BET AL Coffee

Smart bets: AL Coffee & Da Grind

Asheville’s AL Coffee & Da Grind, a self-described high-energy, up-tempo blues quartet, will travel to Memphis, Tenn., in late January, joining more than 200 musical groups in competition at the International Blues Challenge. The soul- and dance-inspired band has scheduled a series of hometown fundraising gigs to cover the musicians’ trip to this “blues heaven” […]

BET Taylor Martin (byScottWoody)

Smart bets: Taylor Martin

“There are gonna be a lot of smiles onstage and for good reason,” says Asheville guitarist Taylor Martin of his upcoming show at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Local music luminaries Lyndsay Pruitt (fiddle), Drew Matulich (mandolin) and Rick Cooper (upright bass) comprise Martin’s band, and drummer Josh Mulligan will also join the musical combo […]

Christmas in Scotland

Smart bets: Jamie Laval’s Christmas in Scotland

Internationally renowned Celtic violinist Jamie Laval’s Christmas in Scotland performance calls on a patchwork of art forms to revive traditional Celtic celebrations of the winter solstice and Christmas. Local guitarist and banjoist David Brown and multi-instrumentalist Rosalind Buda are among Laval’s supporting lineup of Celtic-influenced artists, in addition to a Welsh harpist and a Scottish […]

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 […]