Hard to believe it’s only seven weeks until Asheville’s largest street festival of the summer. But as the dates (Friday-Sunday, July 29-31) draw nearer, more bands are announcing their plans to play Bele Chere‘s many stages. To read about more Bele Chere bands, go here.
• Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit is led by Greenhill, Ala.-based singer/songwriter Jason Isbell, who joined the Drive By Truckers in 2001. After an amicable parting in 2007, he struck out on his own. The 400 Unit takes its moniker, reportedly, from “the former colloquial name of the psychiatric ward of Florence, Alabama’s Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.”
• According to the band’s own website, Hoots & Hellmouth (from Philadelphia), blends “the twisted roots of American music in a fierce and fiery alchemy.” They also claim to love touring, and have done so with the likes of Dr. Dog, Langhorne Slim and Grace Potter.
• Local band Floating Action is the creative genius of singer/songwriter/producer Seth Kauffman, who hand-crafts each song with an array of unusual instrumnets and lo-fi recording techniques. On Floating Action’s latest album, Desert Etiquette, Kauffman performed ever part (except for one pedal steel recording). The band’s live lineup includes Brian Landrum, Michael Libramento and Joshua Carpenter.
• According to press, the self-titled (and most recent) album by Carencro, La.-based Marc Broussard has “Strong currents of R&B, sanctified church and the many other flavors of his Louisiana bayou home.” Broussard learned music from his father, guitarist Ted Brousaard, and gained critical acclaim with his 2002 debut, Momentary Setback.
• Nashville, Tenn.‘s Deep Fried 5 says their goal is “is to bring back the retro sounds of 60’s soul and 70’s funk, while incorporating a fusion of high energy grooves and climactic jams to keep your heart pumpin & body movin’!” Their debut is Saturday Night Funk/Sunday Morning Soul.
• While The Apache Relay may sound more like a sporting event than a band, the four-piece from Nashville, Tenn. is, indeed, an indie-roots outfit. Paste called their 2009 inaugural album, 1988, an “auspicious debut.” The band is calling its sophomore effort, American Nomad, “a modern and young roots-rock collection produced by Nielson Hubbard.”
• Big Gigantic likes to keep it general: On its Facebook page the band lists its location as “Earth,” it’s genre as “electronic” and its influences as “People, Places, Things.” The band is producer/saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salkan from Colorado — visit their website for free downloads.
• Local absurdist-Gypsy-folk-funk-punk collective Sirius.B puts on an action-packed and highly-energetic stage show, performing Gypsy-roots chestnuts like “Bella Ciao” and unique originals like “Monkey Robot Soldier.” The band features a stellar lineup of classically and self-trained musicians drawing from an eclectic range of backgrounds and influences.
• Local teen band Skinny Legs & All have been playing rock and r&b since its performers were in middle school. Lead singer Jesse Barry appeared on a recent season of American Idol, but, lucky for Asheville, came home to grace area stages again. Check out the band’s website for song samples and new videos.