Eric Volta

Moogfest Q+A: Eric Volta

“My intention, when I create, is honest, says Eric Volta. “It’s my bond with my instruments and more importantly, it’s a projection of my soul in some ways.” He performs on Thursday, April 24 at Asheville Music Hall, as part of the No. 19 showcase.

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Moogfest Q+A: Awesome Tapes from Africa

“I had a mission in mind to share music I had heard that I knew was very hard to find in America,” says Brian Shimkovitz, creator of the blog, Awesome Tapes from Africa. “It’s been really fun to have so much support and openness for the music.” Shimkovitz performs an Awesome Tapes from Africa DJ set late-night on Thursday, April 24, as part of the Driftless showcase at Emerald Lounge.

Connecting with Cuba: A delegation of Asheville travelers recently visited Cuba and is working to build cultural bridges between the local area and the island country.

Connecting with Cuba: A celebration and discussion in Asheville

In the last six months, dozens of Asheville travelers have visited Cuba, creating growing connections between the local area and the island nation. And on April 22 members of those local delegations are hosting an event that aims to help bridge the divide between our different cultures and communities. Featuring live Cuban music and art […]


Music Video Asheville’s winning streak

The seventh annual Music Video Asheville was held last night at Diana Wortham Theatre. Featuring a red carpet, a networking event and about two hours-worth of locally and regionally created videos, the night paid tribute to the arts community. Among many memorable moments was presenter Ben Lovett calling teen singer-songwriter Indigo DeSousa from the stage […]

the tills

Smart Bets: The Tills

Asheville-based psychedelic indie pop rocker outfit The Tills arose from the ashes of its former, and apparently legally bound name, The Critters, in January after receiving a cease-and-desist phone call from the 1960s pop band of the same name. The local obliged and promptly released its new album, Mixtape Vol. 1, a frenzied 13-track outburst […]

Good green fun: Asheville Earth Day celebration, on Lexington Avenue, offers an array of music, arts and environmental opportunities. Photo courtesy of Asheville Earth Day

Green party

Asheville Earth Day celebrates sustainability and optimism “I think what’s really cool about Earth Day is that it can provide this umbrella for all the nonprofits in Asheville to come together,” says Ben Colvin, development director for Wild South, the nonprofit host of Asheville Earth Day. That daylong outdoor festival returns to Lexington Avenue on […]

“How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice?" asks local filmmaker Jeremy Seifert in his documentary, GMO OMG.

Planetary alignment

Earth Week events around Western North Carolina Save the shrews, celebrate the trees, take in a film and clean up a stream or two. For more ideas, visit Calendar and Climate change talk at Warren Wilson College — Everyone knows what planktonic foraminifera is, right? Still, a little refresher from a Smithsonian scientist never […]

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Smart Bets: Zansa

Local Afropop band Zansa has big news: Frontman Adama Dembele recently returned from a trip to his home country, Ivory Coast, where he performed at the weeklong MASA Festival, according to a press release. Fellow Ivory Coast native and dancer Barakissa Coulibaly (pictured) just made her way to Asheville, where she’ll be teaching and performing […]


Sound Track web extra: Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs

The Athens, Ga.-based duo claimed to be rusty when they took the Grey Eagle stage (not so: They opened with a fierce rendition of the Piedmont Blues song “Crow Jane”). They claimed they hadn’t been practicing much. Also untrue, but Holly and her one-man-backing-band Lawyer Dave (on guitar, vocals and a couple of kick drums) do create this casual atmosphere, like this is their front porch and you just happened to wander past.

Old habits: A five-year hiatus did little to cool the chemistry between Nickel Creek's members. They celebrate the band's 25th anniversary with an album and tour.

Five cents worth

Nickel Creek’s reunion tour stops in Asheville Five years ago, Nickel Creek — one of the most respected young acoustic bands in America — called it quits. Now, to celebrate 25 years since that band formed, its members have regrouped with a brand-new album, A Dotted Line, and a tour. They’ll swing through Asheville for […]


30 Days Out

There’s something for most everyone this time: classic 60s’ style baroque pop; gritty, heartfelt soul, surf rock and … well, we’re not sure what the other one is. But without a doubt it will be fascinating. (Picture: The Zombies.)

Craig Leon with the late musician/engineer/inventor/producer Walter Sear’s old modular Moog. Image courtesy of Leon

Moogfest Q+A: Craig Leon

Craig Leon, who performs at Diana Wortham Theatre on Saturday, April 26, has produced everyone from punks acts like The Ramones and Richard Hell to classical acts Pavarotti and Joshua Bell. He’ll perform his 1980 album, “Nommos,” live with a quartet from the Asheville Symphony — and he hopes to find an hour or two to listen to some bluegrass.


Moogfest Q+A: Slow Hands

Sure, the Moogfest lineup is star-studded (I’m looking at you, M.I.A., Kraftwerk and Niles Rodgers). But the roster — which numbers over 100 acts just for the night program alone — includes some lesser-known gems worth discovering. This series of email interviews is culled from my personal list of interesting artists I plan to check out.


Blame it on Holly Golightly (she plays The Grey Eagle in Friday, April 11)

Now, 20-plus albums into her career, Golightly has just released It’s Her Fault. Don’t expect it to sound radically different from earlier releases, says a press release. “It’s still a raw, rough-hewn stew of twisted roots music forged by the duo’s distinct musical interests…” Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs play The Grey Eagle on Friday, April 11. 9 p.m., $10/$12. The Shine Brothers also perform.

Work hard, play hard: Despite a hectic schedule that includes talent booking and venue management, Jeff Santiago y Los Gato Negros found time to record Rolling Towards the Moon. From left: Jared White, Debrissa McKinney, Clayton Jones, Santiago and Brandon Burney. Photo by Duncan Chaboudy

Thou hast seen nothing yet

Tapping time-management skills and Don Quixote, Los Gatos Negros releases a record

With all that local musician Jeff Santiago has going on in his life, it’s a minor miracle that his new album, Rolling Towards the Moon, exists. On Saturday, April 12, the singer/guitarist and his indie rock band Los Gatos Negros celebrate that achievement with a record-release party at Asheville Music Hall.

BET Dean Ween Group publicity pic bw

Smart Bets: Dean Ween Group

Experimental rock band Ween formed in the mid-’80s and, after a remarkably long tenure, broke up weirdly and publicly in 2012. But all was not lost. The band’s founding members, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo (aka Gene and Dean Ween, respectively) went on to pursue solo projects. These days, Dean Ween runs a charter boat […]