Thursday, Oct. 7
Singer-songwriter Valorie Miller “has plenty of accolades in the world of songwriting: top finalist in the 2007 Great American Song Contest, a recent invitation to play at New York City’s renowned folk club, The Bitter End, and even fan mail from Lucinda Williams herself,” reads her bio. “But to Valorie, the hallmark of personal success is the intensity with which her fans become attached to her songs. One fan recently had his favorite of her songs played at his mother’s memorial service. Another sustained a life threatening injury while hiking in the wilderness alone, and later wrote her to say that playing her songs over and over in his head gave him the strength to get himself out alive. To her fans, Miller’s songs are more than entertainment, they are vitally important touchstones.” See for yourself at Pisgah Brewing Company (150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, 669-0190). 8 p.m. Free.
Friday, Oct. 8
• Penland School of Crafts (765-2359), “a national center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives,” celebrates the opening of The Core Show 2010 showcasing work by the school’s current Core Fellowship students with a reception from 7-8:30 p.m. According to Penland’s website, “students come from all walks of life. They range from 19 to 90 years of age and from absolute beginners to professional craftspeople. Some see Penland as a productive retreat, some as a source of inspiration for their personal creative lives, and others as a place to exchange vital information about material, technique, and process. What brings them all together is a love of materials and making, and the often transformative experience of working with intensity and focus in a supportive community atmosphere.”
• Looking for something different to start your weekend? Check out the Vanuatu Kava Bar (151 South Lexington Ave, 505-8118) and try a glass of kava — a western Pacific beverage with sedative properties similar to alcohol — while Space Medicine entrances the room with their ambient world tones. The local six-piece’s Myspace offers little background on the band, but does claim that it “connects to the soul and the breath of life . . . “
• Enjoy local brews and local tunes at the Highland Brewing Company’s Tasting Room (12 Old Charlotte Hwy, 299-3370) as Bobby Miller and the Virginia Daredevils perform traditional and progressive bluegrass from their debut release, Brother, Adieu. “The creation of innovative and original music is an ever elusive goal in this day and age,” says the bands website. “The Virginia Dare Devils’ mission to do just that is most certainly well under way. From their beginnings a year ago in the acoustic music hotbed of Asheville, NC, this group of seasoned tour veterans has embarked upon an organic musical journey rooted in traditional melody and tone layered with improvisational solos and textured rhythms reminiscent of 30’s swing bands. Add a little bit of grit plus big family-style vocals and a Virginia Dare Devils show is the crowd-pleasing product.” 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9
• Take advantage of the increasingly cool weather at the WNC Nature Center‘s (75 Gashes Creek Road) 34th annual Hey Day. The family-friendly event boasts food from local vendors and entertainment by the Mountain Thunder Cloggers, Haw Creek String Band, musician Jay Brown, Music Alive with Mark Levin & Mike Reeves, Asheville Clogging and Dance Company, balloon artist Mark DeVerges and a special appearance by members of juggling troupe 40 Fingers and a Missing Tooth. New this year, according to a press release: “Wild Inspirations, an Art Sale inspired by nature in our mountain region. Wild Inspirations will include the work of local artists and focus especially on the native animals and plants at the Nature Center. Photographers and artists are donating matted photos and small pieces of art and jewelry as part of the Friends’ fundraising effort.” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $6 for Asheville city residents/$4 for children/free to members.
• The Traveling Troubadours are “a revolving line up of artists that have an ‘independent’ spirit, strive for artistic excellence over commercial success and above all have a heart of service,” according to the organization’s website. “The artists achieve doing ‘more than a show’ by stepping out of the normal touring box and playing homeless shelters, nursing homes, outreaches to the ‘least of these’ as well as the traditional venues, churches, home concerts and clubs.” They’ll perform at Blue Ridge Vineyard Church (501 Stoneridge Blvd, 817-3321) to benefit the Hope House, a rehabilitation center for underage victims of sex trafficking. 7-9 p.m.
• John Lennon may be gone, but you can celebrate his 70th birthday with the next best thing as John Leo and the Eggmen perform at Pisgah Brewing Company (150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, 669-0190). According to the group’s website, “Actor, musician and Beatle maniac, John Leo started impersonating John Lennon in 2005, after being chosen to play the part of John Lennon for a TV commercial in Mexico City. It didn’t take long for his band to become the most successful Beatles Tribute Band in Mexico and for him to be recognized as the best John Lennon impersonator. For about five years John Leo and his band played in almost every major city in Mexico, headlining Beatles festivals, playing in auditoriums, theaters, clubs, private parties and appearing in national TV. Destiny brought him to Asheville NC in 2010, and putting together a Lennon tribute band here was just a matter of time.” 8 p.m. $7.
• Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Larson visits the back stage of the LAB (39 North Lexington Ave, 252-0212) with his live band The Moral Fibers for an experimental set of psychedelic rock that ranges from grungy electronics to dreamy folk rock. “Four ingredients sauteed at just the right temperature and in just the right exacting proportions creates what Bodhisattva forecast as the eminence of the joy of mankind: MUSIC,” reads Larson’s Myspace. “Vast small-celled dungeons of foam, a collection of 7th-hand instruments, a man suckled on Magical Mystery Tour and rited through Lee Perry, and the ever presence of His Majesty, the Purveyor of everything creative and destructive filters down into what Larson amiably terms his “musical colorations.” Casting off the cloak of the cloistering moniker Chelot, Larson composes, records, and plays all instrumentation vocalizations.” 10 p.m. $5.
Sunday, Oct. 10
• Indulge your sweet tooth to the Appalachian-inspired folk of Eliza Bell Rosbach as she celebrates the release of Maps Upon the Sand at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (10 S. Lexington Ave., 252-4181). Says Rosbach’s Myspace, “Why does she sing? She sings because she has a lot to say and gratitude to give. She sings because there are attitudes to be uplifted, yuck and blahs to be overcome, movements to move, food to be grown, heart sparks to be ignited and songs to be sung! And she will keep singing with great joy and amusement until there is nothing left to be sung.” 8 p.m. Donations accepted.
• Can’t bear to let the weekend go? Mosey on over to the LAB (39 North Lexington Ave, 252-0212) for the dreamy “surrealist pop” of Nashville’s Rene Breton. “Twelve songs, twelve short stories, and twelve drawings meld to take us on a modern, surrealist journey, which represents the subconscious mind during sleep,” reads a description of the band’s upcoming debut. “Asleep In Green inspires us to delve into the depths of self-reflection without an intended agenda. It invites each of us to get lost in its fantastical ideas of abstract fiction and subjectively experience its creative body as a personalized, waking dream.” 10 p.m.