Arts Journal

“It has come to my attention that a lot of people think that Menage has quit,” writes Mary Ellen Bush, bassist for the popular folk-rock group. Bush, whose projects of the past year also include old-time band The PitchSlickers and jazz group The Sireens, wants to dispel that myth.

Menage hasn’t quit—the band will play Westville Pub’s 7th Anniversary celebration on Wednesday, April 15.

“Menage has been laying very low for the past year and a half,” Bush writes to Xpress. Still, she and guitarist/banjoist Sarah McDonald have been busy musically. The rundown?

After their song “Tomatoes” was picked up by Hunt’s, the two began jingle-writing with hopes of selling some tunes. Meantime, Bush and McDonald have sung backup for all manner of groups: Indie-rock sweethearts stephaniesid, including tracks on the upcoming album Warm People; on the Avett Brothers upcoming I and Love and You, recorded in part at Echo Mountain; and with emerging artist Ben Lovett.

“After this inspiring experience, we decided that we are ready to record a new album, and perhaps reintroduce ourselves to everyone,” Bush writes.

Look for the group at Westville Pub’s 7th Anniversary Party on Wednesday, April 15. Show starts at 9 p.m. and the $8 cover gets you a commemorative pint glass.

In other music news, remember Rodriguez? The soulful folk icon played The Grey Eagle in January, following the reissue of his under-the-radar classic Cold Fact (which earned a huge fan base in South Africa and Europe, among other locales).

Rodriguez’s record label worked with Harvest Records to put together a band of locals to back Rodriguez when he played in Asheville, and now that band (subbing Joshua Carpenter for Greg Cartwright on guitar) will join Rodriguez again for some East coast dates in May.

Soulful folk icon Rodriguez played The Grey Eagle in January. Now the band of Asheville musicians who backed him will be playing again on several East coast dates.

“It basically came down to the fact that the Asheville show went so well, he couldn’t think of any other group of guys he would rather have on the road,” said Kate Peterson of Light in the Attic Records.

The lineup: Kim Roney on keys and tambourine, phenom Carpenter on guitar, Mark Capon of Harvest Records on bass and Drew Wallace of the Admiral on drums. The dates: May 13 at the Rock & Roll Hotel in D.C., May 14 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly, and May 15 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. 

Capon is out tour-managing Mates of State (!!) right now, but the others have been practicing a lot, Roney reports. Word is that indie sensations The War on Drugs will open. Also, the band has apparently already planned to hit Ethiopian restaurants in all three cities (Don’t think that’s relevant news? That was a paid announcement from the Please Bring an Ethiopian Restaurant to Asheville lobby.)

Roney said the prospect of the Bowery Ballroom has her a bit nervous, and very excited. “I’m honored and humbly overwhelmed at the opportunity.”



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