By D. Lanier Shook July 7, 2o13
Bele Chere starts in just over two weeks and there will be 47 wonderful music acts there. You can read about them on this page but you’ll have to click here to find out where and when they play.For all of the other details about the music, food, and other fun click here to visit the Festival website or if you don’t plan on going click here for Eleven Reasons why you should.
Formed in a bar in the Netherlands, this group’s sound is described on MTV.com as “velvety lushness.” The website also said the band has great chemistry, which makes sense since its three brothers and two friends. If you want to get a feel for how they sound then click here to visit their Reverbnation site or click here to check out thier Facebook page.
Balsam Range is where folk, gospel, and rock meet. Their recording Papertown has seen incredible success and the group doesn’t seem to be slowing down. But the most important thing you need to know about the group is that they come from Haywood County. You might also want to know that they were the first band to play at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, their song Trains I Missed was the International Bluegrass Music Assocation’s Song of the Year, seven of their songs were nationwide number ones, they’ve recorded with Zac Brown, and they’ve raised half a million dollars for charity since they started. But most importantly, they’re from Haywood County. To hear their unique sound and find out even more about this group click here to visit their website or click here to visit their Reverbnation site.
Blair Crimmins and the Hookers
Blair Crimmins brings a sound to the Bele Chere stage that will remind you of the 20s jazz. Mr. Crimmins claims an unusually deep connection to old vaudeville music and you can expect to hear that. Reviewers have raved about how the band’s music sticks with you and sweeps you away with its sound. To find out first hand click here to visit their website where you can hear them, see their videos and photos, and find out where they’ll be. Or you can click here to visit their visit their Reverbnation site and listen to even more of their tunes.
Bright Light Social Hour
The Bright Light Social Hour is a high energy art-rock band from Austin, Texas. They’ve recorded three records and most importantly they hand out organic cookies at their shows. They won six awards at the 2011 South by Southwest festival. Did I mention they hand out organic cookies at their shows? The band opened for The Dave Matthews Band last month and were in Fort Lauderdale for the Tortuga Music Festival where they shared the stage with Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Jake Owen, the Eli Young Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. (The places you’ll go when you hand out free cookies.) So click here to visit their website or click here to check out their Reverbnation page. I wonder if they’d send me cookies if I sent an email and asked nicely?
Boys in the Well
Boys In The Well is a band composed of two guys named Lanier and two guys named John. They combine an upbeat folk sound with thoughtful lyrics and soulful vocals. Their Reverbnation site says they sound like Mumford and Sons and I tend to agree. But — as Lamar Burton said— you don’t have to take my word for it. Click here to visit their website and click here to visit their Reverbnation site.
Carolina Rex is one of the bands that I first reviewed for the Mountain State Fair and since then I was privileged to hear them perform their tune “Amy” on the radio. They feature a high energy sound that’s not easy to listen to and makes you want to hear more. This great local group that plays a wide variety of great music, including R&B, rock, funk, and metal.
If you recognize Jacqui,their vocalist, you’re not imagining things. She moonlights as a voice over artist. Brian, another member, gave his first performance of The Gambler to his class at age 7. There’s alot of talent in this group so you’ll want to click here and visit their website or click here to visit their Reverbnation site, where you’ve got to listen to their “Mosquito Stomp.”
Chalwa claims to play “original high country reggae.” I’m not an expert on reggae, but they have played in Jamaica, so I’m going to take their word for it. Well, not just theirs, since this band from Candler received several awards and quite a bit of acclaim. To hear their mellow sound and read more about them click here to visit their Facebook page or click here to visit their Reverbnation page.
Chuck Brodsky is a local singer/songwriter whose music you may have heard if you watched 2003 movie Radio starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris. Chuck sings ballads and songs that express his strong feelings about whats wrong and right in the world.
A British paper compared him to Woody Guthrie or an early Bob Dylan. His CD “Baseball Ballads” earned him the description as “Baseball’s troubadour poet laureate…” from Tim Wiles, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of research. If you like what you’ve heard and are a fan of songs that tell a good, uplifting story you’ll want to click here and visit his homepage or click here to visit his Reverbnation page.
Crazy Horse and Colston
Crazy Horse and Colston are a solid hip-hop duo from Asheville. They bring the hip-hop sound to the mike while keeping their mountains roots are never forgotten. They’ve got two CDs that you can find out more about by clicking here to visit their home page. if you want to hear their unique sound click here to visit their Reverbnation site.
If you recognize Drew Holcomb’s sound, you probably heard him in one of the many national spots he’s been featured in. These include television shows —Nashville, House, Justified, Deadliest Catch, and others— and advertisements. In fact their song Live Forever was featured in a NBA commercial that was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “timeless.” If you want to hear this great sound yourself then click here to visit Drew’s website and click here to visit his Reverbnation site.
Deep Fried 5
Deep Fried 5 is one example of the great music coming to Bele Chere this year. This amalgamation of R&B, Soul, Funk, and Rock calls Nashville home will bring you to your feet. For more of their sound click here to visit their website or click here to visit the Reverbnation page.
Dave Dribbon and The Stomping Rain
Every year Bele Chere brings the best of our local music talent to the stage and Dave Dribbon is no exception. You’ve probably already heard this group, either live in several local venues, or on local radio. Either way their music is toe-tapping and their lyrics are heartfelt. Find out for yourself by clicking here to visit their Facebook page or click here to visit the Reverbnation page.
David Earl and the Ploughshares
This local group is full of Southern tradition and Rock ‘n Roll heritage. Their music is full of soul and locals have noticed it. WNCW and WNC Magazine both called them bands to watch. You need to click here to visit their Reverbnation and check out their sound.
David Holt and the Lightning Bolts
David Holt should require no introduction. Between his local work, his four Grammy awards, and his work with public broadcasting you should know about him. The Lightning Bolts were born in a Swiss music festival and are what happens when talent meets talent.
David is joined by Laura Boosinger, a successful artist in her own right (click here to visit her website) on the guitar and vocals. Josh Goforth — a musical genius from Madison County and Johnson City — joined them on the fiddle. (Click here to read about his impressive career.) Thier drummer is David Cohen, an Asheville cartoonist who plays in three other groups. Click here to check out his website. To find out all about this amazing group click here to visit their website.
Doc Aquatic is an Asheville based psychadelic rock group that’s easy to listen to. Their recent releases and concert have been hailed by local press as including a full range of rock sound. To read what the local press has to say click here to visit their Reverbnation site or click here to visit their Facebook page.
Dan Deacon is a composer and musician from Baltimore with a list of credits, appearances, and compositions longer than both my arms. He’s comfortable both in the concert hall —Carnegie Hall, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music — and the festival scene —four times at SXSW, Lollapalooza, Moogfest, and over 50 others. He’s also comfortable at concerts, where he has chosen to play from the middle of the crowd instead of a stage. He’s been on shows from Jimmy Kimmel to All Things Considered. To hear him click here to visit his website.
The first thing I’m going to say is that you have to visit Goodnight, Texas’ website because of its amazing late 19th century feel. The group is named after a town exactly halfway between their two hometowns. The band’s sound is positively mountain music. Their music combines banjos and guitars with harmonicas, drums, and bass to illuminate vocals that paint a story. To hear what I’m talking about click here to visit their website.
Former Champions are from Richmond, Virginia and are releasing their second album. Their style has been described as sensuous funk meeting dance grooves. I’d say it’s more like a light-as-a-feather beat behind a thought provoking vocal. They call it “street music” and you can hear it by clicking here to visit their website or clicking here to visit their Reverbnation site.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Karl Denson has an impressive jazz legacy, playing with such well known names as Lenny Kravitz and Fred Wesley. Karl has released several jazz albums on his own and has led Tiny Universe to success on several tours, the festival circuit, and in impressive record sales. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe blends instruments and vocals well, as proved by the press acclaim they’ve earned. You can check out the sound and the acclaim by clicking here to visit their very impressive homepage.
The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats are my kinda band. Their first songs were recorded on a boom box and released on a cassette — like I said my kinda band. Of course, they’ve come a long way since then. They’ve performed on The Colbert Report and Carnegie Hall. Their music is incredibly upbeat with vocals that draw you in. You can click here to visit their home page or click here to visit their NPR Music page.
Mountain Heart is going to be a treat to have back in Asheville. Not only is their music pure folk/bluegrass gold but the group is incredibly acclaimed. They’ve released 7 albums, have won numerous albums, and have appeared at the Grand Old Opry 125 times. To hear their sound click here to visit their homepage or click here to visit their Reverbnation page.
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Jonathan Scales takes steel drums places that I’ve never heard before. Combining the sound with bass and drums he integrates them into the orchestra, yielding a smooth, jazz-like sound. To see what I’m talking about click here to visit their homepage or click here to visit their Reverbnation page.
If you like country music then Joy Styles is the voice you need to hear. When you do hear her you won’t be surprised that this is a very talented, very trained artist. You’ll want to click here to visit her Facebook page or click here to visit her Reverbnation page.
Kishi Bashi’s sound is light, ethereal, and magical. I’m not the only one who thinks so, since Microsoft and Sony have licensed his music for commercials. He is a very talented violinist who you should hear. Click here to visit his home page, click here to visit his Bandcamp page, or click here to visit his NPR Music page.
Moon Taxi is a rock band from Nashville with great sound and great lyrics. (Every rock has a roll and its gone, every stone has a rhythm of its own…) This group has been busy on the tour and concert circuit, letting thousands of Americans hear their high energy, feel good sound. Next month it’s Asheville’s turn so click here to visit their home page or click here to visit their Reverbnation site.
Matrimony is a Charlotte based band with an energy born of family ties. Jimmy and Ashlee Brown are a husband-wife duo that were actually writing songs before they married. Their partnership has led to haunting lyrics and melodies you can hear by clicking here to visit their Reverbnation site. You can also click here to visit their home page or click here to read their blog.
High energy is how Mountain Feist describes itself. They are pure, high energy bluegrass pickin’. Their music, their lyrics, (if you wanna see a changed man here’s what you gotta do, pack up your things, head out the door, and take the cats with you…)and their energy will keep you entertained either at Bele Chere or while just listening online. So click here to visit their website and see what you have to look forward to next month.
Nahko and Medicine for the People
If you take your existence seriously and believe you are here for a purpose then you will find Nahko and Medicine for the People interesting. Whether you’re a fan of their music or not, you’ll still appreciate their Mission to be a force for positive change. Even if you aren’t quite so serious you’ll probably still enjoy their music with lyrics like “I’m awake and takin’ names.” To find out more about this group that hails from Hawaii click here to visit their homepage or click here to visit their SoundCloud page.
One Leg Up
One Leg Up is an Asheville based jazz group that aspired to play in the style of French jazz artist Django Reinhardt. Apparently they succeeded since they played at a book show held by the author of a biography about Mr. Reinhardt. They were only two years old when they were chosen to play back up for Spanish guitarist Pere Soto in his U.S. tour. They’ve been to many, many festivals and you can find out why when you click here to visit their website or click here to visit their CDbaby page.
Any group that has garnered acclaim from Doc Watson and David Holt is impressive. But the members of Paul’s Creek would be impressive anywhere. Carol Rifkin, Jamie Soesbee, Tom Pittman, Arvil Freeman, and Adam Tanner are joined by other equally talented musicians at festivals and venues around the area and beyond. These are some of the best mountain musicians the area has to offer but to fully grasp how good they are you should click here to view their video on YouTube or click here to check out one on Vimeo or click here to view another on Vimeo. To read their credentials and what has been said about them click here to visit their website.
Porch 40 is a Cullowhee based group that describes themselves as “Funk/Jazz/Rock/Energy.” They specialize in communicating that energy to their audiences. Their music features soulful lyrics set to an incredible sound. So click here to check out their Facebook page or visit their Reverbnation page by clicking here.
Randall Bramlett Band
The Randall Bramlett Band is an Athens, Georgia based Southern rock group that mixes in deep, soulful lyrics and vocals. Mr. Bramlett actually intended to enter seminary before beginning his music career and this spirituality is reflected in his music. He’s received acclaim from Bonnie Raitt and Rolling Stone, so click here to visit his home page or click here to hear him on his Reverbnation page.
Rory Kelly is a serious Southern rocker from Marion, North Carolina with lyrics to match. (“Do what you want to me, just don’t shake my family tree.”) When you hear his heart felt vocals you won’t be surprised that he comes from a musical family. If you like your rock music up-tempo and solid, then you need to click here and visit his Reverbnation page and hear more of him or you can click here to visit his homepage.
Spicy Moustache and the Flavor Saviours
Coming to you from Asheville Spicy Moustahce and the Flavor Saviours will touch your soul with songs like King’s Dream and make you think with ones like I Will Suceed. Their sound is a beat that will bring you to your feet. To find out for yourself click here to visit their Reverbnation site, click here to visit their Bandcamp page, or click here to keep up with them on Facebook.
Space Capone is a Nashville based soul band that lives up to its genre. Their music is solid soul and very danceable. (I think that’s a word.) If you like soul even just a little you should click here to visit their homepage or check out their sound by clicking here to visit their Reverbnation page.
Sons of Bill
The Sons of Bill are named for three members of the group who are actually sons of a guy named Bill. They’re from Charlottesville, Virginia and have a great, easy to listen to sound. If you like what I’m describing then click here to visit their home page (and make sure to scroll down) or click here to check out their Reverbnation page.
The Birchtree Band
The Birchtree Band are five guys who play solid country music that you’ll find yours toes tapping to. With a sound that is reminiscent of Darius Rucker this is a group you may want to check out at Bele Chere. To hear their sound click here to visit their YouTube channel or click here to visit their website.
The Get Downs
This band from Boone are old fashioned rock and rock with extra energy thrown in. Elvis would be proud of their sound and you’ll find it impossible to sit still when you hear it. To see — and hear — what I’m talking about click here to visit their Reverbnation page.
The Restoration is unique because their music is actually used in several college courses. No, really. Evidently their album Constance has been chosen by Francis Marion University and Spartanburg Methodist College to study along with Southern literature. Their album Honor The Father was sold with a evidence bag, crime scene photos, and an crime scene map that goes along with the songs on the CD. To find out more about this intriguingly creative group click here to visit their website or click here to visit their Soundcloud website.
This a great sounding duo from here in Asheville that has been described as doing the work of a five person band. I’m going to describe Melissa McGinley’s vocals as stirring and emotive. She and Chris Padgett manage to operate four instruments and the sound is worth hearing. Check out their sound by clicking here to visit their page or clicking here to visit their Rebverbnation page.
The Swayback Sisters
If you’re a fan of old fashioned bluegrass picking and vocals The Swayback Sisters are the group you’ll want to check out at Bele Chere. This is a sound you’re going to be moving to and there’s a reason why. All three members have a strong portfolio of good music demonstrating their talent. To find out more about them click here to visit their website or click here to hear them on the Reverbnation page.
The Travis Smith Project
Southern churches have been the sources of many a great vocal talent and Travis Smith is one of those. He’s from Woodruff, a town just south of Spratanburg. Talent is the only way to describe someone who was writing songs by age 4. He plays several different instruments and you can hear him by clicking here to visit his homepage.
Tyler Lynch is a local musician who has a great sound and a great attitude. He’s a young man who’s stayed close to his roots and his soul. His music has an inspirational, heartfelt sound and you can find out what I’m talking about by clicking here to visit his homepage or clicking here to visit his Facebook page where you can also see photos of his performances and interviews.
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
This is a band from Asheville that Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band will be at Bele Chere. There’s a reason and most of you all know I’m talking about their high energy music and engaging vocals. This is a sound that will have most of you dancing in the aisles if you can get there first. A decade of music-making has shown this group has what it takes and whatever replaces Bele Chere, I’m sure they’ll be there too. I’d be making a mistake not to suggest you click here to visit their homepage or click here to visit their Reverbnation page.
Wow. Wanda Jackson is one of the reasons I’m sorry to see Bele Chere end. This festival brings top talent to our city and this is a prime example. Wanda Jackson has been given acclaim by Adele and the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has a video about her on their website describing her as the “first lady of American of rock and roll.” She described Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis as “buddies.” If you’re interested in hearing a woman who was mentored by Elvis you’ve got to click here to visit her website or read an NPR interview with her where she discusses Elvis Presley.
Lyric is a quartet that were born as street musician and want to stay true to their sound. Their music is upbeat, the lyrics (no pun intended) are inspirational, and best of all they’re local. Click here to visit their Reverbnation page or click here to watch videos of their performances.
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