‘True False’ deftly combines sardonic humor with its concern over weighty topics.
Free Planet Radio’s latest album still carries forth the sounds and textures that won the trio its dedicated following.
The song titles on White Moon telegraph the demeanor of the album: “Song of Peace,” “Rhythm of Surrender,” “Child’s Prayer.” A spoken-word introduction to the subtly funky “Drink Deeply” quotes from the Persian poet and mystic Rumi.
Both artists have played in Asheville multiple times in the past, and they’re excited about returning. “I love playing in Asheville because people are not afraid to get their hair messed up,” says Adam Weiner.
Combining dance, speaking and singing (to pre-recorded music), the one-woman show is “designed to push the edge of personal and collective freedom,” performer Elle Swan explains.
Perhaps the Asheville bluegrass duo hasn’t explicitly set out to make a politically themed album with their third album, I Am Your Neighbor. But, while it’s certainly true that this new collection of original and traditional music can be richly enjoyed simply on a musical level, there’s more going on here than fine musicianship and vocal work.
On a bill that includes Angelique Kidjo, The Wood Brothers, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles and more than 30 other acts, La Santa Cecilia is in keeping with the festival’s stated mission of being an “intergenerational celebration of world culture.”
Asheville-based improvisers are a key part of the festival. “You’ll get to see a lot of the talent that’s already here in Asheville,” says Clifton Hall, the dean of AIC. “I would put some of our shows up against any other great show that you might see. There’s great improv here.”
Accordion isn’t an instrument one would expect to find on a hip-hop mixtape. And in all likelihood, it’s a sampled version of the squeezebox. But whatever its source, that musical texture adds a left-field quality to what’s essentially a rapid-fire AutoTuned rap piece with more conventional singing on the chorus.
Music fans in the region took to Marcus King from the very beginning. “Honestly, it was the first market to to embrace us before we were an act that went national or international,” he says. “This was before our own actual hometown embraced us.”
“We’re looking back at that time of black excellence and giving it a new light for today with our music and our brand,” says multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge.
Steven Fiore created his latest album, ‘Sudden Swoon,’ in his home studio (he calls it The Study). His process of crafting the album involved recording demos for 20 songs, sharing them with his Facebook followers and inviting them to vote for their favorites.
It was a relatively straightforward endeavor to deliver early Penny & Sparrow songs live onstage. The spare yet careful arrangements center on just a few elements. The layered sound of ‘Finch’ looks to be more of a challenge to reproduce in concert.
Even those not predisposed toward Besbleve’s spiritual point of view won’t be able to deny the appeal and excellence of his masterfully constructed mixtape.
As she puts the finishing touches on ‘Medicine for Living,’ her album due in September, Rose is teaming up with duo My One and Only for a songwriter-focused show at Isis Music Hall on Sunday, Aug. 18.
There’s a quiet confidence in everything about this record. The musicians sound as if they’ve developed a preternatural level of unspoken communication, and they apply that to their music.
When Lewis started writing his own material, his take on the blues reflected the influence of the more modern styles that had informed his musical sensibility. The result was something updated, something unique.
Jumping ahead of critics who might apply their own subjective labels to the band’s music, Asheville-based Sterospread has taken on the task itself, calling the sounds it makes “indietronica.”
The band’s live shows remain full of engaging energy and excitement. Speech and his group have a long relationship with Asheville audiences: Arrested Development played the LEAF Festival in 2009 and has appeared multiple time at The Orange Peel.
Ultimately, Franti chooses to lend his name and support to efforts backed by passion: “At the end of the day, it’s just [about] finding people who are passionate about the same things that I am, and who are doing things that have local and immediate impact.”
The Asheville-based shoegaze/electronic band’s fourth collection displays ample charms.