Maness Music Barn reopens in Carthage, North Carolina

He’s back! Clyde Maness, proprietor of Maness Pottery and Music Barn in Carthage, North Carolina, is once again opening the doors to his Tuesday night music parlor shows and jamming sessions. The 80-year-old fell on June 30, breaking his leg (between hip and knee), and underwent surgery the following day. Since then, the Music Hall has not been open to the public.

“We’re back open,” Maness relayed in a phone interview. “We have been meeting on Tuesday nights, but picked outside to keep everyone safe.”

On Tuesday, September 14, the doors will open for the first indoor performances since his mishap.

“We will have three bands playing that night. One includes Bill Monroe’s daughter. The music will be again around 5:30. We’re expecting a big crowd,” Maness eagerly anticipated.

A musician himself, Maness 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 and business owner.

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

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 15-year-old guitar super picker, Jake Goforth. They are happy it is reopening.

“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.”

Maness, who now relies on a walker to keep him mobile, but stable, concluded, “I’m feeling really good. I broke my leg the day before I was to have hip surgery. I’ve rescheduled my hip surgery for October.”

As always, there is no admission charge into Maness’ establishment. Donations in the box are appreciated to help offset costs of maintaining lights and air conditioning in the building. No smoking or drinking is allowed.

The music continues on Tuesday nights. Maness’ Music Barn is located at 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.