Early in the evening, Warren Haynes and local American Idol winner Caleb Johnson performed a duet of the song, "Soulshine." Photo by Jake Frankel

Storify: Dispatches from Christmas Jam

A Woodfin native, Grammy-winning rocker Warren Haynes returned home this weekend for the 26th annual Christmas Jam. Over the course of the 7-hour concert at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, Haynes was joined onstage by Jason Isbell, Billy Kreutzmann, Caleb Johnson, Jackie Green and many more acts. Concert-goers posted photos and other dispatches from the Dec. 13 event via Twitter late into the night.

GO BIG: The bandleaders of the 1930s were some of the first to produce jazz renditions of Christmas favorites. That's part of the inspiration for big band variety show Have Yourself a Swinging Little Christmas. Russ Wilson, also known as “North Carolina's King of Swing,” says, "Big band music has always been my home." Photo by Frank Zipperer

The King of Swing brings a holiday variety show to The Isis

There’s something inexplicably cheery — and not ironically so, despite the prevalence of seasonal sweaters — about the Christmas specials of Bing Crosby and Lawrence Welk. These shows of decades past delivered holiday medleys and warm sentiments that spanned giddy good times to reflective moments. They conjured seasonal memories with traditional carols and festive standards. […]

"Unsilent Night" in New York City, December, 2013. Photo by Taylor Davidson of Narratively

Electronic Carolers celebrate an “Unsilent Night” in Asheville, Dec. 17

Phil Kline’s sound sculpture “Unsilent Night” has, in the course of its 23 years, become something of a standard in the new music scene. The piece — which will be performed in Asheville on Wednesday, Dec. 17 — asks performers transporting a chorus of boom boxes, CD players and smart-phones to march together through town […]

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Happy birthday John Ehle! The author’s renowned novel “The Land Breakers” is reprinted

No mere novelist, Asheville-born writer John Ehle is considered “a master of the American language.” Among his 17 books, including both fiction and nonfiction, seven works of historical fiction were set in the Appalachian mountains. From that collection, The Winter People was made into a film of the same name, staring Kurt Russell and Lloyd […]

Closing of Asheville race track was hardly ‘dark of night’

In response to Jerry Sternberg‘s rebuttal to Karen Cragnolin and RiverLink [“The Gospel According to Jerry,” Dec. 10, Xpress], he mentions the “dark of night” closing of the Asheville Race Track. He says it was done by me and “other conspirators.” He called it “political bullying.” He said it was done “with cavalier disregard for […]

Brittain Farms was one of 30 vendors at the Holiday Marketplace by Blue Ridge Food Ventures. Photo by Kat McReynolds

In photos: Holiday Marketplace at Blue Ridge Food Ventures

More than two dozen vendors gathered for Blue Ridge Food Ventures’ annual holiday market, held 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, on A-B Tech’s Enka campus. The event, which drew about 750 shoppers last year, brings together craft food purveyors from Blue Ridge Food Ventures and other suppliers of small-batch goods. “We started […]