Americana Archive

The JackTown Ramblers: Blue Notes and Bluegrass

To most listeners, the musical connection between jazz manouche (also known as “gypsy jazz”) and Appalachian bluegrass isn’t immediately obvious. But Western North Carolina sextet The JackTown Ramblers explore the region on the Venn Diagram where those styles intersect. The members of the group are well positioned to understand and explain the relationship between those

Vagabond Crowe: Balancing Roots and a New Direction

Hendersonville, N.C. band Vagabond Crowe began as an alternative American/folk band, and recently recorded and released its debut album, Fortune Teller. But as co-leader, songwriter Mitch Stewart explains, creativity often means change, and today the group looks and sounds different from before. Your website says that the songs on Fortune Teller were “written in the

Pretty Little Goat’s Music of the Mountains

Pretty Little Goat bridges the gap between old time and contemporary music. Loosely defined as a string band, the Brevard-based quartet draws much of its inspiration from the music of the mountains, says mandolinist Josh Carter. “The hills are always calling,” he says. But although Pretty Little Goat has its roots in tradition, the group

Stringduster Travis Book, At Your Service

This interview appeared previously in Bold Life Magazine. Launched in 2006, jamgrass sensations The Infamous Stringdusters would go on to build their reputation on the strength of live shows. Temporarily sidelined by the pandemic, in December the band released its first holiday album, Dust the Halls. Several band members also began offering personalized music instruction

Dom Flemons: American Folk Music’s Past, Present and Future

Though he first came to prominence in as a member of Grammy-winning string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, since leaving that Durham-based group, Dom Flemons has carved out a richly rewarding musical identity of his own. Known as the “American Songster” (the title of his second solo album), multi-instrumentalist Flemons has earned an important place

Steep Canyon Rangers: Arm in Arm with Their Fans

This feature appeared previously in Bold Life Magazine. Steep Canyon Rangers have been on a roll of late. Over the last decade, the North Carolina group has released an album of new music on a nearly annual basis. March 2020 saw the release of Be Still Moses, which is – depending on how one counts

30 Days Out, May 2021 #1: Mayday AVL, the Wooks, DeeOhGee, Doom Flamingo

The time last year the term social distancing was just starting to creep into wide usage. And use of the term pods to describe clusters of seating at concerts was a thoroughly alien concept. But here we are heading toward the middle of 2021, and while live shows are indeed returning, the ground rules are

30 Days Out, April 2021 #2: Ashley Heath, Day & Dream, Hustle Souls, Travers Brothership

Well, it looks as if live music has now truly returned, after a fashion. Social distancing remains in effect, but the warmer weather opens up opportunities to enjoy live music in (relative) safety. For this welcome-back edition of 30 Days Out, I’m focusing on all local acts. Artist: Ashley Heath and Her Heathens Venue: The

The Krüger Brothers: It’s Not That Far from Western Europe to Western North Carolina

The trio formed by Swiss musicians Jens and Uwe Krüger draws inspiration from the American bluegrass and folk music of Bill Monroe, Doc Watson and others in the lively acoustic traditions. Adding their own unique spin, the brothers (plus American bassist Joel Landsberg) have wowed audiences worldwide. Starting with their 1995 debut Behind the Barn,

30 Days Out, April 2021 #1: Alexa Rose, Brie Capone, David LaMotte, Eric Gales

I’ll spare you the April Fools Day jokes and instead move on to letting you know about foru live-and-in-person music performances happening in the next 30 days in Asheville. Three are locally-based artists (who customarily tour pretty widely), so not only are these opportunities to see live music, they represent a sampling of the best