Orange County, NC is synonymous with great performing artists. Southern Culture on the Skids, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Superchunk (By the way, Superchunk bassist and UNC Alum, Laura Ballance is co-founder of Merge Records, based in Durham), Mandolin Orange, Lost in the Trees, and Ben Folds Five, all got their start in Chapel Hill. Probably the most famous artist with Chapel Hill ties is James Taylor. His childhood home on Morgan Creek inspired his hit song Copperline. The bridge that crosses over Morgan Creek in southern Chapel Hill carries his namesake.
Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Widespread Panic, The Smashing Pumpkins, Phish, and Soul Asylum all performed at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro before they mainstreamed to national attention.
Quaint historic Hillsborough comes to life at night with local and regional acts performing at Hot Tin Roof and Nash Street Tavern and Yonder: Southern Cocktails and Brew. Volume Records & Beer is Hillsborough's newest spot to hear music in the form of vinyl records. Think vintage record shops with rows and rows of albums to sift through but here you can drink beer. The owners, Tony Lopez and Nathan Andrews invite you to sip and shop.
Record label YepRoc Records has also made their home in Hillsborough. Artists producing under this label include Tift Merritt, Nick Lowe, Mandolin Orange, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Straitjackets, just to name a few.
We can't talk about music venues without mentioning Memorial Hall and the ambitious project: CURRENT Artspace + Studio. The former brings Nationally acclaimed performances with traditional artists, musicals, jazz, and ensembles. The latter, cutting edge & educational musical ventures.