WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION?: Kevin Patrick Murphy, founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville, describes the center as a kind of gym — “You have to work the muscles,” he says. Photo by Kellin Watson

Hitting your mark: The Actor’s Center of Asheville moves to Black Mountain

Kevin Patrick Murphy’s New York roots are showing. The founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville takes huge strides and talks fast — leftover traits from his previous home base. The actor began training in 1991 at the Studio Arena Theater School in Buffalo, N.Y., and has since worked in theater, commercials, television and film. […]

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Smart bets: Safe & Sound

“Helpmate could use a helping hand,” says the Facebook invite for an evening of music by Jeff Thompson, Vendetta Creme and Aaron Price. The local performers cross genres and styles: Thompson is a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Price a multi-instrumentalist with a knack for clever piano-pop, and Vendetta Creme is the jazz and cabaret project of […]

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Smart bets: Barbara J. Taylor

Barbara J. Taylor’s debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, is “an evocative story of family tragedy and healing set in coal-mining Scranton, Pennsylvania.” As a native and current resident of the Electric City, where the story is set, Taylor draws inspiration from a haunting family story to blend real-life incidents with historical […]

FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Even though Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is based on the West Coast, he plans to continue collaborating with Asheville artists. “We have a shared history, and I love the flavor,” he says. "That’s the staple of my whole thing, a mutated genre thing." Photo courtesy of the musician

Weirdos R Us: 23 Skidoo celebrates the Year of the Weird with a book and album launch

In the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. For the United Nations, it’s the Year of Family Farming and Crystallography. And, as designated by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, it’s the Year of the Salamander. No stranger to celebrating diversity and creative thinking for all ages, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo honors […]

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Smart bets: Mates of State

Husband-and-wife, indie-pop outfit Mates of State consistently challenge the perceived limitations of a two-piece with their effortless harmonies and minimal pop appeal. One reviewer describes the band as “two people playing complex songs that sound like five people playing a simple song.” Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) formed Mates of State in 1997 and have […]

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Smart bets: Bobby Bare Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr., son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, is touring in support of his latest release, Undefeated. The album is “10 songs of reality checks, clever wordplay and daring arrangement, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a barstool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows,” according […]

DRIVING MISS DAISY: Ronnie Pepper (Hoke) and Pamela Gilmer (Daisy) will star in Asheville Community Theatre's upcoming production of the Broadway play.

Smart bet web extra: Driving Miss Daisy

Asheville Community Theatre will stage Driving Miss Daisy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Alfred Uhry. Set mostly in Atlanta, just prior to the Civil Rights Movement, Driving Miss Daisy shares the story of the relationship between an elderly white Southern Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan, and her African American chauffeur, Hoke Coleburn, over the span of 25 years. […]

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Unfit for artistry: Asheville upholds closing of RAD studio space

An 11th-hour effort to stave off a city order mandating that nearly two dozen artists vacate a cluster of River Arts District buildings came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, July 16, when city officials made final their decision and declined to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy. The mandate affects a city-sponsored art project and New […]

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Smart bets: Aaron Burdett and Tellico

It’s not too surprising that singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett won top honors from Our State magazine for his song “Going Home to Carolina.” Burdett’s thoughtful, acoustic-driven take on Southern Americana is a fitting soundtrack for life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the addition of his four-piece band, he creates music that is deeply rooted in the […]

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Sound Check: The Low Counts

Drum-and-guitar duo The Low Counts (Matt Walsh on guitar and vocals, Austin Hicks on drums) are based in High Point, N.C., but have been breaking into the music scene in Asheville and the surrounding area. The band performed at The Black Mountain Ale House last weekend (where Xpress caught up with them) following a set […]