Unaka Prong


Formed in the winter of 2013, Unaka Prong, the genre-bending, improvisational sextet from Boone, NC began writing and performing songs that explore the fringes of individual member influences. For the last four years, Unaka Prong has been tirelessly performing around the region and further building their repertoire. Songs and compositions including tasteful elements of southern rock, folk, funk, R&B, jazz fusion, reggae, and the spaces in-between. The band takes an experimental approach to many of their songs in the studio and during live performances by the means of an expressive, conversational atmosphere between instruments that creates a hearty blend of genres and styles that is sure to appeal to many different ears.


The name, Unaka Prong, comes from the Unaka mountain range that encompasses most of the Appalachians bordering the NC/TN border. The words, Unaka Prong, translate litterally into Cherokee as "white haze," symbolizing the prominent Great Smoky Mountains region of NC and TN.


Through App State's Jazz program and coincidental jam sessions around Boone, Mike Welsh, John Hargett, Daniel Stevenson, Jonathon Sale, Chris Pope, and Nic Pressley began joining songwriting forces and experimenting respective styles as what is now known as Unaka Prong.

Press Reviews

“...a tight-knit live band.”

-Dolan Reynolds, The Poke Around
"I am so into this band from Boone, North Carolina! Their album, Margot, easily made my top ten of regional faves for 2016. Proggy, jazzy, and all-around fabulous."
-WNCW 88.7's "Local Color" via Tumblr

“A new band named Unaka Prong with a high quality first output brings us an entertaining mix of styles...Funky grooves with guitar, trumpet and dirty organ? It works good here and the band has rich talent for cool rhythms and fine interaction...The sound is rich and vivid and close to a live-sound.”

- Peter Funke via “WeekendProg”
"A fascinating journey through funky, bluesy, jazzy, yet progressive rock music from Boone, North Carolina. Trumpeter Nic Pressley is so fun to listen to! And I love how the rest of the instruments are recorded to sound as if you are among them, on stage. Awesome! Chris Pope's vintage keyboards are gorgeous and always up front and center. The vocals are awesome and hilarious in a kind of Robert Wyatt way. The dual guitars of Mike Welsh and Daniel Stevenson are so nicely constructed--as if Paul Weller was playing with Radiohead or . . . Paul Weller! The drums are recorded so warmly that you might as well be sitting in drummer John Hargett's lap."
-BrufordFreak via
“Adult Contemporary” is an adventure to listen too, and there is never a dull moment. The musicianship is incredibly tight, showcasing the true, raw talent each band member possesses. When all of the genres and individual influences are working together, it’s something special....People often associate jam bands with four-hour set lists and overly long guitar solos, but a local band proves on its sophomore album that jams become much more interesting when you infuse elements of jazz, rock, reggae, funk — and well — just about everything you can imagine."
-Brian Miller, The Mountain Times


Band Members


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                                                                                             John Hargett // Drums and Vocals

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                                                                                                    Chris Pope // Keyboards

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                                                                                         Daniel Stevenson // Guitar and Vocals

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                                                                                                       Mike Welsh // Guitar 

                                                                                            Nic Pressley // Trumpet and Vocals

                                                                                        Jonathon Sale // Bass Guitar and Vocals





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Adult Contemporary

by Unaka Prong

With their sophomore release, Adult Contemporary, Unaka Prong continues exploring the fringes of individual member influences.  This collection is a step further in building the band’s repertoire, including elements of southern rock, folk, funk, R&B, jazz fusion, reggae, and the spaces in-between.


released April 20, 2017

Recorded at Barrett Sound Studios - Nashville Tennessee
Tracking Engineers - Frank Barrett, Chris Pope
Mixing and Mastering Engineer - Chris Pope
Album Art - Mike Welsh

Additional Personnel - 
Caleb McMahon - Trombone (Gadnuk, Alchemy) 
Jameil Moore - Vocals (Lurks) 
Coleman Christopher - Vocals (Lurks) 
Abigail Ashton - Vocals (Maeng Da) 
Kathryn Esposito - Vocals (As We Agreed) 
Friends and Fiends - Mass Vocals (As We Agreed)

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by Unaka Prong

"Margot" is Unaka Prong's debut album, showcasing the group's diverse range of musical styles from prog rock epics to dirty funk grooves.

"Little Animal" is excluded from the tracks on the website because the file size exceeds the site's limit.


released February 19, 2016

Tracking Engineers: Sam Elia, Alex Lisowski
Mixing Engineer: Chris Pope
Mastering Engineer: Chris Pope
Album Art: Cameron Cook
Tracked at RFG Studios in Boone, NC
© 2016 Unaka Prong


For booking inquiries, contact or send us a Facebook message at


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