Archive for October, 2009

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By DAN ARMONAITIS For the Herald-Journal

Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 8:55 p.m.

Asheville, N.C.-based duo Mad Tea Party will crash The Showroom for a performance Friday night.

Asheville, N.C.-based duo Mad Tea Party will crash The Showroom for a performance Friday night.

Much like the creatures that Mad Tea Party sings about on the title track to its new EP, “Zombie Boogie,” vinyl is back from the dead.

The wild and wacky Asheville, N.C.-based duo — consisting of guitarist Jason Krekel and ukulele player Ami Worthen — put out its new four-song, Halloween-themed release on a 7-inch, 33 RPM vinyl record.

“Putting out vinyl is as much for ourselves as it is for the public,” Krekel said. “Even though a lot more people are starting to appreciate vinyl, it still isn’t at the level where you can promote it like a CD. We still have to burn some CDs to send to radio stations because a lot of them don’t play vinyl.”

Mad Tea Party has also come up with a solution for its fans who don’t own a turntable. With the purchase of the record, a code will be provided for easy online access to digital downloads of the material plus a bonus track.

The ultra-cool picture sleeve that accompanies the EP is a Krekel creation, utilizing another old-school medium — letterpress printing.

“I kind of did that for people who might not be able to listen to records, figuring they might be inspired to have (the EP) because an original piece of art comes along with it,” Krekel said. “It’s a linoleum print. I carved it out and handset the type.”

Vinyl seems a perfect fit for a band that specializes in hillbilly-flavored, 1960s-style garage rock akin to that of cult favorites Southern Culture on the Skids.

“I’ve got some great old records from the ’50s and ’60s that still sound better than any digital CD I have of the same artist,” Krekel said. “The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds,’ to me, sounds so much better with some pops and scratches than it does remastered digitally.

“There’s just something cool about records. It feels like a time machine when you put those things on the turntable.”

Regardless of the format, the music on “Zombie Boogie” is what makes the release special.

Just in time for Halloween, Mad Tea Party has provided a revved-up collection that seems custom made for a party. The title track was written by Worthen, and Krekel provided an original song called “You Spooked Me.”

Henry Westmoreland of the Squirrel Nut Zippers plays a blistering baritone saxophone on the EP, which also includes a pair of obscure cover tunes.

“We had it in our heads for like two years that we wanted to do a Halloween record,” Krekel said. “Ami kind of capitalized on the zombie craze with her song, and I went for sort of an homage to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and King Kahn & the Shrines with mine.”

Earlier this year, Krekel lost his father Tim, a lifelong musician who wrote songs that were recorded by such artists as Rick Nelson, Jason and the Scorchers, Delbert McClinton and Patty Loveless.

“Whenever I saw my dad, it was usually in the context of a gig,” Krekel said. “He lived his life completely for the single enjoyment of being a musician and never compromised. And, for me, that’s very inspiring.”

Want to go?

Who: Mad Tea Party
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: The Showroom, 149 S. Daniel Morgan Ave.
Tickets: $8 (advance), $10
Information: 582-0056 or www.hub-bub.com

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by John Staton

Star News in Wilmington, NC

First of all, they’re not that kind of Tea Party. Second of all, one of these days I’ll write a feature about this awesome Asheville duo – Ami Worthen (vocals, ukulele, guitar) and Jason Krekel (vocals, guitar, fiddle, foot drums), pictured at top– that’s bringing songs from its new album “Zombie Boogie” to town. The title track is a uke-driven rockabilly tune about a teenybopper who’s devoured by a zombie. “You Really Spooked Me” is a garage rock screamer with more than a lotta soul. Sounds like it’s party time. Details: 9 p.m. (doors) Saturday, 255 N. Front St. (ground floor), downtown Wilmington. With Sarah Blacker. $7. www.TheMadTeaParty.com or www.MySpace.com/TheMadTeaParty

Asheville garage/surf/rockabilly band Mad Tea Party plays the Soapbox Saturday, Oct. 24.

Asheville garage/surf/rockabilly band Mad Tea Party plays the Soapbox Saturday, Oct. 24.

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The all-free, all-day Just Because You’re Asheville concert returns

by Lydia See in Vol. 16 / Iss. 13 on 10/21/2009

Mountain Xpress

“Something about this town drew us here as musicians; now we’re going to be part of the soundtrack to this town,” says singer/songwriter Oso Rey. It’s true that Asheville grooves to its own beat, like the snippets of buskers and the drum circle and music flowing from bars as you walk by. If a musician is lucky enough, those sound bites stay with people, and help govern the ever-changing face of the Asheville musicscape.

Just because you're Galactic: The New Orleans funksters headline the day-long free festival. Get ready to get down.

Just because you're Galactic: The New Orleans funksters headline the day-long free festival. Get ready to get down.

Rey, who now fronts roots-rock outfit Soulgrass Rebellion, said that what originally attracted him and his family to Asheville was that “The music & art scene seemed to be thriving, and had good community support around it.” After living here and playing music for a few years, Rey found his opportunity to contribute, “What I’ve realized that matters the most in this scene is that you’ve gotta put something into the community. I arrived three years ago thinking I could just show up and that would be enough. I’m glad it didn’t work out that way. That would’ve been all about hype. And hype fades, and gets shifted somewhere else. This town has taught me to slow my roll.”

But Rey won’t slow his roll too much this Saturday when he joins a heady roster of local (Thunderdrums), regional (DubConscious, Jamie McLean Band), and nationally-touring (Galactic with Corey Henry, Larry Keel with Bryon McMurry) bands. The event? The Just Because You’re Asheville (JBYA) downtown street festival: part adieu to summer, part why-the-heck-not opportunity to rock out, part thank you to and from area musicians.

Organized by Mountain Roots Management, the day-long event teams a supergroup of local businesses to pull off the day-long six-band fete. “We are blessed in this area with wonderful free events like Asheville Earth Day, Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest and Blue Ridge Pride, to name a very few,” says Bob Robertson partnering company AMJam Productions. “Just Because You’re Asheville tries to bring a little of all those events together, for an end-of-year celebration. As the winter months grow near, we just wanted to throw an appreciation event to all the folks of Asheville who support live music, local businesses and help make Asheville what it is.”

Roberts adds that AMJam and Mountain Roots Management also organize Asheville Earth Day — the start of the festival season which JBYA (now in its second year) bookends.

Last year’s JBYA featured Keller Williams with EOTO and Josh Phillips Folk Festival supporting. An estimated 4,000 people patronized the event, also showing support for the event sponsors’ chosen non-profit, the Dogwood Alliance. This year’s non-profit beneficiary, LEAF in Schools and Streets, is an educational program dedicated to providing world influenced music and arts education to the youth of communities both locally and internationally.

Photo by Jon C. Hancock

Photo by Jon C. Hancock

One change from 2008’s JBYA: A $25 VIP upgrade that includes a T-shirt and poster, private restrooms, discounted beverages and refreshments and a reserved viewing area. VIP options like these at large free events are an affordable luxury which contribute to the longevity of the event, though the festival seems to be designed to be enjoyed thoroughly as a general admission patron. Which is to say, even the port-a-potty using, sidewalk-occupying masses are in for a good time, not to mention a serious dose of the evolving Asheville soundtrack.

It’s the wide-appeal lineup that rounds out the fun-filled day. Soulgrass Rebellion culls influences of roots, reggae and bluegrass and band members from Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, The Fly Brothers and Afromotive. Thunderdrums is a world-beat electronica project that lives up to its name.  Athens, Ga.-based DubConscious bolsters deep reggae grooves with pulsing Afrobeat. Guitarist Jamie McLean, who fronts his namesake group, gained notoriety in the new Orleans-bases Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Also from New Orleans, funk outfit Galactic fotifies its hip-shaking instrumentals with the jazz-tinged trombone of Corey Henry. And, no stranger to the Asheville area, Virginia bluegrass picker Larry Keel teams up with Acoustic Syndicate banjo player Bryon McMurry. (Need hip-hop in the mix? Keep rocking at the GFE after-party at Stella Blue, 9 p.m.)

Now that’s a soundtrack.

who: Just Because You’re Asheville
what: Free downtown Asheville street festival featuring Galactic, DubConscious, Larry Keel with Bryon McMurry, Soulgrass Rebellion, Jamie McLean Band and Thunderdrums
where: Lexington Ave. between the I-240 overpass and Woodfin Street
when: Saturday, Oct. 24 (1 p.m. to 9 p.m., free. http://www.jbya.org)

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Concerts 4 Charity is a wonderful organization that is doing a rather large video documentary project of Asheville and its unique culture. They are gathering together groups of performers, events organizers, videographers, producers, and promoters in the area to come together and talk. This past spring I was invited to one of the gatherings out at this beautiful mountain house to be interviewed as part of The Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) and Arts2People. This is a Peak Preview video snippet that includes a bit of that interview at the beginning as well as some beautiful music by Molly Rose Reed, Eleanor Underhill, and Josh Phillips.

Concerts 4 Charity

Mission: To promote awareness through music and the arts.

Utilizing the power of the live music and art community, C4C produces and attends national, regional and local concerts to help raise funds and awareness for community nonprofits, programs and initiatives. C4C also provides event planning services to nonprofits to help promote their mission.

Concerts 4 Charity is a program of Concepts 4 Charity.
Visit their YouTube Channel for more.
You can also find them on facebook.

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12/06/07 (Thu) Satellite Ballroom – Charlottesville, VA
posted by: samick911

direct link to this video on YouTube

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We are so Grateful for David Gans! He is wonderful musician from Oakland, California that was passing though Asheville between shows at Shakori Hills and Magnolia Festival.  My boyfriend Jay and I are filled with Gratitude for his stay in Asheville this past weekend. Great times with old and new friends, lots of amazing music, and a fabulous way to break in our new pad.

David played a few solo sets looping his guitar for an amazingly full sound.  Joining David at the houseparty in playing Jay Sanders on bass, Bobby Miller on mandolin, and Billy Cardine on dobro.  Others hanging for the late night pickin at the houseparty with Jason Flournoy, Billy Constable, Mark Shimick, Leigh Hillard and Deb Ryder amongst others.  The next day David and Bobby did a radio hour on WNCW with Martin Anderson and then headed over to MoDaddy’s to join the others again in playing, this time with Billy Seawell on Drums, and Billy Cardine playing his brand new beautiful handmade Pedal Steel, and Jason Flournoy and Billy Constable taking turns on Banjo…

David performs many originals like “Bounty for the County with the line: The Ones that Look  The Weirdest Taste the Best”, “Down to Eugene”, and “Shove in the Right Direction”, as well as some amazing Dead covers including most of the Terrapin Suite.  He also played a very sweet version of Broken Arrow, which always puts chills up my spine…

Thank you David for a real good time!!!

What Fun!!! Here are a few pics of the houseparty:

music: www.DGans.com/tunes.html
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/dgans

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