Around Town: Punk rock compilation album seeks to raise awareness of naloxone

THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH: Local bands John Kirby and the New Seniors, top left, Carpal Tullar, bottom left, and Bonny Dagger are among the artists featured on Ramones-Esque. Band photos courtesy of the artists; album cover courtesy of Holy Crap Records

Overdose deaths in North Carolina have been increasing at an alarming rate, and the music industry has been particularly hard-hit.

“I personally know three musicians who have overdosed and died,” says John Kennedy, director of Musicians for Overdose Prevention. “And this doesn’t have to happen. There is something we can do about this.”

With that in mind, Musicians for Overdose Prevention has teamed with Black Mountain’s Holy Crap Records to release Ramones-Esque, a punk compilation album to bring attention to naloxone.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan and others, is a medication used to reverse the effects of heroin, fentanyl and other opioids. It is commonly used to counter decreased breathing in opioid overdoses.

“First, all music venues should carry Narcan. They just should,” Kennedy says. “Second, all musicians should carry Narcan.”

One problem, though, is that the price for a two-pack of Narcan, an easy-to-use formulation of naloxone that is administered as a nasal spray, is a steep $75.

“Pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t be able to make a profit on Narcan,” Kennedy says. “They need to take a loss. They helped create this overdose crisis, and they can’t make massive profits on this, off us.”

The group will send Narcan, CDs and more to all the artists on Ramones-Esque, as well as to more than 300 other artists they have a relationship with. It also will supply Narcan to music venues, recording studios and radio stations.

The album features 47 songs done in the style of the legendary punk band the Ramones — fast, loud, catchy and built around three chords. Many of the featured artists are from Western North Carolina, including Dangerous Goods, Busy Weather, Malibu Stacy, Carpal Tullar, The Deathbots, DanceKrieg, Cardboard Box Colony, Slow Poison, John Kirby and the New Seniors, Bonny Dagger, Hit Dogs and Beulah Froom.

Ramones-Esque can be purchased at or on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music or other online music services.

Made in Brevard

The fourth annual Arts in March returns to downtown Brevard on Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, March 27, noon-4 p.m. For the first time, the event will incorporate made brevard, an open-air market featuring 26 creators and artisans.

Made brevard exhibitors were selected through a juried process, with preference given to local and regional vendors. All products, including jewelry, paintings, pottery, textiles, local honey and skin care products, will be handmade or handcrafted.

The market will be in the West Jordan Street parking lot and the parking lot behind the Trust Building.

“Traditionally, many of our events close the streets and line them with vendors,” says Nicole Bentley, executive director of Heart of Brevard, the nonprofit sponsoring the event. “Through post-event surveys, we’ve learned that this model isn’t a benefit to our year-round, brick-and-mortar downtown businesses. In an effort to support small businesses, local makers and our community, we decided to host the market in a central location that adds to the overall atmosphere of the event.”

In addition to made brevard, Arts in March will feature live music, food trucks, artist demonstrations, artist pop-ups and curated specials at downtown businesses.

For more information, visit

Going to the mat

Gabriel Crow, an esteemed Eastern Band Cherokee basket maker and featured artist in the exhibition ᎢᏛᏍᎦ ᏫᏥᏤᎢ ᎠᎵᏰᎵᏒ Weaving Across Time, will lead a mat-weaving workshop at the Center for Craft on Friday, March 25, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Participants will learn about traditional Eastern Band Cherokee weaving patterns, how to dye splints and how to weave a traditional Eastern Band Cherokee mat form.

The woven mat has become a particularly valuable format for contemporary basket weavers like Crow to experiment with pattern and color.

The Center for Craft is located at 67 Broadway. Cost of the workshop is $75. For more information or to register, go to

Rockin’ for Ukraine

Asheville’s Peacock Party Band will host the Ukraine Benefit House Party on Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m., at 301 Pearson Drive.

Louly Peacock and I decided we wanted to organize a fundraiser for the people of the Ukraine and have asked a group of Asheville musicians and bands to perform acoustically at our house concert venue in historic Montford,” says Sim Hickman of the Peacock Party Band.

The group has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, a group that seeks to help Ukrainians who have been injured, displaced or are suffering from a lack of shelter, food or medical care as a result of the Russian invasion. Hickman hopes to raise $3,000.

Among those performing at the show will be the Peacock Party Trio, featuring Peacock, Hickman and Jenette Mackie, Pixiebelly, Chris Wilhelm, Ghost Pipe Union, Ashley Heath, Melodic AF, Justin Jay, and Ashes and Arrows.

For more information, go to To donate to the GoFundMe effort, visit

Going back in time

John Cloyd Miller, a professor at Warren Wilson College and member of renowned local band Zoe & Cloyd, recently won first prize in the prestigious Hazel Dickens Songwriting Contest.

The winning song, “Chestnut Mountain,” is an ode to Miller’s historic family homeplace in Wilkes County.

“I’d always wanted to write a song about the family homeplace because I felt that it was something that was very meaningful to all of us,” Miller says in a press release. “It’s such a poignant story, important to everybody in the family. When it was finished, I thought, ‘This is nice.’ It’s good, it’s simple, it has a good emotive quality. I felt proud of it.”

Miller’s late grandfather, Jim Shumate, was born on the family property in 1921 and was a pioneer in early bluegrass music, playing with Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and other legendary artists.

Miller says his grandfather was a huge influence on his musical career, and he wanted the song to honor his family’s legacy.

The Hazel Dickens Songwriting Contest includes a $500 prize, which Miller says he plans to spend on a new guitar.

Asheville musician Anya Hinkle received an honorable mention for her song “Hills of Swannanoa.”

To see the music video for “Chestnut Mountain,” go to

Volunteers needed

The Western North Carolina Historical Association is seeking volunteers to help with hikes and other outings.

The group will pay for selected volunteers to receive wilderness first aid and CPR training so that they can act as an assistant in case of injuries or emergencies. That could involve dealing with minor cuts or injuries or even having to help someone back to a trailhead or to more advanced medical care.

The ideal candidate should be a regular attendee of WNCHA outings, able to lift/carry 50 or more pounds in emergencies, confident in their ability to complete strenuous hikes up to 6 miles, willing to provide first-aid assistance after receiving training, competent at following trail or topographical maps and routes, and calm and professional under pressure.

If interested, email Trevor Freeman at

Visiting writer

Author Nadia Owusu will speak at UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m., as part of the school’s Visiting Writers Series.

Owusu is a Ghanaian and Armenian American writer and urbanist. Her first book, Aftershocks, A Memoir, topped many most anticipated and best book of the year lists and was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.

For more information on the free event, go to



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About Justin McGuire
Justin McGuire is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, the (Rock Hill, SC) Herald and various other publications. Follow me @jmcguireMLB

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