It’s a cold and overcast Friday night in Asheville, NC but my spirits are anything other than soggy. I have been looking forward to this night for some time now, as The Campfire Caravan of The Lil' Smokies, The Brothers Comatose, and MIPSO rolls through Asheville’s premier club-venue The Orange Peel.
Fans anxiously awaited Alison Moyet’s appearance as soon as the house lights dimmed and the stage lights formed iridescent shadows across the spacious Palladium, while the spoken word, ‘April 4th from the recently released ‘Other’ echoed. When the star did appear, dressed simply, but elegantly, greeted by hoots and major applause, she stood silently for a moment, as if in awe of her surroundings.
It was a different Lone Bellow that pulled into Boston on Wednesday night, for their first show in the city in two years. When they first broke on the scene some five years ago, The Lone Bellow’s live shows were marked by an irrepressible energy, as if they couldn’t believe they’d hit the big time and were determined to rock the rafters at every gig.
With four years alongside one another on the road and in the studio, Hard Working Americans embody the grit, grind and salt of the earth vibe their name implies. Some call them a super group. I call them the sum of their parts, and hot damn do those parts work well together.
On a day when college football’s number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs collapsed in laughable fashion on the road against Auburn-that other team from Alabama-fellow sons of Athens’, Perpetual Groove found themselves in a completely different scenario.
The Newgrass style had come quite a way since the days when John Hartford and New Grass Revival began deviating from the technique and approach that had defined the bluegrass previously. The original bluegrass players such as Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were indeed innovators. As music is a reflection of times and the outlook of those playing, the late 1960s birthed ambitious and talented players who deviated from the rules. Still, their admiration and respect for the country greats before them was foundational.
While Quixote’s may have seen its last days, Jay Bianchi’s newest venue, Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple, has the streets of Denver buzzing with its historic artwork, friendly vibes and eclectic lineups ranging from modern-day Grateful Dead takes to bluegrass, funk and more. Located on 1700 Logan Street at the old Wrangler location, the Grateful Dead-themed venue boasts high ceilings, a video arcade, incredible art spanning back to the mid 60’s and plenty of room to boogie down.
This past week Johnny Clegg wrapped up a short 12 twelve-city North American tour bidding farewell, and retiring from the road.
In remission from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, Clegg decided to have his final tour while he has the strength to endure the road. This farewell is both a bitter-sweet celebration of his career, and an opportunity to say goodbye to so many devoted fans, whose hearts he has touched.
Have I ever told you guys about this place in Asheville called The Salvage Station? I feel like I have and, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but man do those guys know how to throw a party.
I mean unless hanging out down by the French Broad River with a beer in your hand and the best music touring the country isn’t really your thing. In that case perhaps I could interest you in a board game or something.