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Archive for November, 2009

(Asheville, NC) Come enjoy Mountain BizWorks’ Holiday Party featuring the Holiday Art Sale! This is your chance to buy local and support WNC artists by doing some holiday shopping and getting that unique arts gift for your loved one! Finger food, light refreshments, cash bar, music, awards, and more will happen during the Holiday Party portion of the day, but feel free to come early and do some shopping!

This event takes place at Jubilee! located at 46 Wall Street in downtown Asheville. The Holiday Sale will take place from 2-7pm, feel free to drop in at anytime! This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the participants in the Asheville Artist Alliance and to informally meet the staff at MountainBizWorks.

The Holiday Party starts at 5pm going through 7pm. During the Holiday Party Mountain Bizworks will be honoring and thanking their clients, staff, and community members. There will also be awards given out for noted businesses of 2009 and supporters. The Holiday Party is open to the public; please RSVP to naomi@mountainbizworks.org or 828.253.2834 x27 to let her know that you will be attending.

For 20 years, Mountain BizWorks has been in the hope business, the dream business, the opportunity business. Mountain BizWorks values serving all individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs and they believe that people should be able to create a better life for themselves and their families through business ownership. MountainBizWorks believes that successful businesses create long-term social benefits and economic prosperity, particularly in under-served communities. They value the dignity and work of each individual and encourage self-sufficiency, accountability, and cooperation. Furthermore, they value being a community that bridges the gap between entrepreneurs of varying incomes, geographies andethnicities. Mountain BizWorks is an entrepreneurial, non-profit organization that operates with a double bottom line of social impact and financial viability — ensuring a permanent resource for the Western North Carolina region.

In 2008, Mountain BizWorks was able to provide its services (such as business development classes) to 988 entrepreneurs (65% were low-income, 61% were women, 22% were racial or ethnic minorities)

Those individuals created 159 businesses and expanded 310 businesses.

In turn, those businesses created 292 jobs and sustained 780 jobs.

They also made 64 loans totaling almost $1,002,000 and leveraging $1.3 Million.

The Asheville Artist Alliance is a collaboration between Mountain BizWorks, Arts2People, and the Asheville Area Arts Council. The mission of the Asheville Artist Alliance is to provide assistance and opportunities to WNC artists for the development of business skills needed to succeed in their venue. The Asheville Artist Alliance is in its fifth year of producing Artist Seminar Series workshops and events, which are designed forWNC artists to provide assistance and opportunities to develop successful business skills. For more info visit: www.ashevilleartistalliance.com

Come celebrate 2009 with Mountain BizWorks and the Asheville Artist Alliance!

mountainbizworks

Event Details  at a Glance:

Holiday Art Sale: 2-7pm
Holiday Party 5-7pm
Thursday December 17th

Jubilee!
46 Wall Street, Asheville
Light finger-food provided

Event Contact:
RSVP for the Holiday Party
Naomi Langsner
(828)253-2834 ext. 27
naomi@mountainbizworks.org
www.ashevilleartistalliance.com
http://www.mountainbizworks.org

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Yonder Mountain String Band’s Adam Aijala is teaming up with fellow guitar virtuoso Larry Keel for a short run of acoustic shows on the West Coast. This is the first time these two bad-ass guitar players are going to tear it up on stage for their fans to enjoy.  They’ll be bringing their wild riffs and antics to the stage from their experiences picking and jammim’ together backstage and at festivals throughout the years.

12/1 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern
12/2 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
12/3 Ashland, OR Stillwater
12/4 Arcata, CA Humboldt Brews
12/5 San Francisco, CA Hotel Utah (2 shows)

Based out of Colorado, Yonder has been touring the country extensively for the past eleven years building a rabid fan base along the way. Hailing from Boulder’s Flat Irons, Yonder bends bluegrass, rock, and jam to create a sound that is all their own. Adam Aijala is a founding member of the band and brings his flat picking prowess and vocals to the group’s dynamic sound.
Meanwhile, Larry Keel hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and is a true master of mountain music. Over the years Larry Keel has become a world-class flatpicking guitarist, and that talent has earned him legendary status with fans and the highest respect amongst his musical peers. He’s performed with such industry icons as Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Norman Blake and many more.

This special tour will highlight the two musicians’ amazing guitar skills, songwriting, vocals and their ability to collaborate and create a new sound that fans of both acts will love. Don’t miss it.

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Keel  and Natural Bridge pounced on Pittsburgh PA last week, enjoying the newly renovated Rex Theater down town..   super warm welcome from the fine folks there, and an energetic crowd of Pennsylvanians who definitely love this wide open Blue Ridge Mountain Music..   can’t wait to return!

Friday night found the band raising the roof in Richmond, VA at the Hat Factory-   wonderful restored old hat factory, for real–    with state of the art production, stage, seating, bar, brick and wood and huge timber beams..   the INCOMPARABLE HERO OF THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR, TONY RICE joined the band for this special evening..     the chemistry between Larry and Tony and Natural Bridge is so special and unique..  using nothing but microphones (no electronic plug ins when you play with Tony Rice!), these expert musicians create the most astonishing sounds and tones–  from ultra delicate and soulful, to rockin wild improvisation..  Bluegrass standards like “Teardrops in My Eyes” and “Salt Creek” are always a blast to play with Tony–   and he shines on Larry’s original tunes “Pioneers” and “Mountain Song”..   but it’s dazzling to hear him go WAY out there on jazz trips like “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis, and Larry’s “Trance”..    the show was simply outstanding-   wildly enthusiastic crowd commotion..     now we’re chompin at the bit for the next Tony shows this month:  Raleigh and Charleston, SC  in a couple weeks!

Great time at the Attitudes night club in Blacksburg VA on Saturday night–   very cool, jazzy music club vibe..  love the balcony seating and dance floor setting–   intimate yet conducive to rockin out!  Which is what we did–   and, to make things even more special, we were joined by great Blue Ridge fiddler, Shannon Wheeler, for the whole second set..   he KNOWS how to play that thing–   great Grass tone, and able to jump on anything we throw out there..   he’s got awesome energy—  you haven’t heard the last of him!!

 

Photos by Jon C Hancock:

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BY BRENT FLEURY

Bold Life www.boldlife.com

Zombie Boogie EP

themadteaparty.com

skullsq2 While I would have liked to have been able to review this EP for last month’s issue, the fact is…it hadn’t been released yet. Still, I feel we’re close enough to Halloween to give Zombie Boogie a look-see. Besides the kitsch of releasing a Halloween recording, Mad Tea Party has taken the extra cool step of releasing it on seven-inch vinyl. Right on, guys! While only four cuts deep and about 12 minutes long, it’s so much fun that one could easily listen to it several times in a row (I did). With a grooving, party vibe which hearkens back to spooky sock hops of decades past, it’s the perfect recording to get any party — Halloween or not — off on the right foot. As is frequently the case with Mad Tea Party, the production value on this release has that wonderful feeling that in was recorded “Motown style” — lots of reverb on the guitar and even some echo on the drums — creating a lot of depth as well as a sense of time and place. Ami Worthen’s voice pays perfect homage to the teenybopper idols of the 1950s and guitarist Jason Krekel could easily duel it out with a guy like Brian Setzer and walk away victorious. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the absolutely swingin’ saxophone work of guest Henry Westmoreland, which for me is the icing on this rockin’ uke-abilly release by one of Asheville’s favorite and most-talented duos.

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Acoustic Syndicate, one of “North Carolina’s best kept secrets” is returning this holiday season for their very special traditional after Thanksgiving show at the Orange Peel on Saturday November 28th.

ASyndicateByBrightLifePhotography

Photo By Bright Life Photography

Known for its high-energy, positive sound, Acoustic Syndicate delivers a genre-defying performance, masterfully blending its eclectic influences with trademark finesse that only 17 years of cohesive teamwork can bring.

Acoustic Syndicate is the product of Cleveland County’s McMurry clan. Guitarist Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry is joined by his cousins, Bryon McMurry on banjo and Fitz McMurry on drums. The three McMurrys also bring a trademark vocal trio that only a lifetime of singing together can deliver.

Joining the McMurrys in 1998 on bass, Jay Sanders has become part of the family. A long time resident of Asheville, NC, his seamless blending of musical genres and driving style brought a completion to the band’s sound that continues to characterize and define. When not with Acoustic Syndicate, Jay can now be seen playing with Donna The Buffalo or his own group, The E.Normus Trio.

Formed in 1992, Acoustic Syndicate has had a long and storied career. They spent well over a dozen years on the road, playing at the original Bonnaroo, MerleFest, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Memphis in May and many many other clubs, festivals and events.

The band had the distinct honor of being invited to perform as a part of FarmAid in 2001, a significant occasion in respect to their family’s agrarian history. The McMurry family are farmers, and continue to cultivate the same land their family has for generations.

In 2005, the band decided to hang up the towel for a little while. They put their touring career on hold with a legendary five hour performance at SmileFest. In a recent interview with Frank Ruggiero from the Mountain Times in Boone, NC, Steve McMurry said “With the music industry in dire straits, the band would have had to commit to another five years of heavy touring to sustain itself. None of us really could see being gone from our families and people for that long a period of time… We had a great run of it, and thought we’d just call it quits and be regular people for a while.”

But the band’s audience felt otherwise. “People wouldn’t let us quit playing,” McMurry said. “They’d keep calling and calling, so after a couple years we decided we’d get together and see if we still knew how to play.” The results speak for themselves, and McMurry said the band is now performing without the pressures touring so often brings, and rather playing for the fun of it.

Final Song from the legendary SmileFest “last show”:

In 2009, Acoustic Syndicate was honored by being voted the 6th top artist of the last 20 years by the listeners of Western North Carolina’s WNCW radio station.

Their discography includes six official releases including two for Sugar Hill Records. Their 2004 effort “Terra Firma” was voted the number one album of the year by the listeners of WNCW, and 2005’s “Long Way Round” placed number seven. But it is not going to end there. Acoustic Syndicate plans on cutting a new record. The band will visit the studio this winter to craft an album of all-new material.

When Ruggiero asked about the music of Acoustic Syndicate, Steve McMurry replied “It’s high energy with a definite rock ’n’ roll vibe, but acoustic.”

“I don’t like getting pigeonholed, because we do so many things – bluegrass, soul, funk – whatever feels good,” McMurry said. “And the music we write is not typical of what you hear on the radio, either. We try to stay away from that mainstream cookie-cutter variety, and, honestly, I think people appreciate us doing that. I think there needs to be an alternative.”

Acoustic Syndicate’s all about making sure it’s an honest alternative, a sound that’s 100 percent its own, but steeped in a rich musical history each band member appreciates. McMurry said the band’s influences span the musical gamut, including the Grateful Dead, Little Feat, The Police, The Who, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, John Hartford and Bill Frisell.

“I know all this stuff seems weird to be lumping in on top of a bluegrass ensemble, but it works – this is the stuff we grew up listening to,” he said. “Some of the class rock ’n’ roll is there, but also the more traditional music. We grew up singing in a church, and mountain music, ballads that our parents and grandparents taught us … that comes out in there, especially with the harmonies we put together. It’s a veritable melting pot of different influences.”

McMurry’s quick to assert, though, that the music’s never been about the band, but rather for the audience.

“The material we’ve written has consistently had a positive message to it, and very little of it is centered toward the individual,” he said. “We try to send a good message in a very joyful manner, a very pleasant, uplifting manner. People recognize that, and I think that’s why they like it. It’s not about any one of us in the group; it’s about the relationship in the group and the people who listen to our music, and we’re just going to try to keep that conversation going.”

“The dynamics come from 12 years of traveling on the road together,” McMurry said. “We’ve been playing together long enough now to pretty much know what everyone else is doing. It’s more of a reflex action now than anything else. We love to get together and play together, so we’ve been very fortunate in that regard.”

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SHOW DETAILS:

Saturday November 28th
The Orange Peel

Ages 18+,
Doors 8pm, show 9pm
$15 adv/ $17 d.o.s
828-225-5851
101 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
http://www.theorangepeel.net

www.acousticsyndicate.com

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“Too bad most contemporary pop music doesn’t have the organic elegance of Acoustic Syndicate.” -Vintage Guitar

“North Carolina’s best kept secret” -Star Maker Machine

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By Jon Busdeker

The Huntsville Times

blog.al.com

November 05, 2009, 9:14AM
mad-tea-party-medium

Mad Tea Party, featuring ukulele-player Ami Worthen, will play the Flying Monkey Arts Center tonight

HUNTSVILLE, AL — In the 1950s, when hillbilly music mixed with rock ‘n’ roll, the world got rockabilly. Now, Mad Tea Party has taken rockabilly one step further, merging it with – what else? – the ukulele.

The result: raw and rockin’ uke-abilly.

“It’s such a fun instrument,” said ukulele player Ami Worthen.

But Worthen doesn’t play a boring, ol’ brown ukulele like Tiny Tim did. Hers is custom-made by a company in California, and it looks like a hot-rod car.

“It’s pretty badass,” Worthen said.

Mad Tea Party – made up of Worthen and guitarist /drummer Jason Krekel – will be at the Flying Monkey Arts Center tonight. The show starts at 8. Tickets are $5.

Worthen and Krekel, who both live in Asheville, N.C., met through mutual friends. The two clicked and formed Mad Tea Party.

“Becoming a musician was like jumping into a rabbit hole,” said Worthen about the “Alice in Wonderland” reference.

Since 2004, the duo’s been touring and releasing CDs and records, including “Big Top, Soda Pop” and “Found a Reason.” At tonight’s show, the band will play several tracks from its most recent EP, “Zombie Boogie.” The release features songs such as “Cemetery Stomp,” “You Spooked Me” and “Zombie Boogie.”

Aren’t vampires all the rage now? Why zombies?

“We like the campiness of it,” Worthen said. “It’s just spooky and fun.”

“Zombie Boogie” is available for digital download and on 7-inch vinyl. If you buy the vinyl edition, you receive a download card unleashing a surprise bonus track.

Worthen didn’t want to ruin the surprise, but here’s a hint: Steve Miller and magic.

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Dreamspider Publicity & Events Services:
Dreamspider has a diverse clientele and values uniqueness with a funky edge in music, art, theatre, cirques, & conscious businesses.

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National Tour & Event Publicity:
One of the key components to effective publicity is personal outreach to the media. It is connecting with people in a positive way that leads to a memorable experience so that a relationship is formed. Reaching out to newspapers, magazines, radio, blogs, and TV is a great way to reach the public via a great write-up or interview, and also to really connect with the folks that are out on the front lines making it happen. Dreamspider will help you by creating fertile grounds for feature articles, studio sessions, interviews, and ticket giveaways.

Event Management:
Planning major events requires extreme attention to detail; fun and excitement are our specialty, but most important is safety. Dreamspider can help in many ways. Let us know if you need help in artist acquisition, stage management, administration, site operations, art vending coordination, food vending coordination, sponsorships, publicity, staff recruitment, volunteer coordination, and event greening.

Online Social Networking:
As we are all seeing, social networking is quickly becoming a main source of information and communication for bands, businesses and all types of people. Social networks offer a way to get to know the small fun details of those you network with on a daily basis. There is an art and design to effectively use these tools to reach people. Dreamspider can help with setup, layout, outreach & upkeep of your social networks. I can also provide mentorship on how to create the most effective use of your social media tools.

Promotional Materials:
All great performers, businesses, and events need great promo items. Dreamspider can coordinate with graphic designers, printers, and merchandisers to ensure quality designs at an affordable rate.

Database Creation:
Having an information matrix is extremely important to staying organized and keeping on track. Dreamspider can help to set up and maintain databases for more efficiency in self management for performers, businesses, and events.

Sponsorship:
This brings us back to connecting with real people. Businesses sponsor events and people that they care about. It is important to remember to reach out to those who have a vested interest in what you are planning, people that might want more exposure to your target audience. Matching up appropriate sponsors helps to build a strong community of supporters for various events. Having the right sponsors shows that you value what you do.

Volunteer Outreach:
All events and bands need a little extra hand sometimes. One way to find great volunteers to to start an outreach campaign through word of mouth, online resources, newspapers, and radio stations. Volunteering is a fun way to meet new people, network, help someone out, and maybe pick up a cool new CD or T-shirt. Volunteer outreach is easy to organize through online registration and scheduling.

Consulting:
Dreamspider works closely with event planners and performers to set up a system for marketing themselves and is available to look over any documents, forms, images and plans necessary for one to do their own publicity.

Advertising:
Sometimes you just want to buy an ad… Dreamspider can help you attain a great graphic designer, edit content, and coordinate with the appropriate media outlets.

These things just don’t happen by themselves, so contact Dreamspider Publicity & Events today!

You can also find Dreamspider on Facebook and Twitter!

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