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Posts Tagged ‘Ragtime’

Lazybirds. Photo by Jen Fox

Lazybirds is a classic American roots band from the mountains of North Carolina. Specializing in good time music that is just about impossible not to move to, there is also a depth to the band that faithful fans have treasured over the years. According to the legendary Doc Watson, “Lazybirds play a good variety of blues, jazz, and that good old ragtime sound, and you will hear the flavor of that in anything they play.” The ‘Birds cover a lot of musical ground, from early American stringband music to Dylan classics, as well as classic sounding originals, but deep roots are what hold all of these sounds together.

The Lazybirds most recent CD release (2010), “Broken Wing,” pays homage to founding member Andy Christopher, who played tenor banjo and tenor guitar, and sang with the band until being stricken suddenly with a mysterious heart condition. The title track, a Lazybirds original, describes how the band misses their soul brother; “It seems wrong you’re not here on my right,” “There’s a hole where there should be your banjo.” Andy was with the band for part of the recording before he took sick, and you can hear his distinctive banjo picking particularly on “Life,” a Lazybirds rendition of the Sly and the Family Stone classic that will surprise most listeners other than long time fans, who expect the occasional knuckle-ball from this band. In essence the CD is life-affirming, moving through the blues, swing and deep country with humor and heart. “Broken Wing” has received sparkling reviews across the American southeast and in Europe.

Lately the band has been incorporating more original music into the mix. Some of these will certainly find their way onto the next Lazybirds recording, but you’ll have to check the credits to know which songs are Lazybirds originals and which are old classics, as the band has been steeping in the American roots melting pot for so long that it flavors anything they do. The band began nearly twenty years ago, when Jay Brown and James T Browne, who had played acoustic blues and folk together in high-school, moved up to Boone NC where they immediately met Mitch Johnston. Eventually Mitch became the hard driving bass man who perfectly complimented James’ jazz drumming and Jay’s finger style blues-swing guitar and jazzy harmonica. Shortly afterward they met Andy, who’s rhythmic style opened up more doors for the band. A few years later they were joined by German born fiddler and blues guitarist Alfred Michels who, evidence clearly suggests, is from 100 years ago.

Together they have played top festivals across the southeast, including Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, LEAF, Birmingham City Stages, Music on the Mountaintop, and Bele Chere. They have shared the stage with their friends The Old Crow Medicine Show and Doc Watson. They’ve been a longstanding favorite in some of the best bars from Birmingham to Boone. Lazybirds is an American classic worth getting to know.

Show Details at a Glance:

LazyBirds
MoDaddys
Friday, September 23, 2011

9:30, $5
(828) 258-1550
77 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
http://www.modaddysbar.com

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Woody Pines plays The Lexington Ave. Brewery (LAB)

Recording their “LIVE” LIMITED EDITION 12″ vinyl album
Friday, October 22, 2010

$6, 9:30pm
39 N. Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

The night will be caught on film- so come get dressed up and party with Woody Pines!!!

Woody Pines (Jonathan Woods to his mum) had been writing and playing as well as any of his generation long before producing his debut solo album in 2005.

The material is rich in character and redolent of place, namely rural, real America. His style has been compared to Paul Burch and his presentation likened to Mark Olson, but he’d dug even deeper for his source inspiration, with a passion for the early ragtime and jug band greats.

Earlier, those leanings set him off on a musical journey which led him to form the highly-rated Kitchen Syncopators with Gill Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show) who performed everywhere from New Orleans to Seattle’s Folklife Festival and the Oregon Country Fair.

After striking out on his own and moving to Asheville, western North Carolina, his repertoire was re-shaped to create a pleasing blend of old-time/juke joint/country blues so authentic and evocative you’d swear they might be period pieces.

The 2007-issued Lonesome Shack Blues with its great pickin’ and just-right lightness of touch, won him an even bigger following among the kinda folks who seek their musical fix courtesy of Professor Longhair or Mississippi John Hurt.

Woody Pines Circa ’09 is now a person and a band, his playing companions – Zack Pozebanchuk (bass), Darin Gentry (fiddle) and Nathan Taylor (drums) – providing so much brotherly support and bonhomie they are now one and the same and have adopted the stage name.

In between a busy touring schedule that has taken them to venues and festival stages from Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Michigan to Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio, they recorded killer tracks for the widely-acclaimed new album, Counting Alligators which has been picking up rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

The album reunited Woody with Gill, who helped out on a bunch of the studio sessions in Nashville.

The Mountain Xpress, labelled Woody an “old soul and natural performer playing like an all-state champ who took to hopping trains and frequenting speakeasies”. _________________________________________________________________
The Salty Caramels will be opening for the evening: Molly Winters, Angela Perley, and Bree Frick, are a trio of singer-songwriters from Columbus, Ohio. Borrowing from a combination of influences spanning from the girl-group sounds of the 40’s through the 60’s and Folk Americana, the Salty Caramels bring nostalgia, whimsy, and sweetness to their audience, without ever losing their “salty” edge. The girls formed in September of 2010 and play a rotating variety of instruments which include the suitcase bass drum, resonator guitar, acoustic bass, washboard, saw, and kazoo, to name a few.

Certain talented musicians have the ability to transport the listener to a different place and time by just hitting some strings or directing the air that fills their lungs…

For Woody Pines, you find yourself in the Mississippi Delta when AM radio is king, sippin’ whiskey if you re fortunate and moonshine if you’re desperate.

The band; comprised of Woody on guitar, banjo, harmonica and lead vocals, Zack Pozebanchuk on upright bass, Nathan Taylor on drums, and Darin Gentry on fiddle; epitomizes the swinging ragtime and country sound and embraces a simpler time.

”New Orleans has music seeping out of the bricks in the old French quarter,” said Woody, who moved to New Orleans to steep in the city’s famous music scene, but now resides in Asheville, North Carolina. “We went down there to learn [the music] not just note for note, but also through the food and lifestyle that make New Orleans so special.”

Although the group has been playing together for two and half years, Pines is the driving force both creatively and on stage, which has lead to some very tall comparisons. “I m not really sure where the Bob Dylan associations come from,” said Pines. “But I love Dylan and I m honored to be alive when he is, so I take it as a compliment.”

Pines, who comes from a musical family and has been playing music since he can remember, describes the band’s sound as a ragtime rhythm and a swinging good time, and his songs reflect that belief. ”Reefer Man” immediately brings to mind a haunting, Halloween hootenanny that could have come straight out of vaudeville. “Pretty Blue Eyes” puts listeners straight into the backseat of a convertible, whipping around the back roads of the Delta on a crisp, autumn night. Several other songs by the band, such as “Nashville” and “Delta Bound”, evoke thoughts of a Southern gossip or a post-Civil War America where the blues weren’t just a style of music, but a way of life. “I pick and choose the best sounding stuff,” said Pines. “Everything from swing band to old country blues goes into our music, along with life’s influences.”   – By Max Bonem, Athens OH

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Here’s a few more highlights from Shakori Hills Festival this past weekend!

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The Blue Rags
The Grey Eagle
Saturday, June 5, 2010

all ages, 9pm
$10 advance, $12 at the door
828-232-5800
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
http://www.thegreyeagle.com
www.myspace.com/httpwwwmyspacecomthebluerags

Come celebrate the start of summer with Asheville’s home town favorites The Blue Rags. After playing hugely successful shows in the fall of 2009 at LAAFF and the Grey Eagle, as well as the 2010 French Broad Festival, they are back June 5th, 2010 at the Grey Eagle performing their own brand of Rag-N-Roll.

Don’t miss your chance to see this widely influential play live in Asheville, it doesn’t happen very often. The show will feature original members Jake Hollifield, Scott Sharpe, Abe Reid, Aaron “Woody” Wood, Mike Rhodes along with good friend Brent Sevier on bass (Bill Reynolds is in Europe touring with Band of Horses). The musical branches of The Blue Rags family tree spread deep and far.

After helping to put the WNC music scene on the map starting in the early 90’s (both before and after their stint on Sub Pop Records) through solo careers, side projects and session work; constant touring with such diverse acts as Bad Livers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Pavement, Government Mule and Leftover Salmon helped spread their reputation across America. They were also widely influential in the Americana scene right as it was coming into conception as a musical banner/umbrella. Popular bands of today, including the Avett Brothers, Old Crowe Medicine Show, and Scrappy Hamilton (now Truth and Salvage Company, touring with the Black Crowes) site The Blue Rags as musical influences.

If you are an old fan, come out to relive some memories with some old skool friends. If you’ve never seen The Blue Rags, but just heard about how great their live shows were, don’t miss your chance!

The Blue Rags @ The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC

The Blue Rags “Take Me Back” at L.A.A.F.F Sept. 09

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