Listening Party: Ahleuchatistas, Tyler Ramsey and divineMAGgees

We start off this week’s Listening Party with the Ahleuchatistas, a prog-rock trio with very strong jazz and punk influences. Formed in guitarist Shane Perlownin’s living room in 2003, the group is now on their fourth album, Even In the Midst and is anticipating the February rerelease of their second album, The Same and the Other, on avant-garde legend John Zorn’s Tzadik label. The group’s stripped-down, effects-free style has also earned them a number of mostly positive reviews from the likes of Pitchfork Media and the All Music Guide. We suggest starting with the song “cracked teeth,” available on the group’s MySpace page.

Next on the playlist is rising star Tyler Ramsey. A three-time winner of the Mountain Xpress “Best of WNC” reader’s poll, Ramsey has been a mainstay of the Asheville music scene for the better part of a decade — both as a solo artist and as a collaborator — but it was his 2004 self-titled release that helped introduce his bittersweet solo music to a larger audience. With a new album, A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea (Echo Mountain Records), slated for release on January 15, and a steady gig opening for Band of Horses on their current tour (not to mention his current role as a guitarist for the group), Ramsey’s career definitely appears to be on the move. We suggest starting with “A Long Dream,” which you can hear on both his Web site and MySpace page. Or, if you prefer, you might want to check out his recent appearance on NPR’s World Cafe

Closing out this week, we have the divineMAGgees, an Asheville-based folk-rock duo formed by multi-instrumentalists Danielle Tibedo and Cregan Montague. With a warm, rich and multi-layered sound, it’s hard not to find something in their song catalogue worthy of at least a casual listen. We suggest starting with the song “Trouble, which can be found on their MySpace page. It’s worth noting that your chances of seeing the divineMAGgees in their current form are dwindling, as an expanded, electrified version the group will soon be performing as The Electric Pearls.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor

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8 thoughts on “Listening Party: Ahleuchatistas, Tyler Ramsey and divineMAGgees

  1. tim d

    the Ahleuchatistas are as irrelevant as ever. this music is unlistenable and pedantic at best. vacuous and pointless, soulless and stupid, this band really sucks.

  2. I couldn’t disagree with you more Tim. This group, particularly in live performance, is one of the best ensembles from around here…and it’s not even close. Unless of course you prefer acoustic warbling and soothsaying.

    But, as my father used to say (repeatedly), different people like different things. . . that’s why they paint cars different colors.

  3. Green is the new Green

    Ahleuchatistas: A couple of years ago, a buddy of mine played “The Same & the Other” for me, before telling me they were from Asheville. I couldn’t have been more shocked. Those guys are killers. Especially their drummer. In case you can’t tell, I really like this band. It’s as if Shellac played free jazz.

    Tyler Ramsey: I’m going out to buy his record, as soon as I’m done typing. What elegant, beautiful playing and singing. Man, I need to work on my fingerpicking…

    MAGees: Not really my thing, but the songs are well crafted, and the vocals are lovely. I can only see them getting better with a full band, since all of their songs were recorded with full instrumentation anyway. I will say that I hope that they don’t take the Barrel House Mamas / Menage route of pretending their band doesn’t exist whenever a photographer shows up. Bands work best when they act like brothers and sisters, not employers and employees.

  4. deviant

    Ahleuchatistas are the best thing I’ve heard out of WNC in a long time. They have the stripped down jazz recordings that lets you hear the players them selfs, the live shows are spectacular and who else can honestly say that they don’t easily fall into a genre that we’ve all heard 1000 times to many. They bring amazing musicianship with a fresh political minded attitude and a take no prisoners edge that blows away any of the the other crap I’ve heard of playing music around. Not to say that there are no other local bands that don’t kill it, but dang give them the recognition that they deserve.

  5. circe ward

    the Ahleuchatistas were my favorite band to see when i lived in Asheville. They are still a perfect live show and I don’t live in Asheville anymore. The previous review claiming their music to be soulless is absolutely inaccurate. If their music is inaccessible to you then you lack depth of listening. Too bad for you friend, you’re missing out. Expand your expectations a little when you hear something new. God forbid, some one makes music you actually have to listen to.

  6. Thanks to all of you for putting in your two cents on the Ahleuchatistas. I’d love to hear a few more thoughts on divineMAGgees and Tyler Ramsey.

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