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Asheville-based Writer Alli Marshall Releases Debut Novel ‘How to Talk To Rockstars’  Through Logosophia Books in June 2015

Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Help Fund an East Coast Author Tour
www.indiegogo.com/projects/how-to-talk-to-rockstars-book-launch-and-tour

How to Talk to Rockstars’ cover artwork is by Joshua Spiceland, the design is by Susan Yost.

How to Talk to Rockstars’ cover artwork is by Joshua Spiceland, the design is by Susan Yost.

ASHEVILLE, NC — Music is a universal language. But sometimes it needs an interpreter. That’s the idea behind How to Talk to Rockstars, a novel about love, loneliness and rock ‘n’ roll. The debut of Alli Marshall, an Asheville-based author, journalist and editor, it’s available in the spring of 2015 from Logosophia Books.  In the words of author Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain, Nightwoods), “This bright, fleet novel is a true delight—an engaging, perceptive, precisely observed and slyly funny meditation on fame and love, in particular the love of music.”

Alli has written for the Mountain Xpress, an altweekly in Asheville, NC, since 2001 and has filled the role of the Arts & Entertainment editor since 2013. How to Talk to Rockstars is based in part on her 14-or-so years spent interviewing artists of all genres, but especially touring musicians.

The novel — think Almost Famous meets The History of Love — follows wallflower-turned-journalist Bryn Thompson. She has a dream job: she interviews rock stars. Bryn’s professionalism keeps her on track, but also emotionally removed from the gritty world of backstage, bars and drugs that she writes about. That is, until she meets musician Jude Archer, whose songs haunt her. As an unlikely friendship grows out of Bryn’s obsession with Jude’s album, Bryn begins to rethink all of the carefully-contrived rules that until now have helped her maintain a professional distance.

Musician and artist, Joseph Arthur calls the book, “A very interesting take on the world of rock ’n’ roll. An unheard perspective.”

The launch party for How to Talk to Rockstars takes place at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, N.C., on Friday, May 15. Festivities begin at 7pm with treats, a reading, a Q&A session, and live music by singer-songwriter Vickie Burrick of Warm the Bell. The event is free and open to the public.

Writing a novel takes time, time, time, patience, determination and at least a little bit of insanity. It takes months — possibly years — of missed parties, late nights and early mornings. It takes many hours in front of a computer screen, and a stronger eyeglasses prescription. Now that How to Talk to Rockstars exists on the page, it’s time to get it into bookstores and (more importantly) into the hands of readers. This takes money, so Alli launched an Indiegogo Campaign. The funds raised will go to a creatively sourced publicity campaign including print media, radio, blogs, podcasts and TV. The other part of the publicity campaign is author events such as readings and further book signings, talks, appearances at book clubs and festivals (both literary and music-oriented), as well as libraries, schools, and heck, maybe street corners!

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More about the Author
Alli Marshall photo credit Carrie Eidson
Alli Marshall grew up in Western New York and has called the mountains of North Carolina home for more than 20 years. She’s a Warren Wilson College graduate and completed her MFA in creative writing at Goddard College. She’s been named the best arts reporter in Western North Carolina in the annual Best of WNC reader’s poll, 2011-2014. She received awards in editorial reporting from the North Carolina Press Association in 2005 and 2014, and from the International Festivals & Events Association in 2004. She also took home top honors in the Cupcakes for the Cure bake-off (local ingredient category) — but that’s another story. And though Alli doesn’t like to brag or anything, over the course of her career she’s interviewed Yoko Ono, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Aimee Mann, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Michael Franti, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Ziggy Marley, Peter Murphy, Grace Potter, Jamie Lidell, Kishi Bashi and many, many others.

For more information, please visit: www.alli-marshall.com and http://www.logosophiabooks.com.

Stay up-to-date with news from Alli at www.facebook.com/allimarshallauthor, www.twitter.com/alli_marshall and www.instagram.com/alli_marshall.

Read more of her feature articles at www.mountainx.com/author/amarshall.

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Doc Watson Biography ‘Blind But Now I See’
by Kent Gustavson

A Definitive Biography of an American Icon

DocBookcover_KentG“A touching story about overcoming life’s obstacles…”
–Vintage Guitar Magazine

“Musicologists will appreciate the chapters on Doc’s singing style and guitar work… Music fans will delight in the book as a whole, a splendid recounting of Doc Watson as man whose ‘…approach to folk music on a guitar was like Horowitz’s approach to the piano…”
–Gary Presley, The Internet Review of Books

“This is a highly informative, fascinating biography of the great Doc Watson. What a life. It’s a page-turner that will keep you up past your bedtime. Don’t miss it.”
–The Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association

“This is a valuable, anecdotal work anyone interested in Doc’s music and life will enjoy reading.” –Bluegrass Unlimited

***   ***   ***

Award-winning author Kent Gustavson was born immersed in a rich musical heritage. As the son of peaceniks, he grew up with family sing-alongs. From Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan, he darted to classical, jazz, and avant-garde jazz, before circling back to the Greenwich Village folk canon and tracing that music back. In singer-guitarist Doc Watson, Gustavson found a treasure of American music. His biography of Watson, Blind But Now I See (Sumach-Red Books) is the definitive biography of an American icon.

KentWithDocBook23664The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based author is uniquely qualified to write a book that merges myth, musicology, and American history. He holds a PhD in classical composition from Stony Brook University in New York, where he taught leadership, writing, literature, music and German for ten years. He’s an active musician with 14 critically acclaimed albums, and his music has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered. He also hosts a radio show, Sound Authors, where he has interviewed hundreds of award-winning authors and musicians.

Blind But Now I See is the first comprehensive biography of Doc Watson. It was written over 6 years, culled from meticulous archival research and well over a hundred interviews. The book brims with insights from such legendary musicians as Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, David Grisman, David Moultrup, Jerry Douglas, Jonathan Byrd, Marty Stuart, Michelle Shocked, Mike Seeger, Norman Blake, Ricky Skaggs, Tommy Emmanuel, Tony Rice, Tony Trischka, and Warren Haynes, among many others. It is a winner of a Next Generation Indie Book Award, and finalist in the Foreword Book of the Year Awards. The book has sold 5,000 paperbacks and 25,000 e-books. Vintage Guitar Magazine praises it as: “A touching story about overcoming life’s obstacles.” Blind But Now I See is now available in its expanded second printing, with a third and even more expansive edition already in the works.

Doc23447Two-time Grammy Award winner Ben Harper says in his Blind But Now I See interview: “There was a sense of grace, effortlessness, and fluidity to Doc Watson’s musicianship and singing that is nothing short of miraculous.”

Watson’s influence has been recognized by presidents and by heroes of modern music such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Ben Harper, Robert Plant, and Gillian Welch, but little is known about his personal life, his complex relationship with his son, Merle, his mythical rise to prominence, and his awe-inspiring musicality. Watson was a blind boy from the small town of Deep Gap, North Carolina who grew up in the Depression, then lived in abject poverty until being brought into the 1960s folk scene. For over 52 years, Watson mesmerized bluegrass, folk, and rock audiences with his soft baritone and fiery guitar licks

Gustavson’s congenial but probingly insightful interview skills help piece together a powerful and honest character mosaic. His vibrant, erudite, and enthusiastic prose demystifies Watson’s astounding musicality and dissects the paradoxes and complexities of the man with bold sensitivity.

DocandFreindJOhn23444In an interview with esteemed alt-country publication No Depression Gustavson said: “I stumbled across a copy of The Watson Family by Folkways records. Watson’s voice was so rock-solid in those family hymns that I still sing the bass part today, because it’s stronger in my mind than the melody! He pointed me towards the blues, early rock and roll, traditional Appalachian fiddle music, and balladry. He literally started a brush fire in my musical mind.”

In 2004 Gustavson began writing Blind But Now I See, and nearly 10 years later and three editions in he’s emerged an authority on the enigmatic icon. He told No Depression: “Countless close friends and family members of Doc have come to me over the past two years and thanked me for writing this biography, and for really framing the reality surrounding his life.” Besides the plaudits from insiders, the biggest reward is bringing this journey back home. “In the new edition I finally got a chance to speak to Pete Seeger,” Gustavson says. “I called my parents and told them ‘Pete Seeger just spoke to me!’ What an honor.”

Biography Written By: Lorne Behrman

www.kentgustavson.com

Great review by Professor Puppet

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Barbie Dockstader Angell’s Upcoming Children’s Book Roasting Questions

Poems & Illustrations

Available Now on Pre-Sale

Preview the book at www.RoastingQuestions.com

A delightful book of children’s poems & illustrations Roasting Questions by Barbie Dockstader Angell is available now for pre-sale with the goal of publishing before the holiday season. Roasting Questions is highly recommended for kids, you, your friends and for anyone with an imagination! The Book is available to preview at RoastingQuestions.com. Please check it out & consider buying–& sponsoring (which will get you some great goodies!)

Angell’s goal is to raise $5000 total to ensure the book will be published in time for the holidays. On Monday, October 15th, Roasting Questions received a $500 donation with two stipulations. One, that the donor remain anonymous, and two, that the book receive another $500 in pre-sales and sponsorships by Monday, October 22nd.

Angell, an Asheville favorite, was named in the top three for 2011 and 2012’s Mountain Xpress “Best of WNC poets.” This is her first book.

Barbie Angell is not just a prominent poet, but also a gifted illustrator. Roasting Questions, her first book, 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, says, “Barbie’s poems are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein, but totally unique to her sensibility. They are infused with a bright spirit, a heart that seeks and explores, and a gentle insight.”

Angell brings her witty humor to ice-cream shops, schools, libraries, parties, and also performs her unique “bar poetry” in more adult settings. Asheville’s Mountain Xpress writes, “Local poet Barbie Angell is known for her mischievous sense of humor (in case you missed it a year-and-a-half ago, go here for Angell’s Rapture Survival tips), her fanciful, elfin-inspired fashion, and (most importantly) her poetry.”

Roasting Questions is published through Grateful Steps Publishing, a nonprofit publishing house based in Asheville, NC. The book can be previewed and pre-ordered 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.

Here’s what folks are saying about Roasting Questions:

“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

For more information about Barbie Angell or Roasting Questions, visit www.barbieangell.com, facebook.com/barbieangell or follow @barbieangell on Twitter.

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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

***

“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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Donna the Buffalo has a host of shows this weekend with the Roy Jay Band opening. They started off to a sold out crowd at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake last night as part of day 6 of Winter Carnival. Tonight (Thursday, Feb 10th) they head over to Albany, NY for a show at Jillian’s.

Friday nite will be a special one for sure at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, NY! Author Peter Conners  and  filmographer Denver Miller will be interviewing & filming the band as well as The Herd for a book & documentary project entitled JAMerica [Click to read more about it]. This is definitely a show to be at if you are anywhere near the area! However, do not fret if you can’t make it out; the folks over at Have You Herd are doing a live Herdcast from the show with a chat room, video and audio. You can watch and listen here:  http://webcast.haveyouherd.com/index11.cfm. Rochester City News put together a little blurb about the show here.

On Saturday, DtB travels up to White River Junction, VT to play the Tupelo Music Hall. There’s been a lot of buzz about the shows. Below are a couple of archives of articles for the weekend. One is an interview with Tara Nevins, the other is an interview with Jeb Puryear!

Twenty years later, Donna the Buffalo still roamin’

Founder Tara Nevins talks about making a career out of music, recording with Levon Helm and keeping thing creative ahead of Saturday performance at Tupelo Music Hall

By Brent Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer •  www.burlingtonfreepress.com

Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins. Photo by John D Kurc

The origins of Donna the Buffalo are pretty simple, really: Founders Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear started with impromptu sessions of old-time fiddle music in Ithaca, N.Y., which led to the two of them writing songs and eventually setting their acoustic instruments aside for a more electric sound. The band’s traditional/Americana/Cajun/rock/country mash-up was born.

The two founders, however, had no idea that they’d still be doing this more than 20 years later.

“It was really fun and exciting starting this new musical journey,” Nevins said during a tour stop in Nashville. “We didn’t think about what’s this going to be about, if it’s a career.”

It’s a career now, one that has earned the band enough of a following for its devoted fans to carry their own collective name (“The Herd”) and for Donna the Buffalo to keep its decades-long road show going. The band’s next Vermont stop comes Saturday, when they play the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction.

All that time together doesn’t mean Nevins is willing to stand pat. The vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who with Puryear writes most of Donna the Buffalo’s songs is releasing a solo album on her band’s label, Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records, in April. She recorded the album at the rural New York studio of Levon Helm, who as drummer and vocalist for The Band helped to create the organic hybrid of country, folk and rock that Donna the Buffalo carries on.

Helm played on two cuts on the album, according to Nevins. “I had to pinch myself a little bit,” she said. “But really, honestly, when you get in that situation you feel like, ‘Oh, wow,’ but once you start playing music together and hang out with Levon a little bit, he’s such a beautiful man, everything just feels normal. We’re all artists making art. He’s an incredibly gracious person. He’s probably one of the most soulful musicians I’ve ever heard or played with. He’s from the heart.”

. . .   . . .    . . .
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110210/ENT/110209030/Twenty-years-later-Donna-the-Buffalo-still-roamin

And here is another article for the archives:

Partying with the Herd

By Warren Johnston — Valley News www.vnews.com

. . .   . . .    . . .

Photo of Jeb Puryear by Jim Gavenus

The popular Trumansburg, N.Y., band has been around since 1989, made its initial mark at festivals and built a strong, loyal following known as the “Herd.”

“We’re still excited about the festivals, and playing festivals is a lot of what we do,” said Jeb Puryear. He and Tara Nevins are the remaining founding members of the band. “We’re lifers.”

The two write most of the songs the band plays and most of the tunes on the group’s nine albums.

“I grew up going to festivals and listening to old-time music, and when I met Tara, she had the same love of the (old-time) music. That’s what we started playing (at festivals), and other people seem to enjoy what we play. We really consider ourselves fortunate,” Puryear said.

On the rare occasions when Donna the Buffalo isn’t playing original songs, they’ll perform arrangements of cover songs, such as a reggae version of the bluegrass tune A Man of Constant Sorrow. Puryear, who plays electric guitar and pedal steel and sings, and Nevins, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, washboard, accordion and fiddle, write all of the songs for the band. Their tunes range from country, bluegrass and folk to funk and Zydeco, and all have a foot-stomping beat.

In addition to Puryear and Nevins, the band includes Vic Stafford on drums, David McCracken on electric keyboard and organ, and Kyle Spark on electric bass.

Donna the Buffalo’s last studio album, Silverlined, features songs that are more electrified and have a greater keyboard presence than the songs on earlier CDs. Puryear said there hasn’t been a conscious effort to change styles, but “I guess we’ve progressed. If we could step back and look at it, we probably have. It’s hard to tell when you’re in it every day.”

This spring the band will go back into the studio to work on a new album, he said.

Puryear is not quite sure who came up with the name of the band, which was a mispronunciation of the group’s original name. “We were just getting going, and somebody came up with the name Dawn of the Buffalo, which sort of had the imagery of believing in the power of music or something. When we started playing, somebody mispronounced it as Donna the Buffalo. We thought it was pretty funny and started playing under that name.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

“A lot of our shows follow a similar trend. We try to get the music going, and then it spreads through the crowd; and the show becomes one piece, then it’s party time where everybody gets into it and comes together. The crowd comes to hear the band, but the band goes to the gig for the same reason. Without the band and the music, there’s no show, but without the crowd getting into the music, there’s no show,” Puryear said.

. . .    . . .    . . .

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.vnews.com/02032011/7610310.htm

Vic Stafford & Kyle Spark. Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr.

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Here’s some great excerpts fom an article about Donna the Buffalo in preview for their show at 123 Plesant Street in Morgantown, WV Jan 22.

Donna the Buffalo Takes the Stage at 123

…  … …
The roots band — which easily blends several genres from folk to reggae — has come through Morgantown for 20 years.
…According to 123 owner L.J. Giuliani, the group’s sound remains consistently infectious.
“… is heavily influenced by a zydeco swing that makes it hard not to dance to,” he said in an email. “That lends itself to a pretty high-energy show that people really love. They have toured the region extensively, so their reputation definitely proceeds them.”
… … …
Nevins said she hopes to see some familiar faces in the crowd, which isn’t an uncommon experience. The band’s fans, who call themselves The Herd, are a dedicated bunch, even starting a charitable fundraising organization, Side To Side Charities, in 2002.
“A lot of fans show up at a lot of the gigs, and we’ve gotten to know them and recognize them,” Nevins said.
Self-organized, The Herd is quite active, she said, and several websites have been created to help fans keep in touch with one another.
The band’s own website, Facebook page and Twitter account also keeps those interested up-to-date with photos and commentary from recent shows as well as any other pertinent information.
For instance, the band recently posted on its Facebook page that it will be included in “JAMerica,” a documentary and book project by Peter Conners and Denver Miller that focuses on the genre’s emergence and growth.
Nevins said band members will meet with the project’s organizers in the next two weeks to discuss details.
And that’s not all that’s on the band’s plate. In the midst of a busy touring schedule, Donna the Buffalo will head to Nashville in the next couple of months to record another album, more than two years after its latest effort “Silverlined.” And in April, Nevins’ solo album “Wood and Stone” will debut. Both albums are set for release on Sugar Hill Records.
While the band’s schedule can be hectic, Nevins said finding time to rest, get some good food on the road and take care herself helps. And a positive perspective can’t hurt either.
“Everybody is really busy doing whatever they do,” she said. “We’re no different. If you love what you do, that’s an advantage to anyone.”

Fun Herd related sites:

 

 

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