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Archive for September, 2012

I’m not sure what the definition of bluegrass would be in words alone, but if that definition was set to music, it would probably sound something like Town Mountain’s new Pinecastle Records release, Leave the Bottle… I could go on. There are no duds, and no filler songs on this project, which was produced by Mike Bub. But you get the point.
This, my friends, is how bluegrass is supposed to sound.
David Morris, Bluegrass Today

www.TownMountain.net

 

Town Mountain IBMA Showcase Schedule

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Tues, Sept 25th  4pm  WAMU LIVE
NCC, Rm. 107
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Tues, Sept 25th  10:15pm  Pinecastle Records/ Mountain Music Entertainment  
Jacks BBQ, 416 Broadway
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Tues, Sept 25th  Midnight/ 12am Quicksilver Productions Showcase
NCC, Rm. 213
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Wed, Sept 26th  11:35pm  Acoustic Trail Showcase 
Renaissance Ste. 2104
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Asheville, NC’s Bluegrass Band Town Mountain is touring the country around their fourth album, Leave the Bottle [Released September 4, 2012]. Town Mountain is Phil Barker on mandolin & vocals, Robert Greer on lead vocals & guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo & vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, and Jon Stickley on bass, guitar & vocals.
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One listen to their instantly memorable songs, and it’s plain to see why Grammy-winner Mike Bub would align with the group to produce Leave the Bottle as well as 2011’s Steady Operator, both through Pinecastle Records. Banjo player extraordinaire and longtime member of the Sam Bush Band, Scott Vestal, also joined the team by engineering the new album, which was recorded at Digital Underground Studio in Nashville, TN.

Town Mountain’s impeccable bluegrass credentials are obvious on every cut – strong heartfelt vocals combine with clean, well articulated instrumentals to make powerful straight-ahead original bluegrass.” —Steven Stone, Audiophile

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“Kudos to Town Mountain for keeping the traditional spirit of the genre alive while at the same time pushing the boundaries.” —Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News
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Without doubt, this band has fine writing chops.”
Donald Teplyske, Lonesome Road Review
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There’s a new mountain in town – Town Mountain – and they get down with heart, grit, soul and drive! They’ll get you moving!” —Jim Lauderdale
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Centered around strong, soulful vocals, and poised to stay put. Town Mountain are true to bluegrass in all the right ways and this new project keeps them firmly connected to the traditions of the genre, while also allowing them to reach out into the broad horizon of string band music. Leave the Bottle comes highly recommended.” —Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers

Town Mountain will be LIVE on WDVX’s Tennessee Shines at 7pm EST on Monday, September 24th.
Tune in Here

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Magnolia Fest
October 18-21, 2012

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, Florida

Bonnie Raitt
Del McCoury Band • Emmylou Harris
JJ Grey & Mofro • Mickey Hart Band
Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Donna the Buffalo
Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett (Of Little Feat)
Jimmy Herring Band
Jim Lauderdale • Anders Osborne • The Lee Boys
New Orleans Suspects • Col Bruce Hampton
The Mosier Brothers • Tornado Rider
Honey Island Swamp Band • Sloppy Joe
Truth & Salvage • Kristy Lee • Flannel Church
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine • Quartermoon
Cathy Lee • Big Cosmo & Friends
Steve Pruett’s Back from the Brink
Jon Stickley Trio w/ Lyndsay Pruett
Canary in the Coalmine • Klob • Saltwater Grass
JacksonVegas • Sentropolis • Simplified • Cope
JUke • Jason Lamar • Oscar Mike • Acoustic Ensemble
Farther Along: The Music & Life of Gram Parsons

www.magnoliafest.com

This awesome artwork was created by Marci Davis.
She writes, “Until the end of time…more time!
So what all is going on here?….
The outer 5th ring is 16 magnolia blossoms and river waves with two red canoes facing each other — 4th ring is the 4 music stages and the “J.L.”— 3rd ring is lots of music notes (all weekend) and lots of foot prints (walking), two tents -red/blue, two camp fires, dragonfly and butterfly! — 4th ring, alligator, ant, sound equipment, bat, turtle, fish, owl, turtle, raccoon, snake, turtle, bat, bicycle, and bunny. 4th row, two music fans, banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and 4 hand drums make a peace sign, the center is the Magnolia Moon and the “Stealy”…happy 16th Mag’ to everyone!”

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Barbie Dockstader Angell & David Earl Perform

at Altamont Theatre on September 30th

~ in support of ~

Upcoming Children’s Book Roasting Questions

In support of her upcoming children’s book Roasting Questions, local favorite Barbie Dockstader Angell will perform two sets with David Earl (of David Earl and the Plowshares) at downtown Asheville’s Altamont Theatre at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 30. The 6 p.m. set is to feature Angell’s children’s poetry and David Earl’s family-friendly, high energy folk style, and the 7 p.m. show will include Angell’s distinctive bar poetry, mixed with some of her more serious work and David Earl will rock out a little harder with some punky swamp gospel.

Barbie Angell is not just a prominent poet, but also a gifted illustrator. Her book, Roasting Questions, features original illustrations as well as child-friendly poems for all ages.

“My goal has always been to reach people who don’t know they like poetry, and convince them that they do,” Angell says.

A self-described “writer who rhymes,” Angell’s affinity for rhyme grew naturally from a youth spent devouring the works of Shel Silverstein and Lewis Carroll. In fact, Roasting Questions features several nods to the Where The Sidewalk Ends author. Rosanne Cash, who knew Silverstein, said, “Barbie’s poems are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein, but totally unique to her sensibility.”

www.barbieangell.com

Sunday, September 30, 2012

6pm children’s set  and 7pm adult set

Altamont Theatre @ 18 Church St in downtown Asheville, $3

Grateful Steps Publishing, 828-277-0998, info@gratefulsteps.org

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“They are infused with a bright spirit, a heart that seeks and explores, and a gentle insight…Her ‘anthropomorphizing’ of feelings (‘irony tastes like fudge’) is quirky and engaging. I imagine children and adults both will revel in her work– both her poetry and her wonderful drawings.”  —Rosanne Cash

“Art is about oblique angles — seeing things in ways we’ve never seen them before. Barbie has a gift for that, and this book is a generous invitation to the rest of us to climb inside her quirky head for a delightful ride.”  —David LaMotte

“In her poetry Angell opens up her soul for all to see. She discusses her shortcomings, her views on life, lessons learned and a host of other topics. You can definitely read strength in what she is saying and like all good writers she speaks not only for herself but of life in general and of the status quo.
Rapid River Magazine

Roasting Questions is published through Grateful Steps Publishing, a nonprofit publishing house based in Asheville. The book can be pre-ordered on and after September 30th at www.RoastingQuestions.com, and will be released officially around Thanksgiving 2012.  A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Mooseheart Child City, where Angell lived for four years.

For more information about Barbie Angell, Roasting Questions, Grateful Steps Publishing or the September 30th event, visit www.barbieangell.com, facebook.com/barbieangell or follow @barbieangell on Twitter.

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Ty Gilpin Releases “Crooked Hollows”

A Solo Project Featuring Pickers from the Asheville Music Scene

www.TyGilpin.com

Crooked Hollows on iTunes

A veteran of the Asheville music scene, Ty Gilpin steps out with a solo project that aims to capture the essence of the Asheville Roots music world with his new release Crooked Hollows.

Gilpin is no stranger to any aspect of the music business. He is a performer, songwriter, vocalist and player with multiple groups and has worked for over a decade on his own and with Crossroads/Mountain Home Music doing marketing and promotion for some of the biggest names in Bluegrass. Now he has recorded his own songs with a select group of talented peers.

Don’t get it wrong, this is not a Bluegrass album, although there are cuts that lend itself to the genre. Gilpin’s release Crooked Hollows is an eclectic mix of Americana, Folk-Rock, Irish and even includes an electronic remix.

All the tracks feature names that are not just a staple of the local music scene but rather a Who’s Who of folks that are known both in North Carolina as well as nationally.

“With all the different types of songs the cd has, I felt like each one called for different vocalists.” Gilpin says. “I wanted each track to have it’s own identity and include my talented friends to give the songs a special feel but also to make the recording a community event that celebrated what I believe to be some of the best artists here or anywhere.”

The lead off track “Queen of the Crows” includes Cody Kilby, guitarist from Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, noted banjo picker Steve Sutton and female folk troubadour Jen Duke who joins Gilpin on vocals. The dynamic selection of songs moves to country themes including “Smiling for the Camera” featuring the vocals of Darren Nicholson of Balsam Range and the song “Losers Like Me” with Town Mountain vocalist Robert Greer. Other contributions come from the vocals of Amanda Platt of the celebrated Asheville group, The Honeycutters, as well as from Buddy Melton of Balsam Range, Lance Mills, Sav Sankaran and singer-songwriter Taylor Martin.

Keeping to the diversity of the music, there is an Irish element on the track “Going to the West”, sung by Duke and concludes with an even further musical departure featuring a re-mix of “Queen of the Crows” by Danny Peck (aka dep) who blends acoustic and electronic elements for a hauntingly beautiful finale.

The line-up also includes, Charles Humphrey III of the Steep Canyon Rangers, Josh Haddix of the Greasy Beans, Rick Cooper, Jessica Smith, multi-instrumentalists Matt Smith, Duncan Wickel and Tim Gardner as well a studio drummer extraordinaire Tony Creasman.

All tracks were written and arranged by Gilpin and produced by Gilpin and Tim Gardner. Tracks 2-7 were recorded at Coyote Ridge Studios in Asheville with the lead off track recorded at Omni-Artists Studios in Weaverville by Eric Willson. The album was mixed and mastered by Van Atkins at Crossroads Studios in Arden, NC.

The official street date for Ty Gilpin’s Crooked Hollows is September 18th. The album is available at CD Baby and iTunes. Visit www.tygilpin.com for information on the release and links to buy.

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Aaron Burdett Releases his new album Breathing Underwater Today

Download it for Free at www.AaronBurdett.com

Aaron’s release show is at The One Stop Deli & Bar in Asheville
this Saturday night, the 15th at 10pm.

He will also be live on WNCW at 4pm on Friday, Sept 14th.
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Based in the Asheville, NC area, storyteller and musician Aaron Burdett is set to release his 4th album, Breathing Underwater on September 11th, 2012. Building on the traditions of the finest performing songwriters such as John Hiatt, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and John Prine; Aaron’s music blends folk-rock, bluegrass, and blues with pop sensibilities. His honest songwriting pours in between hammer-on chord changes and rolling crosspicking rhythms, all the while keeping at the forefront his own unique sound and authentic voice.
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Optimistically themed, Breathing Underwater reflects Aaron’s life experience and the changing perceptions and priorities that come with the passage of time, working towards goals, and finding the peace of mind to allow life to unfold naturally. It features 11 tracks, all penned by Burdett, including the slow, bluesy electric title track. It’s a tonally diverse album, from the upbeat and newgrassy “Copper on the Corner” and “Sneaking up” to the more relaxed pace of “The Simplest Things”, a piece about stepping back from day to day distractions and concerns to remember the more important things we are blessed with. There is a musical release in “3 or 4 minutes”, a song about being taken away on a journey by an artist, and then realizing that it’s only a 3 or 4 minute song even though you feel like you’ve been gone and zoned into the music forever.
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He’s got some excellent players on the album including Will Jernigan on bass, Billy Seawell drums, Andy Pond and Brian Paul Swenk on banjo, Casey Driessen on fiddle, with Aaron on all the geetars….
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For tour dates and to find out more  visit: AaronBurdett.com

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Activities, Excursions and the Theme Night have been announced for Strings & Sol in Tulum, MX on Dec 12- 16th!

Show off your culinary skills at the guac’ off, play along with the Strummin’ Session by the pool or test your luck in the deep sea fishing competition with Adam Aijala of Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth‘s Carey Harmon. Taste the local flavors with Jeff Austin’s Taco Tour or join Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth as you snorkel through cenotes! Explore the Mayan Ruins and many more with artists from The Infamous Stringdusters and Leftover Salmon! These are just a few of the exciting Tulum adventures that await you!

Click here for more info

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The Barstool Monologues

MIKE CULLISON & The Regulars

“A Honky-Tonk Canterbury Tales”
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Fans of classic country music will feel right at home with Mike Cullison.
–John Davy, No Depression

A captivating blues rocker … soulful roadhouse songwriting.” –Simon Hallett, Totnes FM (UK)

This is what country music has been missing … [Mike] is bringing it back.” –Renaldo 6, SongCritic.com

I think music is the highway through life and I’m just rockin’ and rollin’ down the road.” —Mike Cullison

www.theroadhouserambler.com

Singer-songwriter Mike Cullison (aka “The Roadhouse Rambler”) is used to hearing his work defined in painterly terms; music journalists commonly pull out such metaphors when trying to describe songs. But with his new album, The Barstool Monologues (due out November 13th through JoeDog Records), it’s almost as if he’s working in the 3D style of sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr., who turns famous Impressionist paintings into life-sized tableaux, incorporating not only the original images, but his own fanciful imaginings of what went on beyond the canvas.

Cullison takes a similar approach with The Barstool Monologues, weaving lives of bar patrons into songs, then threading them together with spoken-word narrative to create a vivid musical tableau. There’s the heartbroken lover, the fracturing couple, the other woman, the lonely imbiber … each introduced by a bartender named Hollis, who sees and hears it all. Various singers (including Jon Byrd, Davis Raines, and six others) inhabit their personas, spinning musical novellas into what Cullison likes to describe as “a honky-tonk Canterbury Tales.”

“It’s as if you walked into a place and you took a snapshot and everybody’s looking in the camera,” says the Nashville resident. “What I wanted to do was place everybody in that picture into one of the songs, either as its subject or the person singing it to somebody else.”

Mike Cullison. Photo by Greg Roth.

Cullison, an Oklahoma native who’s honed his songwriting skills with such royalty as Don Goodman (“Ol’ Red”; “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands”), Johnny Neel (the Allman Brothers) and Mike Stergis (Crosby, Stills & Nash), describes his style as “roadhouse blues and country roots-rock.” But his influences are as vast as the early rock ‘n’ roll his mom adored and the classic country his dad preferred, and he draws deeply from that well, along with other Americana styles — from Bakersfield to hybrid zyde-Cajun blues — to create a rich aural tapestry as colorful as Johnson’s art.

He considers himself a lyric writer first, however. “The story and how it is told are very important to me,” Cullison says. “Some songs come at you very quickly, but most take time. There’s still a lot of polishing to do even after the lightning bolts strike.”

Cullison’s career has taken time, too. In fact, the release party for his first album, 2004’s BAC (Big American Car), was also his retirement party after 32 years with the Bell Telephone Co. Midway through his Bell Tel years, he moved to Atlanta, “because it was five hours closer to Nashville.” His ultimate goal was always Music City, “because that’s where the writers were.”

He finally made it in 1995. Throughout his day-job years, he always wrote and performed; in Atlanta, he was in a band called Lone Walter. These days, Cullison appears solo or with a variety of friends and collaborators in the states and Europe, where he first released the EP Roadhouse Rambler in 2011, which hit #1 on the Airplay Direct radio charts. (His second CD, Blue Collar Tired, came out in 2007.)

Like most musicians, Cullison spends his share of time in bars. And like most country-influenced players, he’s sung his share of “tears in beer” tunes. But one night, while performing at the late Nashville bar the Sutler (lost, sadly, to developers), a thought struck: “Instead of having somebody sitting on the customer’s side of the bar crying in their beer, what if we turned it around?”

That was the genesis of the Mark Robinson-produced The Barstool Monologues.

“Songwriting is storytelling, so it kind of fit for me,” says Cullison, who also has plenty of “behind the song” stories. One of his favorites involves the opening tune, “Wish I Didn’t Like Whiskey” — a perfect choice to open an album set in a bar.

“I had bought a drink for a friend of mine,” Cullison relates, “and as I handed her the glass, she said, ‘I wish I didn’t like whiskey so much.’ I excused myself for a minute while I wrote that on a coaster. Turned out to be a very good song.”

They’ve all turned out to be very good songs — vignettes, actually, sung and performed by some of Nashville’s finest. If Cullison has his way, The Barstool Monologues might even turn into a musical of some sort, with actors and stage sets. Life-sized, like a Johnson tableau. Only even more real, because we can recognize the characters in Cullison’s stories. They’re our friends, our exes … or maybe even ourselves.

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