Renowned fiddler and Grand Ole Opry veteran Kate Lee, mandolin prodigy Forrest O’Connor and backing guitarist Jim Shirey had a productive post-holiday powwow, solidifying a handful of shiny new tunes for the contemporary folk duo’s February tour.
“This is a special collaboration of forces in Asheville — Isis [Restaurant & Music Hall], New Mountain, Pisgah [Brewing Co.] and FATE come together for a evening of brass funk,” says a press release. The star in that equation is, of course, New Orleans-based outfit Dirty Dozen Brass Band. In celebration of its 35th anniversary, […]
“I’m ecstatic to finally deliver [Say What You Will] into everyone’s most patient hands,” says folk Americana singer-songwriter Hope Griffin of her upcoming EP release party. Not one to rush art, the Asheville performer has planned a two-hour showcase that draws heavily from her “four-year labor of love,” a potent six-pack spanning “soulful ballads to […]
The entire six-song collection, is as much about the orchestration of Griffin’s voice in collaboration with the instrumentation, as it is about the lyrics. Tender strings offer poignant accents, but it’s the low, almost whispery bowed bass that’s the happiest surprise.
Surrealist musician Col. Bruce Hampton sandwiches his Asheville show between two runs of exotic dates.
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” […]
Twenty-five years after meeting on a London train, couple Shannon and Mark Casson are working toward their seventh full-length studio album as The Cheeksters — a glam-pop outfit whose catchy sound has been scooped up for commercial use by NFL and Coca-Cola in past years. “Typically I’ll be playing a new song around the house, […]
In late May, Asheville indie rockers The Hermit Kings had a blast opening for a reunited Gran Torino at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. A week later, they returned to the West Asheville venue for the All Go West music festival and had another positive experience. “The sound was great, the lights are great, the […]
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 […]
Josh Stack, founder and executive director of Funding America Through Entertainment, first began combining his passion for music with his mission to end hunger two decades ago. “Back in the early ‘90s in the Southeast, everybody went to see Widespread Panic,” he says. “The band let me set up a table and raise money at […]
There’s something inexplicably cheery — and not ironically so, despite the prevalence of seasonal sweaters — about the Christmas specials of Bing Crosby and Lawrence Welk. These shows of decades past delivered holiday medleys and warm sentiments that spanned giddy good times to reflective moments. They conjured seasonal memories with traditional carols and festive standards. […]
When eight years passes between a musician’s albums, it’s natural to wonder what he’s been up to during that time. For Asheville songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Rosser, however, it’s almost easier to diagram what he hasn’t been doing. On top of steady solo gigs and collaborations, Rosser has stayed busy with percussionist River Guerguerian and […]
By all accounts, husband-and-wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are happy in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, their home since moving from Columbia, S.C. The two draw songwriting inspiration from the area’s major seasonal changes and the ghosts of Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost. But they do occasionally miss aspects of the South.
Local musician and songwriter Jeff Thompson has been hard at work on So Far, So Strange, his new album. It represents personal and stylistic changes; it also marks some brilliant collaborations and daring risks. Thompson is a big personality with comedic leanings (find his “Shit New Age Guys Say” video on YouTube); but at the […]
Live theater is current, ever-changing and immediate. Case in point, The Immediate Theatre Project’s performance of Live From WVL Radio: It’s A Wonderful Life. Taking the beloved holiday tale and making it relevant to current times, the performance aims to bypass excessive nostalgia and present the moving story as a reinterpretation. To recap, the play […]
As a child, Jens Kruger of Wilkesboro mountain-music trio The Kruger Brothers was so fascinated with the music of Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe that he taught himself how to play banjo on a broken instrument, nailing the strings to the peg board. “I like the sound of the banjo,” he says. “For me, mentally, it’s […]
Nashville-based bluegrass collective Lonesome River Band has been performing for more than 30 years. The group joined Steve Martin on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” it’s played the Grand Ole Opry along with numerous festivals and has taken home awards such as an IBMA for the song “Angeline the Baker.” But when it came […]
“We loved Asheville, but it’s too pretty,” says Mallory Graham, half of indie-folk duo The Rough & Tumble. “All we wanted to do was take hikes and drink delicious beer.” Graham and her collaborator, Scott Tyler, were members of The Walk-In Residents when they lived in Western North Carolina. Three years ago they relocated to […]
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 […]
If there’s a theme to this week collection of songs, it has to be unique takes on roots music — though Philadelphia-based rockers Purling Hiss probably don’t fit in the roots category at all. Still, their re-envisioned approach to rock and pop fits with The Wood Brothers’ innovation of blues and Americana, and Judah & […]
A label-defying spirit will be in full effect Friday, Aug. 29, at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall with the celebration of new albums by The Secret B-Sides, Reed, HoveyKraft and Slo_Gold. All four acts will perform original sets, as will legendary singer Sidney Barnes.