’S DELIGHT: The Series # 9. Follow us all summer long as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.


Holding a handful of farm-fresh raspberries is a rarity in the Piedmont area. All were scooped up over the weekend off the Farmer’s Cart at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen. Locavore’s rule number one: Be quick. We’re expecting to restock this week with raspberries fresh from North Carolina’s only organic Pick-Your-Own Farm, Plum Granny Farm.

Dirt Farmers

Lucky 32 made an unseasonably early trip west to Plum Granny Farm last week. Raspberry picking season officially begins at the end of July and runs through August. But you won’t find many around here. The delicate berries thrive in cooler weather.

“Your location is beautiful, the vista is incomparable and your travails are honest,” we wrote to farm co-owners Cheryl Ferguson and Ray Tuegel after a recent trip to the farm…

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Learning to forage for ramps with Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider


Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog


Follow us all summer long as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.


If we were in Canada right now, salting this pan of wild ramps, we could get arrested.

In Quebec, ramps are considered a threatened species. The appetite for wild ramps is so widespread, and the vegetable is so scarce, that it’s illegal to hunt the strappy, grayish green cousin to the onion. But here, salting ramps in a kitchen on a mountain top is a legal rite of spring. We’re in the deep back country of the Appalachian Mountains in Dugspur, Virginia.

Ramps are among the many heirloom vegetables still growing wild in the Appalachian Mountains. Cherokee and other Native American tribes hunted ramps here, and, thanks to their conservationist nature and a sparse population of community-minded Appalachian Farmers, such as Diane Flynt, this area is still rich in

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