Photo by Zen Sutherland

You love it

Welcome to the 34th annual Bele Chere. To some, the festival translates as “beautiful living”; to others it means “leave town.” If the first applies to you, please proceed. Lift your eyes for a moment and take in the hordes: of people, food, music, art and heat. Before you disappear into this confetti of entertainment, […]

Venezuelan dance band Los Amigos Invisibles plays the Battery Park Stage Friday from 8-9:30 p.m.

The Friday bands

Antique Firearms This year has been the year for local indie-rockers Antique Firearms. Actually, the musicians have only been a band for about a year, but already they've released a substantial EP, developed a noteworthy atmospheric sound and headlined a local showcase at The Orange Peel. The smart, sonically intriguing quintet is made up of […]

Blackberry Smoke plays the Coxe Avenue Stage Friday from 8:15-9:15 p.m.

Southern men

According to Blackberry Smoke singer/guitarist Charlie Starr, the term “Southern rock” isn't a bad thing. "It's not an insult to us," he says. "Just don't short-change us: We're not a tribute act and we're not a cover band." There is plenty about the quintet that suggests the '70s, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers — […]

Lucero plays the Biltmore Stage Friday from 8:30-10 p.m.

Grizzled old men

For most of its excellent and exuberant duration, Lucero’s 2009 album 1372 Overton Park occupies the all-out-party-and-subsequent-fallout cycle of the band’s previous efforts. Bolstered by horns for the first time in its career, the Memphis-based sextet barrels through barroom punk anthems about the women and wonders that slipped through their fingers as booze slipped through […]

David Mayfield Parade plays the Biltmore Stage Friday from 6:45-8 p.m.

A grand closeness

While most kids his age were dreaming about becoming astronauts and professional athletes, David Mayfield was touring the country in his family's bluegrass band. By his early 20s, the Ohio native was surviving as a "gun-for-hire" in Nashville, writing songs for other artists and eventually stepping into the world of producing, where he earned a […]

Saturday music schedule

Saturday, July 28 Coxe Avenue Stage 12:30 – 2 Michael Reno Harrell Singer-songwriter/Folk 2:30 – 4 Sanctum Sully  Folk 4:30 – 6 Aunt Martha Folk/Country 6:30 – 8 ArtOfficial Hip-hop/Funk 8:30 – 10 Dr. Dog Indie Biltmore Stage 12:15 – 1:45 The Archrivals  Jazz/Rock 2:15 – 3:45 Grown Up Avenger Stuff Alternative Rock 4:15 – […]

Asheville-based progressive bluegrass outfit Sanctum Sully plays the Coxe Avenue stage Saturday from 2:30-4 p.m.

The Saturday bands

ArtOfficial Hip-hop/jazz/funk ensemble ArtOfficial is considered (at least by one vocal fan) to be the best band in Miami. Formed from two defunct bands (one hip-hop, one jazz), ArtOfficial prides itself on an original sound, eschewing drum machines and samples in favor of "organic instrumentation." Aunt Martha Few bands subtitle their names. Folk-country outfit […]

Dr. Dog plays the Coxe Avenue Stage Saturday from 8:30-10 p.m. Photo by Chris Crisman

Crushing hard

It’s starting to seem like Dr. Dog has a crush on Asheville.  The Philadelphia-based five-piece performed at the Orange Peel in March, it headlines this weekend's Bele Chere festival and it's slated to return again in August for a slot at nearby Boone's Music on the Mountaintop. Not to mention the gushing endorsements for Asheville's […]

Sunday music schedule

Sunday, July 29 Coxe Avenue Stage 1 – 2 Baby Rattlesnakes Folk/Jazz/Rock 2:30 – 4 Jonathan Scales Fourchestra Jazz/Rock/Fusion 4:30 – 6 David Wax Museum Americana Biltmore Stage 12:30 – 1:30 Ten Hollow Americana 2 – 3:30 Balsam Range Bluegrass 4 – 5:30 Brandi Carlile Pop/Rock Battery Park Stage 12:45 –  1:45 Lacy Green Country […]

Jazz/rock/fusion outfit Jonathan Scales Fourchestra plays the Coxe Avenue Stage Saturday from 2:30-4 p.m.

The Sunday bands

Baby Rattlesnakes Originally called “The Lonely Christmas Band,” the band that would become Baby Rattlesnakes played holiday covers for their friends. But the chemistry of the group inspired them to expand beyond the seasonal repertoire, writing their own material inspired by elements of soul, pop and Appalachian folk. The Asheville-based six-piece band melts hearts with […]

Midnight magic

Brandi Carlile isn't just playing Bele Chere because some booking agent somewhere routed her tour through Western North Carolina. She loves this town, she tells Xpress. And, having played the Grey Eagle and the Orange Peel already, "I thought I'd try something different." A festival seems just about right for the singer-songwriter (and Lillith Fair […]

Photo by Jaky Felix

Best of the best

Depending on whom you ask, anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 music, art and street-festival seekers are about to descend on our city. The streets will once again cram with temporary tenements selling everything from jewelry to kabobs. And among the myriad visitors and locals in attendance are dozens of visiting and local artists exhibiting work […]

Bele Chere after hours …

Friday, July 27 ARCADE: DJ Abu Dissaray, 9 p.m. Asheville Music Hall: Common Foundation (reggae) w/ Chalwa, Dub Kartel & Marrietta's Palm, 10 p.m. Athena's Club: Mark Appleford (blues, folk, rock), 6-10 p.m. — DJ, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Boiler Room: Decline of Western North Carolina showcase, 8 p.m. Club Hairspray: Dance party w/ DJ Lil […]