BET_RoyalNoise

Smart bets: The Royal Noise

Drawing on influences from the great funk masters Herbie Hancock and Parliament Funkadelic, as well as contemporary bands like Umphrey’s McGee and Lotus, Philadelphia-based funk band The Royal Noise is a self-described “relentless funk dance party.” One reviewer characterizes the band as “Groove, groove and more groove — with a side order of groove and a […]

BET_americanfolk

Smart bets: Quilts as Inspiration

There was a time when quilts served as one of the few pieces of artwork in Appalachian homes, and they truly were works of art. “The hallmarks of great art always include line, color, patterns, texture, balance. Quilts are no exception,” according to a press release for American Folk Art & Framing’s upcoming exhibit, Pattern, […]

BET_AliDouglass

Smart bets: Ali Douglass

There is something comfortingly familiar about Ali Douglass’ whimsical illustrations and paintings. It might be the eye-pleasing color combinations, charming characters and quirky cityscapes and scenes — or it might actually be that you’ve seen them before. Douglass has been illustrating for countless magazines and newspapers  — including Seventeen, Martha Stewart, Glamour and The New […]

SingintheMorning_CryatNight copy

Smart bets: Barbara J. Taylor

Barbara J. Taylor’s debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, is “an evocative story of family tragedy and healing set in coal-mining Scranton, Pennsylvania.” As a native and current resident of the Electric City, where the story is set, Taylor draws inspiration from a haunting family story to blend real-life incidents with historical […]

mates-of-state copy

Smart bets: Mates of State

Husband-and-wife, indie-pop outfit Mates of State consistently challenge the perceived limitations of a two-piece with their effortless harmonies and minimal pop appeal. One reviewer describes the band as “two people playing complex songs that sound like five people playing a simple song.” Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) formed Mates of State in 1997 and have […]

BET BobbyBareJr. by JoshuaBlackWilkins copy

Smart bets: Bobby Bare Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr., son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, is touring in support of his latest release, Undefeated. The album is “10 songs of reality checks, clever wordplay and daring arrangement, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a barstool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows,” according […]

Photo by Hang The Moon Photography

Smart bets: Aaron Burdett and Tellico

It’s not too surprising that singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett won top honors from Our State magazine for his song “Going Home to Carolina.” Burdett’s thoughtful, acoustic-driven take on Southern Americana is a fitting soundtrack for life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the addition of his four-piece band, he creates music that is deeply rooted in the […]

BET SP-1 Michelle Seipel Headshot (2)

Smart bets: South Pacific

“Chosen not only for its easily recognized show tunes, [‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair’ and ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ among them] Asheville Lyric Opera hopes to introduce the Asheville audience to the classical stage genius of Rodgers & Hammerstein,” says a press release. The musical South Pacific is set on a remote […]

Photo by Lindsey King

Smart bets: Bulgogi

Asheville-based band Bulgogi describes itself as a “perfect storm of dancey punk rock gleeful nutty psychotherapy,” as well as “terrified child dance punk,” but there’s no need to fear frontman Tim Tsurutani, his death-defying vocals, tongue-in-cheek lyrics or the band’s danceable, hard-edged melodies. (That is, assuming the band isn’t trying to lull us into a […]

Photo by Brandy Bourne

Smart bets: The Big Crafty

Go local and bolster your DIY cred at the same time at The Big Crafty. There, artists and makers of all kinds will convene in downtown Asheville and sell their one-of-a-kind, handmade wares. “Our guiding principle is that buying handmade is good for the community, and our aim is to make doing so fun,” say the […]

parade_tartans

Smart bets: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Grab your kilt and your clan and get to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games for “blaring bagpipes, astounding athletes and tons of tartan.” The four-day event begins with sheep-herding demonstrations and only gets more Celtic from there. Brawnier participants may enter heavyweight competitions such as “turning the caber” and “tossing the sheaf.” In the caber toss, […]

CaseyNeillBBW_2013

Smart Bets: Casey Neill

Casey Neill and his backing band, The Norway Rats have “all been in the trenches of the Northwest music world together since the mid ’90s,” says the musician. Even before forming the band, he was performing in the U.S. and around the globe. So while Neill is hardly a newcomer to the music scene, it could […]

PointedArchComposing-Green2 copy

Smart Bets: Primordial forms

“The foundation for my work lies within the understanding of primordial forms and their purpose throughout history,” says glass artist Chad Holliday. He creates contemporary glass sculpture to communicate these timeless shapes, many of which are derived from European architecture and gothic cathedrals. Along with his solo exhibition, titled Primordial Forms, at the Bender Gallery, […]

Pictured: Temple Bowl by Clay Foster

Smart bets: Ancient Voices

“My art combines elements and sources to capture the essence of things that endure, things that last, ancient voices that speak to our hearts in modern times,” says Indianapolis-based wood artist Clay Foster. His fine-art wood sculptures will be displayed alongside local artist Brad Stroman’s contemporary realist paintings in an exhibition titled Ancient Voices. Stroman […]