interview Archive

The Rubinoos’ Pop-punk Nugget is Unearthed

It wasn’t just punk that arose as an alternative to what many viewed as the overblown, corporate-flavored excess of 1970s rock. Along with punk, a kind of proto-indie pop was bubbling under. And a notable laboratory for those endeavors was Beserkley Records. Founded in 1973 by Matthew King Kaufman, Beserkley introduced the likes of Earth

Screen Classic ‘The Goddess’ Gets a Min Xiao-Fen Score

In 1934, writer-director Wu Yonggang’s silent film Shénnǚ (The Goddess) was released in China. Critically praised and popular among audiences, it was and remains an exemplar of China’s cinematic golden age. Exploring and building upon the beauty of the film, Asheville-based musician-composer Min Xiao-Fen has released White Lotus, an original score for The Goddess. Years

Steve Cropper: The Go-Getter Gets Going (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … With Cropper’s buy-in to the idea, Tiven enlisted the skills of drummers, including ace session man Anton Fig. Cropper has long been friends with the South African-born precussionist. “You’d know him from Saturday Night Live and David Letterman’s show,” he says. But Fig also played drums in a later version

Steve Cropper: The Go-Getter Gets Going (Part One)

Ask serious music fans to name a tasteful guitarist, and inevitably Steve Cropper’s name is going to come up. As a studio musician, Cropper’s work is part of the center of gravity of innumerable recordings that came out of Memphis’ Stax Records in the 1960s. With Booker T & the M.G.’s, Cropper was responsible for

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,

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

The Voice of Michelle Lang

Vocalist and teacher Michelle Lang is the latest addition to the faculty at Hendersonville-based WNC Music Academy. Even during this pandemic, the Academy has found responsible ways – online lesson formats, privately archived videos of recitals, socially-distanced private instruction – to allow its students to continue their musical education and creative expression. Ms. Lang comes

Ryan Guerra: The Go-to Guy for Tributes

One of the most popular and enduring live music events in Western North Carolina was the Music on the Rock concert series. Though it ended before the pandemic, Music on the Rock featured a succession of tribute performances, each focusing on a popular music act. For many of those years, the program was coordinated by