BET Hope Griffin

Smart bets: Hope Griffin

“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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

GO BIG: The bandleaders of the 1930s were some of the first to produce jazz renditions of Christmas favorites. That's part of the inspiration for big band variety show Have Yourself a Swinging Little Christmas. Russ Wilson, also known as “North Carolina's King of Swing,” says, "Big band music has always been my home." Photo by Frank Zipperer

The King of Swing brings a holiday variety show to The Isis

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. […]

FOR THE RECORD: As a producer or engineer, Chris Rosser always strives to keep things in the studio positive and moving forward. Part of that approach is the philosophy that "there are no bad ideas," a concept he’s borrowed from Daniel Lanois’ work with Brian Eno and U2. “It creates an environment where ideas aren't going to be shut down before they're given a fair shot, and often that'll lead to some of the more interesting things on a record,” Rosser says. Photo by Lynn Morgan Rosser

Prolific producer Chris Rosser takes time for first solo album in eight years

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 […]

ALL THAT GLITTERS: The Asheville Area Arts Council holds its annual color ball fundraiser, this year called the Gilded Ball, at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Expect music, performance arts and live and silent auctions. Photo from last year's Emerald Ball by Micah Mackenzie

Asheville Area Arts Council celebrates a big year with the Gilded Ball

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 […]