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Photo 1 is by Scott Woody, photo 2 is by Simply Pickin' & the 3rd one is by Debbie Ryder

Photo 1 is by Scott Woody, photo 2 is by Simply Pickin’ & the 3rd one is by Debbie Ryder

Celebrating the Life and Music of Billy Constable at Isis
Thursday, Oct 8, 2015

7:30pm – 1:00am
743 Haywood Rd, West Asheville, North Carolina 28806
http://isisasheville.com/events/celebrating-the-life-and-times-of-billy-constable-2/

RSVP on Facebook here

Billy Constable was a well-known and much loved bluegrass musician from WNC who had been battling terminal brain cancer for the better part of a year. He lost his battle on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015.

His friends have organized a memorial event, The Billy Constable Memorial Jam, to honor this kind-hearted, talented man and the great contribution he has made to the music community of WNC and beyond. It will take place at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall in West Asheville on Thursday, October 8th from 7:30pm-1am.

“The outpouring of stories and memories online about Constable give an idea of the scope of a life dedicated to musical passion, and they tell the story of a kind, gentle soul, always willing to teach to anyone who wanted to learn,” writes Brian Swenk in Boone’s Mountain Times.

Included will be a memorial slideshow and a celebration of his life in a night of live music with Billy’s longtime musical compadres. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the rich legacy he has left us. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. Proceeds to benefit the Constable family. If you cannot make the show, but would like to donate, please do so at http://www.gofundme.com/nuj8ks

The lineup so far includes:
Sassagrass
Butch Robins
Steve McMurry (of Acoustic Syndicate)
Jon Stickley & Lyndsay Pruett (of Jon Stickley Trio)
Bearwallow (2015 MerleFest Band Competition Winners)
Amanda Platt (of The Honeycutters)
Taylor Martin
Sam Wharton
Darren Nicholson Band (of Balsam Range)
Blue Wheel Drive
Robert Greer (with members of Town Mountain)
Jim Rollins
Adam Masters
Billy Cardine
Bobby Miller
Jason and Jacob Burleson
Mary Lucey

more to be announced

More about Billy Constable:

Born March 23, 1959, Billy Constable was a well known and much loved musician from WNC.

Growing up in Avery county, he came from a rich lineage of musicians including; Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman, Lawrence Wiseman, David Wiseman, Fiddling Jimmy Wiseman, banjo picker Kent Wiseman, and Billy’s mother, Lois.

Billy formed his first band Leather Britches, and at the age of 14 he hit the road professionally joining Charlie Moore’s band in the early 1970’s. He went on to play with Doug Dillard and in the 80’s his family band The Constables was formed. They also appeared with the late great Rose Maddox in that band. In addition he played with Dick Tyner and Train 45, Ray Parks, and toured with Kenny Baker and Josh Graves.

In recent years he recorded with the Big Daddy Bluegrass Band with Steve McMurry, and Curtis Burch, Larry Keel, String Cheese Incident, Acoustic Forum, Hypnotic Clambake, and formed his own band Sassagrass.

He has shared the stage picking with; Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Butch Robins, Mac Wiseman, Leftover Salmon, Byron Berline, Sam Bush, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jim and Jesse, and the Osborne Brothers, to name a few.

Steeped in the rich knowledge of traditional bluegrass and Appalachian music, but reaching far beyond into gypsy jazz and other eclectic forms of music, he is well known as a musician’s musician.

A master of guitar, banjo, and mandolin, Billy has often been credited with teaching his musical compadres how to play and “play it right,” and we have all become better musicians and better people for knowing him.

Thank you Billy, for sharing your gift with us.  ~ written by Deb Ryder

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honeycuttCov3DThe Honeycutters, an Asheville, NC-based original country roots band, released their third studio album, Me Oh My, on April 21, 2015 with Organic Records®. Fueled by the powerful songwriting and vocals of founder Amanda Platt, Me Oh My moves her into the spotlight as producer, band leader, and principal creative force behind the band. With songs that are honest and relatable, part chagrin and part hope, Platt’s voice carries a timeless appeal. Led by songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, The Honeycutters include Tal Taylor on mandolin, Rick Cooper on bass, Josh Milligan on drums, and Matt Smith rounds out the band on pedal steel, electric guitar, and dobro.

“Amanda Anne Platt is easily one of the best songwriters coming out of Western NC these days, and she really needs to be discovered by the national Americana world.” Martin Anderson, the Music Director at WNCW goes on to say, “You can’t get much more Asheville than … Appalachian honkytonk band The Honeycutters … they recorded at Echo Mountain and Mixtown Studios there, and mixed and mastered Me Oh My at Crossroads Studios in Arden, where their label Organic Records is based.

The Honeycutters were recently in Studio B for a radio session around the new album, and WNCW got it all on video. Check them out below.

WNCW – Jukebox

WNCW – Interview following Jukebox:

WNCW – Texas 81:

WNCW – Interview following Texas 81

WNCW – All You Ever:

WNCW – Interview following All You Ever:

WNCW – Lucky:

For more information about The Honeycutters and tour dates, please visit: www.thehoneycutters.com. For news from the road, please visit www.facebook.com/Honeycutters and twitter.com/thehoneycutters.

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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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Shannon Whitworth & Barrett Smith
“Bring It On Home” Holiday Party

The Altamont Theatre
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
$15/$12adv; 7pm door/  8pm show
18 Church St., Asheville, NC  28801
828-348-5327
myaltamont.com

Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith are happy to announce a Holiday Party at The Altamont Theatre in Asheville, NC on Thursday, December 20th. Joining them for the occasion are Mike Ashworth on bass, Jeff Sipe on drums, and Jacob Rodriguez on saxaphone all of whom also performed on their new album Bring it On Home, of which Jazz Times exclaims is, “that hidden diamond that may be the best recording to cross this desk all year.” Don’t be surprised if other special guests show up to sit in as well to perform songs from this new and elegant album!

Bring It on Home is a twelve track mix-tape collection of Barrett and Shannon’s favorite songs by their favorite songwriters. Esteemed writer, Gary von Tersch sums it up nicely, “from Paul Simon’s noir-ish New England tale of  ‘Duncan,’ Sanders and Cochrans’ cozily witty ballad ‘I Get Ideas’ and Leonard Cohen’s oft-covered early hit ‘Bird On The Wire’ to their unnervingly bluesy take on Paul Siebel’s signature portrait of ‘Louise’ along with a similarly bluesy, revelatory version of Van Morrison’s passionate ‘I’ll Be Your Lover Too.’ And it gets even better, with a soulfully wistful arrangement of Sam Cooke’s signature plea ‘Bring It On Home To Me,’ ditto Tom Waits’ atmospheric ‘Green Grass’ (with Jacob Rodriguez’ bluesy saxophone drifting wonderfully alongside Whitworth’s throaty vocal) and A.C. Jobim’s lazily pensive samba ‘Corcovado (Quiet Nights),’ probably the album highlight for me. Timeless tunes timelessly performed.”

Recorded in Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio with a team of talented friends and musicians from the area including legendary drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon) and master multi-instrumentalist Mike Ashworth who formed the core rhythm section. Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez took a break from touring with Michael Buble to contribute on trumpet and saxophone. and virtuoso bluegrass fiddlers Nate Leath and Nicky Sanders (Steep Canyon Rangers) added violins to Melissa Hyman’s cello lines while Michael Libramento, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, played keyboards.

Cover Lay Down writes, “Gentle trumpet, uke, fiddle, banjo and saxophone flourishes lend just the right layers to the songs, showcasing strong and deliberate vocals, crisp guitars and pianos, and arrangements without disrupting the smooth track-to-track flow. And the combination of voices here is heavenly, with Smith and Whitworth’s equally intimate, equally weary voices trading lead and harmony in true duo form.”  Music New Nashville goes on to simply state, “The duo slays the opening cut, and in doing so, reveal a secret in doing a cover – sometimes it’s not about changing a song to reflect your personality, or ‘making it your own,’ it’s simply a case of letting the song  be front and center – which they do rather well here.”

In the holiday spirit they are offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of the opening track, their version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me”

The album was released Nationally this November and makes the perfect holiday gift, attractive to folks across multiple generations. Get it here: http://barrettsmith.com/listenbuy.cfm and also on iTunes.

“From start to finish, Bring it on Home is crafted with love…
a timeless collection”

Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress

BarrettSmith.com
ShannonWhitworth.net

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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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Kellin Watson will be sitting in with old friends The Duhks, as a guest vocalist for two shows this February. With Tania Elizabeth on Fiddle and Scott Senior on percussion, Jordan McConnell on guitar and Leonard Podolak on Banjo and vocals it will be almost all of the original members of The Duhks! It will be a special night, but if you can’t make it, be sure and help us spread the word to others in or around the Raleigh or Spindale area.

Spindale, NC
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The most vital acoustic music being made today acknowledges its predecessors and lives in the here and now. The Duhks, a band of skilled, high-energy, tattooed musicians from Winnipeg, Manitoba, have been riveting audiences and winning staunch fans around the world with just that kind of music. The Boston Globe says about them, “Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove. Who says the Frozen North can’t sizzle, eh?”
NPR says, “The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music and soul, which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences.” Ultimately though, according to band founder and claw-hammer banjoist Leonard Podolak, the Duhks “just want to play music that speaks to everybody.” Mission accomplished.

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Kellin Watson is a internationally-touring singer-songwriter, whose award-winning sound blends elements of blues, pop, folk, and soul. Hailing from Asheville, NC, Kellin draws on her Appalachian roots to bring both power and rawness to her music. “There are a lot of common talents in the world, but there are very few rare talents. I feel that Kellin is a rare, uncommon talent. Her songs have the ability to take someone gently by the wrist and tell them a story…”  states Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. The Charlotte Observer calls her, “Jazzy soul and swinging pop comparable to Fiona Apple or a less folksy Ani DiFranco, Watson has an endearing stage demeanor and a killer voice, not to mention soulful songs that don’t fit in any particular box.” Keep an eye out for her 2011 release “Halo of Blue.”

www.duhks.com
www.kellinwatson.com

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