folk Archive

Brother Bluebird: Summer All Year ‘Round

Asheville-based brothers Adam and Tim Reaves are Brother Bluebird, an Americana/folk/indie duo. They’ve been making music together most of their lives, but got serious about it in 2015. Their 2019 EP, Summer is equal parts tuneful melodies, creamy harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. There’s something special about vocal harmonies by siblings; they seem to fit together

Album Review: Big Bill Broonzy — The Midnight Special

Big Bill Broonzy’s musical influence is incalculable. And even though he recorded prolifically, a new archival release is an important addition to his body of work. A solo acoustic performance, Midnight Special: Live in Nottingham 1957 showcases Broonzy’s myriad assets. Foremost among those are his fine and expressive voice, his peerless selection of material, his

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … Things took off from there. His long string of hits would include many highlights, including “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway,” both from 1974’s Sundown LP, and the haunting “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” from Summertime Dream in 1975. Canada’s Juno Awards – that country’s equivalent to the Grammys – are

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … And he had another fleeting concern. All those years had gone by, and then he returns with a simple, unadorned album? “I didn’t want people to think I was getting lazy,” he says with a laugh. Compared to the highly polished East of Midnight, Solo would represent a radical departure.

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 1 of 3)

When Gordon Lightfoot soared to the top of the U.S. singles charts with 1970’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” most listeners considered him a new artist. But the Ontario-born singer-songwriter was a seasoned veteran of the music scene. Already in his 30s, Lightfoot had been releasing albums since early 1966. Sit Down Young Stranger

30 Days Out, August 2020 #1: Robin Bullock, Cliff Eberhardt, Eleanor Underhill, Christy Lynn

Two steps forward, one (and sometimes two) back. The United States’ continued failure to contain the spread of COVID-19 is having more and more lasting effects. Beyond death and permanent health effects, countless businesses have shuttered. Here’s hoping most of those closures are temporary. Here in Asheville we’ve already lost one beloved music venue. The

Just Like Home: John Doyle

Irish musician bridges the gap between Ireland and Appalachia He’s an acclaimed and globetrotting figure in Irish music, guitarist, singer, folklorist and songwriter. But when he’s off the road, John Doyle makes his home in Western North Carolina. Nominated for a 2010 Grammy (Best Traditional World Album), Doyle is an astoundingly busy and in demand

30 Days Out, July 2020 #1: Blake Ellege Band, Rocky MTN Roller, Life Like Water, Mr. Jimmy

Once again it’s time for a look at live music events in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. And for the first time since early March (and those mostly ended up canceled) there are some actual live-and-in-person performances to spotlight. That said, caveats apply. (1) Will these shows actually happen? Who knows!? Best

Guitarist Laurence Juber Connects the Dots Between Classical, Folk and the Beatles

Laurence Juber was already an accomplished and in-demand session musician before he got the call to join Paul McCartney’s band, Wings. And although he was a member of the group for a comparatively short period – from 1978 until the band’s dissolution in 1981 – the influence of the former Beatle would loom large in

30 Days Out, June 2020 #2: Hearts Gone South, Angel Olsen, Natural Born Leaders, The Get Right Band

If you’re at all like me, you may have noticed this phenomenon: when you take on a new task, you stumble as you learn your way through it. And by the time you finally figure out the most efficient and effective way to do it, you’re nearly done. Perhaps that’s the case with musicians and