asheville Archive

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,

The Challenge of the Blues

Vocalist Peggy Ratusz has long been one of Asheville’s leading blues personalities, carrying a torch for the century-old musical form. Her latest musical endeavor (with the help of musical collaborator Aaron Price) involves the upcoming 32nd annual International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis, Tenn. Monday, Jan. 26 to Saturday, Jan. 30. In the run-up to

Best Asheville Concerts of 2015

I’m always amazed and grateful that despite being a comparatively small market, Asheville draws high-end touring talent. 2015 was no exception. Among a long list of local shows, these are my Top 5 for this year: Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – The Grey Eagle, March 12 Hernandez got her big break when she wowed

Watch Those Men: Wham Bam Bowie Band

David Bowie cast off his Ziggy Stardust persona decades ago, but a fondness for the look and sound of his 1970s music remains strong among rock fans. Asheville-based touring tribute group Wham Bam Bowie Band answers that demand. A one-off gig years ago in Nashville planted the seed that would eventually grow into Wham Bam

Mountain Soul Party: The Soul of Collaboration

Author’s Note: This feature appeared previously in edited form in the pages of Mountain Xpress, and is a preview of a show that took place earlier this month. Happy Holidays! — bk Look deeper than the surface of Asheville’s music scene and you’ll discover a fertile and vibrant community of musicians playing soul music. A

Concert Review: Martin Barre — Asheville NC, 3 December 2015

Maybe you’ve had this experience yourself: you have tickets to a show. You’re really looking forward to it. You know it’s going to be really good. Then you get there, the band comes on, and…it’s better than you expected. Way better. This happened to me last night. I am friends with the publicist who handles

Full-on Fun: Guitarist Martin Barre’s Post-Jethro Tull World

Ask most people who the leader of Jethro Tull was, and they say, “Why, Mr. Tull, of course!” No, that’s Ian Anderson you’re thinking of. But the mainstay of that group alongside the flutist/singer was ace guitarist Martin Barre. On all but the first of the band’s twenty-plus albums, it’s Barre’s fretwork that you’ll hear.

The Revelers: Get Ready to Move the Tables and Dance

Eclectic Louisiana-based group The Revelers make music for dancing. “It has to be danceable,” says multi-instrumentalist Daniel Coolik. “We pride ourselves on being a get-up-and-move sort of band. That’s where we come from. If you play stuff that people can’t dance to, they’re just not going to come out.” When called upon to do so,

Pugwash: “Don’t Expect One Direction. Expect no direction.”

Pugwash haven’t become a household word in the United States, but it’s not for lack of effort. With their winning melodies, sharp hooks and winsome lyrics, the Dublin, Ireland-based group is a critics’ darling. The group made its southeastern USA debut at The Altamont Theatre on Friday, September 4. No less than three separate record

Concert Review: Jaga Jazzist — Asheville NC, 23 June 2015

Demonstrating yet again that – more than sixty-odd years after the dawn of rock’n’roll – popular music idioms remain fertile ground for experimentation and cross-fertilization, Jaga Jazzist combines rock, jazz, electronica, trip-hop, and who-knows-what-else into music that is all and none of those things at once. And as their recent show at New Mountain in