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 […]

BETWEEN THE LINES: "It’s really about getting down to the basics of what Dickinson was about,” says Carol Kessler of her one-woman show about the poet. Photo courtesy of Kessler

“Emily Dickinson Unplugged” Chautauqua performance benefits Pan Harmonia

“Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn / Indicative that suns go down,” wrote Emily Dickinson. “The notice to the startled grass / That darkness is about to pass.” The 19th-century poet lived in Massachusetts and was a prolific writer, but fewer than a dozen of her poems were published while she was living. […]

American Babies

Smart bets: American Babies

Although Tom Hamilton counted himself among the many men preoccupied with “chicks and partying” during his 20s, the American Babies frontman found himself “digging deeper” for musical and personal inspiration over time. Last year’s resulting effort, a “40-minute existential meltdown” titled Knives and Teeth, addresses heavy topics like mortality, cruelty and frustration, often vacillating between […]

ShutterStarPhotography - TAUK high res

Smart bets: TAUK

Forget hibernating. Instrumental rockers TAUK are making a full-fledged national tour this winter, and Asheville fans have two chances to catch the band live. TAUK, oft-praised for its ability to infuse songs with emotional cues despite the absence of lyrics, plays New Mountain this week before circling back to Asheville as the supporting act for […]

FOR THE RECORD: As a producer or engineer, Chris Rosser always strives to keep things in the studio positive and moving forward. Part of that approach is the philosophy that "there are no bad ideas," a concept he’s borrowed from Daniel Lanois’ work with Brian Eno and U2. “It creates an environment where ideas aren't going to be shut down before they're given a fair shot, and often that'll lead to some of the more interesting things on a record,” Rosser says. Photo by Lynn Morgan Rosser

Prolific producer Chris Rosser takes time for first solo album in eight years

When eight years passes between a musician’s albums, it’s natural to wonder what he’s been up to during that time. For Asheville songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Rosser, however, it’s almost easier to diagram what he hasn’t been doing. On top of steady solo gigs and collaborations, Rosser has stayed busy with percussionist River Guerguerian and […]

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Acoustic Asheville: The Moon and You

Local duo-turned-trio The Moon and You is multi-instrumentalists Ryan Furstenberg, Melissa Hyman and Dulci Ellenberger. Each musician is also a singer-songwriter so, when they recorded this Acoustic Asheville session, they performed not one but three songs. Filmed by Jesse Hamm at the Asheville Area Arts Council in the Grove Arcade. “Currituck County Moon,” written by Ryan […]