Living Colour • Orange Peel • November 1, 2017

I’m so happy I made it out to the Orange Peel last night to catch Living Colour. This was the first time that I had to opportunity to make one of their legendary shows.  Their performance was beautiful and energetic.  This talented group of hard-rocking musicians has a stage presence that commands your undivided attention. The audience danced and sang along, eyes glued to the stage. I was right there with them, camera in hand. I always welcome bluesy, alternative rock with an edge into my world. The sound was loud, the solos were spectacular, and the visual experience of the performance itself was absolutely beautiful. The pleasure was mine — thank you, Living Colour!                        – Libby Gamble

– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Melvin Seals & JGB • Salvage Station • October 28, 2017

Ahhhh… Melvin Seals & JGB rolled into the Salvage Station Friday and excitement filled the cold, rainy night. It was hard to make it from one end of the room without giving and receiving big, meaningful hugs from friends and strangers alike.  For me, the most special thing about seeing JGB is that love fills the space and the dancings bodies that surround me are all wearing smiles. The iconic sounds from Seals’ Hammond B3 organ fill the air and I am transported to another time, another place. There is an emotional connection to experiencing the band live and all I can really put into words is that it makes me happy.

Melvin Seals – Hammond B3 organ, Keyboard & Vocals; Zach Nugent – Electric Guitar & Lead Vocals;  John-Paul McLean – Bass; Pete Lavezzoli – Drums; Shirley Starks and Cheryl Rucker – Backup Vocals

– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Moon Hooch • Asheville Music Hall • October 25, 2017

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.

The Cannonball Jars • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

The Cannonball Jars brought their super-fun blend of “Punk Street Power Pop” to The Mothlight Monday night. Truly electric and alive, the band blazed through nine originals at fast speeds. When I closed my eyes it felt as if I was attending the headliner at this year’s Warped Tour. I met with lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Hatch after the gig, “It’s Fun, heartfelt music with a healthy dose of mischief. Honest, genuine lyrics that don’t take the protagonist too seriously. All ages are welcome, but like all truly great rock and roll, it is dangerous. We’re gearing up to record a full-length in September. It’s gonna be a doozy. We want this record to be mischievous and fun. It’s genuine, poetic energy and it explodes in your brain when you hear it!” Matt Evans called it a “Pop punk version of The Beatles playing The Beach Boys covers, on a Lookout! Records compilation.” Their music is both familiar and fresh, and that is a healthy achievement. I can only see this band getting bigger and bigger, be on the lookout and catch their next show!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
1. New 1+2
2. Alright
3. Go On
4. Hey Betty
5. Ghost Castle
6. Roam
7. Plant Song
8. More Time
9. Beds

 

Dose • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

“When you look down in the rose and it’s empty, listen to us” – Eli Raymer

AVL’s DOSE blew my mind. A young and spirited duo consisting of Carter Herren Sanders on guitar and trippy echoing vocals, with Eli Raymer as the insane madman on drums. Kind of like if Col. Claypool ate too much acid, played guitar and joined Nirvana. These kids are talented, check ‘em out soon!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
Good Morning & Goodbye
Another Day
Ephogie
Fearless (Pink Floyd cover)
Minor
Workweek
Blue lips

 

 

 

Golden Dawn Arkestra • Asheville Music Hall • May 20, 2017

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

Marcus King & Friends • Asheville Music Hall • May 15, 2017

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