Random acts

Of note

Local rock photographer Bo Post is exploring her musical side. Post is set to pen the music for the upcoming short film The Enigma: Tanner Hyde, a mockumentary about a “white-trash country singer.” The film, directed by UNCA student Margaret Lauzon, should debut in late May.

Saturday March 2 is a day local band Blues Brigade won’t soon forget: That’s when they nailed down the grand prize in the final round of The Battle of the Bands, presented by The Kat’s Lair and Rock 104. The band took home $1,000 and three hours of studio time at Boogie Moon Recording. For more information, visit www.legionpost.com/katslair.

Front-row reviews

What: Benefit for Jones Smith featuring Bluegrass Experience and County Farm

Where: Jack of the Wood

When: Saturday March 2

Recently, former Second String Bluegrass Band bassist Jones Smith was badly burned. To help offset his medical costs, Jones’ friends in the local bluegrass community decided to stage a benefit concert. The result of their efforts was a packed house at Jack of the Wood and a wonderful night of music.

Even through the sound problems at the start of the show, the members of County Farm were all smiles. The crowd liked this fun band enough to demand an encore, and the group responded with its typically zippy song, “Einstein the Genius.”

As enjoyable as County Farm was, however, they were blown off the stage by the barnstorming virtuosity of Bluegrass Experience, a long-established group from the Triangle area. The group features Jones’ bassist father “Snuffy” Smith, and it can safely be assumed that this show was particularly meaningful to him. Each member of the band is a masterly player, and combined with the group’s zesty stage presence, it made for some great entertainment. Their collective ability to twist and control the flow of a classic tune — like The Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” — was truly exceptional. It’s a shame that it took such a somber cause to bring such a lively group to Asheville.

Local vocals

Things haven’t always been easy for Green Eggs & Jam. The record store’s first location, a tiny storefront in Swannanoa, was plagued by vandals and prone to flooding. But that didn’t keep owner Stacey Peek down. Instead, he picked up and moved on to West Asheville, where his store was a hit. Now, after yet another move (to downtown Asheville in 1998), Green Eggs & Jam has become a haven for local fans of punk rock and heavy metal and a vital outpost in the local music community.

Mountain Xpress: Tell me about the first store, and early days for Green Eggs & Jam.

Stacey Peek: It was small. Real small. Basically, we had three racks. Mainly, it was all CDs from my own collection. I got things for people that you couldn’t get in town. Kind of the same thing I do now. [But] Swannanoa was not a good place for our store. … I got vandalized. People would put glue on my windows. Somebody rubbed a diaper on my window one time. There was a flood one time, and we had to get everything out of the store. [We] had to dig ditches around the store. I hadn’t even had the store open three weeks. It was crazy.

MX: What has changed since then?

SP: It started out being more like a hobby. Then it became a job. Everybody thinks it’s real easy, but it’s not. You don’t just sit around here and sell records, you’ve got to know what to put in here. It’s the business side of it that kind of gets to me sometimes.

MX: What’s the best thing about running this store?

SP: Just seeing everybody every day, you know? There’s definitely a community down here. I like it when somebody comes in here and they are like, “I’ve never seen this stuff before.” That’s what I try for. It doesn’t pay that well.

MX: Not much does.

SP: That’s true. But, you get good records every now and then.

MX: Who is the typical Green Eggs & Jam customer?

SP: It’s everybody. I treat everybody the same. If somebody asks me about something, I’ll tell them if it sucks, or whatever. I have regular customers who come in every day, or twice a week. We have a good customer base.

MX: What’s the funniest thing about working here?

SP: The random people that come in here. Older people who come buy Dead Can Dance. It’s just really weird.

Top threes

Top-three (good-natured) banjo-player jokes overheard outside Jack of the Wood at the Jones Smith benefit:

What do you say to a banjo player in a suit?
Will the defendant please rise?

What do you call a banjo player up to his neck in concrete?
Not enough concrete.

What do you call a guy who hangs out with bluegrass musicians?
The banjo player.

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