ALL THAT GLITTERS: The Asheville Area Arts Council holds its annual color ball fundraiser, this year called the Gilded Ball, at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Expect music, performance arts and live and silent auctions. Photo from last year's Emerald Ball by Micah Mackenzie

Asheville Area Arts Council celebrates a big year with the Gilded Ball

The past year has been an especially successful one for the Asheville Area Arts Council. In addition to receiving record funding from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County, the AAAC was assigned the county’s disseminator of arts programming funds through the state’s Grassroots Arts Program, helping to further its mission as the collective local […]

SONY DSC

Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]

OK GO on the set of The Writing's On The Wall

Smart bets: OK Go

Sure, vocal tracks often have an intelligible rhythm, but frontman Damian Kulash nearly drives the drum set to obsolescence with his staccato vocals in OK Go‘s latest tune, “Turn Up the Radio.” The pop number, from the band’s 2014 EP Upside Out, drifts into a stripped-down interlude only fleetingly before the Los Angeles rockers steer […]

DIRECT SHOT: Filmmaker Erin Derham, right, interviews musician Andrew Fletcher, left, at 5 Walnut Wine Bar. He often performs there, and on the sidewalk, pushing his piano on a dolly to his location. Also pictured: Director of photography Shane Peters and audio mixer Adam Johnson. Photo by Paul Clark

Local documentary “Buskin’ Blues” premieres

by Paul Clark The biggest challenge to making a movie about the busking scene in downtown Asheville, says Erin Derham, was knowing when to stop. New buskers cycled through town all summer, giving the filmmaker endless possibilities to flesh out her story on the subculture these musicians inhabit. Super-organized and deadline-oriented, Derham gave herself six months […]

Image from Water Liars' Facebook page

Five questions with Water Liars

The Water Liars take Instagrams of album covers, muscle cars, breakfast specials and random signs. They write the kind of songs that you get instantly and understand later. From Mississippi, Water Liars was originally singer-guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster and drummer Andrew Bryant, and their combined vision. Constantly productive and constantly on the road, the duo eventually […]

PLEIN AIR PERFORMANCE: “I didn’t expect the response on the street to be so similar to the response in venues,”  says To All My Dear Friends violinist Marc Hennessey. Photo by Taylor Johnson

To All My Dear Friends funds new album through busking

If the band name To All My Dear Friends doesn’t ring familiar, the music will: It’s the indie-classical project of violinist Marc Hennessey, who performs on the streets of Asheville. He works loops and effects to create emotive melodies that soar above the busy streets. Bolstered by the passionate reactions of passersby, he decided to finance his new album, Bloom, with money earned from busking.

Nile Rodgers and his band, CHIC, were among headlining acts at the 2014 Moogfest. Photo by David J. Simchock.

Economic Impact Study: Moogfest generated $14 million

This year’s Moogfest generated $14 million for Buncombe County, according to an analysis by the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The five-day April event injected $696,000 back into the local and state tax base, with the report concluding that Moogfest provided a return that more doubled the $180,000 in local government incentives provided […]

ROCKING HARD IN BREVARD: The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin play a previous Mountain Song Festival. The weekend-long music event and benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County started at the suggestion of Cindy Platt. Photo courtesy of the festival

Beyond bluegrass: Brevard’s Mountain Song Festival continues to evolve

“We never intended this to be exclusively a bluegrass festival,” says John Felty, owner of Mountain Song Productions. He’s talking about the Mountain Song Festival, now in its eighth year, which takes over the Brevard Music Center for a September weekend. While bluegrass is a strong component to the music showcase, “We are definitely looking ahead to […]

10592982_882385071789921_3908307729598612133_n

Smart bets: The Tills

Asheville four-piece The Tills could absolutely call their music “grit-pop” if they didn’t live in a region where fans might confuse that label with a culinary term. The group’s latest tunes venture from the safety of ruggedly upbeat pop phrases to less charted punk yelps and back again before the refrain, all while conveying the […]

RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW: The Get Right Band's fan-approved (and funded) new album, Bass Treble Angel Devil, offers up a freshly synthesized mix of r&b, funk, soul, island grooves and local sass. Photo by Rita Aguila

The Get Right Band makes its full-length debut with the help of crowdsourcing

For the follow-up to their 2013 EP, Shake, the members of Asheville’s The Get Right Band knew their goals were bigger than what their checking accounts would allow. “Our vision for the record was to do something big, something bold and powerful and unique,” says guitarist/vocalist Silas Durocher. “We felt like the songs we had […]