Say you’ve been wanting to describe the local music scene to someone who doesn’t live in Asheville. Or you want a local mix for your next porch party (take heart, those days are coming soon). Or you just wanted to a good deed and contribute to a charity. Local indie-label Mended Heart Records, has you covered on all counts with its Band Together Compilation 2011: “A compilation CD, featuring 14 rising bands, is recorded for charity each year.”
A little bit about the project, which was released on Valentine’s Day of this year: “This project began almost a year ago when Matt [Williams, founder of Mended Heart Records] played with Greensboro’s Holy Ghost Tent Revival on the Lincoln Theater stage during Band Together‘s 2010 Main Event,” says publicist Chris Tutino. “He was so moved and excited by Band Together and had already committed to produce a CD for charity, that it just made sense for us to approach Band Together as our charity partner.”
Band Together is located in the Triangle, but this compilation is well-represented by Asheville-based artists. The album kicks off with pop-punch of The Archrivals’ “Rock Show” followed by the moody, static-y “Dangerous Ship A Wave” by Williams’ band The Ocean. Track three slows down with Moses Atwood‘s lush “Garden of Eden.” Holy Ghost Tent Revival (who have been known to share stages with Asheville’s Now You See Them, whose “The Turtle Song” is also on the track list) contributed the soulful slow dance “Young Black Hair.” Vertigo Jazz Project picks the pace back up with their frenetic “Control Grid.” Uncle Mountain‘s “Borderline” launches with falsetto peals before easing into the polished folky pop they do so well. “Scapegoat,” by Josh Blake’s Jukebox (Blake is pictured, recording, above) is a darker, heavier sound but it’s infinitely cool with skank beats, bluesy guitar and layered harmonies. Brushfire Stankgrass also has blues notes (mixed with bluegrass) on “Panthertown,” which melds with the trippy psychadelia of The Mantras’ “So Long.” If Aaron Woody Wood seems an odd choice among the more indie-type bands on this 14-song collection, his spooky, slow-burning “Put It Outcha Head” certainly holds its own. From rootsy blues to hip-hop is a bit of a stretch, but that’s how the album winds up. Wood passes the baton to Agent 23 and Marley Carroll (with other guests) on the clean, jazz-tinged “Ain’t Comin’ Down.”
According to Mended Heart, “The project features exclusive tracks from each artist that can’t be found anywhere else! Songs may be unreleased fan-favorites, alternate versions of tunes, or selections that show another side of the artist’s creativity.” Proceeds benefit Band Together NC and Alliance Medical Ministry.
Buy the album here for $9.99.