Clyde Maness suffers broken leg – Maness Music Barn stage shuts down

Clyde Maness, proprietor of Maness Pottery and Music Barn in Carthage, NC, fell on June 30, breaking his leg (between hip and knee). He underwent surgery on July 1 and is already on the road to recovery.

The 80-year-old owner started hosting musical gatherings in his home in 1974 on Tuesday nights. “There wasn’t church on Tuesday night so it seemed like a good time,” said the upright bass player.

With many musicians eager to pick with one another, the jam session outgrew his house so Maness moved the musical gathering across the road to his family’s pottery shop.

“My wife (of 61 years), children, and daughter-in-law all turned pottery. My wife had cancer and we closed the pottery about six years ago,” Clyde reflected, but the music continues every Tuesday night like clockwork and has grown in popularity.

It is a midweek pick for many well-known North Carolina bluegrassers that occasionally drop in, such as Nathan Aldridge (Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out), Matt Hooper (Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road), Trent Callicutt (Kenny & Amanda Smith), Curt Love (Junior Sisk), and Caroline Owens (Caroline & Company), to name a few. It is a musical gathering that draws senior pickers such as 90-year-old guitarist, Amon Garner, to 14-year-old guitar super picker, Jake Goforth. 

It is a good place to make music. I come most every Tuesday night. You feel a lot better going to a place like this. It makes me feel about 20 years younger,” Garner admitted.

Kevin Richardson of Merle Monroe shared, “It’s truly the best place on the East Coast to jam.”

“We have more than 100 people on any given Tuesday night,” said Maness, who has expanded his building twice. 

Burlington bassist, John Fogleman, stated, “Dad started bringing me when I was little. I grew up learning to play here. Clyde showed me a thing or two on the bass.”

Multiple jams typically form throughout the sprawling enclosures. Gradually, these groups, some seasoned bands, others impromptu assemblages, take to the stage located in the back of the building to perform a few tunes for the listeners who gather. Maness mans the sound board for each band.

Due to his fall, the Maness Music Barn stage will be closed. However, its patriarch will continue to offer his midweek haven for musicians. If you want to jam next Tuesday, he will have the back room open for jamming around the stove. 

Guitarist, Bob Dotson, related, “You know Clyde, he wants everyone to come play. He would be there if they would let him.”

If you’d like to send him a card, his address is:

Mr. Clyde Maness
Clyde’s Music Barn
10992 Hwy 24/27
Carthage, NC 28327

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.