JJ Grey seems like a guy who knows how to have a good time. He also seems like he genuinely wants everyone around him to have a good time. With his six-piece band Mofro, Grey played the outdoor stage at Pisgah Brewing Co. on Friday night.
Xenography, the new album by composer and musician Chris Stack is intensely observant and deeply peaceful. It’s not an album that commands you to listen, that stage dives and struts and makes a spectacle of itself. But to really pay attention to these songs is to go into a deeper, quieter, slower-paced place; a place welling with its own life forms and pulses and magic.
At first glance, Thompson is of the David Wilcox/David Grey school of songwriting. Pop-savvy, thoughtful, rhythmically interesting. He’s also a good guitarist, a showman, and able to access his New Orleans roots for slashes of jazz and soul that elevate the songs above standard songwriter fare.
Part experimental, part indie-pop, Kisses to the Sky — the new release from N.C.-based collective Oulipo is as risky as it is dreamy. The album “takes inspiration from the studio pop melodrama of Talk Talk, Phil Collins, and the two Bruces (Springsteen & Hornsby)” says the group’s Bandcamp page.
From the knuckle-pop percussion and the fuzzed-out opening lyrics of “The Kids,” Fashion Bath‘s newest release, Sunday Best is full of intrigue, dark shimmer and reticent importance. The EP is a mix of astute alt-pop (like “The Kids,” with its almost-slowdance beat and buzzy, heady melody) and explosive, driving noise-rockers (like “Funny Feeling,” with its […]
1UP, the new record by Western North Carolina and Greensboro-based Seers is an unabashedly weird, inspired, fantastical, bizarre and transcendent collection. The nine-track album is just part of a larger project — released by the collective Nomad Staff — including short films and music videos. The combination is a slide down a rabbit hole of […]
It might be a song about dying, but The Freeway Revival‘s cover of “Whipping Post” — performed last Saturday night during the local band’s show — brought The Allman Brothers’ legacy to life. In fact, the five member band, led by a songwriting brother duo, seemed to channel the soul-filled history of rock ‘n’ roll. […]
“As long as you come out to hear us, we’ll keep coming back,” promised guitarist Andrew Trube of Austin-based band Greyhounds. “There are more people than last time we were here.” The crowd numbered optimistically at 30 — a small group inside The Grey Eagle. But Greyhounds, a class act, performed as if it was a […]
It’s been said that The Get Right Band doesn’t play the same set twice, but while that signals unpredictability, it’s not a sign of inconsistency. Completely at ease on stage (singer/guitarist Silas Durocher was barefoot, despite the chill outside), the band launched into its first song — “The Carpenter’s Daughter” — to a mostly empty […]
Sidecar Honey is the songwriting trifecta of Dave Dribbon, Jeff Honeycutt and Randy Dzielak — a self-described “down home roots sounds with an original modern edge” outfit. But what makes this Americana act (in a sea of roots-music bands) a stand out is the smart juxtaposition of shrewd songwriting and high-energy rhythm. Not that Sidecar […]
With song titles like “High Mountain Pass” and “Land of the Sky,” you might think that American Hollow, the latest effort from local four-piece Bask is a bluegrass offering. You would be wrong. From the opening guitar riffs of “High Mountain Pass,” the album asserts itself with coiling intensity and crushing percussion. On its Bandcamp […]
At first glance, Shawnee, Oklahoma-based singer-songwriter Samantha Crain makes an unlikely front woman. She might not be a boho trendsetter like Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the sisters of Swedish folk-pop outfit First Aid Kit for whom Crain is currently opening. But, even alone on stage (except for her guitar), Crain quickly proves why she’s warming […]
It’s probably hard to open for The Afghan Whigs, one of the more formidable rock bands of the ’90s, with their huge sound and Greg Dulli’s powerful vocal — and even more challenging to open for the six-piece group as a solo artist. Unless you happen to be Joseph Arthur. Of course, Arthur wasn’t exactly […]
The runaway locomotive energy that The Hackensaw Boys bring to the stage makes their joy obvious. The band has played all over the US and Europe at festivals, concert halls, pubs and barns for well over a decade, but last Friday they were still grinning like school kids for Asheville fans. For the final two […]
Photos by David Simchock of Front Row Focus. I’m not a fan of the whole “killing it” thing, but rarely has there been a more apt usage of the term than at the end of Beck‘s show at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Following the searing, sweat-drenching, absolute mayhem of the seven-piece band’s performance of “E-Pro,” […]
Usually the opener is the opener and the headliner is the headliner and if the two happen to meet onstage it’s because the opener joins in for a song or two, special-guest-style. The Conor Oberst show at The Orange Peel on Friday did away with that formula. Openers Dawes played a full set of their […]
There are plenty of couple acts cutely reenacting Sonny and Cher, Johnny and June, Ike and Tina. It’s a thing on which countless publicists have attempted to capitalize: “Not only are they married, they also write and perform together!” But while the Crushed Outs and the Johnnyswims and the Holly Golightly/Lawyer Daves of the touring […]
Review and video from last Friday’s show.
This Virginia-based singer-songwriter couple has shared stages, locally, with Red June. Learn about The Honey Dewdrops’ new release, “Silver Lining.” Photo by Jack Looney.
Morgan Geer returns to Asheville (this time to stay awhile) and celebrates the release of “Into the Missionfield” with a Saturday, Feb. 25 show at the LAB.
Reviews of What Hurts the Most by Knives and Daggers, King of Hearts by Joshua Singleton, Real Good Man by Stephen Shealy and Annunciation St by The Mumbles.