Posts Tagged ‘National’

Dreamspider Publicity & Events Services:
Dreamspider has a diverse clientele and values uniqueness with a funky edge in music, art, theatre, cirques, & conscious businesses.


National Tour & Event Publicity:
One of the key components to effective publicity is personal outreach to the media. It is connecting with people in a positive way that leads to a memorable experience so that a relationship is formed. Reaching out to newspapers, magazines, radio, blogs, and TV is a great way to reach the public via a great write-up or interview, and also to really connect with the folks that are out on the front lines making it happen. Dreamspider will help you by creating fertile grounds for feature articles, studio sessions, interviews, and ticket giveaways.

Event Management:
Planning major events requires extreme attention to detail; fun and excitement are our specialty, but most important is safety. Dreamspider can help in many ways. Let us know if you need help in artist acquisition, stage management, administration, site operations, art vending coordination, food vending coordination, sponsorships, publicity, staff recruitment, volunteer coordination, and event greening.

Online Social Networking:
As we are all seeing, social networking is quickly becoming a main source of information and communication for bands, businesses and all types of people. Social networks offer a way to get to know the small fun details of those you network with on a daily basis. There is an art and design to effectively use these tools to reach people. Dreamspider can help with setup, layout, outreach & upkeep of your social networks. I can also provide mentorship on how to create the most effective use of your social media tools.

Promotional Materials:
All great performers, businesses, and events need great promo items. Dreamspider can coordinate with graphic designers, printers, and merchandisers to ensure quality designs at an affordable rate.

Database Creation:
Having an information matrix is extremely important to staying organized and keeping on track. Dreamspider can help to set up and maintain databases for more efficiency in self management for performers, businesses, and events.

This brings us back to connecting with real people. Businesses sponsor events and people that they care about. It is important to remember to reach out to those who have a vested interest in what you are planning, people that might want more exposure to your target audience. Matching up appropriate sponsors helps to build a strong community of supporters for various events. Having the right sponsors shows that you value what you do.

Volunteer Outreach:
All events and bands need a little extra hand sometimes. One way to find great volunteers to to start an outreach campaign through word of mouth, online resources, newspapers, and radio stations. Volunteering is a fun way to meet new people, network, help someone out, and maybe pick up a cool new CD or T-shirt. Volunteer outreach is easy to organize through online registration and scheduling.

Dreamspider works closely with event planners and performers to set up a system for marketing themselves and is available to look over any documents, forms, images and plans necessary for one to do their own publicity.

Sometimes you just want to buy an ad… Dreamspider can help you attain a great graphic designer, edit content, and coordinate with the appropriate media outlets.

These things just don’t happen by themselves, so contact Dreamspider Publicity & Events today!

You can also find Dreamspider on Facebook and Twitter!

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Article written by TJ Boley, music writer in Southern West Virgina

The folks at Rivermen Whitewater are rather proud of their new facility perched atop the New River George on Ames Heights Road. If you would like proof of their pride, just stop by and take a look around. You will soon be accosted by a friendly staff member who will more than likely insist on showing you what they have to offer. If you run into staff member Jim Heffernan as I did, your look around might take awhile.

Heffernan is quick to point out that Rivermen is “so much more than just a whitewater rafting company. Of course we offer the full gambit of whitewater experiences, but with the new facility, we have become a resort destination that a family, group, or individual could spend an entire week or more enjoying.” And if one partook of every activity that the New River Gorge Adventure Center (made up of Rivermen, Class VI, and Mountain River Tours) has to offer, it may well take more than a week.

And Heffernan has more. “Our guests can camp, stay in rustic cabins, or sleep in top of the line resort quality accommodations, ” he points out. “ And they can choose between three great restaurants on site, the newest being Bufflers Barbeque. We also have a masseuse on staff, and you can’t forget the Treetop Canopy Tour.”

The Tree Top Canopy Tour starts at the Rivermen facility, and after a short hike and a brief training period, you soon are zip lining through the magnificent foliage of the New River Gorge, under the watchful eyes of not one, but two highly trained guides. Jim points out that the Canopy Tour was recently featured in Popular Mechanics Magazine.

After another long list of activities too great to cover here in depth, Mr. Heffernan offers a nice segue to the real reason for my visit. I’m there to discuss this Sunday’s upcoming live show featuring Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. Jim leads me right to it.

“One of the things of which we are most proud,” Heffernan says, “is our 10,000 square foot entertainment area that features a game room, a lighted volleyball court, a viewing area for our in-house rafting videos, and a performance stage where we feature local and national artists.” And with that, we are at the crux of the matter, for Larry Keel and Natural Bridge are of the latter group, and truly have a national following. For those that follow acoustic Roots Music, Americana, or bluegrass, Keel and his band are a big deal, and the buzz around the area has been growing louder by the day since the gig was announced.

Photo By Jon C Hencock taken at the International Newgrass Festival

Photo By Jon C Hencock taken at the International Newgrass Festival

Larry Keel, internationally recognized as one of the foremost guitarists in the business, was equally enthused about his visit to the Gorge in a telephone interview on Tuesday. His travels have brought him from his native Virginia to our mountains many times, and he indicated a fondness for our locality in his conversation. But, as much as he enjoys the area, it is the crowd and the music that drive him in his pursuit of musical excellence.

Having grown up with a father playing the banjo and a brother playing the guitar, it was a natural thing for him to listen to Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, but he soon branched out in his musical tastes, and started listening to pop acts, as well as the early beat-box master Grandmaster Flash, and ranging afield to Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and many classical and jazz artists. And he acknowledges that these influences have a bearing on his style of music.

“I’m influenced by all of the music I like, and the places I’ve been, and the people I have met,” Keel commented. “I hear different kinds of music in my head, and I need to get it out there.” And perhaps different is the best way of describing his sound, without trying to pigeonhole him into a certain category. And once you hear Keel sing, you will realize that he is far from being like anyone else you have ever heard.

Some might argue that Keel is a bluegrass musician, simply because he plays music that is identified with bluegrass, performs it on bluegrass instruments, and is frequently seen performing at bluegrass festivals. But there is a difference in his music that has to be heard to be recognized. And that difference is first of all found in his voice. If bluegrass is known as the “High, Lonesome Sound,” Keel might be disqualified from bluegrass immediately, as his voice is dark and smoky, soulful and of a far lower register than that of most bluegrass singers. But he shares the commonality of great singers in that, like all great voices, he has the ability to make the joy and the sorrow come out in his songs.

Add to the voice the fact that he is said to be by some the greatest flat-picking guitarist alive, and you have a truly incredible musical experience. Throw in mandolinist Mark Shimick and banjoist Jason Flournoy, along with Jenny Keel, Larry’s wife, on bass, and things just seem to come together. And coming together is the goal, according to Mr. Keel.

“We hope,” says Keel, “to achieve a commonness between everyone that listens to our music, and let the magic of the music take over the moment and bring everyone together. We want them to be pulled into the music.”

This Sunday evening at 8:00 no doubt the music of Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, along with the beautiful setting of the Rivermen Resort will bring out the magic of the evening, and it will be an event not to be missed.

For tickets to Sunday’s show, or more information about Rivermen, visit www.rivermen.com, or call 800-545-7238, and for more information on Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, visit www.larrykeel.com .

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By Carol Motsinger • August 30, 2009 12:15 AM
Asheville Citizen Times Sunday Edition

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop.  At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

ASHEVILLE — For Frank Bloom, directing the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) is more than a day job. The festival, which is taking over a few blocks downtown Sept. 6, is one of the reasons he moved to Asheville.

Before making the permanent move, Bloom traveled from his home in Charlotte to help with the sound for the festival’s stages. One group turned out to be a sound engineer’s nightmare: There were more people than square footage on the stage. The group of dancers and drummers had never performed together.

“They weren’t even a band,” Bloom said. “They were more like an experiment.” But despite Bloom’s handwringing, the performance went off without a hitch.

“It was really cool…it was a little welcome to Asheville,” Bloom said. “It was one of those experiences that was a decision-maker for me moving here.”

Four years later, Bloom is no longer behind the sound board; he’s up front at the helm of the 8th annual event celebrating all things arts, music and Asheville. The free festival will fill three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.

And in a lot of ways, Bloom’s new gig isn’t too far removed from the afternoon he made sure the sounds of that 20-person band got the crowd dancing. “It’s organized chaos,” Erin Scholze, who booked the bands, said of the planning process.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

But organized it is. In just one day, the festival will showcase more than 30 bands and 70 artists. Not to mention a kids area, a circus side show, street performers, a new stage in the La Zoom purple bus and whatever other spontaneous acts of creativity decide to show up.

“It’s a showcase,” Scholze said. “For us, it’s really about maxing it out and sensory overload.”

Forget the stages: Scholze’s favorite part of the festival is the “fabulously freaky” characters who make up the crowd.

“I always love seeing the people in costumes,” she said. “You might see the person who just served you at Zambra walking around in this random costume.”

“That’s the spirit of LAAFF…it’s very eye-opening,” she added.

Bloom’s primary goal this year “was to continue the spirit and the atmosphere of the festival,” he said. And what is that spirit? It’s celebrating everything that makes up Asheville: Local art, food and beer, he said.

“This has a party atmosphere,” he said. “We definitely want to keep that identity.”

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival.  A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

That certainly doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes. “In eight years, the area around the festival has definitely changed,” he said. “The festival celebrates that indie spirit that was the beginning of the re-birth of downtown.”

As the city center has flourished, so has the festival. When Scholze started working with LAAFF in its second year, some 3,000 people came out to the party. The event now draws 12,000 people downtown, she said.

Festival organizers also try to “integrate the evolution” of Asheville, Bloom said. For instance, they will be serving six local beers instead of just one, as they have in previous years. When the festival started, Asheville wasn’t known as a beer city, Bloom said.

There will be some subtractions this year as well. Michael Mooney will not be attempting to ride the world’s tallest bike this year, a stunt that’s so fundamental to the festival that it’s part of the official poster. They also won’t paint a donated car this year, Bloom said. But bicycling jousting (another Mooney original and crowd favorite) is still planned and they have some new surprises Bloom wanted to keep hush-hush.

But the most unique part of the festival may not be the break-dancing pirate or the kooky couple hula-hooping to funky beats. What makes this event special is the personal investment of the people who volunteer their time to make it happen, Scholze said.

“The community really takes ownership of it,” she said.

The same folks show up year after year. “It’s like a big family reunion,” Scholze added.

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival performers
Blue Rags, Dehlia Low, Eymarel, Hunab Kru, Jen and the Juice, Mad Tea Party, Melmacpink, Roberto Hess, Swayback Sisters, tHE POLES, U-N-I verse, Zabumba!. Asheville Dance Revolution, Baraka Mundi, Blackjack, Brushfire Stankgrass, Ceol Leinn, Galen Kipar Project, Modo, Now You See Them, Runaway Circus and Loose Caboose, Taylor Martin, The Chx, Velvet Truck Stop, Angi West, Arundas, Dip-N-Flip E.Normus Trio, Lulo, Pierce Edens, Pilgrim, Poetix Vanguard, Secret B-Sides, Ash Devine w/ Quetzal, Hillbillionaire$, La Feral Zoom: Rollin’ Barks of Laughter, LEAF in Schools and Streets: Youth at Jazz, Oso Rey, as well as a bluegrass jam, celtic jam and old-time jam.

LAAFF Performers Schedule

8th Annual Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.
Three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass.
For more
about LAAFF 2009 www.lexfestasheville.com
about Arts 2 People www.arts2people.org

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Hollywood anyone?? Larry Keel has been working alot these days writing new songs, learning banjo and now we add movie extra. Larry has been working on the set for the movie ‘The Man They Couldn’t Hang’ in which Larry plays the Head Warder at the prison in which John Lee, the main character, is kept and to be hung. He also does 2 songs in the movie. They will likely have the film finished by sept so will hopefully have it for sale/screening at Watermelon Park.

From Larry ” the movie shoot was a learning experience.. being the movie buff that I am, It was so fascinating to see how it all goes down.. the director said I did excellent.. I’ll take his word for it.. Also Stephanie Embrey was cast as an extra with some great close up shots of her as well..it was awesome shooting some scenes with her and also to do some scenes with Danny Kniceley as well…

So watch out down the road for some more info on the movie and who knows maybe you will be seeing Larry on ‘Hollywood Minute’.

Larry Keel performs at the Hollow Honey Hoot 3 in Sperryville, Virginia on Saturday, August 15th.

Larry Keel as Head Warder in "The Man They Couldn't Hang"

John “Babbacombe” Lee, aka The Man They Couldn’t Hang- Film Wraps in Rappahannock

By John Hallberg, film producer and organizer of the Hollow Honey Hoot 3

Perhaps some folks in the county were curious about an item on the Washington Town Council’s meeting agenda some weeks back about a “film company wanting to use the Town Hall for a set.” Well, many of my friends and people on Rappnet know that I, John Hallberg et al, have been busy working on an independent film for some months now.

The subject matter is the quite compelling case of one John “Babbacombe” Lee, aka The Man They Couldn’t Hang. The case took place over in the Devon area of England in 1884 and revolves around Lee and a gruesome murder which took place at his employer’s estate. John was a young man of 20 and convicted of the crime on mostly circumstantial evidence. His employer, the wealthy and renowned Madam, had many social ties in high places, including royalty. It was therefore imperative that her killer be brought to justice. The case brought worldwide notoriety simply for the senseless brutality (throat slashed, etc.) but also for John’s under-representation and seemingly odd demeanor (smiling). He became known as “the killer from Babbacombe,” or “Babbacombe Lee.”

As fate would have it, the salient part of the case and the occurrence that would seal the case in history is the “Hanging” that was attempted some weeks after the trial. (Before I continue I’ll just say that this was the case that caused the gallows to be standardized in England (1884) . . . you can likely guess the punchline.) The hastily erected gallows (likely built by prison labor) failed three times in its appointed duty, leaving Lee dangling before the jaws of death. In Edwardian England, the law held that a fourth attempt could not be made, and the prisoner remanded to the state for life or as long as seen fit.

Much has been made of the conditions of the gallows prior to the attempted execution. Rain had soaked the device the night before and it had been some time since it was used last. Speculation has always centered around the trap door and a small, one-eighth-inch ledge that protruded and perhaps helped hold it up. Others speculated that the additional weight of the warders, chaplain, executioner and others might have caused the malfunction. (It was tried between attempts with a rock in the place of the accused and worked fine). Still others have postulated more sinister happenings — it is said the gallows were “rigged” by one of many speculated-upon entities. Or that perhaps the gallows were not erected properly by sympathetic prisoners. (Lee always maintained his innocence.) Or that the executioner (James Barry, one of the most famous) was bribed to alter the outcome by the real guilty party, who did not want an innocent man hung. Or is it to be believed that, as John Lee maintained, “I trust in my Lord and he knows I am innocent.”

Lee became famous after finally being let out of prison some 23 years after his condemnation (1884-1907). He wrote his autobiography which was a world-wide publication and asserted that he had a prophetic dream the night before the execution with major religious overtones in which God assured him that no harm would be done to him. It is actually documented that he spoke of this dream to the warders as they woke him and brought him to the gallows. Spooky stuff.

Fast-forward to the early 1970s and a folk-rock band some of you may be familiar with — Fairport Convention — has recently hired England’s most famous fiddler, David Swarbrick. The band already was a quasi-supergroup, having landed Sandy Denny as their lead singer and having a young Richard Thompson as their lead guitarist. Anyway “Swarb,” as he is known, was in a junk shop looking at stuff and came across lots of old clippings regarding the Lee case. It seemed quite the subject matter for a concept record, and by 1971 Fairport released “Babbacombe Lee,” I believe their sixth in an amazing discography — any English geezer will tell you they are the be-all end-all . . . a folk tree with deep roots indeed. The record is actually one of my favorites of theirs and goes from sea shanty to pop-rock to dreamy Moody Blues/Floyd-like passages.

Another fast-forward to last fall, when I closed down the Smokehouse Winery after nearly 10 years. Many great memories and I thank all of the folks who’ve been here over the years. Anyway, at last year’s annual Hootenanny here, I met some folks from L.A. doing a documentary. They were nice folks (Todd, Ekin, Hyunda) and I developed a rapport with them such that one of the ideas I’ve been thinking of for many years — putting together an indie film about this subject — came up in a conversation.

I’m not sure if it was just the zeitgeist of the moment, but knowing the case so well, I allowed myself to ponder it more seriously. There had only ever been one movie made about John Lee, one done in 1911 shortly after his release. It was redone in the early ’20s and was critically panned but was very successful because of the timeliness/interest in the case. How could the big boys in Hollywood ever have missed such a popular and compelling story? Should I even allow myself to “go there?”

Well, I guess the first stage was in putting together the script; I’ve done some writing for various publications/papers over the years . . . could I do this story justice? Being that there were so many copies of John Lee’s bio I was able to get my hands on one very aged paperback from 1908. Last year I read every page with interest, noting the 100 years in between, in an attempt to get into Lee’s head — and also to soak in other things I’ve learned about the case (Fairport’s take on it included). Something started to click and I found I could manufacture a script rather easily. I would learn later that adhering to it during shooting is another thing altogether.

Last winter saw a rush of activity/production meetings as I allowed myself to think “I’m actually gonna make this film.” I’m still learning that in making an independent film you have to do things incredibly smart. Very much a challenge in this economy and for this industry. That being the case, many of the duties that a big budget film employs specific folks for falls on me or my assistants. Initial casting was done with an eye toward having talented people from the county — let’s be serious, there are a lot of ‘em. I also started to cast out further for actors; shockingly, many responded, some with lots of experience who actually liked my script. I got lucky to land three serious actors from Virginia/North Carolina who agreed to work on spec. Brandon Wilson is an actor from Warrenton who has done many projects, including being on “Law & Order.” J.C. Lira is a script writer (I originally spoke with him about looking at the script critically) and actor from Richmond who has been in several films, and John Sexton is a fine actor from Charlotte.

The Rappahannock contingent includes some outstanding suspects you’d expect — Howard Coon, Maureen Day et al — but also some fine surprises: Steve Beatty, Morgan Cloud and others. There is a musical element to the film as well. My friend and musical star Larry Keel is doing both a speaking cameo and a couple of short jams. My band, the Merkles, will play two of Fairport’s songs from their record (still working on the legals of that) and Manabu Nagase will be our sound/score man, which insures incredible quality.

Picture 192

Finding a cameraman was actually the toughest and biggest leap to “I’m actually doing this.” I did a lot of research and found out what those guys make — youch. After careful analysis, I found someone who has experience and is a disciple of my main consultant, who teaches film at Georgetown. I’m also finding that (of course) this is a Herculean effort of mind-blowing proportions. I’ve had to call in a lifetime’s worth of favors and am so grateful to all in the county who have given to the project. From Betsy making meals for meetings to folks allowing me access to their property for sets, to the many PAs (production assistants) who have held the boom mic, etc., etc. As the process moves from wrapping shooting — we nearly have — to editing, scoring, etc., I really hope to have a film that does the story justice and is up to acting and technical standards for the industry (at least for small-budget films). The rest would be cream, e.g. getting a small deal for distribution, getting back enough of the small outlay (several thousand) to perhaps buy equipment for another film. A big goal would be to be respected for the work and have the potential to do another film with investors/backing.

Here are some photos of the film in progress. Updates will follow as to info regarding a trailer, youtube things, first screening, film fests, etc. Here it is — they say “Don’t do period pieces” and “Don’t do anything with accents” Guess I chose the tough way in, eh? As Lee might say with pluck, “Drop Away!”

Warder Jamming

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Click here to visit the KDHX Blog and listen to the audio stream of Afromotive

Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez

Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez

North Carolina Afrobeat band the Afromotive performed live at the Magnolia Avenue Studios this past July, and Ebony Hairston, the KDHX Blog’s newest contributor, was in attendance. Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez.

“Music is universal. I played with different bands, funk, jazz, mixed bands. Life is a big city and we are a village,” Adama Dembele of the Afromotive explained. Demebele, learned the ajembe from his father and has played all his life. He hails from the Ivory Coast and has been traveling with the Afromotive for around two years now.

Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez

Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez

The sound of this band makes you feel like you just took a vacation to a heavenly riot of drums. Its improvisational wall of sound features guitars, trumpets and keyboards. Coolest people ever; everyone speaks and sings in a multilingual groove. Thank you, or (E-ne-che) for taking time out for the KDHX audience.

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These things just don’t happen by themselves…

Dreamspider Publicity and Events offers an array of services in the field of music & arts promotion as well as events planning & consulting. Publicity services include national tour publicity for bands, regional WNC/ Asheville publicity for outside acts, special events promotions, and artist development.  Event services include artist relations, stage management, hospitality, administration, pre-event planning, consulting on overall infrastructure, band and artist referrals, and lots more…

Dreamspider has a diverse client list and values uniqueness with a funky appeal in arts and music.

Musicians: Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Afromotive, the Mad Tea Party, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Galen Kipar Project, Trouble, The E. Normus Trio and others.

Non Profits and the Arts: Arts 2 People, Mountain BizWorks Artist Alliance, The Asheville Arts Center, MPAC-NC Maysa, Bioflyer Productions, American Rainbow Rapid Response, and the new and funky Lexington Ave Bazaar…

Events: Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF), Shakori Hills Festival 2009, AmJam 2007 and 2008, the One World Music Festival 2006 and 2007, The Donna the Buffalo’s New Years Eve Asheville Revue 2008/9, RE:Generation 2007, Loki 2008, various Halloween and New Years Eve events, earthday events, Cirque events at the Orange Peel, and a food show.

Dreamspider is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina.

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