Image 1. Ryan Oslance, best known as the explosive percussionist for Ahleuchatistas, is bidding farewell to Asheville and heading west for California. But the prolific musician (who performs with at least half a dozen other bands) won't go quietly. To celebrate his departure and the mark he leaves on Asheville's music scene, Apothecary is hosting a three-day sendoff with some of Oslance’s favorite local performers. The celebration begins on Wednesday, Jan. 23 with VaVatican, "an eight-person supergroup" featuring Oslance and a host of his collaborators, and culminates on Friday, Jan. 25 with a performance by Ahleuchatistas. That show also kicks off the band's sprawling North American tour with experimental rock duo Buke and Gase.
Oslance says the move was inspired by a need to "keep broadening [his] range" and a powerful draw to "the wilderness of California and its diverse landscapes."
"I'm not much for a routine," he says, "and I know I could continue to live incredibly comfortably and happy in Asheville. But the world is so huge and I need to experience different parts."
As for Ahleuchatistas, "We will continue playing together, but we'll probably do fewer shows per year and focus on festivals and recording and little tours more," he explains. “We have developed such a deep connection and chemistry from being friends and playing hundreds of shows together in many different formats, that we can jump right back into playing, even after long breaks.
Still, the move is bittersweet.
"I love Asheville so much, and it's definitely sad to leave," he admits. "I have made many lifelong friends here and feel deeply connected to the incredible community. The artists and musicians have made quite the supportive platform for each other to grow immensely. I've tried so many kinds of experiments here with so many different musicians, and I feel thoroughly nourished from the freedom of expression and support. But I feel it's the right move at the right time."
Image 2. Behind the Mic: Asheville FM hosts dozens of weekly shows that run the gamut of musical styles and tastes (you name it, they've got it). But don't take our word for it: take theirs. Xpress brings you this weekly feature — direct from the DJs — highlighting a few of the station's stellar offerings. www.ashevillefm.org.
Blue Ridge Blues is a road trip to the heart of the blues, a two-hour Greyhound ride through the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans, Chicago and London — anywhere there's a story to be told and a song to sing it with. The program covers all kinds of blues (acoustic, roots, electric, English, blues-rock) from artists like BB King, John Mayall, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Hammond, Albert King, John Lee Hooker and many more. Tuesdays from 10 p.m. to midnight with Paul Clipper (aka DJQ). Photo by Max Cooper