Holy Wow! What a show! I’ve got to be honest, I’d never heard of Moon Hooch before I went to the Asheville Music Hall to check them out while on tour with Marco Benevento. Several friends warned me shortly before their set that I was in for a treat, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect the energy and danceability of dueling wind instruments playing with a drummer. James Muschler (drums), Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen (saxophone) make up the dance-oriented trio. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them again in the future — I now have a huge crush this amazing band.
Marco Benevento played the Asheville Music Hall on October 25, 2017. The band is made up of Andy Borger on drums, Karina Rykman on bass, and Marco Benevento on piano. Each member of this band is a badass in their own right. The music is poppy and danceable and I’ve never been disappointed by a show that they have played.
As last Saturday night grew near, I became a bit excited about a band I knew nothing about. I was a fan of Sun Ra many years ago and my interest was sparked by an Arkestra coming to my little city. Thoughts of funk, costumes, and interstellar vibrations filled my head as the day progressed; and as I stood impatiently waiting for this band to take the stage, my curiosity was delightfully satisfied by costumed performers entering the Asheville Music Hall — parade style. Masks, paints, and wigs hid the identities of this band of love and light creating a festival-like blend of creepiness and fun. They played instruments, carried cans of sage, and smudged members of their audience as they made their way around the room. It was at this point that I knew that we were in for a treat. Sounds from the vibraphone, synthesizers, guitars, keys, drums, and percussion instruments along with a horn section filled the room and the audience was held captive. The Golden Dawn Arkestra delivered a funky and jazzy musical journey into the cosmos which was candy for both my eyes and my ears. The night flew by quickly as the avant-garde ensemble of nine mesmerized the crowd with theatrical performances and magically danceable music. There were moments when I was simultaneously reminded of James Brown and Sun Ra, yet Golden Dawn Arkestra definitely has a sound of its own — and I look forward to making the intergalactic voyage with them again soon.
Review and Photography By Libby Gamble Photography
You’re gonna have to face the music sooner or later, nobody can escape the blues! Marcus King absolutely shined tonight, supported by an all-star cast of characters from bands including: The Travers Brothership, The Broadcast and John Stickley Trio. The MVP of the jam goes to keyboard player Alex Taub who just killed it across the map, on fire all night, lighting up my brain in just the right ways. Marcus is a young guy, but an old soul. He rips it up on the electric guitar, belting raspy vocals that soothe your mind and body. The majority of the songs and covers selected for tonight were different from previous Marcus King Band shows I have experienced, and our hometown heroes give it their all-time best when in Mr. King’s presence. Set one was very powerful, with themes of lost love, blues reflections, learning and growing. Set two was filled with more sped-up electric rock boogie, into greater positive realms, and blasted off into the stratosphere. Songs included “Bemsha Swing,” “Port Arthur,” “For My Brother,” “Watermelon Man,” and “Where’s Sly?” At one point there was an emotional dedication to the late great Col. Bruce Hampton on “Compared To What.” Long running jams and covers such as “Born Under A Bad Sign” kept the party moving into later hours. Marcus proclaimed, “Let’s allll be late for work tomorrow!” Special thanks to Asheville Music Hall for hosting this last minute jam, the community appreciates you. Sound was excellent, and I love the fans above cooling down this venue. The room was filled with many musicians from other bands, always a great sign, and other local big players on the AVL scene. Josh Blake of “Tuesday Night Funk Jam” and “Granola Funk Express” fame said, “It was a high energy affair, with Marcus leading a bunch of us local cats though a maze of musical mastery…His vibe on stage is always very welcoming, attentive, and humble…a true servant of the music. I’m already looking forward to the next one!” I was lucky to get hugs from power soul vocalist Caitlin Krisko, Caleb at Ashvegas, a lady wearing a “Hard Working Americans” flowered fedora, and a bunch of the members of local crew Dr. Bacon in attendance. Most importantly I got a hug from a close friend I thought I may have lost. Time heals, music heals, I love you all. You can replay this mind-blowing show and others via the local free live music streaming service iamavl at http://iamavl.com/videos. Thank You!
– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family
Photography By Libby Gamble Photography
“Consider The Source brought their blend of ‘sci-fi middle eastern fusion’ to the Asheville Music Hall on Friday. Having not seen this band previously live, I was expecting a more trance-like mellow trip, based on the bands artwork, OM (aum) logo, and known hippie fan base. What we heard and felt was far more intense. With an obvious background in metal, these guys do not let up, morphing high speed chases through foreign lands and abstractly warped back into the present tense. The Asheville Music Hall is perfect for a band like this, melding impeccable sound with a seamless flow throughout the crowd, who were all in good spirits.”
– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family
Photos by Libby Gamble Photography