30 Days Out, September 2022 #2: Cheeksters, The Explorers Club, GA-20, Stereolab

I’ve interviewed three of the four acts spotlighted in this roundup of live music. But I’d recommend them all regardless. Artist: The Cheeksters Venue: The Grey Eagle Date: Saturday, Sep. 17, 6 p.m. Door: $12 This Asheville-based band is always a delight. Their albums are filled with original songs sporting ‘Small Faces meets David Bowie’

The Cheeksters: Golden Birds Take Flight

Mark Casson and Shannon Hines Casson – the husband-and-wife musical team leading The Cheeksters — clearly aren’t originally from around here. Mark’s British accent and Shannon’s Memphis lilt make it clear that the pair have, like others before and after them, made a conscious decision to settle in Asheville NC. And they’ve developed the trademark

Feature: The Cheeksters

Some years ago, recent college graduate Shannon Hines was traveling Europe on a EurailPass. She recounts what happened not long after the train left London: “I said to my girlfriend, ‘let’s go to the club car and get a beer.’ When we got there, it was like a different world. Everybody had colored glasses; it

Congrats to the Cheeksters!

My good friends (and, as it happens, a wonderful band) The Cheeksters have one of their songs featured on some new NFL Network spots. A big break, and one that’s both well-deserved and a long time coming. Read a feature on The Cheeksters here, and be sure to visit www.cheeksters.com. Click the screencap to see

Thank You, Man: Asheville’s Crop of Tribute Bands (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Peak Hour Though the group had had hits before – most notably the 1964 single “Go Now” – the Moody Blues’ most enduring material is found on its “core seven” albums beginning with Days of Future Passed. And it’s upon that period that The Lost Chord focuses. The studio versions of

Hometown Writing

Asheville, NC is my adopted hometown. After more than a quarter-century in a smog-filled, traffic-jammed metropolis, I escaped to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2000. I’m never leaving. And while my own personal musical preferences are well-advertised, I often — more and more as time goes on — interview local artists and/or write about subjects

Watch Those Men: Wham Bam Bowie Band

David Bowie cast off his Ziggy Stardust persona decades ago, but a fondness for the look and sound of his 1970s music remains strong among rock fans. Asheville-based touring tribute group Wham Bam Bowie Band answers that demand. A one-off gig years ago in Nashville planted the seed that would eventually grow into Wham Bam

All the Interviews (A-Z)

If, like some of my readers, you’re primarily interested in reading my interviews, features and conversations, then you may find the list below useful. It’s a complete (updated when I remember) index of all my published interviews. Right now there are just under 1000 here. 1964 The Tribute / Mark Benson 50 Shades! The Musical

Album Review: stephaniesĭd – Starfruit

Asheville, North Carolina is perhaps not the first place one would look for a band such as stephaniesĭd. A haven for artistic types of all sorts, this “Berkeley of the South” as it’s sometimes called – along with the more recent epithet “cesspool of sin” – welcomes and rewards creativity in all of its myriad

Five Years On, a Re-memorial

Five years ago today we held a memorial concert for my friend and band mate Dave Jones. It was pretty cool: even though the band we were in together had fallen apart in the wake of Dave’s untimely death, we reunited (and our rhythm guitarist learned all Dave’s parts to play the songs one last