Archive for September, 2009

By: Samantha Ricketts

The Concordian, Issue date: 9/9/09 
Concord University in Athens
Media Credit: MySpace (From left) Lassiter, Hoover, Scales, and Simpson make up the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.

Media Credit: MySpace (From left) Lassiter, Hoover, Scales, and Simpson make up the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.

The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra entertained students Thursday night on the Subway Stage in the Student Center. Scales’s use of the steel drums provides a unique and catchy sound to the group.

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the band is made up of four talented musicians—Ryan Lassiter on drums, Duane Simpson (originally from West Virginia) on guitar, Shannon Hoover on bass, and Jonathan Scales on the steel drums.

The Fourchestra’s music can be described as a fusion among rock, jazz, funk, reggae, and bluegrass. And the traditional Caribbean steel drums add yet another element to the style.

While the band’s songs are instrumental, they still manage to tell an intricate story. One of the songs, Scales explained, was written a couple years ago about the war. Although no words were said, his message was clear to the audience.

This inventive group left Concord students both content and impressed. Freshman Clifton Jowers comments, “It was like four different kinds of music fused into one.”

The blend of sounds was both soothing and exciting at times. The band joked that their steel drums sound nothing like Jimmy Buffett; the group truly has a sound unlike any other band.

The band currently has two CDs out: “One-Track Mind” (2007) and “Plot/Scheme” (2008).

They are playing numerous shows on the East Coast this fall, so anyone who missed out on Concord’s performance can still catch them nearby.

For more information about the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, to purchase a CD, or to see their schedule of upcoming performances, visit their myspace at http://www.myspace.com/jonathanscales.

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By Alli Marshal

Asheville’s Mountain Xpress September 9th, 2009


Photo by Sista Irie

Photo by Sista Irie

The Rastafarian Ancient Living Arts & Kulture (RALAK) Festival provides an opportunity for those interested in Rasta culture to learn a little more. Those already involved can celebrate the ideology and deepen their commitment to “co-creating unity and love for all colors and creeds.”

Created by the Black Mountain Asheville Rastafari Collective (a group whose mission it is to dispel myths about the Rastafari way of life), the festival promises to be a day speakers, food, arts and crafts, children’s activities and music.

Bands include Jamaican reggae and dub act Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus, Virgin Islands recording artist Harry Mo, Reggae Infinity from Columbia, S.C., and Asheville-based performers U-N-I Verse and Lyndsay Wojcik.

But this festival is more then a booty-shakin’ good time. There’s a very serious educational component: Speakers include Jake Homiak who curated the Rastafari Exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum. Also, elders from a cornucopia of faiths (Native American, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Catholic and others) will address the crowd.

Sunday, Sept. 13 (10 a.m.-9 p.m., $30 advance/$35 at the gate; children under age 13 are free.)

[RALAK is full day festival at the Lake Eden Events site (adjacent to the LEaf Festival site at Camp Rockmont).
Starts at 10am and runs til 9pm
Full day of speakers, music, and workshops for only 30 bucks.
Complete info and description of bands at… Read More


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posted Sunday Sept 6th @ 12:26 PM 2009/

The Herald-Dispatch


FAYETTEVILLE — If you want to get a little whitewater wild with it, the mighty, bearded, flat-picking legend Larry Keel, traipses over yonder mountains to play a 9 p.m. show Sunday night Sept. 6 at the Rivermen Adventure Resort, 219 Chestnutburg Road, in Fayetteville, W.Va., making for a perfect weekend of rafting on the Lower New and then listening to Keel and Natural Bridge, a band that’s been crisscrossing the great festivals around the U.S., promoting their new Keller Williams-produced CD of originals called, “Backwoods.”

Tickets for the show are $10 day of show or you can hook up a rafting, camping and meals package with Rivermen for $99. Call 800-545-7238 x 20 or go online at http://www.rivermen.com. Keep up with all the latest events and stories happening in the Outdoors online at http://www.herald-dispatch.com. Click onto Entertainment and then Outdoors, for up-to-date coverage on outdoors fun in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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by AskAsheville

The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival is going to be awesome! Here is Erin of http://twitter.com/dreamspiderweb Dreamspider Publicity in Asheville, NC telling us about the plans for the day. LAAFF is on September 6, 2009 in the downtown area. Thousand and thousands of people will be there. We expect a social bloom to happen in the area at this event. Make plans to come out and attend LAAFF in Asheville!!!

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Cover Art by The Mountain Xpress. Photo by Jonathan Welch

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Contributed to the Press


Larry Keel and Natural Bridge takes the stage at Stir Fry Cafe on Friday, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m.  (Contributed to the Press / )

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge takes the stage at Stir Fry Cafe on Friday, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m. (Contributed to the Press / )

Flatpicking legend Larry Keel and Natural Bridge will play Friday, Sept. 4, at Stir Fry Cafe, 3020 Franklin Terrace Drive.

Showtime is 10 p.m. and admission is $5. The show is 21-and-up.

Over the past decade and a half, the two-time national flatpick champion has made a name for himself through his fiery-fingered guitar mastery, his almost otherworldly vocal style, and his wild, progressive mountain sound that has one foot firmly planted in tradition while the other reaches out beyond the boundaries.

With a keen focus on talent, Keel assembled Natural Bridge, a masterful union of kindred spirits who share a common musical vision. Held together by the cheerful steady backbone of Jenny Keel (bass fiddle, vocals), Natural Bridge features the fireball Mark Schimick (mandolin, vocals) and the charming, crescendo pickin’ Jason Flournoy (banjo, vocals).

The group’s February release, “Backwoods,” was co-produced by Keller Williams and has met with rave reviews.

“Listening to ‘Backwoods,’ it’s clear that the foursome mesh together so very well in a thrilling union of skills, which brings me to what makes Backwoods so engrossing. We’ve been blessed with so many gifted musicians among the roots world that it causes a lingering sense of amazement as much as it unintentionally creates a slightly jaded feeling. It’s the approach to the material that makes all the difference here, a hybrid of bluegrass with folk, country and jazz that tweaks the arrangements in subtly shifting ways to grab one’s attention. Keel dubs it ‘New Mountain Music,’ and that’s good enough for me. It feels like sunshine peaking through a thick forest or a sunrise with the grass caked by morning dew.” — John Patrick Gatta, jambands.com

“Expert musicians know in reality, it’s about the band and the final product, not just the star dominating the limelight. Larry Keel is an expert musician and having surrounded himself with musicians of high caliber, he gives them room to shine.” Bluegrass Unlimited, review of “Backwoods.”

For more information on the show, call Stir Fry at 232-6000. For more information, visit http://www.larrykeel.com and http://www.myspace.com/larrykeel.

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by Rebecca Sulock in Vol. 16 / Iss. 6 on 09/02/2009 Mountain Xpress


Here’s one for the annals: The first-ever Freaks of Asheville calendar, set to debut at LAAFF this year. Photographer Michael Traister (Sock Monkey Dreams, Faces of Izzy’s), known for his stunning portraiture, turns his deft lens to some of our town’s “cultural creatives,” creating portraits of some local eclectic personalities.

Sister Bad Habit, aka LaZoom Tours' Jim Lauzon. Photo by Michael Traister.

Sister Bad Habit, aka LaZoom Tours' Jim Lauzon. Photo by Michael Traister.

“Each month will feature a classic portrait of a noted Asheville ‘freak’ and tell the story behind their uniqueness,” writes Erin Scholze of Arts2People. Included in the calendar are some key milestones in local counter-culture history. Partners in the endeavor include LAAFF founder Kitty Love, Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston and Asheville Fringe Festival co-organizer Jim Julien. The project is a fundraiser for Arts2People. Here’s to all those with an abundance of creative energy, each month of the year.

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