Catie Curtis horiz cr Joseph Anthony Baker

Smart bets: Catie Curtis

Catie Curtis was dubbed a “folk-rock goddess” by The New Yorker — an impressive title that still doesn’t manage to sum up the singer-songwriter’s remarkable career. A Maine native, Curtis got her musical start as a drummer and, as a teenager, sat in with Foreigner on “I Want to Know What Love Is.” She went […]

BOOK ARTS: Collaborators, from left, Alec Sturgis, Shane Parish and David Grubba. Photo courtesy of Cairn Desk

State of the Arts: Cairn Desk releases book albums

CDs are on their way out. For some music fans, they’ve been dead for years. As downloading and digital streaming continue to consume the music industry, more and more artists and boutique producers are embracing that transition by turning to alternative means of  preserving the physicality of the album. Vinyl records have come back in […]

Annie and the Hot Club

Smart bets: Annie and the Hot Club

Theatrical facial expressions and expressive gesticulations take jazz vocalist Annie Sellick’s onstage storytelling abilities over the top, transforming each song into a personal conversation with the crowd. The performer — part musician, part impromptu actress — is truly living every lyric as she sings. The Hot Club of Nashville, which infuses 1930s and ’40s jazz […]

Up the Chain

Smart bets: Up the Chain

For Reed Kendall, transitioning from solo songwriting to a solid band lineup has been “the ultimate blessing.” With drummer Kirby Sybert and bassist Noah Skaroff replacing the former rotating cast of musicians, he says his Philadelphia-based rock band Up the Chain is using consistency and trust as a platform for progress. The group’s first record […]

The Appalachian Studies Association held its 38th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference last weekend at Eastern Tennessee University. Photo by Max Hunt.

Mountain medley: Reflection­s on the 2015 Appalachia­n Studies Conference

In an ongoing effort to connect those dispersed communities, the Appalachian Studies Association held its 38th annual conference last month in Johnson City, Tenn. The one-of-a-kind event unites scholars and musicians, activists and academics, to celebrate the often misunderstood region’s distinctive heritage, culture and physical landscape.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: The members of Foul Mouth Jerk's hip-hop act, left, actually have a lot in common with country band The Honeycutters, right. Both local bands recorded new records at Echo Mountain Studios; both will launch those albums at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall this week.

The Honeycutte­rs and Foul Mouth Jerk play Isis on consecutiv­e nights

Place The Honeycutters and Foul Mouth Jerk side by side and one can’t help but notice their differences. The former play country roots music while the latter raps and, unless one puts undue emphasis on the “cut” of Honeycutters, even their names reflect opposite sensibilities. But beyond these sonic and stylistic splits, the two Asheville acts have a substantial amount in common.

"The Fox & Beggar Theater is Asheville's answer to Cirque du Soleil, but with a much heavier focus on narrative, poetics and the incredible power of a locally-minded circus theater,” explains Nat Allister, the organization's founder and artistic director. Tarocco: A Soldier's Tale, the theater's forthcoming production, will be performed at the Orange Peel on four weekend nights. Tarocco artwork courtesy of the Fox and Beggar Theater

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features the Fox and Beggar Theatre’s art fusion production, Noah Proudfoot Stockdale’s musical musings on love, improved resources for the Drum Heads podcast and a traveling documentary and art exhibit about estranged siblings’ visual art.