Getting to know the Bele Chere bands

Now that the entire Bele Chere lineup has been announced, we thought we’d introduce you to a handful of the bands each day.

• Sanctum Sully was a runner up in last year’s Last Band Standing contest. This year they didn’t need any contest to land a slot at the festival. The Asheville-based quintet plays bluegrass chestnuts, original tunes and puts their own spin on a surprising array of covers.

• Garage rockers The Whigs formed in Athens, Ga. in 2002 and have already toured with the likes of Kings of Leon and the Black Keys. They were signed to RCA early on, but wound up deciding to release their debut independently — a bold move that paid off. Their most recent album is In The Dark.

• Asheville’s psychedelic pop-rock band The Critters has only been together for a year or so, but they’re already regulars at local clubs. They’re getting ready to release a 7-inch EP (help their Kickstarter campaign here).

• Local rockers If You Wannas just released their latest album, Electric Toaster & The Battle Axe (see the CD release show tonight, Friday, June 17 at The Emerald Lounge). They’re also regulars on local festival stages, so it’s about time they played a Bele Chere slot. (Read more about the band here.)

• Singer Kelley Breiding leads five-piece rockabilly/western swing band Kelley and the Cowboys. “Kelley and The Cowboys always excite the crowd with their high energy and amazing musicianship no matter what the musical tastes or age of the listeners may be,” says the Mount Airy, N.C., band’s website. “How do they do it? With Kelley’s mesmerizing vocals and barn burner attitude, the swinging tag team of guitar and fiddle, thrilling feats on the upright bass, and the nostalgic sound of dueling arch-top guitars.”

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli 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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