asheville Archive

Checkin’ in with The Christy Lynn Band

This is the first of three short features on Asheville-based artists releasing new albums in March 2020. Working in the country idiom, Sweetheart of the Radio is the debut release from the Christy Lynn Band. Christy Lynn Barrett describes her music as “meaningfully kitschy.” She laughs when asked to explain what that means. “I like

Ishmael: Art Looking to the Future

A thought-provoking Asheville-based visual artist is lending his skills in support of a fundraising event for a local nonprofit dedicated to helping students break the persistent cycle of poverty. The murals of Victor “Ishmael” Palenque are a prominent feature of the city’s defining visual iconography, and the message behind those murals dovetails with the goals

Album Review: Anders Manga — Andromeda

Modern recording technology being what it is, in 2020 it’s no longer remarkable to find an album created by one person that still sounds like the work of a complete band. But it’s far from a given, and remains refreshing to encounter. Anders Manga is an Asheville-based artist working in the idiom of darkwave, but

Bartender-Author Sandlin Gaither on Tequila, Dog Hair and Chainsaw Fights

Note: This story first appeared in Mountain Xpress ahead of the live performance referenced herein. Sandlin Gaither has been listening to you and your friends. From his position behind the bar at popular local music venues in Asheville, N.C., he’s been witness to some memorable conversations. Without causing a delay in the serving of beer,

Album Review: Vvitchgang Coven – s/t

Music consumers can be forgiven for thinking that every possible combination of genres has been explored and exploited. Hip-hop/country? Check. Christian death metal? Yes. Hard rock-meets bluegrass? Sure; years ago, in fact. But enterprising artists remain on the prowl for new and interesting ways to link together the heretofore unconnected. And as best as I

Justin Ray: Singing and Swinging

Asheville-based trumpeter Justin Ray has been a member of pop singer Michael Bublé’s band for 15 years. After a long string of tours around the world, Ray decided that he’d create some new arrangements of classic tunes from the big band era, with the ultimate goal of getting Bublé to use those arrangements in his

30 Days Out: January 2020 #2: Jake Shimabukuro, Tinsley Ellis, The Seratones, Ashley Heath & Her Heathens

Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Venue: The Orange Peel Date: Friday, Jan 24, 8 p.m. Door: $30 Ukulele probably isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of powerfully rocking music. But Jake Shimabukuro is the sort of artist who can make that comparatively humble instrument work in a surprising variety of contexts. His

Album Review: Empire Strikes Brass — Brassterpiece Theatre

Some creative projects are the result of a carefully thought-out plan. Others happen through a special combination of good fortune and the participants’ openness to whatever develops. The latter is the case for Asheville’s Empire Strikes Brass. The group came together in 2012 for what was planned as a one-off event. Founder and saxophonist Paul

Life Like Water’s Trance-folk

Songwriter and musician David Matters has a background playing bluegrass and old-time music. And while he maintains a love for those styles, the music he started writing a few years ago didn’t fit comfortably into those idioms. So he launched Life Like Water, now a trio with a sound that draws from American and European

30 Days Out: January 2020 #1: Interstellar Echoes, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, 3rd Annual Women in Music Series, Beach Fossils

For five and half years, I wrote a twice-monthly column for Asheville, N.C.’s superb altweekly Mountain Xpress. That column, “30 Days Out,” previewed upcoming live shows of note, focusing on both local/regional and nationally/internationally touring artists, across a (if I do say so myself) wide cross-section of musical styles. The column ended after more than