Two of the acts previewed in this edition have histories reaching back many years; the other two are newer projects from established artists.
Despite all of Natural Mind’s inescapable sonic connection to music of the past, the album sounds fresh and modern. With mere weeks left in 2017, it’s a strong contender for the year’s best album from an Asheville-based act.
The band got its start when brothers Adam and Jonathan Clayton (on keyboards and guitar respectively) put the project together in 2015. After some personnel shifts, the band settled on its current lineup of the Clayton twins plus guitarist Tim Husk, drummer Cartwright Brandon and bassist Kenny Crowley.
In cooperation with local band Modern Strangers, Los Gatos decided to make its already-scheduled Mothlight show a benefit, with all proceeds going toward United for Puerto Rico.
The artists previewed in this edition are a varied lot: Americana, classical music and rock. Three are regular fixtures on the Asheville music scene, and one makes a debut performance here in the next 30 days.
All four acts previewed in this edition have an Asheville connection. Three are based in town, and the other features a guitarist who lived here in recent years.
Lowe released his first solo album, Jesus of Cool, in 1978 (in deference to delicate American sensibilities, his U.S. label re-titled the LP Pure Pop for Now People). Nashville-based Los Straitjackets debuted with the 1995 record The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets. Though their music was somewhat dissimilar, both acts have long shared an irreverent and warmly humorous approach.
The album’s title references a wedding tradition, and that’s fitting: Barnes moved to Asheville at the beginning of the 2000s to marry his new love; the couple now lives in nearby Rutherfordton.
For her first tour under her own name, singer-guitarist Saliers has put together a band worthy of the material; Hung is featured on violin, and opening act Lucy Wainwright Roche sings harmony. The rhythm section features drummer Reade Pryor and Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete.
The four acts — The Veldt, Moon Hootch, The New Mastersounds and JD McPherson — spotlighted in this edition represent very different styles of music.
A well-written, superbly played collection, the album displays the group’s distinctive character. Certainly there are hints of the band’s influences — the usual suspects — but there’s a fresh and modern approach applied to all 11 group-composed songs.
Not surprisingly, Russ Wilson has his own opinion as to why big band jazz has endured. “For lack of a better term, it appeals to the masses,” he says. “Besides the true musical value — which has to be there — there’s entertainment value to it.”
Dogwood Alliance is highlighting the synergy of spoken-word art forms — adding in plenty of music and other activities as well — at The Woods & Wilds Storytelling and Music Festival. The event takes place Sunday, Oct. 1, at Salvage Station.
Percussion is a rarity on Pearl Diver, but something like it crops up on “Hayabusa Terra,” along with stringed instruments. The album’s ever-present subtlety means that those instruments are used less as means to convey a melody and more to insert deft splashes of tone color here and there.
As far as the hurricane that struck Houston last month, Franklin says that those in and around the group remained safe and accounted for. “Everyone’s been volunteering and — as much as we can — trying to provide emotional support to those who have lost everything,” she says, characterizing the response to Harvey as one big, city-wide effort.
This edition previews Asheville shows in a variety of styles: rock, prewar jazz, EDM and a kind of jazz/hip-hop hybrid.
The phrase “late night album” applies to Floating Action’s Is it Exquisite? It’s a collection of songs best experienced via attentive listening.
After being selected as a cultural ambassador by the U.S. State Department, Jonathan Scales toured Asia and Africa, where he performed for a wide range of audiences and learned important life lessons.
This week’s installment features four internationally-touring acts who all have an Asheville connection of sorts.
The four-man group from Asheville unapologetically calls itself a rock band. The band celebrates the release of its fourth studio album, Love Hate, with a Friday, Sept. 1 show at The Grey Eagle.
Jonathan Atkinson has a background that includes immersion in the Asheville punk and indie scenes, but the musical fingerprints of those experiences aren’t readily obvious when listening to his latest release