SHARED INSPIRATION: “As a white kid growing up playing guitar, I was as influenced by the music of Jimi Hendrix as Jimmy Page,” says author and musician David Gilbert. “I don’t think you can separate interesting cultural forms and innovation, which everybody can do. Everybody should have access to the music of Duke Ellington and the dance of Josephine Baker.”

Author David Gilbert challenges racial assumption­s in modern music

“The idea that black people and white people have distinct music and culture has its roots in racist thinking.”,” says author David Gilbert. It’s a concept he delves into in The Product of Our Souls: Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace. Gilbert holds a book launch and discussion at Malaprop’s Saturday, Nov. 14.

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. […]


It's a well-documented fact at this juncture: Asheville's sound is a melting pot, a smorgasbord, a sonic gumbo. But just in case you needed further proof, this week's roundup — pulled at random from a stack of submitted CDs — turns up rock, Americana, world/spiritual, bluegrass and jazz guitar.  Consider it potluck listening. Shed by […]