Bella’s Bartok • Asheville Music Hall • June 22, 2017

Insanely free gypsy punks called Bella’s Bartok, unleashed a barrage of circus, horror and psychedelic madness on us at the Asheville Music Hall this past week. This very fun, colorful band brings us high energy performances, and the audience is fully into it, cheering along and bouncing around. I love the horns, acrobatics, and outfits. Think Gorgol Bordello with easily understood lyrics. I recommend for everyone to see this band at least once, I know we’ll be going back for more. The Asheville Music Hall has a brand new bar and the venue is equipped with fantastic sound.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

 

All Go West Festival • June 17, 2017

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

 

Holly Bowling • Isis Music Hall • April 2, 2017

Holly Bowling plays the songs of the Grateful Dead and Phish on piano, often combining the two.  In addition to traditional playing, Holly explores unconventional parts of the piano to create original experimental sounds and landscapes. The instrument is opened up with all working parts exposed. At times she uses a small wand in the upper sections, and later a string which turns the piano into a violin at the base. Bowling has the knowledge to combine full band Dead and Phish song compositions, into a stripped-down medium without losing any emotion, only adding more love to the music. Everyone had tears pouring down their face at one point or another. The “Wharf Rat” really got me good. Our memories of Jerry, the Dead and that feeling you got when they came to town are ingrained within, and a lot of us really miss the good ol’ days. It feels good to reflect while these piano compositions are flowing and layered up into the air. Husband and tour manager, Jeffrey Bowling, does an amazing job projecting fluid water themes, rays of light and other psychedelic effects over a video screen close-up of Holly’s keys. Part of the fun of this concert experience is guessing what song is being played. We recognize the music, but then have to marry the lyrics in our heads in order to solve the puzzle,  it becomes a really fun game. Sometimes the teases are over before we can realize which of the 100’s of Dead and Phish songs we are inside of, other times it’s our favorite songs which we know immediately by the opening notes. The show features endless segues and combinations of songs. Highlights for me were: Free > Estimated > Free; Wharf Rat; China Cat > Taste > Cryptical > Other One > Piper > Rockets > Other One > Cryptical > Rider…Let’s face it, the entire show was brilliant. This is the 3rd time I have seen Bowling play, and we will be back. Thank You!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

SETLIST:
Unbroken Chain
Sage& Spirit
Horn
Free >
Estimated >
Free
Wharf Rat >
Hood
China Cat >
Taste
Cryptical Envelopment >
The Other One >
Piper >
Rocket’s Theme >
The Other One >
Cryptical Envelopment >
I Know You Rider
E: Cassidy >
Squirming Coil (with Cassidy teases)

George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners • The Salvage Station • March 18, 2017

Foundation father of funk and Original Meter, George Porter Jr., blew us away at this year’s Christmas Jam downtown at the arena. Just 3 months later we are blessed with another more intimate appearance, this time at AVL’s The Salvage Station. George and his Runnin’ Pardners guided us through an emotionally charged and often timeless set of songs. Subjects of love, uncertainty and the future are sung with real heart in a raspy and mature voice. “Where are we going? Let me take you to a place of peace and love.” “I need more Time for ME to come through!” Their funky blend of New Orleans style funk is highlighted with trippy keys, unconventional jazzy drum solos, and an over-all harmonic vibe. Across the room the audience had contagious smiles. Long-time fan Heidi proclaimed “This is fucking awesome!” …and it Was. They played my personal favorite song, “He Bite Me (The Dragon)” which is funky and fierce, and had this fire dragon reporter letting loose on the dance floor. George and band ended this perfect set with a tasty cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” which had our photographer dancing. Let’s just say everyone at Salvage was moving at some point, because you can’t escape this groove. It’s just that good.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photos by Libby Gamble Photography

Marcel Anton & Friends • The Salvage Station • March 18, 2017

Marcel Anton brought his original blend of “Creole Voodoo Magic” to AVL’s The Salvage Station, Featuring jazzy superstars Mike Rhodes on drums and Michael Hynes on bass. Marcel is a living legend, with rock & roll, blues and soul pouring out of him. Dressed in a funky outfit, Anton guided us through a set filled with scat singing, a “Cissy Strut” Meters cover, and electric guitar playing in the realms of Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughan. At one point Anton teased “Voodoo Chile” and played the guitar with his teeth. I highly enjoyed this set and won’t miss another performance.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

SETLIST
Cissy Strut
Wake Up
Everybody Needs Somebody
Not Enough
Know Better
The True
Redline/ Believe in Love

Photos by Libby Gamble Photography

Everyone Orchestra • The Salvage Station • March 9, 2017

The Everyone Orchestra is a one-of-a-kind, unique show experience. The Orchestra has featured over 940 artists since it’s inception in 1994, selected from some of the greatest bands of all-time. Thursday’s Sold Out performance at The Salvage Station, Asheville North Carolina’s newest riverfront music venue, featured Oteil Burbridge (Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Dead & Co.), Claude Coleman Jr. (Ween), Holly Bowling, Ian Neville (Dumstaphunk), Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and Wallace Mullinax (Dead 27’s). The Orchestra is conducted by the highly animated Mike Quinn, dressed in a beautifully designed white coat featuring colorful psychedelic embroidered imagery. The band improvises the show including the lyrics. One song preached “Take the high road, it’s all about love,” while the next jam “Freedom Of The Press, freedom of information! A choice to make our own decisions” rang true in today’s political climate. This show had a high mix of New Orleans style funk, interlaced with underwater Phish-like jams, electric blues, and easily digestible beautiful vocals. There was a very positive vibe tonight which merged the band and audience as one. Mike uses a digital tablet to write messages to both the band and the audience while the show progresses. When instructed to sing the audience was in full participation. The Salvage Station features it’s own restaurant, multiple bars both inside and outdoors with local brews, and fire pits. After 20 years of seeing live jam band music in hundreds of venues, I have to say this show was a great experience all around. I can’t speak highly enough about the band and the venue, check them both out.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photos by Libby Gamble Photography