asheville Archive

Album Review: Vince Junior Band — Refreshingly Soulful Blues

On one hand, Refreshingly Soulful Blues is a mightily odd title to give to an album; it reads more like sales copy or a review than a proper title. From the standpoint of truth in labeling, it does better, earning a 67% rating or better (refreshing, yes; soulful, yes; blues, sort of but not really).

Album Review: Lavender Blue — Dusk

A sense of humor is not typically at the top of a list of notable characteristic of a singer-songwriter. By definition—and with some exceptions, of course—singer-songwriters tend to be a serious, introspective lot, rarely given over to playful subject matter in their work. But Asheville-based artist Lavender Blue (the stage name for Kayla Zuskin) has

‘Miles and Miles’ with Carrie Morrison

Carrie Morrison is a Brevard, North Carolina-based singer, songwriter and pianist. She’s also a teacher of exceptional children at Brevard High School. She recently recorded and released her first full-length album, Miles and Miles. A 2018 performance at Isis Music Hall in Asheville sold out six weeks before the show. You’ve played piano since childhood.

Album Review: The Appalucians — Bright Hills

Bright Hills, the debut album from Asheville-based folk quartet the Appalucians, reveals a charming and close-knit vibe within seconds of its opening track. Two of the group members – bassist/harpist Aditi Sethi and guitarist Angie Heimann – engage in a dual-lead harmony vocal on “Bloom in the Seed.” The two allow their vocal lines to

Album Review: Taylor Martin — Song Dogs

Song Dogs is a collection of eleven songs – 8 originals plus 3 well-chosen and relatively obscure covers – sung and played by Asheville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Taylor Martin. By definition, Song Dogs doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre classification. There’s a kind of good-natured yet world-weary vibe to these songs, one that calls to mind

Album Review: Town Mountain – New Freedom Blues

On the group’s sixth studio album, Asheville-based band Town Mountain continues to build on its successful sound. New Freedom Blues finds Town Mountain having it both ways: the five-piece is a reliable purveyor of classic bluegrass, yet the Appalachian music genre is subtly imbued with a modern-day feel that lets the group express its own

EP Review: DJ Dallas & SIYAH — Dark Clouds

A new EP from Asheville-based rapper SIYAH (Isa Whitaker) explores faith and family in a style miles away from the gangsta rap of the 1990s. Enlisting talent from the ranks of his own family, SIYAH delivers an impressive 14 minutes of conscious hip-hop on Dark Clouds. Dark Clouds opens with “The Heights.” Like all four

Album Review: STIG — Agreed Upon

Some artists play music that – if one wishes to label it – requires several words to describe. Formed by five students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, STIG (the band spells its name in all caps) self-identifies as an “all-instrumental progressive jazz funk” band. In a hurry, some might be tempted to label the

The Struts Under Pressure, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Luke: And the thing is, there was so much added pressure as well. We weren’t allowed to leave any of those sessions without a great demo. That was what was kind of expected of us. Because it costs money. [pauses a beat] No one said that directly, but there was definitely

The Struts Under Pressure, Part One

The Struts burst onto the American scene in 2016 with a retooled version of their then two-year-old debut album, Everybody Wants. Combining an arena-rock musical approach with glam swagger, the Struts evoke the sound and feel of a bygone rock era. But they’re more than a Queen retread; their anthemic songs strike a chord with