Posts Tagged ‘CX-1’

Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr.

If there is one thing you can say about bass player, Jay Sanders, it is that he has never stopped following the path his heart leads him through music. With over twenty years in the saddle, he is still touring and recording with folk rock band, Acoustic Syndicate. He played four years with Americana roots rock legends Donna The Buffalo. Jay was one of the original members of the Snake Oil Medicine Show, CX-1, and one of the primary forces behind AVAS (The Acoustic Vibration Appreciation Society). He also currently leads the jazz band, The E.Normus Trio.

As a bass player, what characterizes Jay’s 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. His attention to styles and versatility are the hallmark of his playing. Sanders can either be the “rock,” holding the steady rhythmic heartbeat of a song, or take you down a sensitive melodic road of adventurous organic experimentation. The element of creativity that he admires most is collective collaboration with keen awareness.

This spring, Sanders commenced the weekly “Mindtonic Music Series” on Tuesday evenings at the Rocket Club in Asheville; he brings together various collaborative players including Andy Pond and Billy Seawell from Snake Oil Medicine show, Billy Cardine (Biscuit Burners), Mark Van Allen (Blueground Undergrass), Vic Stafford (Donna the Buffalo), Jeff Sipe, Cyril Lance, Jason Krekel (Mad Tea Party), Jason Flournoy (Larry Keel and Natural Bridge), Aaron Woody Wood and David Gans amonst many others. Each week’s collaboration results in a completely different sound than the week before, always keeping a dynamic edge. Groups are assembled in order to bridge various music scenes and to showcase the co-creations that form when unlikely musical companions of contrasting styles are set free in an open environment.

Throughout his career Sanders has had the opportunity to play with many of his heroes including Ornette Coleman, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, Bernie Worrel, Kirk Joseph, Vassar Clements, Jim Lauderdale, Tim O’Brien, Larry Keel, Hank Roberts and many more. He has studied with Reggie Wooten, E. Michael Harrington, Jerry Coker and countless inspiring individual talents over the years.

Over the years, Jay Sanders has become a sought after bass player for his versatility and attentiveness. “Anyone can play the bass, but it takes keen intuition and a good ear to become a great bass player,” he says. With so many projects in the works, it will be exciting to see what shape his next musical adventure will take.

Find out more at mindtonic.net

Mindtonic Music Series April Schedule:

April 6 – The Sufi Brothers

Jay Sanders, Woody Wood, Jason Krekel, and Mike Rhodes

The combination of Jason Krekel, Mike Rhodes and Aaron Woody Wood is a powerful force.  The Sufi Brothers used to play in Boone and Asheville years ago – leading to many legendary performances and bar dances.  This band contains the kind of chemistry that Oppenheimer couldn’t have dreamed of.

April 13 –  The Dog Talkers

Jay Sanders, Jeff Sipe, Dave McCrackin, and Cyril Lance, with special guest Ben Hovey

What can you say about the living legend that is Jeff Sipe? Long a hero with the Aquarium Rescue Unit and Leftover Salmon, it is a true honor to play with the dynamic typhoon of rhythmic drive. Whenever Jeff plays the drums, the music transcends time and space into a beautiful cosmic reality of groove. Cyril Lance is an amazing songwriter and guitarist from the Chapel Hill area who has been known for spectacular performances. What you may not know is that he is an expert in the Earth’s magnetic field, designed the new Moog Taurus pedals and can talk to dogs. David McCracken is a rare and singular musical presence, his prowess with his organ is know far and wide. These days you can find him projecting light with Donna The Buffalo when not cruising the parkway in his vintage VW bus Madame Norbert. Joining the band as a special guest is trumpeter and keyboardist Ben Hovey. Ben has been making waves with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and the Vertigo Jazz Project funkin’ it up in Asheville for a couple years now.

April 20 –

Jay Sanders, Sean Mason, and others tba

Sean Mason is the rhythmic mastermind behind the Vertigo Jazz Project.  He is also part of the glue that has been holding the Wednseday night jazz explorations at MoDaddy’s.  They will be joined by several surprise guests.  Fear not if you leave with a dizzying feeling of motion when one is stationary, it might not just be the stools.

April 27 – David Gans & Friends

Jay Sanders, David Gans, Bobby Miller, Billy Cardine, and more tba

You know him as the world’s most listened to Deadhead as the host of the Grateful Dead Hour, but did you know that David Gans is also an incredible tunesmith?  David will be supported by Virginia Dare Devils’ maestro Bobby Miller on Mandolin and handstands.  Billy Cardine will also be joining the group on the dobro.  More musicians will be announced as the day gets closer.

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by Alli Marshall in Vol. 15 / Iss. 23 on 12/31/2008

Mountain Xpress


Once, when Asheville-based musician Andy Pond passed through customs into the Montego Bay airport, a member of the Mento band (which greets tourists) noticed his banjo case. “Going to Jamaica with a musical instrument makes people treat you differently,” Pond says. He suddenly found himself picking along with the band, welcoming fellow tourists—including the cast of MTV’s “Jackass” series.

Sound crazy? In under three hours’ flight time, you could be in sunny Jamaica, rum drink in hand, warm breeze blowing off the turquoise ocean and strains of—no, not reggae or steel drums—Larry Keel welcoming you to paradise.

Unlikely but true, and all part of the annual random-but-not-without-reason Chinese New Year Celebration (CHNY), held in the Jamaican beach town of Negril. This January’s gathering, which attracts many Western N.C. residents, artists and musicians, heralds the year of the Ox.

This particular Chinese New Year event got its start as a gathering of friends that moved from country to country. The Jamaican location stuck—despite the oddity of a Chinese holiday in the Caribbean—and soon word got out, catapulting the private festivities to public ones.

“The intention of the celebration is to … build a culture of peace and community through travel, music, arts and play to set a positive tone for the New Year,” reads the event Web site. In fact, CHNY has been taking place for the better part of a decade and not only provides a full itinerary of music and fun in the sun, but also opportunities to explore Jamaican culture and contribute to social projects.

One project, close to the heart of Pond (who first came to CHNY—and Jamaica—in 2001 when his band, Snake Oil Medicine Show, was invited), is the West Haven Children’s Home for the Disabled. “We originally volunteered to play a concert for the kids,” he recalls. “It was heavy. This is an orphanage for physically-challenged children andadults.” Organizers approached the Children’s Home staff to see how CHNY attendees could help. The answer: “We don’t need money, we need humans to visit,” Pond says.

“We spent a week doing art projects and serving food,” Pond recalls. “I always wondered if we helped them or just helped our own consciousness.”

He adds, “You can impact one person for one week. I go [to Jamaica] and realize how much I actually have.”

Pond understands that for some, the visit to Jamaica is about vacation and concerts. “That’s okay,” he says. “We know it’s not comfortable to go to the orphanages and see people who have less.” CHNY’s service mark also comes in the event’s commitment to support Jamaican-owned businesses. This is especially important on the Caribbean island where international resorts bring no return to local economies. It’s worth noting that while CHNY comes with a price tag (even musicians and volunteers pay their own way), the event organizers have already done the legwork to help visitors make the most impact with their American dollars, and avoid as many hassles as possible.

Another opportunity to learn (and WNC connection) comes through the ongoing One Love Reasoning Seminars, lead by Robert Roskind, author of Rasta Heart: A Journey into One Love and Gathering of the Peacemakers, both of which deal with Jamaican elders who wish to further the Bob Marley principal of love and freedom for all humanity. Roskind is a resident of Blowing Rock, N.C., but he and his wife Julia travel frequently to Jamaica.

Pond notes that there’s a long-standing (if informal) exchange program between the Appalachian Mountains and Jamaica. “Asheville and Negril have a strange exchange of music. Before there was Snake Oil Medicine Show, there was Ras Alan,” he says. “I personally had a musical epiphany. The simplicity and the poetry of reggae touched me.”

what: Chinese New Year 2009, a week-long celebration of peace, community, the arts and travel
where: Negril, Jamaica
when: Saturday, Jan. 24-Saturday, Jan. 31 (Packages run $750-$2610, not including airfare. At press time, airfare ran around $300 for a direct flight from Charlotte, N.C. to Montego Bay, Jamaica.http://www.chny.org.)

The lineup

Chinese New Year 2009 attendees may be surprised by just how familiar the bands performing at the Jamaican resort seem. That’s because a significant portion of the roster is Asheville-based. Here’s who’s playing:
• Kenyatta “Culture” Hill: The son of ‘70’s era reggae star Joseph Hill, Jamaica-based Kenyatta carries on the family legacy. He recently released his first solo album, Pass the Torch.
• Laura Reed and Deep Pocket: Influenced by roots reaching from front woman Reed’s South African home to the American South, this Asheville-based big band blends reggae, R&B, soul and funk for a captivating and high-energy live show.
• CX-1: At first look, CX-1 is a mini-version of Snake Oil Medicine Show. In fact, the Pond Brothers’ side project (a.k.a. “The Blackhole Bluegrass Boys”) allows its members to further explore the connections between reggae and bluegrass.
• The Overtakers: This Negril-based husband and wife project (led by Ruben and Ruth Brooks) has collaborated with CX-1 for a transcendent Asheville show, as well using their music to uplift their own Jamaican community.
• Josh Phillips: Formerly of Asheville’s Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Phillips recent went solo with a the seamless debut release, Wicker. Upbeat songwriting and folky reggae-meets-hip-hop make up a not-to-be-missed Josh Phillips performance.
• Fred Tackett and Paul Barrerre: These guitarists, both of the legendary band Little Feat, have their own band known appropriately, as Paul and Fred-The Acoustic Duo. Fred is from Arkansas, Paul from California.
• Acoustic Syndicate: Formed in 1992 by brothers Bryon and Fitz McMurry and cousin Steve McMurry, the acoustic Americana outfit logged many road miles and built an impressive fan base before they quit touring in 2005. After a two-year hiatus, the core group reunited for occasional show dates.
• Larry Keel & Natural Bridge: Expert picking, fiery licks and roots music performed with modern flare underscore a Natural Bridge show. The sounds are second only Virginia-based musician Larry Keel’s penchant for creating a family feel wherever he goes.
• Snake Oil Medicine Show: This long-term Asheville collective, including George and Andy Pond, Caroline Pond, Billy Seawell, Sean Foley and, occasionally, painter Phil Cheney, has the uncanny ability to turn any crowd into a party.

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