Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland County’

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.

 

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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


Read Full Post »

Acoustic Syndicate


The Lincoln Theater ~ Raleigh, NC
Friday, November 26th, 2010
 

&

The Orange Peel ~ Asheville, NC
Saturday, November 27th, 2010


Acoustic Syndicate is:
Steve McMurry: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals.
Bryon McMurry: Banjos, electric guitar, vocals.
Fitz McMurry: Drums, vocals.
Jay Sanders: Acoustic upright bass, electric bass.
Billy Cardine: Acoustic and electric dobros.
………………………….
Acoustic Syndicate was born in December, 1977 when Joe and Fitzhugh McMurry, a couple of brothers from Cleveland County, NC got together and decided to get their kids bluegrass instruments for Christmas that year. The kids were brothers Fitz Jr. and Bryon McMurry, and their cousin Steve McMurry. Fitzie, as he was known back then, got a Gibson Hummingbird guitar. Bryon got an Eagle banjo and Steve got a fiddle from Sears & Roebuck. All were excited and happy. The trio was nicknamed the “The Maple Creek Three” by Fitzhugh Sr. They learned a few songs, mostly church songs from the Methodist hymnal, and threw in a couple of country and bluegrass numbers and before long they were playing whenever they could…mostly serving at the pleasure of the parents at family gatherings and church functions. Joe and Fitzhugh, taking great delight in the results of their scheme, had unwittingly laid the foundation of what was to become Acoustic Syndicate. The boys spent the remainder of their childhood and adolescence singing, playing, living and working together on the family farm in Cleveland County.

After high school the trio drifted on separate paths for a while…moving off to college, taking jobs, getting married and so on. But the boys would always make time to get together and go see some good, live music…anything from bluegrass to punk rock. One could find them at a reggae festival on Lake Norman as easily as you could see them at the Milestone in Charlotte to see the Bad Brains, or in DC at a Grateful Dead show. In 1992 the three landed back in Cleveland County, quite by coincidence, and started playing again. In 1993 the trio added Doug Rogers to the group on upright bass. The band played their first gig as The Mint Jubilee Blues at the suggestion of a friend. After some debate on the topic, the band decided on “Acoustic Syndicate” over dinner at the old El Cancun Mexican restaurant in Shelby, NC in October of that year. Bryon actually came up with the name.

Photo by Bright Life Photography

The Band started out pretty much as any other, playing at parties, bars and alike. In 1994 the band caught the attention of Steve Metcalf of the world famous Green Acres Music Hall, in Bostic, NC. He featured them at “The Acres” on a couple of big bills like David Grisman and Bela Fleck. In 1997, the Syndicate added Nashville bassist, Jay Sanders, formerly of the Snake Oil Medicine Show to their line up to complete the Syndicate core. The rest is a matter of record. From there, with the help and connections of Steve Metcalf and the booking of Hugh Southard at Blue Mountain Artists, the band went on to tour the country extensively for the next eight years, completing six recording projects, two of them for Sugar Hill Records.

In 2001 they added long time friend and collaborator, Jeremy Saunders on saxophones. With their distinct brand of folk rock, bluegrass and reggae, coupled with their romper room, ultra high-energy, live performances they went on to be regulars at the biggest music festivals in the country, playing Bonnaroo, Farm Aid, High Sierra Music Festival, Telluride Music Festival, Merle Fest, Magnolia Fest and many more. The band played most of the A list rooms in the country and continued to tour and record until 2005.

The collapse of the record industry along with growing family needs at home forced the band to either commit to a long term tour schedule, or stop playing. The band decided to call it quits at Smilefest in May of 2005. The decision to disband would not stand. After only a two year break, the people called for the music to continue, and at the frequent and steadfast urging of Blue Mountain Artists, the Syndicate decided to play again.
From the very beginning the band resolved to play honest, good music with emphasis on musicianship and vocal harmonies. The mission was to provide good music to the masses as an alternative to the cookie cutter, self-centered industry standards of the day. Their body of original material always conveyed a positive message of coexistence, peace, conservation, sustainability and happiness. They opted to leave the sappy love songs to those who take no exception to wasting the precious time and minds of the body politic.

Acoustic Syndicate plays on with its message of peace, earth, unity and family. The Syndicate will enter the studio this winter to begin work on their 7th recording. They can be found out and about in the South East touring with their new music and their newest addition to the group, dobro player Billy Cardine.

Biography: Lyle Cordova.

Read Full Post »

Acoustic Syndicate, one of “North Carolina’s best kept secrets” is returning this holiday season for their very special traditional after Thanksgiving show at the Orange Peel on Saturday November 28th.

ASyndicateByBrightLifePhotography

Photo By Bright Life Photography

Known for its high-energy, positive sound, Acoustic Syndicate delivers a genre-defying performance, masterfully blending its eclectic influences with trademark finesse that only 17 years of cohesive teamwork can bring.

Acoustic Syndicate is the product of Cleveland County’s McMurry clan. 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.

Joining the McMurrys in 1998 on bass, Jay Sanders has become part of the family. A long time resident of Asheville, NC, his seamless blending of musical genres and driving style brought a completion to the band’s sound that continues to characterize and define. When not with Acoustic Syndicate, Jay can now be seen playing with Donna The Buffalo or his own group, The E.Normus Trio.

Formed in 1992, Acoustic Syndicate has had a long and storied career. They spent well over a dozen years on the road, playing at the original Bonnaroo, MerleFest, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Memphis in May and many many other clubs, festivals and events.

The band had the distinct honor of being invited to perform as a part of FarmAid in 2001, a significant occasion in respect to their family’s agrarian history. The McMurry family are farmers, and continue to cultivate the same land their family has for generations.

In 2005, the band decided to hang up the towel for a little while. They put their touring career on hold with a legendary five hour performance at SmileFest. In a recent interview with Frank Ruggiero from the Mountain Times in Boone, NC, Steve McMurry said “With the music industry in dire straits, the band would have had to commit to another five years of heavy touring to sustain itself. None of us really could see being gone from our families and people for that long a period of time… We had a great run of it, and thought we’d just call it quits and be regular people for a while.”

But the band’s audience felt otherwise. “People wouldn’t let us quit playing,” McMurry said. “They’d keep calling and calling, so after a couple years we decided we’d get together and see if we still knew how to play.” The results speak for themselves, and McMurry said the band is now performing without the pressures touring so often brings, and rather playing for the fun of it.

Final Song from the legendary SmileFest “last show”:

In 2009, Acoustic Syndicate was honored by being voted the 6th top artist of the last 20 years by the listeners of Western North Carolina’s WNCW radio station.

Their discography includes six official releases including two for Sugar Hill Records. Their 2004 effort “Terra Firma” was voted the number one album of the year by the listeners of WNCW, and 2005’s “Long Way Round” placed number seven. But it is not going to end there. Acoustic Syndicate plans on cutting a new record. The band will visit the studio this winter to craft an album of all-new material.

When Ruggiero asked about the music of Acoustic Syndicate, Steve McMurry replied “It’s high energy with a definite rock ’n’ roll vibe, but acoustic.”

“I don’t like getting pigeonholed, because we do so many things – bluegrass, soul, funk – whatever feels good,” McMurry said. “And the music we write is not typical of what you hear on the radio, either. We try to stay away from that mainstream cookie-cutter variety, and, honestly, I think people appreciate us doing that. I think there needs to be an alternative.”

Acoustic Syndicate’s all about making sure it’s an honest alternative, a sound that’s 100 percent its own, but steeped in a rich musical history each band member appreciates. McMurry said the band’s influences span the musical gamut, including the Grateful Dead, Little Feat, The Police, The Who, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, John Hartford and Bill Frisell.

“I know all this stuff seems weird to be lumping in on top of a bluegrass ensemble, but it works – this is the stuff we grew up listening to,” he said. “Some of the class rock ’n’ roll is there, but also the more traditional music. We grew up singing in a church, and mountain music, ballads that our parents and grandparents taught us … that comes out in there, especially with the harmonies we put together. It’s a veritable melting pot of different influences.”

McMurry’s quick to assert, though, that the music’s never been about the band, but rather for the audience.

“The material we’ve written has consistently had a positive message to it, and very little of it is centered toward the individual,” he said. “We try to send a good message in a very joyful manner, a very pleasant, uplifting manner. People recognize that, and I think that’s why they like it. It’s not about any one of us in the group; it’s about the relationship in the group and the people who listen to our music, and we’re just going to try to keep that conversation going.”

“The dynamics come from 12 years of traveling on the road together,” McMurry said. “We’ve been playing together long enough now to pretty much know what everyone else is doing. It’s more of a reflex action now than anything else. We love to get together and play together, so we’ve been very fortunate in that regard.”

————-

SHOW DETAILS:

Saturday November 28th
The Orange Peel

Ages 18+,
Doors 8pm, show 9pm
$15 adv/ $17 d.o.s
828-225-5851
101 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
http://www.theorangepeel.net

www.acousticsyndicate.com

————

“Too bad most contemporary pop music doesn’t have the organic elegance of Acoustic Syndicate.” -Vintage Guitar

“North Carolina’s best kept secret” -Star Maker Machine

Read Full Post »