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Out Today 11.11 Balsam Range Casts Acoustic Spells with ‘Mountain Voodoo’
Get it at iTunes, Amazon, and morehttps://clg.lnk.to/3OSAZ

Stream the album at The Bluegrass Situation www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/stream-balsam-range-mountain-voodoo

Asheville, NC — Casting Acoustic spells, Balsam Range releases their sixth album, Mountain Voodoo, on November 11, 2016 on Mountain Home Music Company. The band thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surrounds part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge, the Balsam Range. Mountain Voodoo is like the book of life “Chapter Six” for the band; 13-tracks filled with songs of journey, home, sense of place, hardcore drive, and longing.

“Balsam Range can lay down that stomping bluegrass as well as any band but the ballads clearly set them apart. They also add just the right touch of contemporary to their sound, separating them from so many who play that old-timey sound.” Elmore Magazine’s Jim Hynes continues, “The spirit and ambience of the mountains, as seen in CD cover art with the smoky haze set against the fir trees, not only imbues their sound but seems to create a kind of magical intrigue when you listen to ‘I Hear the Mountains’ and some of the others.”
Since the band’s inception in 2007, they have left a trail of success towards the top of the Bluegrass World. One of the genre’s most award winning artists in recent years garnering ten International Bluegrass Music Association Awards to date with five critically acclaimed albums, Balsam Range have made multiple Grand Old Opry appearances, were presented by the Governor of North Carolina the NC Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2015 for a “proven record of extraordinary service to the state, and extra effort in their careers”, and were the first band to play at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC in 2010. They have left audiences spellbound, and now Balsam Range is offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of Bluegrass and beyond with Mountain Voodoo.

“To be sure, Balsam Range fronts a traditional bluegrass sound, but Mountain Voodoo displays depth and texture not found in contemporary straight-ahead bluegrass groups.” Country Standard Time’s Fred Smith says, “They wear it well, and Mountain Voodoo is a fine snapshot of Balsam Range today.

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Balsam Range. Photo by David Simchock

Balsam Range is comprised of five gifted friends who all hail from Western North Carolina. Tim Surrett delivers entertaining MC work as well as seasoned lead and harmony singing. Tim plays bass and he will occasionally share his talents on the resonator guitar. He charms with spontaneity, wit and professionalism. A stellar fiddler, Buddy Melton is also one of the most gifted tenor voices in Bluegrass and Americana today. His range and tone give Balsam Range its identifying sound. With his envied guitar style, Caleb Smith has been called “one of the top young guns of guitar.” He sings with both power and control, delivering a high energy song or a tender ballad with equal vocal skill. Darren Nicholson is a gifted mandolin player and harmony singer with tremendous enthusiasm for American heritage music. That twinkle in Darren’s eye says it all. He is usually up to something! Grammy Award winner, Dr. Marc Pruett brings more than 40 years of entertainment experience to the group. He brilliantly complements the ensemble with the intuitive, traditional three finger style that has made him one music’s most admired banjo players.

“They kick the album off with a bang.” No Depression’s Frank Gutch Jr. says, “Pure (what they at one time called) Newgrass, the kind of stuff on which Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs based their reputations. Acoustic guitar (mostly picked), bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo, and voices. The voices are crucial. You can jig and reel and you can breakdown without vocals but you cannot have the best of what bluegrass offers without voices. Think Seldom Scene and Doyle Lawson. Think harmonies sung by angels. Think harmonies stacked to the ceiling.”

There are multiple songs written by Balsam Range “staff writer” Milan Miller, including the catchy opening track, “Something ‘Bout That Suitcase,” which Miller penned along with Beth Husband. Buddy Melton, a longtime fan of lyrics that make you think, says, “‘Suitcase’ is a song we can all relate to and one that will at least have you looking around the airport terminal with curiosity the next time you fly the friendly skies.”

Mountain Voodoo is thematic of life in Western North Carolina, from the harmonically sentimental melodic “I Hear the Mountains” [Milan Miller, Davis Raines], to the the mystical deep jam of “Voodoo Doll” [Jeb Stuart Anderson], to the Honky Tonk of “Hello Heartache” [Milan Miller, Glenn Simmons], to the rip-roaring banjo led “Chain Gang Blues” [Marvin C. Davis] the sacred and soothing “Rise and Shine” [Mark Bumgarner, Aimee Bumgarner] the Gospel inspired and powerful “Wish You Were Here” [James M Stover, Michael C Williams], the vividly picturesque “Eldorado Blue” [James Ellis, Milan Miller], to the groovy “The Girl From The Highlands” [Milan Miller, Thomm Jutz], and the emotionally powerful “Lines In The Sand” [Craig Market, Barry Bales].

“’Blue Collar Dreams [is] a hard-luck, hard-workin’ song from Aaron Bibelhauser, sung as a duet by Caleb Smith and Buddy Melton. And in true bluegrass style, this workin’ man’s blues is presented with a cheerful, upbeat sound,” says John Lawless with Bluegrass Today. Watch a video of Balsam Range performing the song in studiohttp://bluegrasstoday.com/blue-collar-dreams-video-from-balsam-range/

Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience. It’s the award-winning Balsam Range and they are excited to bring Mountain Voodoo to the world.

For more information, tour dates, and more, please visit www.balsamrange.com.
Stay up to date with current news on
www.facebook.com/balsamrange, www.twitter.com/BalsamRange, and www.instagram.com/balsamrange.

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Balsam Range is Casting Acoustic Spells with Their Sixth Album Mountain Voodoo
Due out on November 11 on Mountain Home Music Company

Asheville, NC — Balsam Range’s assent to the top of the Bluegrass world has left a well marked trail of success since the band’s inception in 2007. One of the genre’s most award winning artists in recent years garnering ten International Bluegrass Music Association Awards to date with five critically acclaimed albums, Balsam Range has put on live performances across the nation, including multiple Grand Old Opry appearances that have left audiences spellbound. Nominated for three International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards (Entertainer, Vocal Group, and Vocalist of the Year) for 2016, Balsam Range is offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of Bluegrass and beyond with their new release Mountain Voodoo, due out November 11 on Mountain Home.

Mountain Voodoo is like the book of life “Chapter Six” for Balsam Range; 13-tracks filled with songs of journey, home, sense of place, hardcore stomping drive, and longing. There are fiery instrumental parts alternating with heavy, deep ballads overlaid by the vocal harmonies the group has become known for.

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Balsam Range 6 September 2016 Promo Photo Shoot Waynesville, NC © Copyright David J. Simchock

Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (Fiddle, Lead and Tenor Vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Lead Vocals, Baritone and Low Tenor Vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (Banjo), Tim Surrett (Bass, Dobro, Baritone and Lead Vocals), and Caleb Smith (Guitar, Lead & Baritone Vocals). The five original members are all acoustic musicians and singers from North Carolina and they thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surrounds part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge, the Balsam Range.

Picturing the story of Mountain Voodoo
Imagine yourself, if you can, high up on a ridge in the mountains of North Carolina at midnight under a full moon, looking through the smoky nighttime haze at the surrounding ridges all covered in Balsam firs. It’s a scene of life engulfed in strong but muted tones, crisp air, bubbling springs, and the power of uncertain mystery. The springs carry the mystery down and down, feeding the the creeks and streams that feed the ponds and the small farms, and the small towns and the people in them, and the works they create by day.

Then, somehow imagine that there is a soundtrack to all this – to all the old tales, lives lived, and even the scenery itself. It sounds like adventure glimpsing into the unknown, but remembering family and friends and always wanting to return home. Yes, there’s a dualistic nature about it, but the story always finishes with the pull of the mountains, the people and the places.

This environment, this background and this living culture is the backdrop that chooses the songs and creates the rhythms and styles, that voices the vocals and fingers the strings, that casts acoustic spells on every audience every time. When Balsam Range performs, a joyous magical mysterious musical mist enchants the audience as well as the band. Buddy, Caleb, Darren, Marc, and Tim become the messengers and the crowd is transported to that place. This is what is Balsam Range—this is Mountain Voodoo.

The mystical deep jam of “Voodoo Doll” is a fun creative twist on the age-old tale of broken hearted love loss and the attempt of passing one’s heartache off on mystical curses rather than accepting reality.  Written by Jeb Anderson many years ago, the band has wanted to record it for a long time, after Melton first heard it performed by a dear friend and fellow artist known as “Tall Paul”. It is not your typical bluegrass song; It could just as easily be performed by a rock band.

There are multiple songs written by Balsam Range “staff writer” Milan Miller, including the catchy opening track, “Something ‘Bout That Suitcase,” which Miller penned along with Beth Husband. Buddy Melton, a longtime fan of lyrics that make you think, and IBMA Vocalist of the Year nominee for 2016, asks, “How many times have you seen a stranger traveling through life and wondered, what is their story? Where are they going? What has brought them to this place? We all have and it’s that curiosity and interest in other people that brings society together. Maybe it’s the human inherent caring spirit that defines us most or at least gives us hope for humanity. ‘Suitcase’ is a song we can all relate to and one that will at least have you looking around the airport terminal with curiosity the next time you fly the friendly skies.”

Blue Collar Dreams” is a working class anthem, written by Aaron Bibelhauser, it had all the elements for Balsam Range to transform it into a great bluegrass song to comfort the frustrations of working for the hard-to-attain American Dream. From the first note of the mandolin kick off you realize quickly that things are going to get tense but in a good way.

Eldorado Blue” is a story of finding oneself and recognizing contentment in life is something we can all stand to do; whether it means moving away or staying in what may seem an unlikely location to achieve it, is a blessing. “The Girl From The Highlands” is another journey song inspired by Miller’s travels through the Highlands years ago and the stories of many Scottish Highlanders who traveled to the US for work but often couldn’t afford to bring family along. Balsam Range spices it up with Tony Rice styled vocals and Caleb’s guitar licks which capture that same vibe and groove.

Mountain Voodoo is thematic of life in Western North Carolina, from the haunting and lonesome “I Hear the Mountains”, to the Honky Tonk of “Hello Heartache,” to the rip-roaring banjo led “Chain Gang Blues,” to the sacred and soothing “Rise and Shine,” and Gospel inspired and powerful “Wish You Were Here.

Balsam Range fills the air with traditional, yet contemporary sounds, things that are new, yet still somehow familiar. Mountain Voodoo is a follow up to the band’s fifth album, Five (2014), which made its Billboard Chart debut at #4 and remained on the Billboard chart for 12 weeks. The album excelled on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Airplay Album Chart, spending 5 consecutive months at #1 with seven #1 songs, earning the group the 2015 IBMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year for “Moon Over Memphis.

Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience. It’s the award-winning Balsam Range and they are excited to bring Mountain Voodoo to the world this year.

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Balsam Range’s Mountain Voodoo Tracks & Songwriter Credits

  1. Something ‘Bout That Suitcase     3:34 (Milan Miller)
  2. Blue Collar Dreams                            2:54 (Aaron Bibelhauser)
  3. Voodoo Doll                                          4:08 (Jeb Stuart Anderson)
  4. Eldorado Blue                                       3:08 (James Ellis, Milan Miller)
  5. The Girl From The Highlands         3:02 (Milan Miller, Thomm Jutz)
  6. I Hear The Mountains                       4:36 (Milan Miller, Davis Raines)
  7. Chain Gang Blues                               2:09 (Marvin C. Davis)
  8. Rise And Shine                                    4:25 (Mark Bumgarner, Aimee Bumgarner)
  9. Spring Hill                                            3:36 (Marc Pruett)
  10. Hello Heartache                                 2:29 (Milan Miller, Glenn Simmons)
  11. Lines In The Sand                              3:00 (Craig Market, Barry Bales)
  12. Don’t Walk Away                               2:47 (Miriam Sonstenes)
  13. Wish You Were Here                         5:00 (James M Stover, Michael C Williams)

For more information, tour dates, and more, please visit www.balsamrange.com. Stay up to date with current news on www.facebook.com/balsamrange, www.twitter.com/BalsamRange, and www.instagram.com/balsamrange.

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Cover Carnvial of Hopes(1)-1(1)

Vocalist & Songwriter Jane Kramer Makes a Full Voiced Return to Her Roots with Mountain-made Second Solo Album,
Carnival of Hopes – Due Out Feb 26, 2016

Produced and Engineered by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios,
The album features backing band Free Planet Radio as well as guest appearances by Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and more

ASHEVILLE, NC — Vocalist and songwriter Jane Kramer is set to independently release her gutsy and ambrosial second solo album entitled Carnival of Hopes on Friday, February 26, 2016. Carnival of Hopes feels both celebratory and frank. It is filled with songs of regret and insight found after deep and gritty self-reflection. At its core, the album tells the story of facing down dark inner demons while still clinging to “that tiny chirping of light in your bones that somehow keeps you tethered to keeping on,” Kramer says.

Throughout the album, it is Kramer’s unvarnished honesty and searching, powerfully sweet and heartrending voice that carry the well-crafted and arranged songs and tie both elements of loss and healing cohesively together. “I’m not great at making stuff up,” she says, “so I sing what I lived and what I know, without any sugar or fluff.”

“Anyone who has stared down the barrel of themselves and their failures and fears and shipwrecked loves has scraped up against the bottom of their own capacity for hoping,” says Kramer, a social worker and musician by trade. “My carnival of hopes is busted and hideous and rusty and somehow still brave and sparkly,” she says, “like the image of the forgotten Ferris wheel printed on the disc – half taken over by trees and time, but still standing.”

With deep ties to the area, Carnival of Hopes, boasts a sparkling cast of Ashevillian producers and players. It was recorded at the award-winning Sound Temple Studios in Asheville in February of 2015, while she still lived on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, after a four-year run spent writing and reflecting on the West Coast, Jane Kramer pulled up stakes and returned to Western North Carolina with a renewed energy to share her new music with the world.

Carnival of Hopes aches and soars with her connections to Appalachian balladry, a force she first encountered at Warren Wilson College and honed while performing with the Asheville-based all-female trio, the Barrel House Mamas, who helped reintroduce Americana music to the Blue Ridge Mountains a decade ago. However, it is as a solo artist where the power of Kramer’s songwriting and world-class vocals truly shine.

Kramer’s longtime friend Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album. Kramer is backed by Chris Rosser on piano and harmonium, Eliot Wadopian on upright bass and River Guerguerian on drums and percussion, the virtuoso trio that comprises Free Planet Radio, and by master Georgia-based bluegrass musicians/ multi-instrumentalists, Pace Conner (steel string, high string and baritone guitars, ukulele, mandolin, and backing vocals) and Michael Evers (Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and backing vocals) who arranged the songs for recording and perform and tour with Kramer regularly.

Carnival of Hopes as an album is full of sometimes-searing flourishes on the complexities of Kramer’s modern life. The title track clearly encompasses that, she says.

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Jane Kramer. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“In the song ‘Carnival of Hopes’ and on the record as a whole, I talk about letting things die and being honest about it: the notion that I am a good woman, ideas for my future and success, a big love, and even parts of myself dying and being reborn in the letting go” she says. “I talk about laying down my hammer but leaving the light on in the window. While these are heavy concepts, I feel the take-away feeling of the album is one of hope.”

 

On this deeply personal album, Kramer’s favorite track is the ballad, “Good Woman.” While she says she’s not one who fits that description, listeners might disagree after hearing the lilting but earnest passion and regret in her voice.

“Good Woman” is the song you write when your lover kicks you out of the house and you’re half drunk on cheap box wine in a crappy motel room staring at yourself in the mirror under the fluorescent bathroom light,” Jane says. “You can’t help but be honest then.”

“Aside from the sentiment, the contributions of virtuoso players, Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and Franklin Keel of Sirius B, also help make the song a favorite,” Kramer adds. They play orchestral fiddle and cello, respectively, on “Good Woman”.

Other songs on the album offer clear hints to Kramer’s unflinching self-examination and ability to convey heavy subject matter through utterly palatable and even catchy song-crafting. The New Orleans jazz-influenced “Why’d I Do That Blues,” (which features a horn section comprised of JP Furnas on trombone and Ben Hovey on trumpet), the classic country honky tonking sass of the opening track “Half Way Gone,” and the banjo-driven, uptempo modern-day spiritual “My Dusty Wings” all speak to a talented songwriter laying herself bare. She credits her songwriting hero and mentor, Mary Gauthier, with helping her reach for, and express, everything she hoped to communicate with the album.

The songs on the album were all penned by Kramer with the exception of one cover, “Down South,” written by Tom Petty. “This tune just sounds like the mountains.” Kramer says,”I’m a huge Petty fan and love the poignant simplicity of his writing. Additionally, and probably what was most important to me was the message of the song thematically, about returning home to the south and it’s little idiosyncrasies.”

The sense of homecoming that rings through was a conscious effort, Kramer says. “I did that because Asheville is my dirt. It’s my home and my culture, musically and otherwise. I missed it and knew somewhere in my bones I would be coming back to stay soon,” she says.

“I didn’t want to make an album that didn’t sound like home,” Kramer adds. “I wanted Asheville musicians and Appalachian instrumentation – that wistful, southern dobro sound that hurts your heart a little.” Carnival of Hopes is indeed a homecoming album, and will take listeners through the enchanting and accessible emotional landscape of a woman who has climbed the mountain of her own failures and fears and learned how to be at home with herself.

Album: Carnival of Hopes Track listing:

  1. Half Way Gone  3:45
  2. Carnival of Hopes  5:25
  3. Your Ever~Green Heart  3:21
  4. Good Woman  5:29
  5. Down South (by Tom Petty) 3:30
  6. Truck Stop Stars  4:31
  7. Why’d I Do That Blues  2:38
  8. Highways, Rivers & Scars  4:25
  9. Truth Tellin’ Eyes  4:19
  10. My Dusty Wings  2:57

Learn more about Jane Kramer and her music at www.JaneKramer.net and stay up to date with news at www.facebook.com/janekramersongstress.

 

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Asheville-based Writer Alli Marshall Releases Debut Novel ‘How to Talk To Rockstars’  Through Logosophia Books in June 2015

Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Help Fund an East Coast Author Tour
www.indiegogo.com/projects/how-to-talk-to-rockstars-book-launch-and-tour

How to Talk to Rockstars’ cover artwork is by Joshua Spiceland, the design is by Susan Yost.

How to Talk to Rockstars’ cover artwork is by Joshua Spiceland, the design is by Susan Yost.

ASHEVILLE, NC — Music is a universal language. But sometimes it needs an interpreter. That’s the idea behind How to Talk to Rockstars, a novel about love, loneliness and rock ‘n’ roll. The debut of Alli Marshall, an Asheville-based author, journalist and editor, it’s available in the spring of 2015 from Logosophia Books.  In the words of author Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain, Nightwoods), “This bright, fleet novel is a true delight—an engaging, perceptive, precisely observed and slyly funny meditation on fame and love, in particular the love of music.”

Alli has written for the Mountain Xpress, an altweekly in Asheville, NC, since 2001 and has filled the role of the Arts & Entertainment editor since 2013. How to Talk to Rockstars is based in part on her 14-or-so years spent interviewing artists of all genres, but especially touring musicians.

The novel — think Almost Famous meets The History of Love — follows wallflower-turned-journalist Bryn Thompson. She has a dream job: she interviews rock stars. Bryn’s professionalism keeps her on track, but also emotionally removed from the gritty world of backstage, bars and drugs that she writes about. That is, until she meets musician Jude Archer, whose songs haunt her. As an unlikely friendship grows out of Bryn’s obsession with Jude’s album, Bryn begins to rethink all of the carefully-contrived rules that until now have helped her maintain a professional distance.

Musician and artist, Joseph Arthur calls the book, “A very interesting take on the world of rock ’n’ roll. An unheard perspective.”

The launch party for How to Talk to Rockstars takes place at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, N.C., on Friday, May 15. Festivities begin at 7pm with treats, a reading, a Q&A session, and live music by singer-songwriter Vickie Burrick of Warm the Bell. The event is free and open to the public.

Writing a novel takes time, time, time, patience, determination and at least a little bit of insanity. It takes months — possibly years — of missed parties, late nights and early mornings. It takes many hours in front of a computer screen, and a stronger eyeglasses prescription. Now that How to Talk to Rockstars exists on the page, it’s time to get it into bookstores and (more importantly) into the hands of readers. This takes money, so Alli launched an Indiegogo Campaign. The funds raised will go to a creatively sourced publicity campaign including print media, radio, blogs, podcasts and TV. The other part of the publicity campaign is author events such as readings and further book signings, talks, appearances at book clubs and festivals (both literary and music-oriented), as well as libraries, schools, and heck, maybe street corners!

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More about the Author
Alli Marshall photo credit Carrie Eidson
Alli Marshall grew up in Western New York and has called the mountains of North Carolina home for more than 20 years. She’s a Warren Wilson College graduate and completed her MFA in creative writing at Goddard College. She’s been named the best arts reporter in Western North Carolina in the annual Best of WNC reader’s poll, 2011-2014. She received awards in editorial reporting from the North Carolina Press Association in 2005 and 2014, and from the International Festivals & Events Association in 2004. She also took home top honors in the Cupcakes for the Cure bake-off (local ingredient category) — but that’s another story. And though Alli doesn’t like to brag or anything, over the course of her career she’s interviewed Yoko Ono, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Aimee Mann, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Michael Franti, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Ziggy Marley, Peter Murphy, Grace Potter, Jamie Lidell, Kishi Bashi and many, many others.

For more information, please visit: www.alli-marshall.com and http://www.logosophiabooks.com.

Stay up-to-date with news from Alli at www.facebook.com/allimarshallauthor, www.twitter.com/alli_marshall and www.instagram.com/alli_marshall.

Read more of her feature articles at www.mountainx.com/author/amarshall.

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Twn Mtn Bluegrass Holiday

Bluegrass Holiday Benefit
Featuring Town Mountain and Larry Keel @ Isis Music Hall
Friday, December 20, 2013
A Portion of the Proceeds will be donated to MANNA FoodBank

Doors 5pm (dinner); show 9pm; $20; All Ages
General Admission Standing :: Some Balcony Seating
828-575-2737
Isis Music Hall 743 Haywood Road Asheville, NC 28806
www.isisasheville.com

As 2013 comes to a close, Town Mountain is excited to be joining forces with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at Isis Music Hall on Friday, December 20, 2013 for a Bluegrass Holiday Benefit. A portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to Manna Foodbank.

MANNAFoodBAnkLogoIn Western North Carolina, more than 100,000 people seek emergency food assistance in a single year – that’s 1 in 6 of our neighbors. Of these, 37,000 are children. Local direct service agencies are facing a rapid increase in request for food assistance as food stamp benefits have recently been cut for many local families. Food banks and other non profits cannot close this food stamp gap without help. These types of events take on more importance as hard working families struggle to make ends meet.

“Something very special happens when volunteers, artists, and local business join together to create an event that entertains,  celebrates community and helps our Western North Carolina neighbors in need,” says Becky Upham, communications director at MANNA FoodBank. “MANNA’s work would not be possible without so many giving people in our community, and we are so grateful.”

Hard Drivin’ Carolina String Band-Town Mountain:
Town Mountain 2013 Galax - Jason Beverly HI RESTown Mountain and their lead vocalist, Robert Greer, are honored to have been awarded two 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Awards. Greer brought home the Momentum Award for “Vocalist of the Year” and Town Mountain takes the honor for “Performance Band of the Year.” The awards cap off a year of fantastic growth for the band which began with the release of their sophomore Pinecastle Records album, Leave the Bottle.

Town Mountain includes Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals and Jake Hopping on bass. Formed out of the fertile music scene found in Asheville, Greer and Langlais met at a jam one evening and they began to piece a band together over the next couple of years. “I’ve been here in Asheville for 12-plus years now and about 15 years ago it really started to blow up as a music town,” says Langlais. “We met through that music scene. “

The sound of Town Mountain can be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a rough-hewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are definitely a band of the here-and-now, yet they have a groove that is based on the bluesy and swinging sounds made by the first generation of bluegrass pioneers.

“I feel like we’re closer to original bluegrass than a lot of bands out there today,” says Langlais. “I listened to a radio show recently that featured Ricky Skaggs and he flat-out said that Bill Monroe influenced rock and roll. He said that folks like Elvis and Carl Perkins and those guys were looking up to Bill Monroe. So, I feel like our band has a lot of that influence as well, of the blues and early rock. If you go back and listen to Monroe pre-Chuck Berry, those are Chuck Berry licks. A lot of music in the 1940s and 50s was so over-lapping. It is easy to put genre labels on it today, 60 years later. But to be honest, it was all so new and it was influencing each other at the same time.”

Town Mountain will release a new album in 2014 and will ride the wave of their newfound momentum with appearances at many venues and festivals around the country as the new year unfolds.  More information and tour dates can be found at www.townmountain.net.

Flatpicking Legend Larry Keel:
LKNB by Vikas Nambiar for webLarry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map.

Joining Keel to make up Natural Bridge are the vastly talented Mark Schimick on mandolin and vocals, Larry’s life-long picker pal (and fishing phenom) Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass style 5-string banjo and penetrating lead vocals, and wife Jenny Keel with her impeccable timing and solid, yet imaginative bass lines as well as tenor vocal harmonies.

Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, CLASSIC (2012) is the 3rd album recorded by Keel and his powerhouse ensemble, Natural Bridge. The project is filled with originals written variously by Keel, the band members or by musician/song-writer friends. For more about Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, please visit www.LarryKeel.com.

Manna Foodbank:
MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves 221 non-profit member agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed more than 11 million pounds of food in 2012. To view MANNA’s Annual Report for 2012, or for more information, visit MANNAFoodbank.org or call 828-299-FOOD.

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The Mountain Sports Festival returns to Asheville on
May 24-26, 2013
Introduces Outdoor Gear Builders Village

Get your groove on at Mountain Sports Festival in the spectacular mountain town of Asheville, NC on May 24-26, 2013! Hiking, biking, paddling, running, cyclocross, races, local beer, lots of exhibitors, workshops & an amazing lineup of live music!

newMSFlogoSPORTS – Triathlon, 5k, Rock2Rock, Disc Golf, Ultimate, YOGA, Cyclocross

MUSIC – With a great lineup of indie and local bands; Brushfire Stankgrass , Bonerama , Jeff Sipe Trio, The Fritz, The Packway Handle Band, Jason Daniello, Jon Stickley Trio, Bear Down Easy, The Whiskey Grins, Chalwa, Cedric Burnside & Eleanor Underhill Solo!

CAUSES – Asheville Greenworks, Western North Carolina Alliance & Riverkeeper, City of Asheville Parks & Recreation

BEER – In cooperation with Highland Brewing Company  & Oskar Blues

The MSF Festival Village is located at Carrier Park on Amboy Road along the scenic French Broad River in west Asheville offering wide open spaces and plenty of parking and room to spread out and enjoy all the great MSF activities. Directions: http://mountainsportsfestival.com/events/map

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The Mountain Sports Festival returns to Asheville on May 24-26, 2013, with an impressive lineup to entice any pro or amateur athlete to test themselves in mountain sports. The 3 day festival brings in over 15,000 visitors and competitors in Asheville, NC, the center of the East Coast outdoor life.  Along with the competition, athletes and spectators alike will find plenty of action at the Festival Village at Carrier Park, located along the French Broad River in Asheville.

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountain region of the Appalachians, Asheville is the venue for a long list of competitive events coupled with entertainment, demos and exhibitors. Many sports festivals offer competition, but few add the mountainous terrain to take it up a notch for serious challenge and endurance.  When not out at the races, the Festival Village is the place to be along the scenic French Broad River in West Asheville.

This year Mountain Sports Festival introduces Outdoor Gear Builders Village. The Festival has worked to bring a focus on local manufacturing, bringing 15 of the mountains most innovative and unique Outdoor Gear manufacturers.  The Outdoor Gear Builders Village will be packed with outdoor adventure gear manufacturers and exhibitors showing off their wares, while demonstrating all the latest equipment with tips and techniques for enjoying the outdoors.

MSFBikersRaces and competitions will take place throughout the weekend, beginning with Rock-2-Rock Trail Run in Black Mountain and the Disc Golf Challenge at Festival Village. These events will showcase some of the best disc golf tricks and shots, followed by the Asheville Cyclocross, Race beginning at Festival Village. Things will heat up early on Saturday with a full schedule of high-energy competition highlighted by the Girls on the Run Rise & Shine 5k, Mountain Disc Golf Challenge, French Broad Challenge Triathlon, Dodgeball Tournament and Complimentary Yoga.  By Sunday, the events are still in high gear with day two of the Mountain Disc Golf Experience, Sand Volleyball Tournament, and the Ultimate Frisbee Clinic.

The Festival Village Main Stage will be going solid, beginning Friday night and running through Sunday afternoon with a broad mix of live music featuring local and national acts. This Year’s headliners are locals Brushfire Stankgrass on Friday and Bonerama from New Orleans on Saturday Night. The full lineup includes Jeff Sipe Trio, The Fritz, Jeff Sipe Trio, The Packway Handle Band, Jason Daniello, Jon Stickley Trio, Bear Down Easy, The Whiskey Grins, Chalwa, Cedric Burnside & Eleanor Underhill Solo.

About Mountain Sports Festival

The Mountain Sports Festival is organized by a volunteer group of community oriented citizens dedicated to the presenting of a well balanced series of outdoor events that encourage participation on all levels.

www.MountainSportsFestival.com

MtnSportsfest2013

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5th Annual MUSIC VIDEO ASHEVILLE Wed, May 9th at The Cinebarre
Tickets on Sale Now!

A Showcase to Highlight The Pairing of Asheville Musicians & Filmmakers

Screening: Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
NEW TIME: 6pm Networking Party, 7:15pm Seating, 9:30pm Awards & Crowd Vote

Join Asheville’s music and film elite on the red carpet for the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Music Video Asheville on Wednesday, May 9th at the Cinebarre. Watch music videos by Asheville’s premier musicians and filmmakers on the big screen as they vie for the $500 cash prize and studio time at Echo Mountain. MVA’s mission is to network musicians and filmmakers so please bring business cards, stickers, show fliers to mingle about when the doors open at 6pm. Donned in your Grammy-style attire (of course with an Asheville flare) you can sip champagne and pose for the paparazzi on the red carpet until seating starts at 7:15. Don’t miss this all-star event and your chance to vote for your favorite Asheville music video!

Thanks to Asheville’s supportive music community, this event usually sells out and fills up quick. Please arrive early to get a good seat. Advance tickets re on sale now and can be purchased at the Cinebarre, Harvest Records, & Orbitz DVD in West Asheville, The One Stop and The Honeypot in downtown. General admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

For those wishing to arrive in style and depart responsibly, board The New Belgium Brewing VIP Party Bus which picks up and drops off at the Official After Party at One Stop Deli and Bar with DJ Molly Parti and Par (The after-party is $5 or included with VIP ticket purchase). VIP is $30 and includes pickup and drop off at Cinebarre, champagne and New Belgium beer on the bus, red carpet drop off in a classic car, VIP seating, and admission to after party. Only 30 VIP tickets are available and they can be purchased online or at The One Stop or Harvest Records.

Stay tuned to MVA’s Red Carpet Sponsor 98.1 The River for announcements about a VIP ticket giveaway in the coming weeks.  We will also be making announcements about the who’s who of entries as well as information of the guest speakers and the judging panel!

Special thanks to our sponsors: 98.1 The River, The One Stop, and New Belgium Brewing as well as the MVA ticket outlets. Music Video Asheville 2012 is produced by Lush Life Productions, theONcorps, Sound Mind Creative, and Dreamspider Publicity.  If you are interested in volunteering or being a sponsor, please contact Kelly Denson via email at kelly at lushlifetoday dot com or call 828-515-1081.

Ticket Details:
$8 adv/ $10 dos general admission
Tickets are now available at:
Harvest Records, The One Stop, Orbitz DVD, The Honeypot and The Cinnebarre

VIP Tickets $30- includes transportation (Limited availability online, The One Stop or Harvest Records)

Advance tickets are recommended due to sell out and limited space.

Cinebarre, behind Biltmore Square Mall
828.665.8661
800 Brevard Road
Asheville, NC

 

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