Sylvan Esso performing at The Mothlight. Photo by Monica Koerschner, via Twitter

Sylvan Esso at The Mothlight

Durham-based electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso, the project of Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn, launched their tour with a pair of sold-out shows at The Mothlight. The first, last night, was not without its glitches (the computer crashed, ironically, during the song “Play it Right”), but it showcased Meath and Sanborn’s considerable chemistry, energy and […]

BET Wood and Wine Dervish

Smart bets: Wood & Wine

Grovewood Gallery recently added an exhibition space dedicated to fine wood art. And how better to celebrate than with a toast? That’s the idea behind Wood & Wine, a showcase and celebration featuring contemporary sculptural and functional work. Included in the show is French artist Alain Mailland, “who specializes in green wood hollowing techniques,” according […]

markmorales

Smart bets: Mark Morales

Veteran Broadway performer Mark Morales (West Side Story, Sunset Boulevard) is based in Asheville these days, but the stage and screen actor can still be seen in commercials. Soon he’ll be regularly heard as well: Morales just recorded his first album, Something’s Coming, which includes some of the songs he performed on Broadway. “I honestly […]

BET Titus

Smart bets: Titus Andronicus

Shakespearean tragedy Titus Andronicus is considered to be the Bard’s bloodiest and most violent. Themes include sibling rivalry, murder and revenge. So gruesome is it that it fell out of favor with the sensitive Victorians but came back into popularity by the middle of the 20th century. Anam Cara Theatre Company puts its own spin […]

RichRobinsonn

Smart bets: Rich Robinson

As rock band The Black Crowes broke up, regrouped, went on hiatus and then back on tour, guitarist Rich Robinson — who co-founded that outfit with his brother Chris and drummer Steve Gorman — has consistently continued to make and play music. His side projects included Circle Sound with Luther Dickinson, an album with his […]

Sound Check D Striker

Sound Check: D. Striker

Longtime Nashville resident (by way of Athens, Ga.) D. Striker mixes a serious love of country music with a knack for satire. He publishes RR, a zine that “tackles Nashville’s past and present while throwing up a salute to revelry and crazy people,” every Friday the 13th. And his new album, Come Over Here, deals […]

BANDING TOGETHER: The Asheville Symphony Orchestra is the leading presenter of classical music in WNC, and one of many groups making up the region's diverse music industry. Photo courtesy of the ASO

Sound investment: WNC’s burgeoning music industry

While the local music scene might be hard to typify, it’s easy to point to: Musicians, venues, festivals and street performers compose the visible face of a vibrant arts culture. The local music industry, however, is more difficult to quantify. There are some well-known recording studios and instrument manufacturers and the occasional high-profile guitar sale, […]

JL1

Smart bets: Jim Lauderdale

Although country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is as tied to Nashville as to the colorful, embroidered suits he wears, he’s actually a North Carolina native. The son of a minister and a church organist, Lauderdale was born in Troutman, N.C., and grew up in South Carolina. He did head to Nashville after college, but it was […]

STRING THEORY: “In retrospect, when I look back on my life, I understand there had always been a passion for banjo music,” says Mike Savino of Tall Tall Trees. As a solo act, he's taken that instrument far from its folk and bluegrass roots. Photo courtesy of the musician

One-man banjo: Tall Tall Trees puts a new spin on an old instrument

When you think of the banjo, you might think of Earl Scruggs or Uncle Dave Macon, or even Steve Martin. You probably don’t think of loop pedals or bowing, or ancillary sounds from percussive tapping and blowing; you probably don’t imagine anything that could be classified as “space banjo.” But that’s exactly the kind of music banjo player Mike Savino of band-turned-solo-act Tall Tall Trees makes.