Author Archive

From One Stage to Another: Izzi Hughes

Though she’s barely into her 20s and still in school, Hendersonville native Izzi Hughes is a seasoned performer. Gaining experience in musical theatre and acting as a youngster, she first appeared onstage fronting a rock band, Calculated Error, when she was just 10 years old. Izzi doesn’t come from a musical family; needless to say,

Sam Lewis: Don’t Fence Him In

Sam Lewis is nominally an Americana artist. But a listen to any of his albums – most notably 2018’s Loversity and his aptly-titled 2020 release Solo – reveals a songwriter, musician and singer whose work transcends genre. His popular song “One and the Same” has as much to do with soulful blues like Boz Scaggs’

10 Albums That Changed My Life: Emilio “Mimi” Castillo

For more than 50 years, Tower of Power has been bringing its soulful brand of funk to hit records and energetic live shows. In 2018 the nine-man band – plus guest/alumni singers and players and a full string section – returned to where it all began: Oakland, California. There they played a two-night concert celebration,

30 Days Out, July 2021 #1: Black Joe Lewis, Women of Synthpop, Japanese Breakfast, Songwriters in the Round

Touring artists are getting back into the swing of things. That means that this roundup of live music in Asheville features two national acts. The other two spotlighted shows each present three local artists. A nice mix here of singer-songwriter, electronica, blues and modern pop. And though Ididn’t plain it this way, of the eight

Album Review: Various Artists — Big Stir Singles: The Ninth Wave

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but when I encounter an album that includes liner notes, I tend to read before I listen. Or, at least I’ll start to read as I pop the disc into the player (or if I’m lucky, I’ll drop the needle into the groove.) And that’s the approach I took

Album Review: Various Artists – Yesterday’s Tomorrow

If you’re at all familiar with the alternate and/or college rock scenes of the 1970s and ‘80s, you’ll know the names Mitch Easter (Let’s Active, producer of R.E.M.), Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, Continental Drifters), Chirs Stamey (The dB’s, work with Alex Chilton) and Don Dixon. This busman’s holiday of a sort is a document of

Album Review: The Legal Matters – Chapter Three

This record is the third release from the Michigan trio. And this my third time writing a review of their material. Guess why? Because Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith have a demonstrated ability to write, play and sing highly melodic rockin’ tunes. The cheery “Light Up the Sky” hints that Chapter Three is

Songwriter Stephen Evans: Making Sure the Songs Hold Their Own

A lifetime performing musician living in Asheville since 1996, Stephen Evans plays live with his band the True Grits, as part of a songwriters’ collective and as a solo artist. It’s one thing to perform as part of a group. But a solo show places all of the responsibility on you. How do you engage

Album Review: Three-Layer Cake – Stove Top

Bassist Mike Watt is one busy guy. He lends his talents and skills ot myriad creative collaborative projects, and here’s another one. Three-Layer Cake is a trio featuring Watt plus guitarist/banjoist Brandon Seabrook and drummer/keyboardist Mike Pride. Is this avant garde? Americana? Electronica of a sort? Jazz? I honestly can’t tell you; Seabrook’s banjo doesn’t

Album Review: Humanbeing – Humanbeing

Rossano Baldini has a background in soundtrack work and scoring as well as jazz. This new release takes his music somewhere that’s both consistent with those pursuits and pushing the boundaries of his styles. Wholly instrumental, Humanbeing is an album of gentle soundscapes, often realized using electronic instruments yet wonderfully organic in its realization. The