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Galen Kipar Project Headlines RiverLink’s Riverfest on Sat, August 11th
Also Performing are Nikki Talley and Mountain Feist

Music, Crafts, Food, Beer, and a Parade of Floats!
Saturday, August 11, 2012 in French Broad River Park 1-7pm FREE!
The Park is located at Amboy Road at Riverview Drive. Click for a Map

www.riverlink.org

RiverFest is RiverLink’s biggest party of the year and is back at French Broad River Park in Asheville, NC on Saturday, August 11, from 1-7pm with an exciting lineup of music with Galen Kipar Project, Mountain Feist, and Nikki Talley. RiverFest is a fundraiser for Riverlink to continue their work in revitalizing the French Broad River as a place for everyone to live, work and play. The days event will be filled with crafts, food, beer, and of course, the Anything That Floats Parade of rafts. (seriously- click that link for more on the parade– this is a fun and creative contest for people to make their own wacky floats and ride down the river!)

Galen Kipar Project. Photo by Gary Reckard

Headlining RiverFest is the Galen Kipar Project, who effortlessly crafts a fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues. The Galen Kipar Project has been hailed as “complex yet accessible” and “cohesive and poignant” with “experimental folk masterpieces.” Joining vocalist Galen Kipar on guitars & harmonica is Lyndsay Pruett on violin & vocals, Ben Portwood on bass, and Aaron Ballance on the dobro.  In addition to being a great musician, Kipar is a big fan of WNC’s rivers and streams, making the band a perfect fit for the occasion!

Galen’s other endeavor keeps him on the water as he serves as a “trout ninja” (aka. fly fishing guide) with Curtis Wright Outfitters to Western North Carolina which has over 3000 miles of trout waters and streams. He gets much of his inspiration for songwriting while standing waist deep in a river. Galen states in an interview with the WVGazette, “Water, particularly rivers, have many different currents. Music is the same way,” he says. “Music has many different currents, and they all work together. Maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but it’s something that’s always fascinated me.”

True to his inspiration, Galen sings in the song Riversong, “Headin’ on down to the waterside, gonna take some time, to rest my mind. Gonna break there, gonna stay there. For a moment there, I’ll sigh.” Water is a consistent theme in his uplifting music. “I could easily picture myself finding a secluded stream high on the mountain and lying in the warm sun as the Galen Kipar Project played softly in the background,” states writer and online radio host Jeremiah Greer in Magazine 33.

To Celebrate the Occasion, GKP is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of  “RIVERSONG” Live From The Grey Eagle

“I was hooked right away… Strange, slightly other-worldly acoustic music sung in a sweet, slightly distracted voice. I think of it as a sort of American Primitive, with hits of Sandy Bull in the guitars, Brett Dennen in the voice, Donna the Buffalo in the rustic simplicity, and something altogether new in the wonderful orchestrations… In the words of Tina Fey, when I hear the sounds of this nearby world, I want to go to there,'” says songwriter and host of the Grateful Dead Hour David Gans about Galen’s Music.

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Mountain Feist

Mountain Feist is a groove oriented and high energy progressive bluegrass band, inspired by traditional bluegrass and shaped by music from around the world. The band plays a fast paced, interactive show supported by tight four part harmonies, instrumental features and an eclectic repertoire of original music as well as fresh covered material.” Members Justin Eisenman (guitar and vocals), Matt Dufon (bass, vocals), Neal Crowley (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Jesse Iaquinto (mandolin, vocals) count among their influences Doc Watson, Waylon Jennings, Junior Brown, Jerry Garcia and Bela Fleck.

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Nikki Talley

Leading off the afternoon of live music will be Asheville’s own Nikki Talley, a hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice!  Raised in North Carolina and hailing from Asheville, it’s only fitting that her music is as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Trying to pin down Nikki’s style, critics and reviewers alike have compared her to an early Liz Phair and Gillian Welch, but to leave the comparisons there would be doing a disservice to her fiery stage performance, hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics, lifted by a voice that harkens back to the Appalachian roots from which she was born, and shores up on the edges of contemporary southern rock, country, blues, and jazz.

Nikki’s most recent release Beautiful Charmer has definitely upped the ante production-wise and has a decidedly more country feel. For this project she had a lot of help from a number of collaborators including Grammy-winning alt-country icon Jim Lauderdale. It garnered the #7 spot in WNCW’s top 20 regional releases of 2010 and #23 in top 100 releases

Special Float for the Riverfest Parade!

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LAAFF keeps the “loco” in local

by Alli Marshall in Vol. 14 / Iss. 06 on 09/05/2007

Mountain Xpress, http://www.mountainx.com/


Downtown Asheville’s Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival, now in its sixth year, is billed as a local festival for the locals. Locally based merchants sell locally made foods, microbrews, crafts and other products. Local talent pulls out all the stops when it comes to music, dancing, spoken word, performance and visual arts. In fact, LAAFF is so down-home, organizers don’t even advertise outside the immediate area—unless you count a flurry of e-mails to London-based Guinness World Records.

Riding towards a record: Michael Mooney tests a small version of his “tall bike.” He aims to break the world record at LAAFF.

Festival co-creator Michael Mooney, a self-professed “bike nut,” is in the process of building the world’s tallest bike, which he plans to ride at an event during this year’s festival.

“The first time you ride a tall bike, you just smile like you’re a little kid,” Mooney says. A semipro racer during the ‘90s, Mooney pedaled across the entire country before moving on to a new challenge. He was introduced to tall bikes (a recreational bicycle usually created by welding two regular bike frames together for extra height) by Jim Lauzon, co-owner of Asheville’s LaZoom Tours. Lauzon, a New Orleans transplant, took to riding his oversized bike around town, inspiring Mooney to build a half-dozen of his own creations.

“I’ve got a tall mountain bike made of three mountain bikes,” Mooney says. “I ride it on trails and I jump it big: I don’t just mess around.”

And he’s not messing around when it comes to breaking the world record for riding the tallest of these clownish contraptions. The current record holder tops out at 18 feet. Mooney, who heard the owner of that bike is building a 20-footer, decided to up the ante.

His creation—still in the construction stages—will reach a towering 44 feet. That’s four stories. “I figured if I built a 20-foot bike I could die just as easily,” Mooney shrugs.

The Guinness judges won’t actually be on hand to verify the local daredevil’s record-breaking stunt. Instead, Mayor Terry Bellamy and Clint Spiegel, owner of team sponsor Industry Nine Wheels, will carry out the Guinness-mandated measuring and officiating.

Back to the start: Before it became a festival, the event that would become LAAFF was conceived as an art-car parade. photo by Jonathan Welch

Mooney’s biggest challenge? Mounting the tall bike. For protection, he’ll be wearing a climbing harness, and so will the bike. But to break the record, the rope will have to remain slack, so it’s a safety device rather than a balancing aid.

“My friend Pandor is determined to turn me into Asheville’s Freak Folk Hero,” Mooney says. It’s arguable that that role has already been filled—many times over—but Mooney will have his own theme song, which Pandor will perform either before or during the momentous ride.

For bike fans looking for more two-wheel thrills, LAAFF is bringing back the popular bicycle jousting. This year, there will also be a children’s class and kid-sized gear for ages 10 and up. Kids who want more action can join the Berserker squad, armed with rubber-chicken nunchucks, rubber-chicken maces and foam-covered swords for putting the adult “losers” in the bicycle jousts out of their misery.

The rest of LAAFF will probably be more of what fans have come to expect (art cars, belly dancers, bands), though with a few tweaks. Organizer Erin Scholze lists all-day events at the location that formerly served as the Vincent’s Ear courtyard, a bluegrass jam at the Shady Grove Courtyard and a singer/songwriter circle (led by Jen and the Juice front woman Jenny Greer with Menage’s Mary Ellen Bush) as new to this year’s festivities.

“One of the things I really like about Asheville is how members of different bands will get together and make a new band,” Scholze says. Case in point: LAAFF serves up Asheville supergroups like the Big Money Band (with members of Strut, GFE, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Fiddle Dave) and Sons of A Keeled Over Snake (with members of Sons of Ralph, Snake Oil, and the Larry Keel Band).

Even though organizers make a point of highlighting up-and-coming area talent (Latin fusion act Quebrao, alt-country group Nevada and jazz-funk newcomers Thing Three are included on the roster), it’s not strictly a music festival.

“LAAFF does showcase so much,” Scholze notes. “LAAFF involves that whole other group of performers besides musicians.”

In fact, the daylong festival was originally envisioned by Mooney and Kitty Love as an art-car parade. When the co-creators went to the city to procure the necessary permits, they found out it was easier to have a festival than a parade, Scholze recalls. Thus, LAAFF was born.

Still, a parade is on the itinerary (Firecracker Jazz Band spearheads that effort, scheduled for 4 p.m.), along with performances on the LaZoom theater bus (parked outside Bobo Gallery) and plenty of other surprises.

One request from organizers: Festival attendees should come in costume. “If everyone’s part of the show, it will be overwhelmingly good,” says Mooney (he’ll be the guy in the climbing harness, pedaling a brachiosaurus-sized bicycle).

“Don’t be a spectator in life or at the festival,” he adds. “Be part of the fun.”


LAAFF facts & acts

LAAFF takes place on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on North Lexington Avenue between College Street and the Interstate 240 overpass. Free. Info: http://www.arts2people.org.

The Electric Stage
• 11 a.m.—Quebrao
• Noon—Sons of a Keeled Over Snake
• 1 p.m.—Bandazian
• 2:15 p.m.—Kellin Watson
• 3:20 p.m.—Chalwa
• 4:45 p.m.—CXI
• 6:15 p.m.—Trainwreks
• 7:45 p.m.—Big Money Band
• 9:15 p.m.—The Rebelles with their band the Pheromones

Performing Arts Stage (on Walnut)
• 11 a.m.—Jarrett Leone Didgeridoo
• 11:25 a.m.—Nevada
• 12:05 p.m.—Dance with Luna May Seal
• 12:20 p.m.—The Oxymorons Improv Comedy
• 1:05 p.m.—The Electromagnetic Duo (theremin music)
• 1:45 p.m.—Jodi Taylor and her Dancers
• 2 p.m.—The Sophisticated Chimps
• 3 p.m.—Maria-guajira
• 3:30 p.m.—Vendetta Crème
• 4:10 p.m.—Baraka Mundi
• 5 p.m.—Speedsquare
• 6 p.m.—Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola Asheville
• 6:35 p.m.—Hip Hop Revolution (Kids Breakdancing)
• 7 p.m.—HuNab Kru Breakdancing
• 7:50 p.m.—Avec La Force Percussion and Dance Initiative
• 8:40 p.m.—Wicked Geisha
• 9:15 p.m.—Unifire Theatre

Bobo Stage (by Patton Avenue)
• All Day—LaZoom Bus Tours with performance acts
• 11 a.m.—Rev-Doc Spins
• Noon—Jar-E
• 2 p.m.—Guerguerian, Benavides and Wolf
• 4 p.m.—August Hoerr and Shane Perlowin
• 5 p.m.—Rev-Doc Spins
• 6 p.m.—Banana Da Terra
• 8 p.m.—The Plowshares
• 10 p.m.—Earthtone Sound Systems (inside Bobo)

Shady Grove Courtyard
• Noon—Thing Three
• 1 p.m.—Bluegrass Jam
• 5 p.m.—Songwriters Circle hosted by Jenny Greer and Mary Ellen Bush

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