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Archive for February, 2012

Chopteeth
with Very Special Guests: All Mighty Senators
and old school tunes spun by DJ Guilherme
Sat, March 10, 2012
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In a city with a celebrated funk scene and distinct go-go tradition, Chopteeth’s brand of Afrofunk is the pulse of the city” –—Planet
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Bursting with old-school big band power, Afrobeat crew Chopteeth know how to turn skeptical foot-tappers into shirt-whirling, wolf-whistling believers. Joined for a double-bill by Baltimore based All Mighty Senators who Billboard Magazine calls “Hot Hot Hot!”, no rear will be left unshaken at the U Street Music Hall on Saturday, March 10th, 2012. After picking up two Wammies recently (World Music Group and World Music Vocalist), bringing their total to nine, Chopteeth will be in a celebratory mood. This is their final area show before making their New Orleans debut at the Congo Square Rhythms Fest at the end of March.

The Washington Post hails Chopteeth as as “A sensation—the dozen-plus member outfit cooks up a scintillating stew of Afrofunk, rumba, salsa, ska and funk.  There’s no other band in the area with as funky and wide-reaching a sound.” Combine that with the Rock & Soul sound of All Mighty Senators for the evening and a party is brewing!

For Chopteeth, even a dance party can be a deep exercise in tracing musical lineages. Over  many sweaty gigs, the band honed a late Fela piece of fugue-like complexity (see a live video of Question Jam Answer) and spent months calling Nigeria to find an unsung master of African funk. They dug through record store bins, trolled the internet, and mined the vinyl of die-hard African record buffs to find lo-fi and neglected gems.

These gems harken back to the golden age of African pop, the 1970s. In rough-and-ready studios, musicians laid down heady mixes of James Brown-inspired funk, complex chord changes, and local rhythms. They reacted to soul and rumba, to jazz and rock, to harsh political realities and deep roots. Though some musicians of this generation rose to international prominence, many languished, only recently rediscovered by dedicated African music fans, labels, and collectors.

The band’s live vibe channels all the heavy-duty intensity of a good old big band, something increasingly rare in this age of mp3s and streaming files. “The truth is people don’t often hear big bands playing dance music live anymore,” muses Chopteeth bassist Robert Fox. “You hear a song like Fela’s ‘J.J.D.’ in person, and it just feels different. It’s a shocking experience for the audience.”

Check out this video of Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band performing Fela Kuti’s J.J.D. from the Rock and Roll Hotel.  Craig Considine, who will be performing with both Chopteeth and All Mighty Senators plays a killer solo on the video.

All Mighty Senators is a rhythm fused quintet from Baltimore, which has toured the United States and Canada extensively. AMS released their first recordings under Baltimore indie Merkin Records before releasing four albums under their own Dog Eat Dog Records to both critical and popular acclaim.

Their live shows, fronted by the charismatic Landis Expandis and guitar-god Warren Boes, have remained one of the most revered on the East Coast, and have established AMS with a diverse and rabid following, ranging from indie-philes to rave cadets to festival freaks. Their genre defying sounds have drawn comparisons to such disparate acts as Sly and The Family Stone, Frank Zappa and Beck.

Fela’s Afrobeat and All Mighty Senators have some unexpected elements in common: political ferocity, a day-glo intensity, and serious creativity. They both evolved in reaction to Western R&B or pop rock, and leaped off in radical (and radically different) directions.

Chopteeth and All Mighty Senators know how to meld the retro savor and the fresh take, with unrelenting energy and onstage flair.

Chopteeth lead vocalist and primary songwriter Michael Shereikis offered, “We’re really looking foward to getting back into U Street Music Hall with its slamming sound system, and just as psyched to finally be sharing the stage with Almighty Senators. It’ll be a wicked good time, guaranteed”.

Praise for Chopteeth:

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Winners of 9 Wammie Awards from
The Washington Area Music Association:
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2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007
World Music Group
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2008
Artist of the Year
Debut CD of the Year
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2010, 2008
World Music Recording
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2011 World Music Vocalist
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A storming powerhouse of big-band African funk,
Chopteeth is smart, tight and relentlessly driving…a definite don’t-miss.” –The Washington Post
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“Thunderous… potent.  Chopteeth’s debut CD takes the band from upbeat Swahili lyrics over a South African pulse one second, to spaghetti Western-inspired instrumentals the next.True to the political essence at the heart of Fela’s music.” –Billboard
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Wonderfully fresh. With absolutely no reservations, this is an outright success” –Allmusic.com
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“Afrofunk with lunatic energy.”— National Public Radio

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www.chopteeth.com

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Join us for, “I LIKE IT WILD”, Asheville’s night of celebration for people who love and protect the world’s forests. Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Asheville Horns, and Moses Atwood are all set to play a benefit for Environmental Paper Network, on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at the Asheville Music Hall. There will be some incredible raffle prizes as well including local bands’ cd’s, a Skate PhD skate board, gift certificates to restaurants, massage, guided hikes, Lazoom, Ghost Tours, beautiful artwork and jewelry, and more!
The Environmental Paper Network is an international coalition of advocacy groups working together to change what’s in your paper.  Based in Asheville, they working to leverage the purchasing power of the world’s biggest brands, motivating them with both carrots and sticks, to buy paper products that are more responsible and sustainable for people and for our planet.  Groups like Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC and the National Wildlife Federation are part of the Environmental Paper Network.  Their Network also includes local groups doing amazing work right here in town, like the Dogwood Alliance, Clean Water for North Carolina, and Wild South.

Our community here in Asheville is full of people who are members of national and local conservation organizations and who by their donations and actions have been part of asking the world’s biggest brands by asking, “What’s In Your Paper?”  I Like It Wild is a meet-up and celebration of all that we have accomplished together to change the world. It’s also an opportunity to build community and meet new people, because right now there’s urgent work to be done to fight climate change and stop deforestation.

“I hope everyone who is a member of an environmental group, whether its Greenpeace, NRDC, the National Wildlife Federation, or local groups like Dogwood Alliance and Wild South, or anyone who loves to protect the environment will come out to WILD.” says local musician Josh Phillips. “It’s going to be extremely amazing event, with fun and radical people, great raffle prizes donated by local businesses, some of Asheville’s most talented musicians and a cool, multimedia rainforest theme.”

2012 is a year of real urgency, there’s only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and destructive paper production practices are driving them to extinction.  The world is rallying to save endangered species and places on the verge of disappearing forever, and Asheville is a central headquarters of that global movement key part of that organizing.

We are very lucky to have the talents of some incredible musicians, Moses Atwood and his band, The Asheville Horns and Josh Phillips Folk Festival to help us party properly, so please come out and celebrate Earth Day, celebrate the world’s forests, hang out with people who want to protect them and have a ridiculous amount of fun.  Come out and support the work of your favorite environmentalists while getting down to the sweet sounds!

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Details at a Glance:

“I Like It Wild!”
Wednesday, April 18th
Asheville Music Hall

Featuring Music by:
Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Asheville Horns, Moses Atwood and his Band

All Ages
Doors at 8pm, Music at 9pm
$10 for admission, $5 and $10 raffle tickets
31 Patton Avenue
Asheville NC 28801

www.environmentalpaper.org

Find the event on Facebook

Learn more about Environmental Paper Network’s mission at: environmentalpaper.org

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MantraBash Music and Arts Festival-Taking it to the next level!
Presented by Stanlee Ventures, LLC featuring The Mantras of Greensboro NC.

MantraBash Music and Arts Festival is right around the corner! Being held on June 21st through the 23rd in the beautiful foothills of Ferguson, NC; this event is sure to make it to the top of your list when considering festivals this summer.

Watch The Mantras from last year’s FloydFest!

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress (with special guest, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore) performs live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA 2009. Get ready for the Robert Walter Trio at MantraBash!

Check out this Particle video from Saint Rocke 12-16-11

Despite the great music exposure, the feeling of happy vibes and intimacy are not always achieved when attending large events. MantraBash is sure to cure that! Capturing the wide variety of jam bands ranging from soulful-funk-rock to electric-folk-grass in the 3-day line-up, MantraBash will exceed your musical expectations while maintaining the comfortable family vibe, which is momentous for the perfect festival. Mantra Bash vending will include a selection of great food, as well as art and crafts.  Hot showers will also be available for public use for a small fee.

Take this opportunity to transcend your current festival experience. Your concept of the best festival in North Carolina will remain a microcosm compared to the MantraBash world to come.

www.mantrabash.com

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Get your tickets here: http://suwanneespringfest.com/tickets

Festival Poster Art by Marci Davis.

 

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Kellin Watson will be sitting in with old friends The Duhks, as a guest vocalist for two shows this February. With Tania Elizabeth on Fiddle and Scott Senior on percussion, Jordan McConnell on guitar and Leonard Podolak on Banjo and vocals it will be almost all of the original members of The Duhks! It will be a special night, but if you can’t make it, be sure and help us spread the word to others in or around the Raleigh or Spindale area.

Spindale, NC
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The most vital acoustic music being made today acknowledges its predecessors and lives in the here and now. The Duhks, a band of skilled, high-energy, tattooed musicians from Winnipeg, Manitoba, have been riveting audiences and winning staunch fans around the world with just that kind of music. The Boston Globe says about them, “Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove. Who says the Frozen North can’t sizzle, eh?”
NPR says, “The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music and soul, which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences.” Ultimately though, according to band founder and claw-hammer banjoist Leonard Podolak, the Duhks “just want to play music that speaks to everybody.” Mission accomplished.

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Kellin Watson is a internationally-touring singer-songwriter, whose award-winning sound blends elements of blues, pop, folk, and soul. Hailing from Asheville, NC, Kellin draws on her Appalachian roots to bring both power and rawness to her music. “There are a lot of common talents in the world, but there are very few rare talents. I feel that Kellin is a rare, uncommon talent. Her songs have the ability to take someone gently by the wrist and tell them a story…”  states Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. The Charlotte Observer calls her, “Jazzy soul and swinging pop comparable to Fiona Apple or a less folksy Ani DiFranco, Watson has an endearing stage demeanor and a killer voice, not to mention soulful songs that don’t fit in any particular box.” Keep an eye out for her 2011 release “Halo of Blue.”

www.duhks.com
www.kellinwatson.com

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Galen Kipar and Lyndsay Pruett. Photo by Cameron Yaeger.

Galen Kipar Project Florida Performances

GKP at Prevatt’s on Thurs, Feb 16th
Middleburg, FL 
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GKP & Grandpa’s Cough Medicine at Mojo Kitchen on Fri, Feb 17th
Jacksonville Bch, FL
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GKP at Cellar 6 at Sat, Feb 18th
St. Augustine, FL
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 Effortlessly crafting a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues, the Galen Kipar Project has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant” with “experimental folk masterpieces.” Based in Asheville, GKP released their fourth album The Scenic Route in 2010 which features the unique sonorous sound that has become the band’s trademark. “In Asheville, fans call his act a ‘small-scale symphony.’ It’s probably more like chamber folk/pop, sometimes reminiscent of Adrian Belew’s quieter moods,” says The Roanoke Times writer Tad Dickens. Joining vocalist Galen Kipar on guitars & harmonica is Lyndsay Pruett on violin & vocals.

Galen Kipar is currently writing new music and in the pre-production phase of the next album. The WCGazzette writes, “Kipar says ripples of his trout-tinted soul will continue to be felt in the band’s upcoming release. ‘It will be accessible, with catchy hooks,’ he says of the album. ‘[But] it will also be complex enough that a fan will be able to listen to it and still come back and hear something new. That’s always been our goal.'”

Galen’s other endeavor keeps him on the water as he serves as a trout ninja (aka. fly fishing guide) with Curtis Wright Outfitters to Western North Carolina which has over 3000 miles of trout waters and streams. He gets much of his inspiration for songwriting while standing waist deep in a river. Galen states in an interview with the WVGazette, “Water, particularly rivers, have many different currents. Music is the same way,” he says. “Music has many different currents, and they all work together. Maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but it’s something that’s always fascinated me.”

True to his inspiration, Galen sings in the song Riversong, “Headin’ on down to the waterside, gonna take some time, to rest my mind. Gonna break there, gonna stay there. For a moment there, I’ll sigh.” Water is a consistent theme in his uplifting music. “I could easily picture myself finding a secluded stream high on the mountain and lying in the warm sun as the Galen Kipar Project played softly in the background. Maybe I can talk them into hiking with me one day, with instruments in hand, of course. I would even offer to carry a few things,” states Magazine 33.

The fan base of the Galen Kipar Project is growing exponentially, with a strong regional presence in the Southeast plus U.S. national touring, including performances at Magnolia Fest, Suwanee Springfest, FloydFest, Six Points Music Festival, and the Crested Butte Music Series. The GKP has also played the Knitting Factory in NYC and to a jam-packed, toe-tapping crowd at the Kennedy Center’s renowned Millennium Stage in Washington DC. This fall they will be returning to Magnolia Fest amongst other shows on their tour.

The New River Voice recalled, “If the Pied Piper-like migration of people to the stage during their FloydFest performance is any kind of barometer, the band is on an immutable trajectory of permeating Southwest Virginia with their versatile, yet immediately attainable sonority.”

Photo by Jake Candy.

www.GalenKipar.com

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Sam Lewis Debuts Self-Titled Americana/Country/Soul Album Featuring Kenny Vaughan and Co. March 13th

Sam Lewis is connecting the dots. Whether crossing genres or state lines, he has pieced together a story people need to hear. His self-titled debut, which releases March 13th, pulls together some of Nashville’s most seasoned musicians, who have helped put the breath into a body of songs that are as straight-forward and captivating as the man who sings them.

Five years of constant writing, performing and touring have become the nexus of Lewis’ self-titled debut. Along with co-producer Matt Urmy, Sam has woven ten songs into a conversation, between himself, the band, and his listeners. Urmy, himself an accomplished singer/songwriter, assembled a group made up of Nashville’s top session and touring players, including guitarist Kenny Vaughan, keyboard player Reggie Bradley Smith, Derek Mixon on drums and bass player Dave Jacques. “It was amazing”, says Lewis, “because I had never played these songs with anybody before, and especially with those type of guys: professional, but also really seasoned musicianship.” Making a surprise appearance on the album is soul chanteuse Jonell Mosser, providing backing vocals on “I’m A River”.

Kicking off with the thick groove of “The Cross I Wear”, every track strikes a balance between light and dark, from the push/pull of Smith and Vaughan, to the way Lewis’ voice melts over the top of the band. “I just fell in love with his music; his delivery and his whole thing,” says Vaughan. “I thought, ‘Man, this guy has really got it going on’, which is very unusual for hardened, grim professionals like us to be impressed by somebody like that. It’s one-in-a-million. It hardly ever happens.”

The combination of Mosser’s and Lewis’ vocals bring “I’m a River” to an almost spiritual level. Every word on the album is a product of Lewis’ careful attention to detail, whether it be the fictional “Bluesday Night” or the autobiographical “Southern Greek Tragedy”. According to Steve Wildsmith, of The Daily Times, Lewis’ writing “conveys the weight of a heavy heart with well-turned phrases and searing images usually reserved for such luminaries as John Prine” that “sets him down a path well worn by contemporaries like Guy Clark and John Hiatt.” He is able to tell the story with only the necessary lyrics, leaving the rest to nuance, and the listeners own discretion.

Recording began in March of 2010, at Eric Fritsch’s Eastwood Studio, in Nashville, TN, with a final day of tracking scheduled for January of 2011. Once complete, it was put into the hands of two-time Grammy nominee engineer Brandon Bell, who mixed everything together. Following a December 2011 appearance on Nashville’s Music City Roots, Craig Havighurst noted, “Beyond the honeyed voice and sparking band (guitar hero Kenny Vaughan included), Sam stood out for his songs, which had that been-here-forever quality. It’s no wonder this guy’s generating buzz… He sings a little like Van Morrison, making it Americana with a groovy twist. Welcome to Nashville. More of this please.”

Music was one of the few constants in Sam’s life. His family never stayed anywhere for long, which meant that friendships were forged between himself and the music he absorbed, from Roy Orbison to Van Morrison to Willie Nelson. The influence of Ray Charles can be felt from the first note to the last beat, making Sam’s debut a complimentary companion to Charles’ own,  two-volume Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Leaving home as soon as the opportunity arrived, Sam landed in Knoxville, and later Nashville.

Sam has spent hours, in fact years, collecting and arranging the relationships and experiences he has forged. To the average person, they seem like an amalgamation of time and happenstance, but to him, they are the moral of the story. “I never once felt, in this whole process that someone just kind of pointed. No one took me by the hand, but almost every single one of these connections were very personal. I was introduced to these people that helped make this record. These are gonna be people that I’m going to know the rest of my life.” Lewis has drawn us a clear picture of where he’s going, and thankfully, he has invited us along for the ride. ~ Bio written by Samantha Harlow.

 

Upcoming Shows:
2/6 CD Release Show ~ Nashville, TN ~ The Basement
with RB Morris, Kenny Vaughan Trio and Matt Urmy
2/10 CD Release Show ~ Knoxville, TN ~ Barleys Taproom
with RB Morris and Kenny Vaughan Trio
5/24-25 Crawford, TN  ~ Jammin’ at Hippie Jacks
5/18  Johnson City, TN ~ Studio One ~ Johnson City Radio ~
9/14-15 Bristol, TN  ~ Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival
More dates tba

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