asheville Archive

Asheville Moth GrandSLAM: Slam-dunk Stories

The oral tradition predates the written word by thousands of years. Throughout history, storytelling has provided both a creative outlet and a focus for community. The Appalachian narrative tradition has remained especially vibrant; to wit, the International Storytelling Center is based in nearby Jonesborough, Tenn. And in Asheville, gatherings and competitions in which people share

Album Review: Jazzville — Blue Skies

Jazz is one of the few musical idioms in which artists can record and/or perform the compositions of others and still gain widespread critical acclaim. The form itself is designed to allow — and perhaps even demand — a fresh and original approach to existing material. Against that backdrop, Blue Skies, the debut release from

Carol Rifkin: What is Mountain Music?

Carol Rifkin is an expert on mountain music. She sings and plays it, she writes about it, and she’s the host of the popular This Old Porch radio program. But when asked to define mountain music, she’s uncharacteristically caught off guard. “There really isn’t a real straight answer,” she says with a good-natured laugh. “I

Uncle Kurtis and Their “Killer” Album

It’s not at all unusual for four 14-year-old boys to start a rock group. It is, however, remarkable when that band gets high-profile gigs in local bars, and cuts an album of songs, all within a year of forming. But thanks in part to parents drawing on their contacts, that’s what has happened for Uncle

Five Questions (and Answers) with Amanda Anne Platt

Led by singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, WNC-based Americana/country band the Honeycutters are a popular draw on the concert and festival circuit. Last year upon returned from a string of live dates in England, the band released its fifth album, Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters. That release marked the first time Platt’s name was featured

Victory Boyd: From Subway to Festival Stage

Victory Boyd was “discovered” busking Stevie Wonder songs on the streets and in the subway stations of New York City, and that discovery led to a recording contract not only for her, but for her entire family including her father and eight siblings. The singer-songwriter was a featured performer at the fourth annual LEAF Downtown

Jordan Okrend’s Light in the Dark

Jordan Okrend manages to have it both ways. He’s a pop artist, but one who incorporates more ambitious forms into his original music without sacrificing a strong melody. The Berklee College of Music graduate recently released his third disc Dance by the Riverside, recorded at Sound Temple Studios in Asheville. In your music, how do

Album Review: Richard Shulman Trio — Turned Into Lemonade

Conveying a spirit of hope and optimism without the use of words is a challenging goal. But on Turned Into Lemonade, the latest from the prolific jazz/orchestral/new age composer (he’s released more than two dozen albums), that ambitious goal is realized. This all-original jazz outing is credited to the Richard Shulman Group: Shulman plays acoustic

David LaMotte: So Much to Do, So Little Time

For many Asheville-based musicians, making music is just one of the things they do. Cobbling together a financially sustainable lifestyle means taking on one or more part-time “side hustles.” In a sense, that’s what singer-songwriter David LaMotte does. But the nature of his involvement in myriad pursuits takes the form of multiple full-time gigs. Somehow

Album Review: River Whyless — Kindness, A Rebel

On the group’s 2016 album We All the Light, Asheville-based group River Whyless pushed the boundaries of indie folk, its supposed genre. In doing so, the quartet could serve as Exhibit A for the relative meaningless of genre labels: to be sure, what River Whyless does draw from Americana and folk, but neither of those