SMALL WORLD: Urban Café co-owner and chef Brooke Souhail, right. incorporates influences from Morocco, Europe and India into her menu. Also pictured are co-owners Simo Berzem, left, and Sam Souhail, center. Not pictured is Amanda Berzem. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Urban Café: Tiny space, big flavors

An imaginative and affordable breakfast and lunch spot opened downtown early this month on the ground floor of the BB&T building on Pack Square. Situated in the tiny venue previously occupied by The Sandwich Company, Urban Café packs a globe-spanning range of bold flavor combinations into a compact kitchen and dining area — and offers them at what are almost fast-food prices.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: The Moog Music factory hosts tours of 20-40 people from all over the world every day. Here, Paul Gaeta (aka local musician Panther God) leads a group. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Sounds like money: New projects seek to increase local music tourism

Asheville may never be able to swipe the “Music City” moniker from a certain similarly named titan of sound in Tennessee, but several new initiatives aim to boost this area’s image as a serious music destination. The Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, building on its success in helping nurture the city’s growing national reputation as […]

LOUD AND PROUD: Daft Punk, Alessandro Cortini and Trent Reznor have all purchased Make Noise systems or modules. Make Noise owners Kelly Kelbel and Tony Rolando (front center and right) and their team have set up shop in downtown Asheville. Photo by Alicia Funderburke

Instrument of construction: Two local manufactures talk inspiration, sales and famous fans

Moog Music leads all local instrument builders in name recognition, and for good reason. With a legacy that dates back to Robert Moog’s first theremins in 1954 and first modular synthesizer in 1963, the company has remained at the forefront of the electronic music scene, thanks to steady innovation and popular events such as Moogfest. […]

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Smart bets: Jim Lauderdale

Although country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is as tied to Nashville as to the colorful, embroidered suits he wears, he’s actually a North Carolina native. The son of a minister and a church organist, Lauderdale was born in Troutman, N.C., and grew up in South Carolina. He did head to Nashville after college, but it was […]

STRING THEORY: “In retrospect, when I look back on my life, I understand there had always been a passion for banjo music,” says Mike Savino of Tall Tall Trees. As a solo act, he's taken that instrument far from its folk and bluegrass roots. Photo courtesy of the musician

One-man banjo: Tall Tall Trees puts a new spin on an old instrument

When you think of the banjo, you might think of Earl Scruggs or Uncle Dave Macon, or even Steve Martin. You probably don’t think of loop pedals or bowing, or ancillary sounds from percussive tapping and blowing; you probably don’t imagine anything that could be classified as “space banjo.” But that’s exactly the kind of music banjo player Mike Savino of band-turned-solo-act Tall Tall Trees makes.