Getting to know the Bele Chere bands

• Weaverville-based The Billy Sea is really a local world music super group, with Billy Cardine on slide guitar, River Guerguerian on percussion and Jake Wolf on bass. The three musicians banned together last year in a musical project conceived of by Cardine but which is ultimately a collaborative effort.

• First, Washington, D.C.-based Mambo Sauce plays a hometown BBQ battle, then the band heads south for its Bele Chere date. According to their website, “Mambo Sauce delivers a high-energy, fresh fusion of old-Soul (think Marvin Gaye), new school Hip-Hop, cross-bred with Rock and the deep and thick percussions of Go-Go, the indigenous sound of DC.”

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• “The sound is crafted out of a deep love for classic Americana and country music fused with rock and roll,” says the website for Asheville-based Clouds of Greer. The sound has a delicious Mazzy Star/Sparklehorse melancholy; the musicians are culled from much-loved local bands The Whappers, Broomstars and Hello Hugo.

• Brooklyn-based Mamarazzi was formed a group of Wesleyan alum. Whatever that means it should sound like, it probably doesn’t. Mamarazzi describes itself as “like a ripe grapefruit, is that just-right combination of unlikely elements: tart funk, acidic groove, and nectar of ancient lullaby.”

• Asheville’s Kovacs & the Polar Bear recently won an award for its “Skeleton Crew” video (below). And while the band possesses a charming shyness, they’re festival favorites. Catchy indie-folk songs with clever lyrics and melodies that seem familiar from first listen are all signs of a band on its way to bigger and better things.

 

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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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