Getting to know the Bele Chere bands

We’ve come to the final three announced acts (there might be a few surprises still to come) on this year’s Bele Chere lineup. All three are local. One is bluegrass, two are electronic. This year, local is bigger than ever at Bele Chere and, bucking a trend of former Top-40 headliners interspersed with funk and dance bands, the musical offerings are a bit edgier: electronica, alt-country and indie rock are well represented.

Read about more of the Bele Chere 2011 lineup here.

• Locally-based bluegrass/folk/gospel/jazz fusion band Balsam Range recently played the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in the Yukon. But even though the group (Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson and Marc Pruett) is well traveled, they have a soft-spot in their collective heart for their Haywood County roots. “For their band name, they thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surround part of their home county,” says the group’s bio.

• Sonmi Suite came together in Asheville in 2006. “Through their synonymous expression and awareness of harmony, texture, meter, (a)symmetry, and the analogous relationship of predictability and unpredictability, they were immediately able to create music that smeared multiple genres together,” says the band’s bio. They’re an electronic band that uses a combination of samples, scratches and effects along with “real time manipulations of acoustic instruments” for a completely unique live show.

• Also local, and also electronica/rock/improv, Papadosio describes its music as “just plain odd” — in such a way as to be “destined for the hallowed halls of cult classicism.” It’s a lofty but worthy goal. Papadosio specializes in mixing unlikely musical styles on stage — house, jazz, dub and rock number among the genres they pull from. The band also adds improvised interludes and vocal harmonies.

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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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