Hailing from Haywood County, Balsam Range is known for their combination of rich rhythmic bluegrass and songs of the old bands. Band members share in a deep desire to play a unique balance of traditional and contemporary bluegrass music flavored with impeccable harmonies, upbeat instrumentals, and sweet gospel tunes.
Blair Crimmins and the Hookers
Blair Crimmins began his current music career in Atlanta, Georgia with a determination to bring Ragtime and 1920’s style New Orleans Jazz to new audiences. A multi-instrumentalist, Crimmins puts on an eclectic one man show, performing on piano, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and accordion. Crimmins has the ability to blend the sounds of 1920s hot jazz, ragtime and blues with rock and roll. He tours with a full band complete with a New Orleans horn section. Their historical sound is contrasted with original, modern lyrics evoking the feelings of contemporary old souls.
Boys in the Well
Since forming in early 2010, Boys in the Well have been writing honest music and playing energetic shows. Four young men from the mountains of North Carolina, they create spirited yet melancholic magic. Defined as honest folk music with alternative undertones they combine meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies leaving audiences ready for whatever is next. They keep things fresh and interesting on stage where they often share musical responsibilities and switch instruments.
Carolina Rex is built on a core of Texas Blues, R&B, Funk and Soul. Depending on the venue, Cajun blues, rockabilly, surf, classic rock, new wave, metal, and jazz might creep in. Whatever the gig, there is always danceable music, vocal harmony and impressive musicianship. Male and female vocal leads set this band apart as well as a harmonica, some of the area’s best musicians, and a hugely varied repertoire. Playing both originals and covers, this band has something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
Chalwa is based out of Asheville, NC and plays original High Country Reggae. The band is a fusion of high energy music with roots, rock and reggae beats that will leave all ages entertained and dancing. The group pulls deep from Jamaica to build an original reggae identity that is both progressive but influenced by its roots. Their performance will leave listeners captivated by the sound and transported to Jamaica, even if you’ve never been there.
Chuck Brodsky is not only a songwriter but a storyteller whose narratives are brought to life with just an acoustic guitar. His old fashioned story songs tell the tales of oddballs and underdogs with wit and irony delivered over his syncopated guitar strumming. He draws on influences from the mountains of North Carolina and traditional folk music. Having played for the National Baseball Hall of Fame on multiple occasions, his traditional folk songs about one of America’s favorite pastimes is something he has become renowned for.
CrazyHorse & Colston
CrazyHorse & Colston is a hip hop duo based out of Asheville, NC. Both MC’s are heavily influenced by Hip Hop, Rock, Blues, Folk and Bluegrass music which they incorporate into their music. They seek to reconnect to the roots of hip hop and expose audiences to the same raw, creative and thought-provoking music America first experienced when hip hop was introduced. Their music pulses with sounds and sights pulled from the countryside but also bars and city streets. Their sound is embellished with unique rhythm and tones that separate them from the stereotypical hip hop music popular today.
Dan Deacon is an American composer and electronic musician based out of Baltimore, Maryland. He’s renowned for his live shows where he mixes audience participation into his performance. His compositional style is best classified in the future shock genre and that is just what his music will do to new listeners – amaze and shock. Come out and listen to this interactive performer who utilizes and wows his audiences at the same time.
Dave Dribbon & the Stomping Rain
Dave Dribbon (formerly of Ten Hollow) has put together a new truly soulful Roots/Rock band in Asheville. Expect to hear influences by the likes of Elvis Costello, Jeff Buckley, Van Morrison, Blind Melon and The Band. While Dave has kept some of the Ten Hollow songs in the Stomping Rain repertoire, this band is full of new and original material revitalizing this already remarkable group. Along with the broken down blues and classic rock roots, the music is a step away from Ten Hollow’s Americana with a more rockin’ sound.
David Earl and the Plowshares
David Earl and the Plowshares are purveyors of original and organic Classic Rock spiked with Outlaw Country. They have returned to the local scene with a bigger, more sculpted sound. Soulful and powerful music is bolstered by brilliant songwriting and witty lyricism. Self-described as “amphetamine folk,” their slow burning rock songs shouldn’t be overlooked either. The revitalization of David Earl and the Plowshares only further reveals a band who already established their phenomenal talent and experience.
David Holt & the Lightning Bolts
Asheville’s own David Holt & the Lightning Bolts are known for their good old-fashioned, true to the game, folk magic. A four-time Grammy Award winner, David Holt is dedicated to preserving and performing traditional American music and stories. Playing ten acoustic instruments and performing traditional folk music, he brings the fun and spirit of old time music and storytelling to the stage. An evening with David Holt offers tales, ballads and tunes told, sung and played on the banjo, slide guitar, guitar, harmonica, bones, and spoon and jar harp; you don’t want to miss out!
Deep Fried 5
Out of their hometown of Nashville, TN, Deep Fried 5 has been making funky, soulful music exploding with groove and attitude since 2008. They perform original music reminiscent of 60s and 70s funk and soul. The group continues to grow and expand; pushing the envelope of a new progressive funk sound that has undertones of Jazz, Rock, Soul, R&B, and Blues. Their real niche has been finding the more commercial aspects of late-70s soul and making it relevant today. Deep Fried 5 will explode your mind and funk you higher than cloud nine with dynamic dynamite soul.
Doc Aquatic is an Indie Rock trio based in Asheville, NC. Their distinct sound comes from a tasteful blend of vintage Rock and Roll with contemporary indie sensibilities. An angular and melodic guitar complements a steadily bouncing rhythm section to create a familiar but unconventional sound. Their rich layers of psychedelic and indie pop make the band come alive giving a sense of audacious fun. A high energy performance has come to be expected from this band rewarding every audience with a set that ends all too soon.
Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors
Since releasing their first album, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors have established themselves as a formidable indie act, selling more than 75,000 records, playing more than 1,500 live dates and selling-out headline shows. The band delivers modern rock through a multitude of roots music influences and a marvelous blend of genres. Their newest album, Good Light, showcases their signature brand of singer/songwriter Americana. They weave stories that capture their vocals impeccably, featuring a tasteful arrangement while holding an emotional attachment for audiences to grasp on to.
Former Champions are an electro rock band based out of Richmond, Virginia. Their music showcases vocal led compositions intermixed with an array of instrumentally driven electronic pieces. A sonic blend of synthesized keys mixed with sub-bass, distorted guitar, harmonized vocals, samples, and a multitude of drums, cymbals and percussion combine to create what the band describes as “street music.” 2013 looks to be an exciting year for Former Champions as they release their second studio album, Special FX Machine, and continue hitting the road with a heavy tour schedule including appearances at several festivals across the country.
Goodnight, Texas, is an American folk-rock band whose name reflects the geographical midpoint between San Francisco's Avi Vinocur and North Carolina's Patrick Dyer Wolf. The pair of songwriters found their stylistic midpoint amidst old wooden instruments and a vision of late nineteenth century blue collar America. The duo pays homage to 19th and 20th century folk and blues music. The band's debut LP A Long Life of Living breathes fascination into the fading memory of generations in our country's patchwork of opportunity, immigration, and tragedy, and muses on our own era's place in the story.
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Jazz steel pannist and virtuoso composer, Jonathan Scales, formed his ‘Fourchestra’ in 2007 as a means to deliver his musically complex, but accessible ideas to anyone willing to listen. A classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro, he is heavily influenced by the complexity of banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and the hustle of Jay-Z. His musical cast of characters holds a mind-bending concoction together with jazz edge and classical sensibility. A rising star on the steel drums, he brings a new vitality to the traditional Caribbean instrument.
Country music has a fresh, new face and sound in singer/songwriter Joy Styles. Joy’s emotionally resonant songs reflect her musical range and life experiences. Her country sound has an added twist with pop influences giving a voice to strong, independent women everywhere. An amazing range combined with brilliant songwriting leaves little to be second guessed about this powerful country singer.
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Over the past three decades, San Diego's funk and jazz saxophonist Karl Denson has maneuvered between playing as part of a band, with artists like Lenny Kravitz and Fred Wesley in the 1980s, and working on his own solo projects. In the 1990s, Denson became a founding member of the Greyboy Allstars before focusing on his career as a solo artist. Denson's latest project, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, consists of a unique fusion of rock, funk and afrobeat. Recently, the eclectic group has shared the stage with a wide variety of artists from all genres, including Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers, and Maroon 5.
Kishi Bashi, a singer-songwriter, composer and performing artist, honed his skills as a touring violinist for the likes of Regina Spektor and others. He plays multiple instruments including violin, keyboard and guitar and his musical repertoire ranges from indie pop and rock to psychedelic pop. He sometimes uses Japanese singing as one of many sound layers in his creations making his music unique and full of surprise. Kishi Bashi puts on a live performance with dazzling arrays of looping vocal and violin gymnastics. His multilayered violin-techno-pop music is best self-described as a “dance between the earthbound materialism of capture art and its airy origins”.
With a standout lead vocal, Lyric is an eclectic group of natural talents that mix pop, rock and funk to take you to places you can’t forget. Starting out as street musicians, they filled downtown Asheville street corners with their music. Their unique sound and style will please any crowd with covers of Tracy Chapman and George Clinton or original music. This “street team” uses music as an expression of pain, joys and hope that audiences will connect with.
Matrimony is an exhilarating new band that blends modern anti-folk with indie rock. United by music, sweat, passion, and blood, their interpersonal connections run far deeper than your average combo. With a sound that is meaningful, melodic and full of soul, this is a band with the potential to move every audience member.
Moon Taxi is an American indie progressive rock band that puts on an energetic and magnetic live show. Their combination of musical ingenuity, thoughtful lyrics and unique sound has captivated audiences in the southeast and beyond. Their newest album focuses on extending the sonic landscape they’d created earlier but this time amping up the speed and turning up the volume to create an overall bigger sound. Get on board and ride the Moon Taxi into an explosive galaxy all their own.
Mountain Heart has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. Their superlative musicianship and exciting live performances make for a highly entertaining show that appeals to a wide variety of musical tastes. The band’s musical virtuosity, unmatched energy and keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them forge a unique sound that will please all audiences alike.
Mountain Feist is a groove oriented, high energy progressive bluegrass band that plays a fast paced, interactive show. T he group cut its teeth on traditional bluegrass and has broadened its repertoire to embrace the collective and individual songwriting of its members. Their sound is supported by tight three part harmonies, instrumental features and an eclectic repertoire of original music as well as fresh covered material. For those who love acoustic music, this band’s guitar, mandolin, upright bass and banjo as well as stage dynamics will make for an exciting performance.
The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats are an American Folk Rock band that is led by the endlessly clever and prolific John Darnielle and whatever musicians he surrounds himself with. So while the overall sound may change from album to album the overall tone and feel remains remarkably consistent. His impressionistic vignettes have more in common with a storyteller than your typical musician. Named “America’s best non hip-hop lyricist” as well as one of the “100 best living songwriters” Darnielle’s lyrics are filled with imagery and accompanied by music that connects.
Nahko & Medicine For The People
Nahko is always joined by a tribe of culturally alienated truth seekers for whom Nahko’s story resonates with their own, and who find redemption in his voice, guitar, flute, and drum. Whether solo or with the dynamic group of musical troubadours known as “Medicine for the People,” Nahko delivers a soulful dose of curative vibrations that moves audiences to dance, laugh, and cry. His ‘spirited redemption music’ lays bear the scars of cultural wounds, environmental wrongs, and social injustices. His lyrics bear the burden of heavy messages, but the load is lightened by agile melodies and driving rhythms that coerce all who bear witness into spirited, purifying, movement. His humor disarms, and his lyrical stories open listeners to the power of “Real Talk Music”—songs that reveal an honesty and depth so raw, it inspires an internal revival that echoes out into the world. Sometimes exuberant, sometimes savage, but always transformational, Nahko makes the movement move.
One Leg Up
Based in Asheville, NC, One Leg Up performs a vibrant mixture of upbeat Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Swing and original Jazz compositions. A “String Swing” band with “hot club” prowess, their music is great for an evening of dancing. Including fresh arrangements of Django classics, vocal harmonies, original compositions, and innovative adaptations of classic jazz numbers their music always swings. Let yourself relish in the music of this big band and you’ll board a train back to 1930s Paris.
Paul’s Creek Band
Paul’s Creek is an original and traditional mountain music band with harmonies that blend in an old timey style. Playing eclectic upbeat old time and original music with an emphasis on vocals, this band incorporates folk and bluegrass into their mountain sound. Featuring a guitar, upright bass, banjo, fiddle and some dance moves, audiences should expect a well rounded and exciting performance. A band who embraces an interactive audience, listeners are encouraged to jam out with the group.
Best described as “Southern Funk Rock,” their style pools together the most energetic of music genres. A little edgy, a little funky and a little punkish, their high energy set will be sure to put the crowd into a mania. Their unequaled instrumentation which includes an electric violin and a saxophone will rejuvenate audiences. Playing a combination of Funk, Southern Rock, Blues and a little Jazz, this is a band dedicated to live music that gets people dancing.
Randall Bramblett has been a much sought after songwriter and multi-instrumentalist sideman over the years. He is a talented songwriter influenced by blues, folk and gospel music and his songs have been recorded by folks such as Bonnie Raitt, Widespread Panic and Jorma Kaukonen. Elements of pop, blues, soul and gospel combine effortlessly with Randall’s wistful, beautifully conceived lyrics. Mixing unusual thematic concepts with dry humor is an easy and organic process for this singer who is able to stir the listeners’ feelings. Described by Rolling Stone as “one of the South’s most lyrical and literate songwriters,” this is not a performance to miss.
Rory Kelly is a self-taught musician that picked up the guitar as a boy and cut his chops in the rural town of Marion, NC. The band has played many venues including a coveted series of showcases with Texas Rockfest during the famous South by Southwest music conference. In 2011, the band changed their dynamic, evolving what Southern Rock means to them. With an original sound labeled “Swamp Rock,” the band is edging towards a harder sound that is sure to impress any Southern Rock enthusiast.
Sons of Bill
Sons of Bill formed in 2006 combining rock and roll desperation and southern humility to create a country rock band. With a country base, their interests in rock and jazz influence their sound. Their songs have gritty grandeur when they are at their most rock enthused moments. At other times, they evoke shimmery power through pounding rhythms, gusting organ and swaggering riffs. The brothers’ vocal synergies add to the twangy brand of guitar-driven, alternative-rock that evokes effortless, easiness.
Space Capone’s influence thrives off late 70’s soul, funk and R&B with a fresh and modern twist. Their band is comprised of funky horns, chanky electrics, and a tight rhythm section all by young musicians that are scholars of funk, jazz and R&B. This 6-10 piece band thrives in the live experience and is sure to bring the heat and liven up this year’s Bele Chere.
Spicy Moustache and the Flavor Saviors
Spicy Moustache and the Flavor Saviors is a combination of Funk, Hip-Hop, Soul and Rock’n’Roll that activates the brains of listeners making them want to dance the night away. This funky music group is a multi-dimensional band with horns, guitars, drums and vocals. Their individual sounds have the innate ability to come together creating one dancing ball of music through their jamming, rapping and creative processes. Spicy Moustache hopes to infect everyone with music that urges listeners to party, dance and spread love.
The Birchtree Band
The Birchtree Band came together in 2010 and since then they’ve been touring the southeast garnering fans’ attention. Their diverse sound spans across folk, pop, and rock genres with influences ranging from Third Eye Blind to Ryan Adams. Their music connects to audiences through lyrics expressing everyday emotions making them easily relatable to all fans. The mellow folk music this group performs is given energetic spunk whenever the violin is incorporated, bringing together calmness and intensity to their music.
The Bright Light Social Hour
The Bright Light Social Hour is an American rock band whose incendiary live performances form an innovative vision of rock and roll. They meld southern rock, hard dance, psychedelic blues and deep soul to form a sound founded on sun-drenched optimism, raucous youth, and an innovative brew of American music. Their sound is both forward looking and evocative of 1970s hi-fi, making for an interesting show not to be missed.
The Buchanan Boys
The Buchanan Boys have shared the stage with the likes of Thompson Square and Justin Moore and have performed at festivals such as CMA Fest. The music performed at each show is a wide and sometimes surprising variety of covers and modern country originals. A countrified good time with a rock and roll twist, their musical taste can be compared to Zac Brown Band or Jason Aldean. Influenced by Rock, Pop and R&B, they have an ability to mix genres to come up with incredible musical concoctions.
The Get Downs
The Get Downs are a Rock and Roll band from the mountains of Boone, NC who are ready to see to it that true rock is brought back to the High Country. This energetic and entertaining group mixes Rhythm and Blues with musical aspects from the late 50’s through the 70’s. This bluesy group is led by a lead singer whose incredible range could stand on its own, but when backed by the band it’s a full circle moment and a must see. Fused with old school blues and true rock and roll style, the harmonica is one of many added surprises to expect from this band.
Since forming in 2007, The Restoration has used their varied backgrounds as a lens for exploring the music and culture of their native soil. Through their instrumentation, they channel the storytelling and regional history of traditional and post-rock America alike. The Restoration is a sweeping hybrid of orchestral drama, revved up bluegrass and rock urgency. Their grand vision transports audiences back to older times through 19th and 20th century styled music and dress. The rich layers of their music have the ability to carry you away long after the performance has ended.
The StereoFidelics is a funky indie rock duo with a reputation for a superb, high energy live act. Enjoy the groove and virtuosity of a 70s art-rock band collided with the energy and intensity of today’s indie rock scene. Powerful jazzy female vocals are intertwined with a strong, satin-smooth male voice. Thumping synth basslines and popping, funky drumbeats drive the skillfully intricate guitar playing and explosions of electric-violin string shredding. The StereoFidelics avoid performing with loops, computers or digital effects in favor of a more organic approach. They perform with a natural passion and synchronicity leaving their audience exhausted and dripping with sweat.
The Swayback Sisters
The Swayback Sisters are an all-female, close harmony folk trio based out of Asheville, NC. They specialize in old-school country soul, Appalachian-style folk and dirty acoustic blues, all crowded around one mic. Drawing heavily on music that came before them, they love paying homage to musicians such as Memphis Minnie, Ola Belle Reed, and Bessie Smith. Their shows bridge the past with the future, with one foot firmly planted in the here and now. Singing the mess out of old-timey folk tunes, they are one of the best new bands east of the Mississippi.
The Travis Smith Project
Four diversely talented members have come together to create the bluesy, country band, The Travis Smith Project. Influenced by Stevie Wonder, Seal and the Funk Brothers, the group was formed in 2010 and has performed at several venues throughout the Upstate Area. The Travis Smith Project is a group of storytellers who are able to connect with the audience through themes of love, heartbreak, and childhood memories. The band fuses an acoustic soul sound with earnest lyrics and silky vocals. The soul-tinged voice and incredible songwriting by their lead singer is a performance you wouldn’t want to miss.
Tyler Lynch first started playing guitar when he was eleven and since then has been motivated by musicians and bands such as Switchfoot, Toby Mac, Shaun Groves, Unhindered and Kristian Stanfill. His inspirational music is infused with mellow, pop undertones making for a relaxing but upbeat set when he performs. Tyler’s lyrical and musical choices produce songs that are not only catchy but have meaningful lyrics. With a superb voice and guitar skills to match, he has worked hard to continuously perfect his craft. His beautifully rendered lyrics and performance will leave you touched and excited for more – something unusual for such a young musician.
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
Purveyors of original Funk since 2002, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band is fueled by a heavy mix of powerful original compositions, triumphant horns, laid back grooves and heavy backbeats. Booty Band keeps things jumping with a constant reshuffling of instruments and singers while engaging the crowd with rousing banter, onstage antics galore and a compelling, festive spirit. This 5 piece band’s performance gets even funkier with colorful costumes and interactive stage personalities. The Booty Band is pretty much a party unto themselves and is a favorite on the regional touring circuit. When the Booty Band hits the stage, everybody dances!
Wanda Jackson is a prolific singer who has already had the pleasure of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Named the “Queen of Rockability” her hit songs climbed the country and rock charts in the 1950s and 60s. Mixing country music with fast moving rockability in her early years she later found success in mainstream country music. Most recently Wanda worked with Jack White on a recent album that made it on the pop charts. Having toured with Elvis Presley and worked with the likes of Elvis Costello Wanda Jackson is a historic figure in music that still has the performance chops to back it up.