asheville Archive

James McMurtry: Put Good Lines in the Verses

“The room is the instrument,” says Austin singer-songwriter James McMurtry. Considering that he began playing his original songs live onstage more than 30 years ago, he should know. The son of novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, James has seen his share of honky-tonks, rock clubs, and concert halls. A frequent and longtime visitor to Asheville,

Concert Review: Dungen — 9 June 2016, Asheville NC

It had been nearly five years since Swedish “folkrockpsych” band (their description) Dungen last played in Asheville. On that September 2010 date, the four-piece was touring in support of their seventh album, Skit I allt. In the ensuing years, Dungen went quiet, fueling speculation that they had disbanded. Guitarist Reine Fiske had already started another

The Digs: Travel to the Beat of a Different Drum

“We’re pulling from a lot of places at once, trying to create our own thing,” says Ram Mandelkorn, guitarist and songwriter for Asheville-based soul/jazz/funk outfit The Digs. “And we’re getting closer to it.” The instrumental group features a unique lineup: guitar plus a keyboardist who plays bass lines with his left hand, and a rotating

The Honeycutters: Creating Quite a Buzz

“I write a lot of songs,” admits Amanda Platt, leader and songwriter of Asheville-based roots group the Honeycutters. “I’m a very prolific writer; sometimes I wish I could turn it off for a little bit. So I don’t think there’s ever going to be a shortage of songs to choose from.” The best songs among

Q&A With The Delondes’ John James Tourville

New Orleans-based group The Deslondes effortlessly mix up genres: their music has clear antecedents in country, zydeco, jazz, soul, and even rock ‘n’ roll. They’re currently in pre-production on a follow-up to their self-titled 2015 debut. The Deslondes returned to Asheville NC for a May 12 show at The Grey Eagle. I recently spoke with

Asheville Electro Music Festival: High Technology, Human Scale

In his influential 1982 book Megatrends, author John Naisbitt observed that “whenever new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response, or the technology is rejected.” The very human and innovative nature of 21st century synthesizer-based music is a real-world example of Naisbitt’s observations in action. A local group of musicians

Review: Music Video Asheville 2016

As organizer Kelly Denson explained near the end of the evening’s program, Music Video Asheville began nine years ago and has grown steadily every year. This year’s award ceremony (held Wednesday, April 14) once again made clear the bounty of local talent that exists in and around Asheville. 25 videos competed in several categories, and

Larry Keel’s Asheville Experience

“I grew up playing bluegrass; it’s in my blood like crazy,” says guitarist, singer and songwriter Larry Keel. “But these days when I’m writing, I don’t hear bluegrass anymore. I’ve written and performed music that is, I think, unclassifiable. And that’s where I want to be.” Keel continues to defy pigeonholing with Experienced, his 15th

Reed Turchi: Back to His Roots

Though these days he lives and works in Memphis, Reed Turchi was born and spent his formative years in Asheville. Nominally a blues artist, multi-instrumentalist Turchi draws from a much wider array of styles, and his music is informed by his studio knowledge and experience. This summer Turchi and band will launch a major tour

Russ Wilson: (Jazz) History Repeats Itself

On February 12, 1924, jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman staged a concert at New York City’s famed Aeolian Hall. That event, billed as An Experiment in Modern Music, featured George Gershwin‘s premiere performance of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Whiteman (sometimes called the King of Jazz) would go on to stage many more concerts in the Experiment series,