Silverados brings more big music acts to Black Mountain

MIXTAPE APPEAL: Silverados co-owners Cory and Christen Short, top center, will welcome a diverse slate of performers to their Black Mountain venue’s outdoor stage this summer. Clockwise from top left, artists include John Michael Montgomery, Fetty Wap, Everclear and Brian McKnight. Photo of the Shorts by Lee Barrett; other photos courtesy of the artists

What was originally going to be a dedicated country music and Southern rock venue is now poised to fill a void in the Asheville-area live music scene while appealing to the masses.

Owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Cory and Christen Short, Silverados in Black Mountain launches its 2021 Outdoor Concert Series on Friday, June 4, with rocker Edwin McCain, followed by country icons Billy Dean and Andy Griggs (Friday, June 11), and then rockers Saliva (Friday, July 2) and Everclear (Friday, July 23).

“I certainly have more than just stuck my toes in the water for this first season,” Cory Short says. “Normally, you open a concert venue, and you’re like, ‘Oh, we’ll try two or three shows.’ No, I’m going to do 23 in my first year. I think I’ve lost my mind, but here we go.”

The variety continues with R&B legend Brian McKnight (Saturday, July 17) and hip-hop artists Fetty Wap (Saturday, Sept. 4) and Ying Yang Twins (Friday, Sept. 10), plus country star John Michael Montgomery (Friday, Sept. 3). Also in the mix are multiple area favorites, including Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (Saturday, June 5), Jim Lauderdale and Songs from the Road Band (Saturday, July 3) and Caleb Johnson (Saturday, July 31), creating an eyebrow-raising range of acts that Short says is “by design.”

“We certainly want to have some of those big bands that Asheville loves so much, but also there was a hole in the market to create some nostalgic acts and bring some stuff that you don’t see every day,” he explains.

Luck and success

Based in Asheville, Short was a DJ in town for over 20 years, performing at “every club in town and over 500 weddings,” while also establishing Get Vocal Entertainment. In 2014, he and Christen purchased The Social on Tunnel Road, which kept them so busy that he decided to sell GVE in 2016.

Short says he and his wife have experienced “a ridiculous amount of luck and success” with The Social, even amid the pandemic. And that luck continued just before the lockdown began when the opportunity arose to purchase the former Shovelhead Saloon in Black Mountain. Situated on 2 acres of fenced-in land, the property also sets Short up to achieve a long-held dream.

“I’ve always wanted to be a promoter,” Short says. “We’ve done several festivals with regional talent at The Social in the parking lot, but this is the first time that I’ve stepped into the arena with national talent and bigger names and big booking agencies.”

Still, numerous hiccups have arisen. Unlike The Social, which is permitted as a restaurant, Silverados is a private club, bringing with it a different set of regulations and restrictions. But the greatest ordeal, notes Short, was getting the large outdoor stage from China to Black Mountain during the pandemic.

“Delays existed at every turn,” he says. “She finally made it, and I can breathe a bit.”

Complement to the town

With the May 20 arrival of the stage, Silverados is putting the finishing touches on its mountain-surrounded space. According to the fire marshal’s preliminary calculations, the venue should be able to host 2,500 people — on par with Salvage Station and slightly more than the capacity of Pisgah Brewing Co., whose offerings Short aims to complement.

“Black Mountain is just such a beautiful town. It’s so rich in its culture, and it’s unlike any other place around here. It’s got this old-school nostalgic feeling, and a lot of younger folks are moving to the area and creating some vibrancy out there,” Short says.

“Pisgah has done a lot out here over the years — some amazing shows and some really cool stuff they’ve brought to town. I’m just excited to be a part of it. I want to continue it for years and really add to Western North Carolina. It’s just such a great place to live, and I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing in this area.”

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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