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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Cardine’

Photo 1 is by Scott Woody, photo 2 is by Simply Pickin' & the 3rd one is by Debbie Ryder

Photo 1 is by Scott Woody, photo 2 is by Simply Pickin’ & the 3rd one is by Debbie Ryder

Celebrating the Life and Music of Billy Constable at Isis
Thursday, Oct 8, 2015

7:30pm – 1:00am
743 Haywood Rd, West Asheville, North Carolina 28806
http://isisasheville.com/events/celebrating-the-life-and-times-of-billy-constable-2/

RSVP on Facebook here

Billy Constable was a well-known and much loved bluegrass musician from WNC who had been battling terminal brain cancer for the better part of a year. He lost his battle on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015.

His friends have organized a memorial event, The Billy Constable Memorial Jam, to honor this kind-hearted, talented man and the great contribution he has made to the music community of WNC and beyond. It will take place at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall in West Asheville on Thursday, October 8th from 7:30pm-1am.

“The outpouring of stories and memories online about Constable give an idea of the scope of a life dedicated to musical passion, and they tell the story of a kind, gentle soul, always willing to teach to anyone who wanted to learn,” writes Brian Swenk in Boone’s Mountain Times.

Included will be a memorial slideshow and a celebration of his life in a night of live music with Billy’s longtime musical compadres. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the rich legacy he has left us. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. Proceeds to benefit the Constable family. If you cannot make the show, but would like to donate, please do so at http://www.gofundme.com/nuj8ks

The lineup so far includes:
Sassagrass
Butch Robins
Steve McMurry (of Acoustic Syndicate)
Jon Stickley & Lyndsay Pruett (of Jon Stickley Trio)
Bearwallow (2015 MerleFest Band Competition Winners)
Amanda Platt (of The Honeycutters)
Taylor Martin
Sam Wharton
Darren Nicholson Band (of Balsam Range)
Blue Wheel Drive
Robert Greer (with members of Town Mountain)
Jim Rollins
Adam Masters
Billy Cardine
Bobby Miller
Jason and Jacob Burleson
Mary Lucey

more to be announced

More about Billy Constable:

Born March 23, 1959, Billy Constable was a well known and much loved musician from WNC.

Growing up in Avery county, he came from a rich lineage of musicians including; Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, Lawrence Wiseman, David Wiseman, Fiddling Jimmy Wiseman, banjo picker Kent Wiseman, and Billy’s mother, Lois.

Billy formed his first band Leather Britches, and at the age of 14 he hit the road professionally joining Charlie Moore’s band in the early 1970’s. He went on to play with Doug Dillard and in the 80’s his family band The Constables was formed. They also appeared with the late great Rose Maddox in that band. In addition he played with Dick Tyner and Train 45, Ray Parks, and toured with Kenny Baker and Josh Graves.

In recent years he recorded with the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band with Steve McMurry, and Curtis Burch, Larry Keel, String Cheese Incident, Acoustic Forum, Hypnotic Clambake, and formed his own band Sassagrass.

He has shared the stage picking with; Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Butch Robins, Mac Wiseman, Leftover Salmon, Byron Berline, Sam Bush, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jim and Jesse, and the Osborne Brothers, to name a few.

Steeped in the rich knowledge of traditional bluegrass and Appalachian music, but reaching far beyond into gypsy jazz and other eclectic forms of music, he is well known as a musician’s musician.

A master of guitar, banjo, and mandolin, Billy has often been credited with teaching his musical compadres how to play and “play it right,” and we have all become better musicians and better people for knowing him.

Thank you Billy, for sharing your gift with us.  ~ written by Deb Ryder

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Acoustic Syndicate. Photo by Lynne Harty.

Acoustic Syndicate. Photo by Lynne Harty.

Acoustic Syndicate Performs in the Southeast This Fall, Announces Thanksgiving Show

Celebrating the Anniversaries of WNCW & Isothermal Community College in Sept
Shows in Georgia and Florida in Early November
Annual Thanksgiving Homecoming Show Set for Nov 29th at The Grey Eagle in Asheville

With a touring and recording history of more than 20 years, a strong following regionally and beyond, and a history of playing festivals like Bonnaroo and Farm Aid, North Carolina favorites Acoustic Syndicate returned in 2013 with their first record since 2004, Rooftop Garden.

The band is set to perform a select number of shows in the southeast this Fall including two shows on September 27th; a daytime performance at the Isothermal Community College (the home of WNCW radio) in Spindale, NC for the college’s 50 Year Anniversary, and another set later that evening at Pisgah Brewing Company’s outdoor stage in Black Mountain, NC to celebrate WNCW’s 25 Year Anniversary on the airwaves. In early November they return to Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta before heading on to Lucky’s in Valdosta, GA and the Riverhawk Music Festival in Brooksville, FL. Acoustic Syndicate is also happy to announce their annual Asheville Thanksgiving show at the Grey Eagle in Asheville on November 29th.

Having claimed the #6 spot in WNCW’s 2013 year-end Top-100 listener poll with Rooftop Garden, the band is as beloved to the Western North Carolina audience as they’ve ever been. “Acoustic Syndicate has remained one of WNCW listeners’ favorite regional and overall acts ever since they began in the ‘90’s,” says WNCW’s Martin Anderson. “In fact they were one of the Top 10 favorite WNCW artists during our big 20th Anniversary vote in 2009, ranking alongside such A-list acts as the Avett Brothers, the Allman Brothers, and Alison Krauss. When I think of bands that best represent the overall sound of what we do at WNCW – roots music, rock, jamming, harmonizing, songs that tell a good story – it’s hard to think of a better one than Acoustic Syndicate.”

Produced by Grammy Award winner Stewart Lerman (Boardwalk Empire, Patti Smith, The Roches, Antony and the Johnsons, Crash Test Dummies), Rooftop Garden features the band’s distinctive blend of rock and acoustic music, all influenced by the players’ love of a wide range of music, from reggae to American roots. “Their modern take on traditional bluegrass and rock values culminates in a glimmering, driving sound rich with acoustic textures and glowing vocals,” writes Paul Kerr on JamBase.

They have also branched out into new territory with the album as Glide’s Bryan Rodgers notes, “… in 2010, new songs began creeping into set-lists and the band began a new era. The culmination is Rooftop Garden…The passage of time, dedication to other interests (family, farming, and software engineering for instance) and newfound musical freedom helped the band create their most personal album yet, which is remarkable. All of the music… has a distinctly human touch, with topics like sustainability, the frailty of existence, love, and community. Rooftop Garden is somehow more immediate because of where the band now finds themselves musically: with no one to please but themselves and an even broader range of life experiences from which to cull material.”

“The tunes on this album were written with an essentially positive message, one about humanity, earth, responsibility and peace,” said singer/guitarist Steve McMurry. He and his cousin Bryon McMurry (banjo, electric guitar) split the songwriting and lead vocal duties 50/50 on this new album, and are joined by Bryon’s brother Fitz McMurry (drums) for the kind of three part harmony that only close relatives who grew up singing together can conjure up. The band is rounded out by always in-demand bassist Jay Sanders and dobro wizard Billy Cardine; both of whom make use of Moog synthesizers and pedals to craft a unique ensemble sound.

The McMurry family has been in family farming in the same region of Cleveland County, NC since the 1700s. Their love of the land and their serious approach to its stewardship is echoed by the love of the music they make and the care with which they make it. Rooftop Garden conveys important things about the environment we all share, grounded in the life experiences of people who truly love what they do. “Through our music, we have tried to maintain a consistent message, a reminder,” says Steve McMurry, “that this Earth is the only one we will ever have. And though we speak of some lofty ideals in our music, my most fervent hope is that when people listen to us or come to our show, they leave with a laugh and a smile and the satisfaction of having been a part of something positive.”

Acoustic Syndicate Fall Shows 2014
9/27 Sat – Isothermal CC 50th Anniv. on the Campus Green- Spindale, NC
9/27 Sat – WNCW’s 25th Anniv. Party at Pisgah Brewing Co – Black Mountain, NC*
11/6 Thu – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA
11/7 Fri – Lucky’s – Valdosta, GA
11/8 Sat – Riverhawk Music Festival – Brooksville, FL
11/29 Sat- The Grey Eagle – Annual Thanksgiving show – Asheville, NC
* w/ Shane Pruitt Band & Phuncle Sam

For more information and other news, please visit www.acousticsyndicate.com, facebook.com/AcousticSyndicate and twitter.com/asyndicate.

 

 

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All proceeds will go directly to helping offset Billy’s medical expenses.

Asheville, NC — A large group of friends has come together in the bluegrass and acoustic music scene in the area to help our good buddy, Billy Constable, raise funds to offset his medical expenses for a brain tumor that he was recently diagnosed with.  The Grey Eagle is hosting the event on Sunday, December 11, 2011.  The doors open at 6pm, donations will be accepted, and there will also be a silent auction.  Bands performing are Big Daddy Bluegrass Band, Asheville Bluegrass Collective (featuring: members of Steep Canyon Rangers, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge and Town Mountain), Jason Burleson and the Bluegrass Buddies, and Nikki Talley.

Travers Chandler writes in Bluegrass Today, “Anyone familiar with the acoustic music scene of Western NC, or with the music of the legendary Charlie Moore, is no stranger to Billy Constable. In fact, I am not certain Billy encountered many strangers. He is a friend to many people, and to those of us fortunate to know him well, even a great mentor.”

Billy has been diagnosed with a lump on the lower portion of his brain which has been causing increasingly frequent seizures. He is currently seeing medical specialists and gathering evaluations. The expense is certain to be high, and Billy is without medical insurance. We are coming together here, as friends and fellow musicians, to help offset those costs.

Billy Constable grew up in a very musical family in Avery County, and he has been playing music for most of his life. Billy is part of Avery County’s Wiseman family, which includes a number of professional musicians including Scotty Wiseman, Lawrence Wiseman, David Wiseman, Fiddling Jimmy Wiseman, banjo picker Kent Wiseman, and Billy’s mother, Lois.

Billy began playing guitar professionally as a youngster with bluegrass great Charlie Moore, who had married Billy’s mother. He also played in Douglas Dillard’s newly formed “post Dillards” bluegrass band The Doug Dillard Band from Hollywood, which also featured Byron Berline and occasional guests like Vassar Clements and Sam Bush.

After touring with The Doug Dillard Band, Billy took a break from the road in order to work on his banjo skills while playing in a family’s band, The Constables, who were living in California at the time. He later had the opportunity to tour with two more bluegrass greats, Kenny Baker, a veteran fiddler from Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, and Josh Graves, a long time Dobro player with Flatt & Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys.

Billy’s approach to the banjo is firmly rooted in Appalachian string music, but it can be deceptively eclectic. His influences begin at home and with his family, but Billy’s repertoire is vast, and he is comfortable in most musical situations. In addition to banjo, Billy is also an accomplished musician on the guitar, mandolin and violin.

In recent years, Billy has carried his banjo into more jam-oriented groups such as Acoustic Forum from New York and New England’s Max Creek. He toured extensively and recorded with Hypnotic Clambake and The Larry Keel Experience. Billy has appeared on many shows with Leftover Salmon, and he was also a featured guest on a handful of String Cheese Incident shows and one of their recent albums “Carnival 99.” Billy also played with the seasonal Big Daddy Bluegrass Band with Steve McMurray, Curtis Burch and Larry Keel.

For more information about Billy Constable and for updates on his medical situation, please visit:  www.billyconstable.com and the FaceBook Event.

If people would prefer to mail a donation, please mail to:
Dave Ruch
155 St James Place
Buffalo NY 14222
dave@daveruch.com
716-884-6855

~~~~~~~~~~~~~  MEET THE PERFORMERS   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Big Daddy Bluegrass Band The Big Daddy Bluegrass Band rides again! It has been five long years since the BDBB has taken the stage. They make their return on February 11th at the Visulite Theater in Charlotte, NC, for the debut of the new lineup which features some of the premier acoustic musicians working today. Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry, front man and founding member of Acoustic Syndicate, returns to the world of bluegrass music with a formidable arsenal of hot, young pickers. Jason Flournoy, formerly of Larry Keel & Natural Bridge / Shanti Groove, is highly respected in all genres of music across the nation. Jay Sanders is the long time bass man for Acoustic Syndicate and former with Donna The Buffalo. He is one of the hardest working and most exciting upright bass men on the East coast. Producer, engineer and dobro virtuoso, Billy Cardine, formerly of The Biscuit Burners, is one of Jerry Douglass’ favorite new dobro men. He has shared the stage with Edgar Meyer at Carnegie Hall and his recordings are featured on the BBC, PBS and the History Channel. Robert Greer, front man of Asheville bluegrass band Town Mountain, will also be joining the band adding harmonizing vocals, guitar, and his charismatic stage presenc

Asheville Bluegrass Collective– The Asheville Bluegrass Collective is a super-group of Asheville’s finest bluegrass musicians. The pickers include: Jon Stickley and Robert Greer (Town Mountain), Mark Schimick (Larry Keel and Natural Bridge), Charles Humphrey (Steep Canyon Rangers), Jason Flournoy, and many more special guests! Look out for some solid Asheville style Bluegrass!

Jason Burleson – The original banjo player with Blue Highway, Jason is a native of Newland, North Carolina. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he brings all-around musicianship to the group, not the least of which is his distinctive, rock-solid banjo style. Writing for the Memphis Area Bluegrass Association,Betty Westmoreland observed about Jason and his habit of saying very little onstage: “His banjo does the talking, as is true of most superb performers. From Newland, NC, in Avery County, Burleson is part of that fine crop of North Carolina banjo players. There must be something about the air, or water, or the soil in that part of the country—so many fine banjo players seem to come out of those hills.”

Jason’s instrumental compositions form an integral part of the Blue Highway repertoire, including “The North Cove” ( Through the Window of a Train), hailed by one critic as “a burning instrumental with a sinuous melody” that offers “more to chew on than just the whiz-bang pyrotechnics of many modern bluegrass instrumentals” (Smoky Mountain News). Jason also anchors the group’s quartets with his bass vocals. A jazz devotee, Jason’s talent hasn’t been fully revealed yet to the bluegrass community and gives Blue Highway unlimited options for the future.

Jason will be leading a virtuosic group of bluegrass musicians featuring everyone’s favorite bluegrass buddy, David Via.

David Vias songs come from being raised and living up in the Blue Ridge mountains of Patrick County, Virginia. Via (as most folks call him – that’s pronounced Vi and rhymes with sky) is a well-known figure in bluegrass/newgrass circles with twenty-some odd years of singing and songwriting.

Via first performed Americana/Bluegrass with The Bluegrass Buddies with Alan Bibey and Ronnie Bowman. Over the years, Via has played in a lot of lineups and with a lot of great pickers: the newgrass In Sync – Jody King, James Donchez, Kim Gardiner, and Alan Purdue, the Dan River Revue – Wyatt Rice, Tommy Morse, Tim Jefferson, and Pete Ross. Via has joined the stage with Vassar Clemmens, Sammy Shelor, Ronnie Bowman, Tony Rice, and John Cowan. He currently teams up with two-time grammy winner Curtis Burch to perform more intimate shows and highlights his original material with award-winning musician friends who spin David Via & Corn Tornado.

Nikki Talley Hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice…these could all describe Nikki Talley. Raised in North Carolina and hailing from Asheville, it’s only fitting that her music is as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Trying to pin down Nikki’s style, critics and reviewers alike have compared her to an early Liz Phair and Gillian Welch, but to leave the comparisons there would be doing a disservice to her fiery stage performance, hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics, lifted by a voice that harkens back to the Appalachian roots from which she was born, and shores up on the edges of contemporary southern rock, country, blues, and jazz that has her audiences stomping and clapping for more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Show Details at a Glance:
Benefit for Billy Constable
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 232-5800
www.thegreyeagle.com

$10 Suggested donation

Bands: Big Daddy Bluegrass Band, Asheville Blue Grass Collective (featuring: members of Steep Canyon Rangers, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge and Town Mountain), Jason Burleson and the Blue Grass Buddies, and Nikki Talley.

The doors open at 6pm silent auction will close at 9pm.

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Really pumped up about the Acoustic Syndicate show this Friday, May 6th at the NC Music Factory in Charlotte!

Here is a bit about what they’ve been up to from what they told Ryan Snyder in a recent interview with YES! Weekly:

As the Acoustic Syndicate family grows, a new album finally awaits:

There`s maybe no better way to sum up the outlook of Acoustic Syndicate circa 2005 than the words of Bryon McMurry on the Shelby folk-rock oufit’s song “It Was Good While It Lasted.” “Nothing lasts forever and we find out who we are,” he sang on the band’s 2000 album Tributaries, unaware then that it might be the band’s mantra in only a few years time as they entered an indeterminable furlough. The McMurrys — Bryon, Fitz and cousin Steve — knew just who they were: a close-knit group built upon rural values of sustainability and commitment to the family. When the two brothers began to experience growth in their own families, their incessant touring lifestyle of the past decade suddenly became an afterthought.

“Fitz and Brian were both having to be gone during pregnancies and the last thing we wanted to do is have our families suffer on account of what we’re doing,” said Steve. “It’s important for us to stay centered and understand what’s most important. It was the obvious thing to do at that point.”

The group was arguably going out at their peak. They had just released one of their best-received albums in 2004’s Long Way Round (Sugar Hill), and kicked off the album’s supporting tour with a return to the Bonnaroo Music Festival after performing the inaugural festival two years earlier. Steve says that show in particular was instrumental in that tour’s success.

. . .   . . .    . . .

At the urging of their booking agent Hugh Southard, the group started playing more and more shows around 2007, learning how to juggle being a working band and family men at the same time. The days of 180- 200 shows per year may be over for the band, but Steve says that being able to have their families present has engendered a new kind of creative freedom in them.

As of now, they’re not only looking to begin recording their first album in seven years, but their arrangement is growing as well. Bassist Jay Sanders invited a friend, dobro player Billy Cardine, to join the group for a performance at last year’s Asheville Earth Day Celebration, and Steve said they knew almost immediately that he was a perfect fit for the group.

The addition is progressive for the group’s sound, which Steve describes as being edgier than any other era of the band, and for the first time, they’ll be writing songs specifically to feature a certain instrument. They hope to hit Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville with the pool of 15-16 songs later in 2011, many of which Steve describes as being written from a deeper, more personal place than ever before.

“I always tried to keep songwriting away from my personal life, but there’s been a couple of things in my life with living and people dying. Some major influences that really changed my reality,” he said somewhat hesitantly. “I thought about it and thought about it, and sort of avoided writing anything about it, but something kept bugging me to do it.”

He added that the time away has allowed him and his cousins to refocus their creativity after admittedly becoming burnt out in the year before their hiatus. Reenergized as a group, Steve believes that the band is in as good of a creative place as they’ve ever been.

“When you get burnt out and you start to write songs from the gut, it’s just not good,” he said. “It’s better to be creative out of a desire to be creative and not a need to be creative.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-11650-as-the-acoustic-syndicate-family-grows-a-new-album-finally-awaits.html

Photo by Bright Life Photography

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Ryan Snyder with Yes! Weekly interviewed with Acoustic Syndicate’s Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry in preview for their show coming up on Saturday March 5th at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro. Here are some excerpts from the article. Be sure to click the link to the full interview!

As the Syndicate Family Grows, A New Album Finally Awaits

By Ryan Snyder

Yes! Weekly www.yesweekly.com

Acoustic Syndicate ready their first new material in years for their Saturday show in Greensboro.

There`s maybe no better way to sum up the outlook of Acoustic Syndicate circa 2005 than the words of Bryon McMurry on the Shelby folk-rock oufit’s song “It Was Good While It Lasted.” “Nothing lasts forever and we find out who we are,” he sang on the band’s 2000 album Tributaries, unaware then that it might be the band’s mantra in only a few years time as they entered an indeterminable furlough. The McMurrys — Bryon, Fitz and cousin Steve — knew just who they were: a close-knit group built upon rural values of sustainability and commitment to the family. When the two brothers began to experience growth in their own families, their incessant touring lifestyle of the past decade suddenly became an afterthought.

“Fitz and Brian were both having to be gone during pregnancies and the last thing we wanted to do is have our families suffer on account of what we’re doing,” said Steve. “It’s important for us to stay centered and understand what’s most important. It was the obvious thing to do at that point.”

The group was arguably going out at their peak. They had just released one of their best-received albums in 2004’s Long Way Round (Sugar Hill), and kicked off the album’s supporting tour with a return to the Bonnaroo Music Festival after performing the inaugural festival two years earlier. Steve says that show in particular was instrumental in that tour’s success.

Photo by Bright Life Photography

. . .   . . .    . . .
At the urging of their booking agent Hugh Southard, the group started playing more and more shows around 2007, learning how to juggle being a working band and family men at the same time. The days of 180- 200 shows per year may be over for the band, but Steve says that being able to have their families present has engendered a new kind of creative freedom in them.

As of now, they’re not only looking to begin recording their first album in seven years, but their arrangement is growing as well. Bassist Jay Sanders invited a friend, dobro player Billy Cardine, to join the group for a performance at last year’s Asheville Earth Day Celebration, and Steve said they knew almost immediately that he was a perfect fit for the group.

The addition is progressive for the group’s sound, which Steve describes as being edgier than any other era of the band, and for the first time, they’ll be writing songs specifically to feature a certain instrument. They hope to hit Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville with the pool of 15-16 songs later in 2011, many of which Steve describes as being written from a deeper, more personal place than ever before.

“I always tried to keep songwriting away from my personal life, but there’s been a couple of things in my life with living and people dying. Some major influences that really changed my reality,” he said somewhat hesitantly. “I thought about it and thought about it, and sort of avoided writing anything about it, but something kept bugging me to do it.”

He added that the time away has allowed him and his cousins to refocus their creativity after admittedly becoming burnt out in the year before their hiatus. Reenergized as a group, Steve believes that the band is in as good of a creative place as they’ve ever been.

“When you get burnt out and you start to write songs from the gut, it’s just not good,” he said. “It’s better to be creative out of a desire to be creative and not a need to be creative.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-11650-as-the-acoustic-syndicate-family-grows-a-new-album-finally-awaits.html

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Extract 17. Photo by Rob Gardner

Stop. Listen. Dynamic changes happen simultaneously with nuanced timbre shifts, while the notes, chords, and poly-rhythms travel past you. Extract 17 is not a jam band, or math rock or even a hybrid of anything. They are four musicians of remarkable talent, pushing each other and themselves to make something wonderful. Equal parts Mahavishnu Orchestra, Strength In Numbers and original innovation, Extract 17 plays a palate of original electric instrumental compositions focused on both the spirit of adventure and the beauty of arrangement. You can see them live for *FREE* every Tuesday in March at Modaddy’s Bar in Asheville.

In the past year, the four musicians that comprise Extract 17, Jay Sanders, Bill Cardine, Andy Pond and Ian Cunningham, have been composing, arranging, and experimenting with a variety of provocative new sounds. Their repertoire features tunes written by each member of the group and a select list of covers from some of their biggest influences including Bill Frisell, MMW, and Hank Williams.

As a bass player, what characterizes Jay Sanders‘ music is an overwhelming sense of space, time and genre. His compositions tend towards the melodic and sublime while improvisations can go from the most peaceful melody to full-scale free jazz and noise music. Attention to style and unique versatility are the hallmarks of his playing. Sanders is best known for his work with Acoustic Syndicate and Donna The Buffalo.

Bill Cardine brings his innate sense of musicianship, melody and texture with his muse instrument of choice, the slide guitar. Jerry Douglas has said of Cardine “I couldn’t have picked a better example for them of where the Dobro is now or what the possibilities are with the instrument.” His innovative work on the Dobro, Moog Slide Guitar, Chaturangui, Weissenborn and Electric Steel guitars has lead him as both a performer and educator around the world, as well as to some of our country’s most revered venues and major festivals. Internationally, Cardine is known for his work with the Biscuit Burners; he is also the newest member of Acoustic Syndicate.

Andy Pond is one of the most exciting progressive-acoustic banjoists on the scene today: melodic and tasteful with a raw edge of improvisation. His approach to the banjo is all encompassing and includes Middle eastern/Balkan flavours, newgrass and dixieland grooves as well as funky dance beats. For almost two decades, Pond has been the driving force behind the Snake Oil Medicine Show, is half of the Pond Brothers, and the lead of CX1.

Ian Cunningham‘s drumming boldly combines the best parts of rock, jazz, African and things completely different and unknown into a powerful beat that is the perfect landscape for Extract 17. Cunningham is a formidable drummer and presence in the Asheville music scene; and as the pulsating foundation for UNC Asheville’s African Dance and Drumming classes, he excels at bridging the worlds of music.

In September of 2010, Sanders, Cardine and Pond performed a series of shows with the legendary Jeff Sipe on drums including memorable performances at the LAAFF Festival, Pisgah Brewing’s beautiful outdoor stage, the Pour House in Charleston, and Asheville’s juke-joint MoDaddy’s. 2011 finds the quartet breaking ground in new directions with the addition of Ian Cunningham on drums. This new lineup will debut as part of MoDaddy’s monthly residency series, playing every Tuesday in March. The shows are all free and begin around 9:30. Enjoy being carried away into a vast soundscape of innovative instrumental music.

Show details at a Glance:

Extract 17
Sanders-Cardine-Pond-Cunningham
Tuesdays in March
MoDaddys

9:30pm
*FREE SHOWS*
828-258-1550
77-B Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
www.modaddysbar.com

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This is a great Acoustic Syndicate mini-documentary that was filmed at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC by MPA Productions.

Folk-rock band, Acoustic Syndicate, is the product of Cleveland County’s McMurry clan and is known for their high-energy, positive sound. 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. They are backed on acoustic and electric bass by Asheville’s Jays Sanders‘ versatile playing that hinges between being the steadfast “rock” and expanding into adventurous improv. The guys have written some great new songs and have recently added (the Biscuit Burners) Billy Cardine‘s blistering dobro sounds to the mix.

Here is a link to an audio archive from the show at the Orange Peel in Asheville over Thanksgiving weekend: http://www.archive.org/details/as2010-11-27.at853.flac16.

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Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry from Acoustic Syndicate has put together a new version of the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band with a host of several hot pickers from the Asheville area including Jason Flournoy on banjo, Billy Cardine on dobro, Jay Sanders on bass, and Robert Greer harmonizing vocals and on guitar… They will debut this February on the 11th at the Visulite in Charlotte and the 12th at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain!

Tim Jackson with the Laurel of Asheville did an interview with Big Daddy last week. Here is a bit of it:

Big Daddy Is Back

Tim W. Jackson: Photo by Adam Schultz

thelaurelofasheville.com

Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry is well-known in Western North Carolina as part of the bluegrass group Acoustic Syndicate. Some may remember his side project of a few years ago, the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band. Now Steve has formed a new version—”the next generation”—of the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band, most of which are Asheville-area players. . .

It’s been more than five years since any version of the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band has taken the stage, so Steve says he’s excited about performing with this new lineup.

“This is a youthful, exciting, high-energy version of the band,” Steve says. “We’ve had a ball practicing together so we’re ready to finally get out and bring this music to an audience. The caliber of these young pickers is very exciting. It gets my blood pumping, and I think it will have the same effect on the audience.”

As for the music, Steve says listeners won’t hear “your standard Flatt & Scruggs bluegrass show.” About a third of the songs will be originals mostly written by Steve. Other songs will be more obscure selections. “We don’t want to play the same songs you can hear anywhere,” Steve says.

In addition to Steve, the other band members include some names that Asheville-area music fans are sure to recognize: Billy Cardine on dobro, Jason Flourney on banjo, Robert Greer on harmonizing vocals and guitar, and Jay Sanders on bass. Cardine and Sanders, of course, are Steve’s mates in Acoustic Syndicate. Flournoy is formerly of Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, while Greer is known as the front man for Asheville-based bluegrass group Town Mountain.

. . .    . . .    . . .”If you come see us we promise a high-energy, rumpus evening with a few tender moments in between,” Steve says with a chuckle. “It’ll be a lot of fun.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://thelaurelofasheville.com/performing_arts/big-daddy-is-back

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Here’s a nice review of the recent Acoustic Syndicate show at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC  with Glide magazine. Some excerpts are below. Please click the link to read the full review with show specifics and see some great photos by Bryan Rogers as well.

Acoustic Syndicate

The Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC 1/8/11

By Bryan Rodgers

The recent resurgence of Acoustic Syndicate has seen the band utilize a wide variety of formations.  After six albums and a decade of touring with the core quartet of brothers Fitz and Bryon McMurry (drums/vocals and banjo/vocals, respectively), their cousin Steve McMurry (guitar and vocals), and bassist Jay Sanders, the band took a hiatus that, at the time, was of undetermined length . . .

. . .

n 2011, it seems that the Syndicate is really and truly back, at least in a regional sense, with Sanders fully on board, several tour dates in the southeast, and their first new batch of songs since 2004.  Despite this rejuvenated focus on the band, the McMurrys continue to find themselves balancing different formations, as evidenced by the long-awaited Saturday night Cat’s Cradle show . . .

. . .

Dobro player Billy Cardine is the latest addition to the group, and in many ways his inclusion makes perfect sense. . .  the band often featured saxophonist Jeremy Saunders during their most prolific period, so Cardine helps bring back that instrumental flexibility, giving Syndicate a new weapon to utilize during their lengthy improvisations. Starting slowly with “Billy the Kid” and crowd favorite “Pumpkin and Daisy,” the band wasted no time in paying tribute to one of their key influences on his birthday. Elvis Presley’s first ever single, “That’s Alright, Mama” was performed with reverence just before the joyful, island-flavored “November” pushed the energy of the show in a new direction….

Read more of the show review: http://www.glidemagazine.com/articles/56785/acoustic-syndicate.html

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Acoustic Syndicate plays this Saturday, January 8th at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC.

Here is a bit more info from IndyWeek:

Festival favorites earlier in the decade, Acoustic Syndicate now play far fewer live shows than they once did. But the pleasing jamgrass and familial harmonies of Cleveland County’s McMurry boys—plus bassist Jay Sanders and newly added dobro master Billy Cardine—hasn’t changed much. Music for and by good-natured mountain folk, Acoustic Syndicate’s grass is enriched with strong jazz sensibilities, a dose of reggae and occasional electric banjo licks that disregard the acoustic designation. Opening newgrass quintet Acoustic Manner features four members of defunct Raleigh outfit Barefoot Manner. —Spencer Griffith

Read more: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/acoustic-syndicate-acoustic-manner/Event?oid=1884682

They also got a best bet in the Herald Sun who lists the following details about showtime as well:

Guitarist Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry is joined by his cousins, Bryon McMurry on banjo and Fitz McMurry on drums. They are backed on acoustic and electric bass by Asheville’s Jays Sanders. Recently, they have added (the Biscuit Burners) Billy Cardine’s dobro playing to the ensemble. Acoustic Syndicate will perform Saturday (doors open at 8:30, concert at 9:30) at Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., in Carrboro. For tickets, call 967-9053 or visit http://www.catscradle.com.

Read more: The Herald-Sun – BEST BET Acoustic Syndicate to perform at Cradle


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