DIRECT SHOT: Filmmaker Erin Derham, right, interviews musician Andrew Fletcher, left, at 5 Walnut Wine Bar. He often performs there, and on the sidewalk, pushing his piano on a dolly to his location. Also pictured: Director of photography Shane Peters and audio mixer Adam Johnson. Photo by Paul Clark

Local documentary “Buskin’ Blues” premieres

by Paul Clark The biggest challenge to making a movie about the busking scene in downtown Asheville, says Erin Derham, was knowing when to stop. New buskers cycled through town all summer, giving the filmmaker endless possibilities to flesh out her story on the subculture these musicians inhabit. Super-organized and deadline-oriented, Derham gave herself six months […]

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty in the Sewing Department of Eagle Market Street Block-by-Block Industries

MED Week update: Social and economic improvement, one block at a time

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty, president and CEO of Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, was a 30-year veteran of “banking, finance and retail” when she switched gears and went to work for the nonprofit she now directs as an AmeriCorps intern. “I served them two years as an intern,” she said. “And then one thing led to another, […]

Image from Water Liars' Facebook page

Five questions with Water Liars

The Water Liars take Instagrams of album covers, muscle cars, breakfast specials and random signs. They write the kind of songs that you get instantly and understand later. From Mississippi, Water Liars was originally singer-guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster and drummer Andrew Bryant, and their combined vision. Constantly productive and constantly on the road, the duo eventually […]

Is Moffitt lying or out of touch?

In his current television ad for re-election to the state Legislature, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, states:  “Obama has tanked our economy.” According to the Wall Street Journal, this year’s second-quarter gross domestic product  expanded to 4.2 percent; banks are lending amounts not seen since the 2007 financial crisis; home sales continue to rise as do home values; inflation […]

PLEIN AIR PERFORMANCE: “I didn’t expect the response on the street to be so similar to the response in venues,”  says To All My Dear Friends violinist Marc Hennessey. Photo by Taylor Johnson

To All My Dear Friends funds new album through busking

If the band name To All My Dear Friends doesn’t ring familiar, the music will: It’s the indie-classical project of violinist Marc Hennessey, who performs on the streets of Asheville. He works loops and effects to create emotive melodies that soar above the busy streets. Bolstered by the passionate reactions of passersby, he decided to finance his new album, Bloom, with money earned from busking.

PEOPLE POWER: So many people showed up to hear about (and say something about) Asheville's first proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in 1994 that City Council's meeting was moved to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Ron Lambe's in the front row, center, wearing a brown suit and a tie. (Photo courtesy of former Asheville Mayor Leni Sitnick)

Making a difference: a decade of activism

The ‘90s in Asheville were definitely a decade of activism — of all sorts. One of the earliest projects was the revitalization of downtown, which took courageous leadership. The Green Line (precursor of Mountain Xpress) was publishing; Asheville-Buncombe Discovery was promoting downtown; the LGBT community was awakening; the environmental movement was fighting back with protests and demonstrations. I was involved in several of these activities, so know of them first-hand.