Americana Archive

30 Days Out, January 2022 #1: Ska City, Nordista Freeze, James McMurtry, Caravan Palace

Happy New Year! And today also marks another, more personal celebration: This is the seven-year anniversary of “30 Days Out.” Through the years, its mission has never changed: twice a month, letting readers know about upcoming notable live music performances in and around Asheville, North Carolina. With a focus on both local and nationally-touring artists,

Album Review: Billy Bragg — The Million Things That Never Happened

Let nearly 40 years pass, and some things are almost certain to change. If your exposure to Billy Bragg commenced with his 1983 debut Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy and its standout track “A New England” – and then you didn’t hear anything from him again until now, you’d be in for a

30 Days Out, December 2021 #2: Drunken Prayer, Empire Strikes Brass, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats, Arrested Development, Adam Ezra Group

This installment of “30 Days Out” marks two years since the twice-monthly bulletin has been published here on Musoscribe. Before that, starting in January 2014(!), 30DO was a twice-monthly feature of Mountain Xpress, the Asheville-based altweekly that (in those days) provided robust coverage of the local arts and music scenes. As we close the books

Album Review: NRBQ — Dragnet

NRBQ is an American treasure. Founded in the mid ‘60s, the band has always transcended – smashed, even – genre boundaries. They’re as likely to be inspired by Sun Ra as they are to draw from rockabilly. The band has endured countless lineup changes, so many in fact that there’s a contingent that asserts that

The Barbershop Harmony Tradition Lives on in Western N.C.

Barbershop harmony is a quintessentially American musical form. Though its heyday was nearly a century ago, its popularity endures. Today there are at least 30 quartets in the Carolinas District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Those groups perform far and wide, and there’s also a competitive element. This year’s Fall Festival took place November 11-13

Hundred-word Reviews December 2021 #2

Welcome back for another round of capsule commentaries concerning current creations. Onetwothree – (untitled) What might happen if Trio (“Da Da Da”), Nina Hagen and Neu! got together for a giggle? Well, it might sound a bit like this supremely wonderful pop confection. An all-female group from Switzerland, Onetwothree sounds like Gang of Four in

30 Days Out, December 2021 #1: The Nutcracker, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers, Rising Appalachia, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band

‘Tis the season. In normal years, things slow down a bit performance-wise in Asheville as we head into the holidays. Touring acts take a break, and holiday-themed events predominate. Even in this endemic era, those traditions still apply. So for this penultimate music roundup of 2021, I’m focusing on the rich local talent found here

Album Review: The Pulsators — Let’s Play!

From Petaluma, California comes the six-piece band The Pulsators. The band is led by drummer-vocalist Johnny Campbell, a musician who came to my attention as a member of late’ 70s new wave group The Impostors. That group’s story is featured along with the stories of 28 other artists in my new book, Disturbing the Peace:

30 Days Out, November 2021 #2: John “Papa” Gros, Mike Zito, Hiss Golden Messenger, Steve Gunn, Jeff Parker

The new normal, yeah. Heck, even I am going to shows again. But I wear a mask, I’m vaccinated, and I’m getting the booster soon. Because let’s display at least a modicum of care for our fellow humans, shall we? Some great music is making its way to Asheville in the coming 30 days. Even

30 Days Out, November 2021 #1: The Record Company, Cloak, Carolina Waltz, Squirrel Nut Zippers

The warm weather has left us, taking with it the opportunity for outdoor shows. It remains to be seen how the remaining vestiges of the pandemic will affect the live music scene. Here in Asheville, we lost several music venue (and untold number of artists) over the last 20 months, so fingers are crossed that