folk Archive

Why Not Give it a Try: Gordon Lightfoot Goes ‘Solo’ (Part 1 of 3)

When Gordon Lightfoot soared to the top of the U.S. singles charts with 1970’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” most listeners considered him a new artist. But the Ontario-born singer-songwriter was a seasoned veteran of the music scene. Already in his 30s, Lightfoot had been releasing albums since early 1966. Sit Down Young Stranger

30 Days Out, August 2020 #1: Robin Bullock, Cliff Eberhardt, Eleanor Underhill, Christy Lynn

Two steps forward, one (and sometimes two) back. The United States’ continued failure to contain the spread of COVID-19 is having more and more lasting effects. Beyond death and permanent health effects, countless businesses have shuttered. Here’s hoping most of those closures are temporary. Here in Asheville we’ve already lost one beloved music venue. The

Just Like Home: John Doyle

Irish musician bridges the gap between Ireland and Appalachia He’s an acclaimed and globetrotting figure in Irish music, guitarist, singer, folklorist and songwriter. But when he’s off the road, John Doyle makes his home in Western North Carolina. Nominated for a 2010 Grammy (Best Traditional World Album), Doyle is an astoundingly busy and in demand

30 Days Out, July 2020 #1: Blake Ellege Band, Rocky MTN Roller, Life Like Water, Mr. Jimmy

Once again it’s time for a look at live music events in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. And for the first time since early March (and those mostly ended up canceled) there are some actual live-and-in-person performances to spotlight. That said, caveats apply. (1) Will these shows actually happen? Who knows!? Best

Guitarist Laurence Juber Connects the Dots Between Classical, Folk and the Beatles

Laurence Juber was already an accomplished and in-demand session musician before he got the call to join Paul McCartney’s band, Wings. And although he was a member of the group for a comparatively short period – from 1978 until the band’s dissolution in 1981 – the influence of the former Beatle would loom large in

30 Days Out, June 2020 #2: Hearts Gone South, Angel Olsen, Natural Born Leaders, The Get Right Band

If you’re at all like me, you may have noticed this phenomenon: when you take on a new task, you stumble as you learn your way through it. And by the time you finally figure out the most efficient and effective way to do it, you’re nearly done. Perhaps that’s the case with musicians and

Brushfire Stankgrass: Making Up for Lost Time

“We’re not a bluegrass band,” insists Will Saylor, co-leader with brother Ben in Brushfire Stankgrass. Instead, the popular Asheville quartet uses bluegrass as the launching point for its musical excursions, venturing well into folk, jam and rock forms in the process. And while the group makes no claims to capture the essence of Asheville in

30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Busker Abby ‘The Spoon Lady’ Roach Brings Out the Fine Silverware

Train-hopping hobos are part of America’s cultural fabric. From the late 19th century through the 1940s, hundreds of thousands of itinerant people in America made their lives on the fringe of society, traveling the rails, picking up work wherever they could. The hobo subculture developed its own traditions in music and folklore. And while today

Album Review: Nancy Priddy — You’ve Come This Way Before

In 1967, a young singer named Nancy Lee Priddy was part of a group of musicians assembled to assist in the making of Songs of Leonard Cohen, the debut release by the Canadian songwriter, poet and novelist. Priddy provided backing vocals on three of the album’s tracks, “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” “So