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

 

 

 

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe feat. Melvin Seals • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

Multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson brought his authentic blend of funk and jazz to AVL’s Salvage Station this past Thursday night, along with Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band fame as 2nd keyboard player. Denson has played with Lenny Kravitz and helped form The Greyboy All-Stars. He has also extensively toured with The Rolling Stones, whom they covered tonight with a tasty rendition of “Tumbling Dice.” Tonight Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe consisted of Alan Evans (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keys), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), and Seth Freeman (guitar). The Universe expanded beautifully with the addition of opener Mike Dillon adding a new vibration of percussion to the already solid rhythmic landscape, and Melvin Seals spinning his own brand of funky B-3 magic. Although Karl previously announced that he doesn’t play much Dead in his live set, the band went into a smooth version of The Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” which had everyone in the crowd grinning ear-to-ear.  The Station was packed with friendly dancing heads who were twirling and flowing to the spirit of the music  — and the spirit was alive and well.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family with Libby Gamble

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

 

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

 

 

 

Jonathan Tyler • The Grey Eagle • February 25, 2017

Tonight we witnessed a highly energetic opening solo set by Jonathan Tyler, replacing his full band with a case of blues harps. After breaking with his major record label, Tyler made a powerful return with a hauntingly beautiful, blues–stompin’ road album titled, Holy Smokes. The album received attention from Rolling Stone Magazine and his duet with girlfriend Nikki Lane hit the airwaves… Fast forward to tonight, the room had a good buzz on. With the exception of the first number “Devil’s Basement,” a fan request from The Northern Lights “Pardon Me” era, this set relied heavily on JT’s new material. Jonathan morphed songs I have grown to love into Bob Dylan or Neil Young–like harmonica bliss. His vocals are powerful, both sweet and raspy. Jonathan switched-up the lyrics to “California Sunshine” to “Carolina Sunshine” which the crowd really enjoyed. Singing along “I am on my way” provided me comfort that everything will end up okay. After it came on in my car on the way to venue, I was hoping Tyler would play “Goin’ Down To The City,” a saloon-like blues romp, and he did! “Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long” a cover by country outlaw great Ray Wylie Hubbard rang true. The set closed with a duet, “To Love Is to Fly,” with headliner Nikki Lane. A perfect set at The Grey Eagle. G-D bless Jonathan Tyler, may he make music for another 50 years.

-Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

SETLIST:
Devil’s Basement
California Sunshine
Goin’ Down To The City
Disappear
Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long
To Love Is to Fly

Photos By Libby Gamble Photography

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Nikki Lane & Jonathan Tyler

Dogwater • The Mothlight at Mr. Fred’s • February 6, 2017

Dogwater rolled into the The Mothlight Monday night with heavy hitting original songs that are instant classics. “On the 29th > Search for Something” are gold, reminiscing of great alternative & sonic grunge bands from the 90’s. “Writers Block” inspires me to become a rock & roll reviewer. Carter Sanders plays a fuzzed out bass and occasional trumpet. Eli Raymer is a monster on the drums, looking like a combination of Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl (if you can imagine that). We caught mad trails off Eli’s sticks! Jed Holmes, lead singer and guitar, is the shining light, leading the way. Fans of Pavement, Love As Laughter and Nirvana will highly enjoy them. Look out for their upcoming self-titled full-length release “DOGWATER” which rips!”

 Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family 

SETLIST
On the 29th>
Search for Something
Another Day>
Crater
Writer’s Block
I Ride

Photos By Libby Gamble Photography