Asheville Music Hall talks parquet flooring

Photo by Jaye Bartell

The opening of The Asheville Music Hall this autumn filled an important niche in downtown Asheville: the midlevel club. Since Stella Blue closed its doors earlier in the year, the listening room capacity went from 200-person venues (The Emerald Lounge) to 1,100 (The Orange Peel).

Katherine "KP" Powell and Sam Katz of artist management company Geniass Productions took over the former Stella Blue space and its smaller downstairs music room (formerly known as Stella's) this year. The Stella's space opened first, renamed as The One Stop Deli & Bar, turning out tasty sandwiches and quickly filling up its calendar with a mix of local and nationally touring bands.

The Asheville Music Hall opened just in time for Moogfest. "A lot of love was put into the remodeling of both spaces," say Powell and Katz. "On the Music Hall side we refinished the existing parquet floors and they came out amazing — way better than we ever thought they would. Also, the bar was hand-built by Jason Holtsclaw using wormy chestnut, cherry and oak."

But there's more to the club than looks: "One of the coolest things about what we have going on with these two rooms is that it provides an opportunity for us to help bands grow that we really like and feel like have to potential to be successful," say Powell and Katz. "We have the small room that we can use to give younger startup bands a chance to build their name in Asheville as well as the bigger room that they can move up to once they start to really be able to sell tickets in this town."

So what are Asheville Music Hall's co-creators most looking forward to in 2012? Powell lists Talking Heads tribute band Same As It Ever Was, performing on Feb. 24 and Joe Krown Trio featuring Walter Wolfman Washington and Russell Batiste Jr. at the One Stop on April 5. Plus, "New Orleans music is super important to me, and I look forward to bringing as much through Asheville as we can," she says.

For Katz, "our biggest booking yet is our two-night stand with Perpetual Groove. These guys became one of the biggest jambands in the country and until recent years were headlining the Orange Peel." Those shows are Thursday and Friday, Jan. 5 and 6. Info at


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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