It seems that two of Asheville’s most-loved bands won’t be existing in the forms we’ve known them. Reports indicate that the Barrel House Mamas and Bandazian have disbanded. Both the sultry Mamas and the pop-wunderkinds Bandazian were seemingly at their prime—the Mamas developing a significant regional fan base, and Bandazian releasing O Pioneer last fall.
Fans of the Mamas won’t have to go far to hear the talented and glamorous gals pursuing new projects. Eleanor Underhill and her new band, Habibigy, opened for rising star Jar-e at his CD release last month—Habibigy (billed as “world folk”) plays again Friday, May 1, at Jack of the Wood. Jane Kramer Edens (on flute) and Anna Bauman-Smith (on fiddle) will open for rowdy bluegrass act Town Mountain at the Grey Eagle this Saturday, March 28. Then on April 3, Underhill and Molly Rose Reed will play a benefit for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition at the Haywood Park Hotel downtown.
“We are still writing and playing music,” Reed wrote in an e-mail after Xpress asked about the breakup. “To our amazing fans, don’t worry—we have some new surprises in store for you in the not-so-distant future!”
As for Bandazian, Xpress had a harder time tracking them down. But Nick Campbell from sensational indie band Arizona wrote “A Belated Farewell to Bandazian” on his blog (both bands moved to Asheville from major metro areas; both worked with mastermind Echo Mountain producer Danny Kadar): “In my current late night sleepless reverie, it dawned on me that due to having been out of town at the time of the break-up, we never posted about the end of the great group Bandazian,” he writes. “Bandazian were comprised of some of our closest friends here in Asheville … They were a rare band and we felt very close to them musically and personally. Hopefully people will continue to enjoy the music they made, as I know we will. Anyway… just felt that an official farewell to their band was in order. We’ll miss you Bandazian! Please do take the time to listen and to go back and listen again.”
We couldn’t have said it better.