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Posts Tagged ‘Moses Atwood’

The Honeycutters Perform Two Evenings at Isis Music Hall
w/ Rorey Carroll 5/17 & Moses Atwood 5/18

The Honeycutters are thrilled to be performing two evenings this May in their hometown of Asheville, NC at Isis Music Hall. Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at door for each night.

The Friday, May 17th concert will be a seated event with Rorey Carroll opening the show.

The Saturday, May 18th concert will be a standing room only  (minimal seating on the concert floor and in the balcony) show with Moses Atwood and his band opening the show.

THeHoneyCuttersThe Honeycutters are, at the heart, the musical collaboration of singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt and lead guitarist/ producer Peter James. While their sound has drawn comparisons to such artists as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Platt and James produce a refreshingly unique blend of Americana music that is comfortingly familiar while being entirely original.

Like so many of country music’s great duos, Platt and James have a musical chemistry that can be felt throughout the songs they play, from the sounds of their guitars to their vocal harmonies. Perhaps this is why they are frequently mentioned along with the movement to “take country music back to its roots.” Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass, and Josh Milligan on drums round out Platt’s songs and create a sound that carries just as well across the bar room as it does in a church or a music hall.

The Honeycutters launched a Kickstarter campaign over MerleFest weekend, where they performed, and it will run for forty days. The goal is set to raise $28,000, which will be earmarked for recording; the mixing & mastering of the album at the prestigious Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville; album packaging design; album pressing; distribution; publicity and radio promotion. Supporters will receive an assortment of special gifts for pledging to the campaign including a day at the studio w/ The Honeycutters; handwritten lyrics booklets to accompany the album; house concerts featuring The Honeycutters; an invitation to a either a guitar workshop w/ Peter James or a songwriting workshop w/ Amanda Anne Platt; a special edition poster; pre-release copies of the album; stickers; digital downloads and more.

The Honeycutters are currently featured in CMT’s Concrete Country series where they perform three original songs live in the heart of Downtown Nashville.  “With smart songs and a pleasant acoustic approach, the Honeycutters may become one of Americana’s next buzz bands,” said CMT Edge’s Craig Shelburne. Watch it here: http://www.cmtedge.com/2013/04/22/concrete-country-the-honeycutters/.

Last year marked a successful year for The Honeycutters, with the release of their second album, When Bitter Met Sweet, which was also fan funded. The album released at MerleFest and was one of the top ten selling albums at MerleFest 2012. The band went on to sell out the Grey Eagle in Asheville for their official CD release party, and they performed at Strawberry Music Fest in California. Highlights for the band in 2012 included opening for Guy Clark in Nashville, TN and for Jim Lauderdale in New York City.

When Bitter Met Sweet remained on the Americana Radio Chart for 11 weeks after its June release where it reached #23. It  landed at #94 in the top 100 Americana releases for 2012 and placed #4 in WNCW’s Top 100 Albums of the same year. Regionally, it was the #2 record, right behind The Avett Brothers’ The Carpenter. Asheville’s Mountain Xpress reader’s poll selected The Honeycutters as “Best Local Americana Country Band” for the second year running. The group’s first release, Irene (2009) also received positive accolades like placing #32 on WNCW’s Top 100 Chart and a listing on Iaan Hughes’ No Depression Podcast’s Top Twenty of 2009.

For a free download of a sampler of The Honeycutters’ music, visit NoiseTrade: http://bit.ly/honeycuttersntm.

SHOW DETAILS AT A GLANCE

The Honeycutters @ Isis Music Hall on Fri & Sat, May 17-18th
Each night: $12 in advance / $15 at door. (cash only)
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm, 828-575-2737 (for reservations)
743 Haywood Road Asheville, NC 28806
www.isisasheville.com

Friday, May 17th with Rorey Carroll (seated)
Seated concert with limited tablets of 4 or 8 available with dinner reservations.
There is also theater-style & balcony seating seating available on a first come first serve basis.
Friday Tickets: http://isisasheville.com/events/the-honeycutters/

Saturday, May 18th with Moses Atwood (standing room)
The Saturday concert will be a standing room only show with limited seating
Saturday Tickets:  http://isisasheville.com/events/the-honeycutters-2/

More information can be found at www.thehoneycutters.com

CLICK to Visit The Honeycutters’ Kickstarter Site!

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 “Valorie Miller is early James Taylor re-transcribed in female flesh with some very distinct differences, especially the lyrics to Haunted Hand (an’, hoo boy, you’re not going to hear that one on TV any time soon!).” —FAME

(ASHEVILLE, NC)–  The critically acclaimed North Carolina singer-songwriter and guitarist Valorie Miller will officially release her sixth album, Turtle Shell, at 9pm July 12 at BoBo Gallery at 22 Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville.

Guest musicians at the event will include Will Straughan, Mike Holstein, Justin Ray and Moses Atwood.

Miller recorded Turtle Shell in just 10 hours of studio time at Asheville’s Echo Mountain during sessions for her project as well as for fellow singer-songwriter Rupert Wates, who traveled from New York City to record his new album, At the Losers’ Motel, there with vocal support from Miller. Along with her vocal and guitar work, Turtle Shell features Mike Holstein on upright bass, Will Straughan on dobro and backing vocals, Justin Ray on trumpet (track 4) and Rupert Wates on piano (track 9). It is self-produced and was engineered at Echo Mountain by Chris Medrano.

The record is one of Miller’s strongest efforts, every track featuring her distinctive and expressive voice, expert guitar work and originality—always with a flavor that has branded her as a reviewer at No Depression Magazine put it, “pure Carolina from whisper to wail.” But she’s known far outside of the state, having gained national recognition and sharing the stage with such artists as Merle Haggard and Leon Russell. Lucinda Williams and Tony Arata (writer of multiple hits for Garth Brooks, among others) have praised her songwriting. Some say her sound is reminiscent of artists such as Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday, but these are influences. Miller’s work is strikingly original, and Turtle Shell is a case in point.

The album opens with My Acre, a song with stunning acoustic bass and engaging motion. It exudes hopefulness, curiosity and sweetness as it contrasts fear with joy, comfort with discomfort in the life and place one makes for one’s self. The song conveys great meaning in life, in dreaming about escaping one’s boundaries but feeling self-doubt and the fear of not finding forgiveness for the past. And any artist can relate to the lyric’s conveyance of digging in deep to live the life of an artist—by unwavering choice.

The title track, Turtle Shell, features excellent dobro work and vocal harmonies. One sees a turtle crossing the road not knowing the dangers of being there. The lyric explores the challenges of change, aging, and seeking redemption and forgiveness exposed out in the world versus the desire to retreat to a place of safety, like a turtle shell, although the safety may be an illusion: “Should I pray for heaven instead of hell, or just a big turtle shell?”

With great guitar picking, Peaches Ahead is an upbeat tune conveying the Southern country experience of passing roadside signs advertising produce stands in the summer and looking forward to the peaches ahead. It seems to be a metaphor for a belief that good things are ahead, but the optimism is tempered with realism and the understanding that summers—and life—are fleeting. It brings to mind the lyric of Billie Holiday’s recording of Speak Low by Ogden Nash and Kurt Weill in which Holiday sings, “Speak low when you speak love. Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon.”

Alcohol and Elephants delivers the pleasant surprise of Justin Ray’s trumpet, and it contains visionary lyrics that take the listener to the experience of ghosts in glasses of alcohol (perhaps memories of loves past that return with drink and solitude) and elephants in rooms. It reflects on human relationships and avoidance or even self-deception in the interest of keeping a love alive. “A blind eye is turned and an ether flower blooms, alcohol and elephants in the room. The heart of a good man is tested when it’s in the hands of a woman who’s a bigger bite than he can chew.”

Also very visual, Haunted Hand to speaks to desire for lasting love, a lasting touch and a fleeting opportunity to connect with an unexpected stranger who blows into a town that beforehand seemed empty. The opening line: “Met you in a ghost town tumbling like a weed, I don’t know if you want me, but you surely haunt me.” It also creatively compares the two characters of the song and a passing chance. “I am Carolina, you are Tennessee. You are a spider, and I’m a bumblebee… You better hurry up and get me, for I’m sure you’ll agree—time ain’t nothing but a miser and endings come for free.”

American Women is a witty take on a serious subject—the big-dollar ad campaigns and pop culture that make women fail to recognize their natural beauty and spend fortunes on trying to change their looks, supposedly for the better. But by whose definition? This is a protest song. “The bodies of American women are a country that’s been occupied. From bushes to eyelashes, everything gets modified,” Miller sings, concluding later in the tune that there’s nothing that needs modification. “And love is our final rebellion, intelligence our best tool. American women come home to yourselves in a mirror that’s always half-full.”

The next track, Snowflakes, moves to a jazzy feel with Mike Holstein’s fabulous bass playing and Miller’s expressive vocals and versatile performance skills. It’s another takes-you-there song about the spirit and movement of snow, how it falls on the evergreens as one sits by a warm fire inside and watches through the window.

Drunken Tattoo is country by definition—real country in the same sense that Hank Williams was. It’s about regretting a past relationship, but being hopeful about one day forgetting. It features a great guitar solo enhanced by dobro and contains a line that sums up the how long it can take to forget: “Time flies on a busted wing.”

A perfect conclusion to the album is the final track, Some Other Sky, a contemplative piece (with an unusual and imaginative piano part performed by Rupert Wates) that asks, “Did the day live up to the dream? Did the sun promise to rise, then hand you some dark alibi and light up some other sky?”

Well, maybe it lit up another sky in the song’s story, but not on the album. This one lives up to the dreams of anyone seeking a sophisticated, original and distinctively Southern album—but not by the garden-variety definition of the region. Valorie Miller is an example of what listeners can find in the real South if they look carefully off the beaten path and listen.

For more information & to listen to sample tracks from the album, visit:
www.valoriemiller.com and www.cdbaby.com/cd/valoriemiller

Show Details at a Glance:

Valorie Miller ~ CD Release Show
Bobo Gallery
Thursday, July 12, 2012
$5, 9pm

 22 N. Lexington Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
www.bobogallery.com

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Songsmith Gathering at the Porter Center in Brevard on Sat, May 19th
Features Sarah Siskind, Moses Atwood, Jill Andrews & Chris Rosser

Fundraiser for SAFE: a non-profit offering programs and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Transylvania County

Beer/Wine for sale
There will also be a Raffle and Silent Auction for SAFE!
Doors 6pm for a Happy Hour; Show 7:30pm
828-243-3496
One Brevard College Drive, Brevard, NC 28712
Purchase Tickets online

Mountain Song Productions in association with SAFE, Inc, announces the 3rd Annual Songsmith Gathering: An Evening of Song on May 19, 2012 at the Porter Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Brevard College. Doors open at 6pm for a Happy Hour and Raffle* and the show starts at 7:30pm.

2012’s Songsmith Gathering features dynamic and prolific songwriters Sarah Siskind, Moses Atwood, Jill Andrews and Chris Rosser and helps provide funding for SAFE, Inc, a non-profit offering programs and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. SAFE has served Transylvania County’s victims of domestic and sexual violence for over 25 years, averaging over 350 clients a year with programs that provide support and education for victims and their families as well as a Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Event host and producer, John Felty of Looking Glass Entertainment said, “Out of all the events that I produce, this is one of my favorites. Hosting the show and doing live interviews and dialog on stage with the artist adds spontaneity and allows the audience a more in depth appreciation for the artists, who they are as people and where the songs come from. It gives me the chance to introduce some great artists to the community in a venue that is superb for songwriters.” Felty is also the producer of Mountain Song Festival, 2013’s inaugural Mountain Song at Sea Bluegrass Cruise in February, The White Squirrel Festival and co-producer of Music on the Mountaintop.

Songsmith Gathering raffle tickets can be purchased in advance and you need not be present to win. More details about the raffle are below and tickets are available at SAFE’s Attic and Attic Interiors stores. Tickets for Songsmith Gathering are $20-$25 plus service fees and can be purchased online or at Rockin Robin Records in the college plaza. For more information call 828-243-3496 or visit theportercenter.org. Local sponsors include Comporium, Transylvania Regional Hospital, Everett Farms, UPS and Elements Spa.

About the Performers:

Sarah Siskind has been called “the best female singer/songwriter in America today” by Steve Binder, legendary TV director/producer and Nashville’s “Best New Voice” by Southern Living. She has toured with Bon Iver who also famously covered her “Lovin’s For Fools” and The Swell Season. She has written songs for Randy Travis and Alison Krauss including Grammy nominated “Simple Love.” Sarah has performed live on NPR’s Tiny Desk, World Cafe with David Dye and her music has been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered and NPR’s Song Of The Day. Her previous album “Say It Louder,” was called “a masterpiece” by Bonnie Raitt. Americana Songwriter says, “Her music is an unlikely but riveting amalgam of folk-rock and jazz fusion; her spectacular voice reveals Appalachian, Celtic and gospel influences”

Siskind’s most recent album “Novel” was released in 2011 and features her powerful voice while utilizing traditional instruments, including her beloved Gibson, as well as salt canisters, dry rice, and oatmeal boxes as a percussion section. She made a snare out of a storage box with sheets of paper taped to the top. Swept away by the muse, Sarah would continue to record the rest of the songs this way, finishing it with just one microphone, several guitars (including her beloved Gibson, Larry), and “found sounds” from her home back in Nashville. Sarah engineered, tracked and produced “Novel” with no boundaries, no one else in the room, on her own.

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Moses Atwood set sail with sophomore album “One Bright Boat” on March 30, 2012. The album was produced at Waking Studio, the new digs of Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog) in Philadelphia. Running like a current through the record is Atwood’s talent for telling a story in fleeting images and washes of sound. These aren’t ballads but modern song-sketches of places longed for and passed through, people met and parted with, time passing. His music has been compared to Van Morrison and Randy Newman.

Atwood’s sound is rootsy with a hint of blues, but with a melodic sense that is more contemporary. Atwood studied classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory and has been called gregarious and open with a powerful voice contrasted yet complimented by his instrument of choice, guitar, resonator guitar or piano. Rare is it that we find an artist who can deliver this type of emotionality. His writing and his persona seem to come from a soul that is old; making it so when you look at this talented young artist, it makes you wonder if he hasn’t experienced a previous life. Atwood is a Damariscotta, Maine native who migrated south to explore the music that inspired him. He now resides in Asheville, NC and finds the area supportive and inspirational for him as a songwriter.

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Jill Andrews has been singing her whole life: as a little girl in Johnson City, Tenn., as a camp counselor plucking out three chords on an acoustic guitar under swaying pine trees, as one-half of The Everybodyfields—and, since 2009, as an increasingly formidable singer/songwriter making her way on her own. A smart, subtle tunesmith and a gently wise songwriter, the now Nashville-based Andrews crafts beguiling, startlingly intimate songs that merge her voice with her effortless, classic-pop sensibility and keen eye for human drama.

It starts with the her voice. Before you notice the words, before you detect the gently curling melodies tugging them along, this is what hits you first: It’s warm and rich and touched with a soft Southern twang, as likely to swing down into its earthy lower register as arch upwards into a hopeful trill; it’s steady and sure but flecked with a certain weary sadness that stops you dead, draws you near. It’s beautiful. It knows something.

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Chris Rosser is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, composer and producer. As a solo singer-songwriter and as a member of the world-jazz instrumental trio Free Planet Radio, he plays a variety of instruments, including the Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitars, melodica and piano. As a producer, he has produced about forty recordings for various artists in his Asheville, NC based studio Hollow Reed Studio including Beth Wood’s “Marigolds” which he also performed on many of the tracks.

He has won songwriting contests at the Rocky Mountain Folks and Merle Watson festivals, been selected as a New Folk Finalist. With the help of a 1999 WNC Regional Artists grant, he continued his studies of Hindustani classical music and the sarod (a 25-string fretless Indian lute) with world famous Indian musician Ali Akbar Khan in San Rafael, CA. He was awarded a 2003 Songwriter/Composer fellowship from the NC Arts Council.

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*More about the TLC Raffle:

As part of Songsmith, SAFE will be hosting The TLC Raffle (Travel, Love and Comfort). Three themed packages, each valued at close to or over $1000, will be up for grabs! You do not have to be present to win and raffle tickets are available at SAFE’s Attic and Attic Interiors stores.

The Travel package includes a week vacation with Wyndham Resorts, with travel accessories from Highland Books, Moosetracks and Main Street Limited.  A camera donated by Transylvania Regional Hospital to help document the trip!

The Love package includes a couple’s massage from Elements Spa, dinner for two at Falls Landing, a night at The Inn on Main, flowers from Floressence and his and her gifts from Stones and Lowes. Top it off with wine from Toxaway Wine & Cheese in a picnic tote and movie tickets to the Co-Ed!

The Comforts of Home package is headlined by a $400 Kaelee Denise photo sitting for the family, catered dinner for 8 with Will Ecker of TRH, interior and exterior design consultation by Camarilla Design and Fry Nursery, a full house cleaning from Edna Hensley and more outdoor goodies from Whistlin’ Dixie.  Raffle tickets for these amazing packages will be available for sale during the Songsmith Gathering as well as prior to the event during the happy hour.

For more information about Songsmith Gathering call 828-243-3496 or visit theportercenter.org.

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Moses Atwood performing live on WNCW’s Local Color at Landslide Studio in Asheville, NC.

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The Honeycutters Release NEW Album “When Bitter Met Sweet”

The Grey Eagle
Saturday, May 5th
Moses Atwood Opens
Doors 7pm, Show starts at 8pm
$8 adv/ $10 at door
185 Clingman Ave. 28801
828-232-5800

In a world that is becoming increasingly digitalized and impersonal, the Honeycutters are building a reputation based on live performance and songs that tend to stick with you. Fitting into Americana realm, Mountain Xpress’s Alli Marshall calls The Honeycutters’ sound, “Old school country in the truest sense… free of twang and ten-gallon hats but full of real emotion, family history, quick wit and strong liquor.”

In an interview with the Folk to Folk Blog, Amanda says that part of the Honeycutters appeal is that their sound harkens back to simpler, more honest times. “In times like these, people want something real,” she said. “They’re just really craving something that’s just going to connect them to that basic human pool of emotion.”

The Honeycutters are excited to introduce their second full length studio release, When Bitter Met Sweet on June 5th, 2012. They are hosting their Asheville CD release show at the Grey Eagle on Saturday, May 5th. Copies of the album will be available at the show. Moses Atwood opens the show, which starts at 8pm sharp. The Honeycutters will also be making an appearance on WNCW’s Studio B during the 11 o’clock AM hour on Thursday, May 3rd… tune in at http://wncw.org.

Like their first release, Irene, When Bitter Met Sweet features singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, who has been hailed as “one of the best songwriters coming out of WNC these days” by WNCW programming director Martin Anderson. Peter James accompanies her on lead and rhythm guitar as well as harmony vocals. They are backed up by Tal Taylor’s signature mandolin playing, Ian Harrod on bass, and Jon Ashley on drums creating an original brand of Americana that has proved equally appealing to both the musician and the music lover, the country and the city, and the old and the young.

Platt’s songs are shaped by a raw honesty that comes straight from the heart and emits a sort of melancholy happiness. The album features 11 tracks that touch upon childhood and loss of innocence, finding a sense of belonging and one’s voice, truth, love and patience, traveling and embarking on new life-journeys (and the fears that go along with these), and the understanding that comes about when life’s circumstances come full circle.

The title track, “When Bitter Met Sweet” is a song about the end of love looking back at the beginning.  Platt says, “I think it’s important not to lose sight of what was good about something even if it is ending.” “For Eleanora,” was inspired after reading a biography of Billie Holiday and reflects on a similar thought of polarities that, “It seems like so often the partners of extreme talent and specialness are self-destruction and doubt.”

The song “90 Miles (The Tennessee Song)” is featured on Blue Ridge Outdoors Trailmix for 2012 Merlefest Artists. It was written after her first trip to International Folk Alliance in 2010, an event that can be quite overwhelming at first. An admitted introvert, Amanda was faced with the challenges of how to be heard amongst all of the activity of events such as these. And make herself heard is exactly what she went on to do; becoming a finalist at 2011 Merlefest’s Chris Austin songwriting contest for her song song “Little Bird” (unrecorded). She was asked to return as a guest judge for the contest, along with Jim Lauderdale, for the 2012 Merlefest (Where The Honeycutters will also be performing a few sets this year). The same song won first place in the Great Lakes Song Contest in February 2012.

“All I Got, ” is a song Amanda calls, “a love song I wrote a long, long time ago, before I had actually ever been in love” and was selected for WNCW’s 2010 Crowd Around the Mic Vol. 14.

“Fancy Car” features Platt’s father on harmonica. He also sits in on “Not Over Yet”  which she says that when she sings it she imagines a child leaving home for the first time, wanting freedom but scared of what it might cost.

When Bitter Met Sweet was co-produced by Amanda and Peter with the assistance of Aaron Price, and was recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC after securing funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Along with the full band, many special guests make appearances on the album including Matt Smith (pedal steel and dobro), Nicky Sanders (fiddle), Mark Platt (harmonica), Je Widenhouse (coronet), and on drums Mike Rhodes and Richard Foulk and for various songs. The album was engineered (and partially mixed) by Jon Ashley with the assistance of Julian Dreyer, mixed by John Keane and mastered by Dave Harris at Studio B Mastering in Charlotte, NC.

Their first full length studio release Irene, released in May 2009, has landed them in Ian Hughes’ NoDepression Podcast’s Top 20 of 2009, Fret Knot Radio Hour’s “Nine you need to know from ’09”, and #32 in WNCW’s listener voted Top 100 of 2009.

Since putting out Irene the Honeycutters have shared the stage with such Americana favorites as Tony Rice, The Greencards, Jill Andrews, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Donna the Buffalo, and The Seldom Scene.  They have been voted Western North Carolina’s favorite local Americana act (2011 Mountain Xpress reader’s poll) and delighted audiences from upstate New York to Seattle, Washington. They are currently touring around the release of When Bitter Met Sweet.

Stay tuned to thehoneycutters.com for more news about the album and their tour.

What the Press is saying about The Honeycutters:

“I can see a day when her name is mentioned alongside Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier and Gillian Welch.  She’s just that good.” —The Real Southern

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“They’ve got a sound as classic as grits… I thought of those country songs that play on those diner jukeboxes you see in movies.” –Charlotte’s Creative Loafing

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“Amanda Platt’s striking, timeless vocals form the cornerstone of her often heart-wrenching songs, while producer Pete James’ understated guitar and gentle harmonies round out the duo’s saccharine-sweet mix.” –Dane Smith, Mountain Xpress

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“Amanda’s lyrics are both sardonic and sweet, which adds a contemporary element to their country twanged Americana sound [which] is more influenced by the harmonic tendencies of country singers like Johnny Cash and June Carter” —Folk to Folk Blog.

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“I recommend the Honeycutters not only because they’re some of the best my hometown of Asheville, NC, has to offer. Their music embodies a very catchy, accessible, optimistic sort of spirit so frequently lacking in folk circles (where brooding, hyper-analytical music reigns supreme). What’s more, like Carolina Story, they’re a great band replete with tasty harmonies.” –Kim Ruehl, Folk Music About.com

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“If anyone can make this old metalhead want to whip out the cowboy boots and hat, order a couple of Budweisers and spin my woman around the dance floor, the Honeycutters can.” –Brent Fleury, Bold Life Magazine

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“Amanda’s voice sings like Carolina farmlands after a rainstorm” –Harvey Robinson, Monkeywhale productions

www.thehoneycutters.com

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Moses Atwood CD Release

Co-bill with Johnson’s Crossroad

Friday, March 30th
$10, Doors is 9:30 / Show is at 10pm
Lexington Ave Brewery
39 North Lexington Avenue
Asheville, 28801
(828) 252-0212

Asheville’s Moses Atwood will be teaming up with Johnson’s Crossroad for a Co-Bill at the Lexington Ave. Brewery on Friday, March 30th.

Moses will be celebrating the release of his NEW album One Bright Boat. Joining Moses for his set will be Dave Mack on bass, Jacob Baumann on Drums, Evan Martin on Guitar, and other special guests! Moses will also be sitting in with Johnson’s Crossroad (JXR) for a song or two.

Johnson’s Crossroad has a lot in store this year and are going to be heading back in the studio to record a 3rd album. Their 2011 release Mockingbird was voted #7 on WNCW’s Top 20 Regional Albums! Having played around 140 shows in 2011, they continue on their travels and are performing Merlefest for the 3rd year in a row and were added to the John Hartford Memorial Fest in IN and Band Lands Bluegrass in WV in 2012!

***     *****     ***

Moses Atwood sets sail with sophomore effort, One Bright Boat
It’s been four years since singer/songwriter Moses Atwood (also known for his work with Johnson’s Crossroad and The Overflow Jug Band) released his self-titled debut. That was in 2008; suddenly last fall Atwood decided it was time to put together his new collection of songs, One Bright Boat. So he rounded up a group of musicians and headed to Waking Studio, the new digs of Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog) in Philadelphia. There, Atwood and company knocked out the nine tracks in a mere week. The songs, he says, were culled from the years since his first album. While some date back to when he lived in Maine, most were written in North Carolina over the last few years.

Atwood choose Waking Studio because he wanted to take his musicians (including Michael Libramento of Floating Action) out of their routines. And it was time: “I’d found so many ways of circumventing the actual making of the record that I was like, ‘book the dates, get the people and do it.'” A week is a push, but, Atwood says, “Limitations are a really valuable thing in any artistic process — how many limitations and how you impose them is the trick.”

One Bright Boat doesn’t sound pressured or hurried. It opens with rollicking piano, the easy jingle of tambourine and tasteful flourishes of guitar. Atwood’s voice is what colors in the picture, relaxed and rich, rising effortlessly in a warm baritone.

“I’m tired of being the sad man, tired of all the sad songs. I’m tired of living my life like I’ve done something wrong,” he imparts on the spirit-lifting, cloud- parting title track.

If Atwood’s first record paid homage to his troubadour heroes (Woody Guthrie, Utah Phillips), One Bright Boat is less road-weary and more refined as Atwood leaves the minstrel role for that of bandleader in the style of Van Morrison and Randy Newman.

Running like a current through the record is Atwood’s talent for telling a story in fleeting images and washes of sound. These aren’t ballads but modern song-sketches of places longed for and passed through, people met and parted with, time passing. There’s space on each track — an easy flow of tides and waltzes (“California”), of pedal steel accents and Atwood’s comfortable flannel- and-bourbon vocal polished with (on “At Last”) gospel and brass.

“In recording, I feel like you’re recreating or capturing a moment in time,” says Atwood. “With modern recording you’re at constant great risk of losing the value of the moment, losing the essence of what you’ve got going on. But if you go all for capturing the moment, you don’t have a record, you just have a live performance. There’s a balance that the best records achieve.”

For a young artist, Atwood comes admirably close to that balance. It’s an album that rings both fresh and familiar, of-a-time and timeless. With One Bright Boat, Atwood’s ship comes in.

***          *****          ***

Johnson’s Crossroad has been described by friends and fans as everything from “Appalachian Soul” to “Hillbilly Metal.”

The band blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, and Appalachian Old Time for a sound that The Daily Times’ Steve Wildsmith calls “both mournful and jubilant, breezy and graveyard serious.”  He goes on to comment that frontman Paul Johnson’s voice “barely rises above a growl, but he stretches that sound to encompass the experience of a train-hopping hobo and the wisdom of an old man recalling loves lost and wars fought from the porch of a backwoods cabin.”

Their 2011 album Mockingbird puts songwriter Paul Johnson in line with names like Guy Clark or Zac Brown and his powerful voice evokes memories of folk stars like Taj Mahal or Burl Ives. The Wilmington Star News describes, “It’s gruff and easygoing, like a mix of Tom Waits and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem.“  AmericanaUKexclaims, “With ‘Mockingbird’ Johnson’s Crossroad seem to have just proved themselves to be one of the finest Roots rockers around right now.” The album was voted the #7 Regional albums of 2012 by WNCW!

The sincerity of Johnson’s songs and simplicity of his lyrics make you want to pour a brew, put your feet up or head to the hills. Asheville’s Bold Life call the band a “treat to see live” and says that, “Paul Johnson has a knack for creating powerful visuals with straightforward lyrics.” Dobro, mandolin and fiddle back up Johnson’s clean lyrics on some, other times its simple finger picking to a folksong.

“I like to keep the words simple,” said Paul Johnson. “I try and follow Hank Williams as much as possible, let the words tell the story and the music back it up,” Johnson said.  His inspiration is simple yet intently focused. “I was born in the mountains of West Virginia, I’ve always been in the mountains all my life,” said Johnson who now calls Asheville, NC home.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do, travel around and pick guitar,” said Johnson, who writes the majority of the songs for Johnson’s Crossroad. Watching his back is mandolin player Keith Minguez, a strong friendship at the core of the group.

“In 1998 I met Paul and I saw John Hartford on my first visit to MerleFest, it was life changing” said Minguez.  Then in 2004 he had enough, “I was 30, living in Florida, drinking with my dad’s buddies and they all said the same thing, ‘drink scotch and water and never stop chasing your dream.’”  He called Paul and in 13 hours was at his door with mandolin in hand.  “If Keith wasn’t around nothing would get done,” laughed Johnson. Friends Corey Lee McQuade (Dobro, banjo, harmonies) and Moses Atwood (keyboard, Dobro, harmonies) sit in on variety of gigs, and often other friends join in support Johnson’s constant search for great sound.

The band is returning to Blue Ridge Big Sky Music Studio (appropriately topping a peak above Moravian Falls, NC) to record their 3rd album in 2012.  Who could resist after the experience they had last time around?  It’s where they’re comfortable, it’s where everything is comfortable.  Making music with friends, fans and family. At the studio, it’s a drive to the county line to get a little cell reception and distraction is not so digital, just were they need to be. They are looking for an early 2013 release and will be spending time over the summer and fall getting the next one just right, working again with John Adair as Engineer and Producer.

Since their first album Blood in Black and White they’ve won spots at national events like Merlefest, Floyd Fest, Music City Roots and Bristol Rhythm and Roots, with tours to the Northeast and Midwest that continue throughout 2012. Years playing the road to empty rooms have passed. Johnson’s Crossroad travels on with over 150 shows and a world of mountains ahead to climb.

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Check out this video of Moses with JXR performing the song “Louisiana” that is on One Bright Boat.

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Join us for, “I LIKE IT WILD”, Asheville’s night of celebration for people who love and protect the world’s forests. Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Asheville Horns, and Moses Atwood are all set to play a benefit for Environmental Paper Network, on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at the Asheville Music Hall. There will be some incredible raffle prizes as well including local bands’ cd’s, a Skate PhD skate board, gift certificates to restaurants, massage, guided hikes, Lazoom, Ghost Tours, beautiful artwork and jewelry, and more!
The Environmental Paper Network is an international coalition of advocacy groups working together to change what’s in your paper.  Based in Asheville, they working to leverage the purchasing power of the world’s biggest brands, motivating them with both carrots and sticks, to buy paper products that are more responsible and sustainable for people and for our planet.  Groups like Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC and the National Wildlife Federation are part of the Environmental Paper Network.  Their Network also includes local groups doing amazing work right here in town, like the Dogwood Alliance, Clean Water for North Carolina, and Wild South.

Our community here in Asheville is full of people who are members of national and local conservation organizations and who by their donations and actions have been part of asking the world’s biggest brands by asking, “What’s In Your Paper?”  I Like It Wild is a meet-up and celebration of all that we have accomplished together to change the world. It’s also an opportunity to build community and meet new people, because right now there’s urgent work to be done to fight climate change and stop deforestation.

“I hope everyone who is a member of an environmental group, whether its Greenpeace, NRDC, the National Wildlife Federation, or local groups like Dogwood Alliance and Wild South, or anyone who loves to protect the environment will come out to WILD.” says local musician Josh Phillips. “It’s going to be extremely amazing event, with fun and radical people, great raffle prizes donated by local businesses, some of Asheville’s most talented musicians and a cool, multimedia rainforest theme.”

2012 is a year of real urgency, there’s only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and destructive paper production practices are driving them to extinction.  The world is rallying to save endangered species and places on the verge of disappearing forever, and Asheville is a central headquarters of that global movement key part of that organizing.

We are very lucky to have the talents of some incredible musicians, Moses Atwood and his band, The Asheville Horns and Josh Phillips Folk Festival to help us party properly, so please come out and celebrate Earth Day, celebrate the world’s forests, hang out with people who want to protect them and have a ridiculous amount of fun.  Come out and support the work of your favorite environmentalists while getting down to the sweet sounds!

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Details at a Glance:

“I Like It Wild!”
Wednesday, April 18th
Asheville Music Hall

Featuring Music by:
Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Asheville Horns, Moses Atwood and his Band

All Ages
Doors at 8pm, Music at 9pm
$10 for admission, $5 and $10 raffle tickets
31 Patton Avenue
Asheville NC 28801

www.environmentalpaper.org

Find the event on Facebook

Learn more about Environmental Paper Network’s mission at: environmentalpaper.org

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