Monday, August 24, 2009

Truth and Salvage Co.

If I had to pick the one band in the land whose music brings the biggest smile to my face, I would, without hesitation, pick Scrappy Hamilton. They were introduced to me about 7 years ago, shortly after moving to Asheville. There was always something magical in the music. Scott Kinnebrew's masterful song-writing abilities interwoven with Walker Young's ever-charming and beautifully composed melodies helped to create one of Asheville's most beloved bands. A Scrappy Hamilton show was guaranteed to draw an eclectic show-of hands (and feet) to the dance floor, and they were one of the few bands that my would-be husband would actually (and with enthusiasm) spin me around to (which is why we were thrilled when they agreed to play at our wedding!)

Fans were oh-so-sad when the boys staggered across the country, 1000's of miles from asheville, to plant new roots in the bustling city of Los Angeles. It took no time at all for Asheville's sweethearts to befriend an entirely new circuit of equally talented musicians as they quickly began to sell out rooms filled with supportive ears.

Based on the songs recorded to their new 4 song ep, and saturday's show at the Grey Eagle, it seems safe to say that their upcoming CD, produced by the legendary Chris Robinson, will simultaneously satisfy the cravings of old fans, while rapidly win over the loyalty of fans-to-be.

Gone is the dancy, eclectic, swingy circus that Asheville remembers. In comes a new and admirable slew of carefully crafted songs---songs that boast maturity, growth, and heart---songs that are kissed with tinges of honest Americana and supported with authentically raw rock-and-roll---songs that, simply put, will be hard, once heard, to stop singing.

Truth and Salvage Co's recent, and eagerly anticipated appearance at the Grey Eagle (which kicked off a long deserved string of dates opening for the upcoming Black Crowes tour) exhibited undeniable chemistry. On stage, confidence shined as the faces of Tim Jones, Walker Young,
Scott Kinnebrew, Bill "smitty" Smith, Adam Grace, and Joe Edel gleamed with pride, graciousness, and enthusiasm.

The end product is a slow cooked stew of musical stylings. Carefully crafted songs strike chord after chord. Seamlessly flowing harmonies, ever-catchy lyrics, gritty musicianship....everything seems meant to be...

This new-found success is lyrically depicted in their song "Hail, Hail" (you can listen to the song at

"sixteen years of living the dream...see what it means to be the rulers of our destiny"

CONGRATULATIONS to TRUTH AND SALVAGE CO. Thank you for so many years of wonderful music!!!!! and for Saturday's inclusion of "Alligator Crawl!" Fun times!

More photos from Saturdays show can be viewed here...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!

It's hard to go out during this cold spell. Last week was apparently just a tease, but I know warm weather will be upon us soon, and I hope to be out and about as often as possible. Sitting on my bookshelf, I already have a stack of tickets for a bunch of shows I am super stoked to go see. Gomez, G Love, Wilco, Old Crow Medecine Show, and I just found some tix for Phish in Knoxville. I may not make this months credit card payment, but I have no doubt that it's going to be a fun Spring! Also on my radar is Mogwai, Asylum Street Spankers, The French Broad River Fest. Stay tuned for write ups on Josh Phillips and Asheville's beloved Snake Oil Medecine Show. Oh, and then there is my very favorite biannual festival, LEAF. Be sure to check out my photo booth at LEAF- festival attendees can come dress up in fun costumes, and I take their photograph, and print out one of those movie photo booth style strips of photos. 20% of sales are donated to Leaf in the Schools and Streets.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ashevilles Favorite Band: Acoustic Syndicate!

Asheville Rocks on 3/7/09 at the Orange Peel
Acoustic Syndicate. How do I even begin? These boys, wow! I have seen them evolve from a brilliant acoustic 5 piece band whose instrumental line-up included flute, percussion, bass, geetar, and banjo into a stunning, musically explosive, newgrassy sort of rock band, and boy do they ever!

This group of musicians, whose tight sound reigns with fluidity and purity, continuous to impress and attract audiences throughout the region. Acoustic Syndicate has been playing together for nearly 2 decades, and is, for the most part a family band, comprised of brothers, cousins, and close friends. They are a band whose line-up has remained relatively consistent, and they are a band whose harmonious vocals, impressive musical stylings, captivating stage presence, and telling lyrics demand attention.

After a hiatus from touring the country, Asheville was ecstatic, as the numerous sold out shows proved, when Acoustic Syndicate began to play locally again. While their tour schedule is not nearly as demanding as it once was, their feel good tunes continue to shine as bright, if not brighter than they ever have.

My husbands band used to play with these guys years ago and we have lots of friends in similar circles, but last nights show at the Orange Peel, was my first show with an official photo pass, (thanks brad) and watching that show so up close and personal, through the lens of my fun new camera, sure was exciting. It is different attending a show as a listener/dancer vs. attending as a photographer (though there were times I just had to put the camera down and just boogie). Constantly clicking, constantly anticipating THE moment. But it turns out, there were SO MANY moments (I left the show having taken over 700 pictures! I don't even know how thats possible at a 3 hour show).

It was somewhat of a blur, and as I try to recall the highlights, North Country Girl and No Woman, No Cry stick out, but in reality, the entire evening was a highlight! I had a soul-nourishing great time, and was reminded, once again, why Asheville loves them some Syndicate!

Michael Franti- For Kids of All Ages!

Asheville rocks on 2/26/2009 at The Orange Peel!

I'm finally beginning to learn that if a show I
really want to see is coming to the Orange Peel, I must get tickets early, for there is a strong chance the show will sell out. I was sad, sad, sad when I procrastinated too long to get tix to the Franti Show in February- I love him, & as desperation and violence plagues our world, there are two front men that really make me feel happy in these trying and uncertain times: Barack Obama and Michael Franti!

So, needless to say, how excited
was I when just two days before the sold out show, the orange peel announced that Michael Franti would be performing a 75 minute early all-ages show (which also ended up seeling out, but not before I was able to leave work early and snag myself a ticket).

And all-ages it was. When Michael asked for a show of hands to try and figure out the oldest and youngest au dience members in the venue, I believe the ages ranged from 2 months old to 70 years old! Way to represent Asheville!

This, people, was a fun show! From the cookie monster song to the irresistably cute two year old (i'm guessing on the age) guitarist rockin out on stage, this was definitly my first feel-good show of 2-double 0-9!

After the show endend, Mr. Franti generously invited those attendees who bought his childrens book, "What it Be" to meet him after the show to have it autographed. People left this show happy- plain and simple!

How very incredible it must be to be a kid in Asheville- In a town with such devotion to the preservation of the arts, there is always opportunity for the little ones to rock out, express themselves, and expand their wee little creative souls, and this event was just one fine example.