Music in the mountains: Boone bands and artists


Courtesy of Melanie Mae Bryan

Local band Barefoot Modern.

Aubrey Smith, Reporter

From packed venues to bands playing on their backyard, unique music for everyone is abundant throughout the High Country. Whether it’s an evening at TApp Room or a concert on Sanford, Boone is always echoing with music. 

Rainbow Kitten Surprise (Courtesy of Rainbow Kitten Surprise)

Rainbow Kitten Surprise 

Started in Boone, the band Rainbow Kitten Surprise has a wide catalog of songs enjoyable for every listener. The band has a unique sound, and with over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, their Boone origin is clear within their folk-inspired music. 

Luke Combs (Courtesy of Luke Combs)

Luke Combs

You might not know it, but country artist Luke Combs once spent his time walking this very campus. If you’re a fan of country music, you know Combs is a modern-day staple in the genre. Even with those not particularly taken with country music, Combs’ music is easy-going and catchy and provides an enjoyable listening experience.

Dropping Plates (Courtesy of Julia Lynn)

Dropping Plates

With their strikingly composed incorporations of melodic guitar and passionate vocals, Dropping Plates makes perfect music for riding around in the car with friends, spending time on Sanford soaking up the sun, or just enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery. Formed in the hub of the High Country, band members Ben Burrows, Jake Fain, Aaron Huntley and Forrest Britt shake up Boone with songs like the mood-lifting “Spun” and the serene and peaceful “Wave.”

Dylan Innes

Dylan Innes (Courtesy of Julia Lynn)

If acoustic guitar and thoughtfully composed lyrics are your favorite aspects of music, Dylan Innes is a must-listen for you. His vocals paired with sincere lyrics provide a genuine connection between artist and listener, and Innes goes a step further with beautiful acoustic instrumentation on songs like “Bristol” and “Flower Mouth.”


Vocalist Lawson Galloway leads the band, Galloway, during in performance. (Courtesy of Galloway)

You can’t go wrong with any of Galloway’s music — it’s perfect to put on while walking around east side or chilling in your residence hall room. With mellow guitar chords and snappy lyrics, songs like “Buzzcut” and “Boys Like You” will be stuck in your head all day after the first listen. 

Members of RUGG. (Courtesy of Britton Media Co.)


If you’re looking for something a little louder that will stand out from the quiet backdrop of the mountains, Rugg has music you’ve got to hear. The band’s psychedelic and spunky music is packed full of loud guitars and powerful drums, like on their song “Runner” and on “Just Put Me Down,” which includes mesmerizing guitar solos. 

Kara Haselton

Barefoot Modern

Barefoot Modern is a Boone favorite and was even voted best local band in The Appalachian’s Best of Boone 2021 edition. The group makes indie-pop music that gives off an electric and exciting vibe when listening to it, and songs like “La La Land ” are filled with punchy strums of guitar and a melodic chorus. Signed to Split Rail Records, App State’s own record label, the band continues to put out music that Boone locals love. 

Color Shy (Courtesy of Sarah Devoti)

Color Shy

Since the two App State students released their first single in late 2020, Nooria Lawrence and Nick Fiori have been rapidly expanding the sounds of Color Shy. With a bedroom pop, indie feel, the group put out their debut album “Better if it lasts for years” earlier in the year. With the reverbed guitars, light drums and charming vocals on songs like “Light Leak” and “Michael Cera,” the group’s music radiates a cozy vibe.