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Archive for August, 2010

Check out these couple articles about LAAFF in Bold Life and the Laurel of Asheville.

Arch-itects of Sound

AUGUST 25, 2010 www.boldlife.com

BY ROBIN TOLLESON


Bele Chere is bigger, but LAAFF may be better.

The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest, sponsored by Arts 2 People, is more distinctively Asheville. Local artists and artisans get to shine, and stages welcome the area’s more interesting musical acts, like The Archrivals, fronted by keyboardist/vocalist Chuck Lichtenberger. Lichtenberger delivers engaging, provocative pop in his alter-ego role as the party-leading Archrival, retro-hoopster sporting Afro and shades, 6th man off the bench for the Dominican Republic National Team.

Lichtenberger is best known from his work with indie-rockers Stephanie’s Id. The Archrivals’ self-titled debut CD will explain a lot about the Id’s sound. “It’s been brewing for a long time,” Lichtenberger says. “We focus a lot of our energy on Stephanie’s Id. When it’s time to do it, we do it. With The Archrivals, it’s like we do it when we can. It’s going to be a little different now, I think.”

READ the FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.boldlife.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A15650

and here is the Laurel of Asheville article:  Click here and go to page 25 to see it online:

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Get Ready for one of my absolute favorites, Jen and the Juice with popular Charleston band Dangermuffin on Friday, September 17th  at the LAB in Asheville. Show starts around 10pm, just after the Downtown after Five on Lexington Ave with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge!

JE N  A N D T H E  J U I C E wow audiences with a singularly hipster mix of swingy, bluesy, refreshingly original funk and folk. Together in Western North Carolina for more than five years now, their second CD “Meet the Hooligan’s of  Bohemia” in 2007 hit a home run with fans and earned a juicy spot in WNCW 88.7 FM radio’s top 10 best regional albums of 2007. Now the Juice is heading into wider territory with a newly released CD “Fruit”, an even more dynamic cast of characters and a step up to regional and national touring.

“We draw a lot of inspiration from folks like Sublime, Beck, The Beatles, Paul Simon, G-Love, and Taj Mahal”, says Jenny Greer, lead vocalist and songwriter for the Juice. Her songs are exciting audiences connect immediately at both the emotional and fun level, wanting to know her and become part of the groovin’ picture. A multi media wizard who juices websites, music, lyrics, guitars and cover art like Willy Wonka makes candy, Jen’s a powerhouse in the singer songwriter and arts community at large. If ever a person could make things work, rouse a crowd, organize a party, create a concert and art happening with a walloping big collaboration of sound/ fun/ art and anything else, it’s Jen.

While Jenny writes most of the songs, the bands help make the arrangements smart, smooth and funky. Rolling melodies gently cruise through a lyrically painted canvas and stories dot the landscape of their tunes. After five years, their sound and reputation have grown, there are a few new members and a more polished, vibrant sound. While Jen travels the guitar neck, deftly cruising the chords of jazz, swing, rock and folk, Jake Hollifield owns the keyboard in the Juice, adding juke joint/boogie woogie flare and sophistication. Mikie Gray (Firecracker Jazz Band) handles drums while Ben Bjorlie holds the groove together tightly on electric bass, Kether Ables sings beautiful back-up melodies. The sound is melodic, familiar yet new, with a sing-a-long-able feel most acts would long for. Be prepared for dancing, spontaneous singing, shouting, clapping, whimsical familiarity and even a little group introspection as the audience bonds with Jen and the Juice for a warmly refreshing and hip musical ride.

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Mandolin Orange, the Chapel Hill-based duo fronted by songwriter Andrew Marlin and vocalist/instrumentalist Emily Frantz, returns to Asheville for a show at Mo Daddy’s Bar following a summer CD release tour.  The duo pairs musical roles to stylize songs inspired by their country, jazz and bluegrass forebears, ornamenting lyrical songs with violin, mandolin, and acoustic and electric guitars. As a band, they are joined by Jeff Crawford on bass and James Wallace on drums.

The band will play a co-bill with Heather Lutrell, crtically acclaimed Atlanta-based singer/songwriter, at 10pm on Thursday, September 2nd at MoDaddy’s in downtown Asheville.  Tickets $5.


Mandolin Orange’s debut album Quiet Little Room released May 1 to critical acclaim and the duo toured throughout the southeast in support of the release.  The slow country duets that make up the album reflect the influence of traditional music on the duo’s contemporary style & songwriting. Mandolin Orange is currently exploring their second album with Jeff Crawford at Arbor Ridge Studios in Chapel Hill.

“Quiet Little Room” can be downloaded on iTunes, hard copies are available through cdbaby.com and local, independent record stores.

You can find Mandolin Orange on myspace and on Facebook.

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Photo by Frank Merenda

We are super pumped that the Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival is THIS Sunday, September 5th!  Here are excerpts of a great writeup on the LAAFF Kids Universe this year by Edgy Mama with the Mountain Xpress

Edgy Mama: LAAFFing with kids

It’s time again for that funkiest and most family-friendly of Asheville street fests: the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival, coming to that once raffish downtown area often referred to as Lex this Sunday, Sept. 5.

There again will be a multi-tented kids’ area based in the parking lot between Downtown Books & News and Heiwa Japanese Restaurant. For the first time this year, Kids Universe, as it’s been dubbed, is being organized and run by the Asheville-based Earth Fare supermarkets.

“We have this mission to eliminate childhood obesity in the areas we serve,” says Jennifer Brewer, community relations coordinator for the Asheville Earth Fare stores. “LAAFF is great for us, because we like to really interact with kids and the community.”

… …

Kids Universe will be the scene of plenty of creative activities to keep the young‘uns busy. Stuff like mural painting, a maracas-making workshop and creating tie-dyed butterflies out of coffee filters.

Kids of all ages are invited to participate throughout the festival, which will run from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. (there’s no school most places the next day, so kids can stay out late).

Of course, fitting with the mission, there will be healthy nutritional activities. In addition, there will be story telling sessions and face painting. I assume there will be hula-hoops, because no Asheville festival could possibly be complete without hoops.

As always, costumes for all ages are encouraged at LAAFF. In fact, I hear there will be a circus parade culminating in an actual wedding during the evening (not a sanctioned event, but fun for the kids nonetheless).

You’ve heard this from me before, but here’s your packing list if you’re taking kids to a street festival: sunscreen, ball caps, water bottles, snacks (major $ saver), a couple of bandannas (when you’re desperate for a tissue/hand wipe/napkin), hand sanitizer and a permanent marker.

Most of these items are self-explanatory. The least obvious, but most important, is the permanent marker. Even if your kids know your cell phone number by heart, the moment they wander off in the crowd and can’t find you, all relevant identification information will dissipate from their anxious brains. Of course, this is assuming that your kids are either too young to have their own cells or have mean parents like me who think being lost for a few minutes at LAAFF is preferable to exposing their growing brains to unnecessary radiation.

Anyway, I use the permanent marker to temporarily tattoo my cell phone number on the inside of my kids’ arms. If they get lost, I tell them to find someone who looks like a mom and ask her to call the number. At LAAFF, anyone in a fairy costume will do as well.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.jambands.com/the-loop/2010/08/25/the-best-festival-you-ve-never-heard-of/

Photo by Dreamspider Publicity

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Great review of the GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, NY posted on Jambands.com.  I have posted a few excerpts from the article below. Please do follow the link to read the full article.

The Best Festival You’ve Never Heard Of

Published: 2010/08/25
by Cris Mullen

Jambands.com

Shhh… Don’t tell anybody

Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, as it’s officially known, was established by roots rock band Donna the Buffalo as a fundraiser for AIDS research. The festival has grown over the years, now bringing in an average of 20,000 people per yearly four-day span. USA Today called Grassroots “one of the ten best outdoor festivals in the country.” But, if you don’t live in upstate New York, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it.

Our group of originally 7-10 buddies has grown with the festival: now thirty enthusiastic die-hards with a formidable camp setup …

We’ve been camping at the same spot for a few years now and we’ve all grown quite fond of our temporary home …

By mid afternoon the music starts cranking up. Donna the Buffalo is the main act at Grassroots, they play three sets throughout the weekend beginning on Thursday at seven. The band has gone through some line-up changes over the years, but they continue to crank out a high energy set time and time again. We caught a little bit of that and then it was off to pay homage to a true legend of outlaw country music, Merle Haggard. He’s showing his age up there but he’s still belting out his classics.

Arrested Development was next, but most of us skipped out on that to play some music of our own. There’s some real good pickers in our entourage, who have really gotten much better as the years go by, my brother Andy being one of them. A consummate player already, he learned how to play a ferocious fiddle in about a year. It’s gotten to the point where people stop by and watch us play on their way to see the paid performers. There are probably about six or seven musicians in our herd that can and do play professionally and another ten that are good enough to strum along (I’ll put myself in the latter category, and I barely make that).

Some folks checked out some late morning square dancing with the Dead Sea Squirrels. Let me tell you something, if you haven’t square danced in a while, you should. It can be a great time with the right lady by your side. (A side note here, my brother Andy may be one of five people in America still writing square dance songs … he called a square dance of his own later that night.)

Next up, the Flying Clouds. They’re a regular act at Grassroots, their high energy gospel infused funk gets the crowd going every time. Great performers, great time.

Along the same lines are the Campbell Brothers. These gents have been playing an intoxicating brand of funky soul music featuring pedal steel guitars before anyone even heard of Robert Randolph. If there’s one can’t miss band at Grassroots, this is it.

Saturday morning featured the musical stylings of John Specker and his two lovely daughters in a group known as The Speckers. It was nice sit down show with the band treating us to a thick set of old-timey fiddling.

Saturday evening is reserved for our annual Turkey in a Trashcan. My father showed it to me and my brothers years ago, we’re not sure where he got it from, but we do carry on the tradition in his memory. The recipe is simple really. Drive a stake into the ground->put a turkey on it->put a trash can over it-> line the outside of the turkey with charcoal->light a match->serve in two hours. Comes out perfect every time.

Saturday night is all about the late night dance tent. No Grassroots festival would be complete without shaking your butt to the zydeco dance party with The Franks, members of Donna the Buffalo and whoever else wants to show up and rock out. The rhythm is infectious and you really can’t help but dance and until you’re too tired to do it anymore. The band plays until five or six in the morning, the brave souls who trade sleep for party time rub their eyes as the sun starts to beat down on the festival grounds.

This festival is about so much more than music. As our group has gotten older, we’ve all got a little more mature. Some of us are married, some of us have kids, some of us bring those kids for a day or two. Grassroots is like a family and class reunion all it once. Speaking of which, my 20 year is coming up in 2012 and I may actually go when the time comes, as long as it’s not the third weekend in July.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.jambands.com/the-loop/2010/08/25/the-best-festival-you-ve-never-heard-of/

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Asheville FM interview LAAFF performers starting this weekend!

Check out the schedule below and be sure to tune in to www.ashevillefm.org

You can also find Asheville FM on Facebook and Twitter!

LAAFF Performer Interviews:

Nathan Ellis-  Community Countdown Weds from 4-6pm

Wed Sept 1st– Screaming jays

Wed Sept 1st –nataraj

Randy B – And the Address Fridays from 9pm to midnight

9pm Friday Sept 3rd– Death of Analog


Greg Lyons show The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Fridays 2-5pm

Fri Aug 27th 2pm Bobby Miller and the Virginia DareDevils

.

Sun the 29th Steven Howard’s Mental Notes from 10am-1pm

10:30 Peggy Ratusz

11:00 If you wannas

11:30 Sirius B

12:00 Paper Tiger

12:30 Ol’ Hoopty

For the Full list of LAAFF performers (with links to their sites) and their scheduled times click the LAAFF logo below:

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Jeb Puryear. Photo by Monty Chandler.

Check out this review of Donna the Buffalo from their show at Infinity Hall.

Review: Donna the Buffalo at Infinity Music Hall

By Eric R. Danton on August 27, 2010

blogs.courant.com

Sometimes all it takes is a niche, and the members of Donna the Buffalo have certainly found theirs.

With easygoing songs and a low-key peace-love vibe honed over the past 17 years, the western New York folk-rock band can essentially play as many intimate halls and small festival gigs as it wants — Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk, for example, where the band performed Thursday night.

It was a generous set, spread over more than two hours, with guitarist Jeb Puryear and violinist/guitarist Tara Nevins alternating on lead vocals on songs drawn from folk, country, rock and Cajun traditions.

Backed by drums, bass and keyboards, the co-leaders had an easy rapport with each other, and with the crowd, which occasionally stood to dance in the aisles. Puryear sang with the same mellow inflection as Willie Nelson, though the former’s voice isn’t quite as rich, and he played his Stratocaster guitar without a pick, coaxing a smooth, buttery tone from the instrument.

Nevins, who also played accordion and washboard on the thrumming, bayou-flavored “Part-Time Lover,” has a pretty, slightly frayed voice that sounded wistful on the countrified “Locket and Key” and bobbed lightly on “Blue Sky,” an easy flowing rock song with Puryear’s electric guitar cascading over Nevins’ sturdy acoustic strumming.

The band often stretched out, steering songs into light jams. The electric guitar and violin each sounded in turn as though they were straining toward the heavens during an extended middle section on “Let Love Move Me,” and the rest of the band left Puryear and Nevins alone on stage to finish the aptly named “Funky Side” themselves, locked together on the riff that drove the song.

After finishing the main set with Nevins singing the acoustic country-ish song “No Place Like the Right Time,” she and Puryear started the encore as a duo as she played a mournful violin line over a plucked guitar groove.

The rest of the band emerged quietly to join them on the end of the song, before diving back into a good-natured jam on the next song.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://blogs.courant.com/eric_danton_sound_check/2010/08/review-donna-the-buffalo-at-in.html


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