Russ Wilson is one of the busiest musicians in Western North Carolina. Leading or playing in no less than nine bands, the singer and multi-instrumentalist has still found time to compile an album of songs that showcase the breadth of his musical vision. And for the sixth year in a row, he was set to
For nearly two decades, Katrina Way “Kat” Williams was a prominent fixture of Asheville’s live music scene. The vocalist’s multigenre repertoire earned her a place as one of the region’s most beloved performers. But a serious health condition largely sidelined her for several years. Twelve months to the day after a successful kidney transplant, Kat
When an artist releases an album (or EP) of holiday music, it need not be designed to fulfill an obligation to a label. It also needn’t be a placeholder while a creatively spent artist treads water, waiting for the muse to return. And it doesn’t have to be a schmaltzy, pandering and overly sentimental collection
‘Tis the season for holiday music. It’s a genre that often gets a bad rap, for good reason: a lot of it is pretty dire. Though there are classics (like Roy Wood’s “I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day,” ELP’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and the Kinks’ rocking “Father Christmas”) it remains a
In between his jam-packed musical schedule, Hendersonville-born-and-raised Blake Ellege found the time to attend and graduate from the International University of Santa Claus. Fulfilling a lifelong ambition – a dream, really – Ellege says that he’s preparing to make his first annual “complete formal transformation” into the jolly St. Nicholas for the 2018 holiday season.
Though exploitation knows no era, the 1960s was truly the decade of the cash-in. Americans of a certain age recall that in the wake of the Beatles’ initial stateside success (beginning with a filmed show in Washington D.C. and a series of broadcasts on The Ed Sullivan Show), countless ripoff albums seemed magically to appear.
Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval has earned worldwide acclaim for his lyrical and evocative musicianship, as well as his always-compelling annual Christmas-themed live shows. Ever winter since 2011, the award-winning fiddler (winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish fiddle Championship) has staged a fascinating and highly entertaining show built around themes of the holidays, solstice and
With 18 live dates scheduled in December 2017, Alaska-born folk singer-songwriter-guitarist Hope Griffin is clearly in demand. Performing in a variety of configurations – solo as well as part of a duo, trio and full band – Griffin showcases he soulful voice, straightforward arrangements and solid, accessible songwriting. After relocating to Asheville, she released her
Today’s Valentine’s Day. So let’s observe and celebrate the day with an Irish-themed story about … Christmas! — bk Every year around the Christmas holiday, there’s a search for something beyond the overly-familiar carols and “Jingle Bells” that we’ve heard for years. Those who want something different – yet still grounded in tradition – might
For several years now, Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval has crafted a special December program for audiences. Bringing together music, dance and storytelling, Laval presents “Celtic Christmas,” a family-friendly performance that showcases not only Christmas traditions, but observances of older pagan rituals centered around winter solstice. Laval’s late December performance calendar included a show in Asheville