One for The Road: Motörhead – Fillmore – Charlotte, NC – September 23, 2015

Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.

Motorhead

One for The Road: Motörhead – Fillmore – Charlotte, NC – September 23, 2015

Motörhead is the band that would break out of a state prison to play at an outlaw biker rally, only to blast through the wrought iron gates of the same penitentiary to lock themselves back up.

Their music is the living breathing soundtrack to the zombie apocalypse and the throngs of black t-shirt wearing, chain wallet carrying, tattoo scar barring disciples that lined up early outside the Fillmore in Charlotte only furthered proved that demise of their savior Lemmy has been greatly exaggerated.

Motörhead masterfully ripped through a brisk but hard charging 13 song set that included classics such as Bomber, Ace of Spades, Doctor Rock and Overkill.   The band however curiously chose to refrain from playing any cuts off of their recently released 22nd studio recorded effort Bad Magic.

Instead the show leaned more heavily on tracks from classic era Motörhead releases with just a single song being played from the last decade of music they’ve put out, “Lost Woman Blues” off of the modern Motörhead classic, 2013’s Aftershock.

What often gets overlooked when it comes to the band is the expert level of musicianship that exists within the confines of the three headed musical beast known as Motörhead.

Lemmy himself is probably one of the most unsung all-time great rock n’ roll bassists however his talent puts him right up there with the likes of often more recognized bass legends such as John Paul Jones, Les Claypool and Jaco Pastorius.

Mikkey Dee’s, previously of King Diamond fame, speed and power behind the drum kit has influenced generations of metal drummers.

And the not to be overlooked Phil “Wizzo” Campbell would be asked to play lead guitar in dozens of hard rock and metal outfits literally the second he chose to make himself available for hire outside of Motörhead.

Blasting what felt like 50-caliber shells of bombast out of the largest stack of Marshall cabinets that I think may have ever been assembled on any stage in North Carolina, Motörhead ultimately delivered a show that most twenty-something acts would consider themselves lucky to emulate let alone actually pull off.

Lemmy was once quoted as saying he wanted to make music “so loud that if we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die.”  I didn’t inspect the grounds outside of the Fillmore when I exited through the venue’s metal doors upon show’s end but I’m 100 percent certain more than a few blades of grass met their demise on the evening.

They are Motörhead and they play rock ‘n’ roll.   Truer words have never been spoken.

Setlist:

Bomber

Stay Clean

Metropolis

Over the Top

The Chase is Better Than the Catch

Rock It

Lost Woman Blues

Doctor Rock

Ace of Spades

Jus Cos’ You Got the Power

No Class

Overkill

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One to Watch: The T-Sisters at the Grey Eagle

Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.

TSisters

One to Watch:  The T-Sisters at the Grey Eagle – Thursday September 17, 2015 8pm

The Tietjan Sisters, or the T-Sisters as they are referred to within contemporary folk music circles, are coming to Asheville and they’re brining their distinctive brand of harmonies, talented song writing and exceptional musicianship with them.

To categorize the T-Sisters as strictly a folk trio would literally be selling these adroit siblings far beyond short.   Sonic elements of bluegrass, jazz, a cappella, soul, gospel, country and even swing all seem to be more than omnipresent within Erika, Rachel and Chloe’s musical DNA.

Their new EP Ready for Love continues the strong foundation the ladies laid down on their first full length album, 2014’s Kindred Lines, produced by Grammy-winning musician Laurie Lewis.

From the uplifting feel-good opener, “Ready For Love” to their inspired and bewitching cover of the Grateful Dead’s, “Attics Of My Life”, the T-Sisters continue to prove that their ascendancy to national recognition is more of a forgone conclusion than simply the hopeful dream of three sisters growing up in the bay area of Oakland, California.

Revered for their “sassy” live performances where the sisters are often joined by upright bassist Steve Height and mandolinist/guitar player Andrew Allen on stage, audiences can expect to hear a set of frolicsome originals and rousing covers as the band opens up for both the hilarious and talented self described “bluegrass hip-pop fusion” family band, The Cleverlys.

The T-Sisters w/ The Cleverlys @ The Grey Eagle

Thursday September 17, 2015 8pm

$15 advance / $18 day of show

All ages / seated performance

Unique Night of Music at Isis Music Hall

Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.

Unique Night of Music at Isis Music Hall Featuring Dangermuffin, Weather & Waves (featuring Brock Butler of Perpetual Groove), Les Amis and More Thursday September 3rd 

Dangermuffin

Dangermuffin

The true litmus test regarding any live music venue should rest solely in the metric that sits atop most avid concert goers’ checklists, how does the venue actually sound?

Although I have individual soft spots for the litany of live music hamlets within the greater Asheville area, if I were to be asked to rank each of them by the dulcet barometer alone there would be a clear champion, ISIS Music Hall and Restaurant in West Asheville.

Despite being a known commodity in Asheville, ISIS Music Hall may be miscast as being dedicated more towards an older demographic versus being one of the only locales in the city that has a 450 seat capacity, offers distinct dining experiences, hosts music of all varieties and provides a listening experience that is second to none.

Justin Perkins and Drew

Justin Perkins and Drew Heiler of Les Amis

On Thursday September 3rd the ISIS Music Hall will host a unique night of music featuring Dangermuffin, Weather and Waves (featuring Brock Butler, front man for Perpetual Groove) and Les Amis (featuring members of Toubab Krewe and Zansa).

Les Amis, a collective of globally inspired musicians whose members include players from West African- and Appalachian-influenced outfit Toubab Krewe as well as Afropop and African folk music band Zansa, will start things off at ISIS’s upstairs lounge at 7:00 PM.

ISIS’s upstairs lounge offer patrons an intimate space to dine as well as to take in one-of-a kind musical performances.   Only 50 tickets will be sold to this portion of the evening. Reservations are recommended should you plan on attending and taking in a meal from the venue’s superb restaurant, Kitchen 743.

Beginning at 9 PM the ISIS Music Hall will host Dangermuffin, a self described “organic, sand blasted roots-rock band with a sweet jam spread”, as well as Weather and Waves.

Brock Butler Scott Shrader

Weather and Waves’ front man Brock Butler

Weather and Waves, Brock Butler’s Perpetual Groove side project originally called P-Grass, will serve as the downstairs show opener. The band will be making their Asheville live music debut on the evening.

Listeners familiar with Perpetual Groove can expect to hear some of P-Groove’s music but with a more traditional “new-grass” spin to it as the band spurns electric instruments in favor of acoustic guitars, stand up bass and the banjo. Sonically and improvisational driven Weather and Waves will quench the thirsts of most any fan of jam band and blue grass music alike.

Show headliner and feel-good trio Dangermuffin offers up a mellow combination of both folk and jam band sounds. Dangermuffin, who recently put on a sublime performance earlier this summer at the inaugural LEAF Downtown festival, takes the blue print their studio material provides and injects new life into it via many of their trade mark extended jams.  The band also isn’t afraid to tackle inspired covers of other artists’ music ranging from the reggae sounds of Bob Marley to the psychedelic grooves of Pink Floyd.

On the ISIS outdoor patio starting at 6 PM, modern jazz will fill the air with the sounds of bassist Danny Iannucci and drummer Micah Thomas, both of Asheville-based Brushfire Stankgrass.

Amazing sound quality, check.  Superlative dining options, check.  World-class music, check.  ISIS Music Hall and Restaurant in West Asheville knocks all of these criterion out the park and then some.   Come judge for yourself this Thursday September 3rd.

When: Thursday September 3, 2015

Where: Isis Music Hall and Restaurant 743 Haywood Road, Asheville

Who: Les Amis / 7:00 PM – Upstairs Lounge / Dinner Available / $7

Dangermuffin & Weather and Waves / 9:00 PM – ISIS Music Hall / $10 advance – $12 day of show

The Get Right Band: Out to Prove Nice Guys Can Finish First

Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.

The Get Right Band

The Get Right Band sat down with AskAsheville.com to talk about their origin story, what the band would define as success and their upcoming show at The ISIS Music Hall this Thursday August 20th alongside Silas Durocher’s ensemble string side project, Love Struck Suckers.

Patton and Lexington Avenues will never be confused with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood & Vine nor will Asheville’s own Get Right Band.

When I met up with this band of brothers at Tod’s Tasties this past week, Silas Durocher (front-man/guitar), Jesse Gentry (bass) and JC Mears (drums) appeared as though each was more likely to begin a ten-hour shift at the local eatery we had convened at versus having just stumbled out of bed following a night of drunken rock star excess and debauchery.

The Get Right Band was birthed from the death of Soulgrass Rebellion, a band originally formed by Durocher with Asheville-based musician Oso Rey.

Soulgrass Rebellion’s sound according to Durocher was a fusion of Americana, Rock and Reggae influences.

Christopher Chappell Pyle, who these days plays with local swamp gospel outfit David Earl and the Plowshares, eventually was brought in to play drums and before long bassist Jesse Gentry was added to the mix thus creating Soulgrass Rebellion’s final lineup.

Following the dissolution of Soulgrass Rebellion Durocher, Gentry and Chappell Pyle went on to form The Get Right Band.

Much like Rey’s departure from Soulgrass Rebellion, Chappell Pyle eventually chose to leave The Get Right Band to spend more time with his family.

Word quickly circulated throughout the Asheville music community that the Get Right Band was seeking a new drummer.  As it turned out, the very same evening that Chappell Pyle informed the band of his imminent departure, Mears was brought into the fold.

Gentry explained, “JC poked his head into 5 Walnut that same night and asked if we were looking for a new drummer, so that was immediate serendipity.”

“Thank god JC chose to join our band.”

“He’s the best drummer in Asheville and definitely the best drummer for us.”

The Get Right Band released their five-song debut EP, “Shake” late in 2013 with Chappell Pyle manning the drums for the recording.

Chappell Pyle can also be heard playing percussion on the band’s first full length crowd funded LP, Bass Treble Angel Devil, that was released last Fall; however this time around, Mears can be found behind the drum kit.

The title of their latest LP suggested that maybe the album was conceptual in nature but this wasn’t the case at all.

“We picked the songs and their order with the title of the record actually coming last,” said Gentry.

The songs all kind of have a flow of dark, light, good and evil themes, so the title came about kind of organically.”

I would strongly caution not to judge a book by its cover as it pertains to The Get Right Band.

The musicians that comprise this group may not be painted sleeve-to-sleeve in tattoos, drive Harleys and prioritize boozing over band practice but that doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t rock your world at one of their high energy, ass-shaking performances.

The reality is The Get Right Band are well known for their live shows where at any given time you’ll find the audience crowding the stage to groove, dance and jive along in jubilant unison with the band.

Speaking about the band’s concerts Durocher said, “When you come to see us live you’ll hear really different versions of the music because we don’t stick to the record, we try to keep growing and developing our songs.”

As my interview with the band rolled on it began to dawn on me that these three individuals may be the most cordial and polite unit ever assembled under any rock and roll band’s moniker.

In an effort to crack this perceived wall of pleasantry I asked the band to describe the worst experience they’ve ever had in the music industry to date.

I was hoping to hear tales of unscrupulous promoters, crocked venue owners and other sordid anecdotes regarding the underbelly of the music world.

To my dismay, but frankly not to my surprise, the most abhorrent thing that’s ever happened to the band was apparently an event that could have been ripped from the screenplay for the movie Spinal Tap.

Gentry initially responded, “I’m way too positive to answer that question.”

Durocher stepped in, however, and went on to describe an incident where they had opened for a tribute band and decided to do a song by the act the tribute band was associated with during their set.

“They were really upset, actually had words with us after the show and as it turned out they were really offended for some reason,” explained Durocher.

“We thought we were paying them a compliment.”

Every band trying to make a living off of their music today would likely have different opinions as to what the word success means to them.

I was curious to hear what the Get Right Band’s feelings were on this topic as the theme of the struggling musician is a common one amongst the throngs of younger musicians and bands that call Asheville their home these days.

“Success to me would be to continuing to discuss the goals we want to achieve, the places we want to get to and setting a timeline to achieve those types of things,” commented Mears.

“There are levels of success and right now more so than ever we have so much fun playing together and that’s the most basic and necessary level of success,” added Durocher.

“Obviously we would like to hit a point where we are all financially comfortable but defining success to me has a lot to do with connecting the music with music lovers and the people who are passionate about it.”

This upcoming Thursday, August 20th, The Get Right Band will be performing at the ISIS Music Hall alongside one of Durocher’s side projects, the ensemble string outfit, Love Struck Suckers.

According their webpage, Love Struck Suckers, “weave powerful melodies and poignant words to paint a picture of the lives we stumble through, the pain we stumble over and the beauty we stumble upon.”

Based on that description alone it would seem that Love Struck Suckers’ music might be quite different in theme, tonality and performance than that of the more upbeat and generally positive Get Right Band.

“In 2011 I had a difficult break up, I started writing material about it and I wanted it to be expressed in a less rock and roll kind of way”, explained Durocher.

“It’s emotionally raw and more exposed than anything I’ve ever done with The Get Right Band and I feel as though the music is something that’s fresh, unique and moving.”

On the formation of Love Struck Suckers as a band Durocher said, “I had been wanting to work with the Opal String Quartet for a while, so I eventually was able to talk with them and got a violin, a viola and cello on board.”

The Get Right Band may be the most overwhelmingly positive, sublimely talented and dynamic rock ‘n’ roll band originating from Asheville today.

Any fan of live music should take the time to attend their concert with Love Struck Suckers this Thursday August 20th at the Isis Music Hall and Restaurant in West Asheville.

If you don’t walk away from this show feeling connected to the band and their music, while possessing a near paralyzing sense of positive energy as you dance your way out the venue, I’ll refund your money personally. *

*restrictions may apply

The Get Right Band plus the Love Struck Suckers

Thursday August 20, 2015 8:30 PM

ISIS Music Hall & Restaurant

735 Haywood Road, Asheville

(828) 575-2737

David Earl – Asheville’s Swamp Gospel King Goes Romantic

David Earl

Photos and writing courtesy of AskAsheville Music Correspondent Robert Forte.

David Earl sat down with AskAsheville.com to discuss his personal Asheville story, the many faces of his band the Plowshares as well his soon-to-be-released solo acoustic EP, Worth The Trouble.

David Earl is in some ways exactly what you would expect in terms of being an Asheville based musician; unassuming, amiable, astute and beyond incredibly talented.

Yet what struck me more about Earl was his honesty regarding his musical past and present, his unending gratitude and respect for the musicians he’s shared the stage with and his sheer merriment at being able to record and play live music in Asheville.

Like many current denizens of the city Earl, originally hailing from Indianapolis, was called by the siren that is Asheville over twenty years ago.

“I was drawn by the beauty of the mountains, how wonderful the people were and of course the music scene,” explained Earl.

“When I got to Asheville everyone was making music. Whereas where I was from and the other places that I’ve lived you’d go out for drinks but you’d never sing a song with anyone or pass the time creatively with others.”

Earl quickly embraced all things Asheville, including the arts as he’s a self taught metal worker, furniture designer and fabricator who owns and operates locally based Dynamic Metalwork.

The fusing of arts and music is common theme in this region of Western North Carolina and Earl readily admitted, “I don’t know if I would be in a band and doing metal work if I didn’t move to and choose to live in Asheville.”

Earl’s musical odyssey in Asheville first began as his being the token white guy singing gospel in the David and Kuumba Band.

Cracking a grin Earl provided some insight into this period time, “I took pride in being the only white guy in all black spiritual soul band that rocked the house and I had some transcendental moments with that band.”

Eventually the David and Kuumba Band gave way to the Plowshares which in their first incarnation consisted of Earl himself, parade drummer Imhotep and cornucopia of local musicians that rotated consistently in and out of the band.

In 2008 David Earl and The Plowshares released the very well received self-proclaimed swamp gospel EP, Local Anesthesia. 

Despite the positive reception it wouldn’t be long after the EP’s release that David Earl and the Plowshares would go into hibernation.

Earl explained, “When Local Anesthesia came out Imohtep and I had been playing together for a long time and I had a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

“I was writing original songs and I was beginning to feel a bit chained in. What really ended up happening though is I had a baby, which turned out to be the beginning of the new beginning.”

When the Plowshares reemerged from their slumber Earl found himself now backed by three of Asheville’s most well respected and accomplished musicians in bassist Matthew Lane, drummer Christopher Chappell Pyle and lead guitar player Silas Durocher.

“Chris is probably the cat I’ve played with the most. I actually met him through doing my metal work. You pretty much have to assume he was born playing the drums out of the womb.”

For those not in the know Chappell Pyle is the son of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Earl calls bassist Matthew Lane The Plowshares secret weapon.  With a look in his eyes similar to that of a proud father Earl goes on to state, “Matt brings so much to the table and it’s a beautiful thing to have a guy like him that has so much to contribute and that just loves to play music.”

Although Durocher plays on the nine-song album that has yet to be mixed and mastered and that was recorded at the Eagle Room in Weaverville, he has since left the band to start groove based rock and funk outfit, The Get Right Band.

Thus when playing out live these days The Plowshares enlist a variety of locally based lead guitarists that regularly includes the crowd pleasing and bombastic talents of Andrew Scotchie of Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats fame.

This upcoming Saturday August 15th Earl will be celebrating his birthday along with the release of his first solo acoustic EP, Worth The Trouble.

Being a solo effort I assumed that the songs and the sound of the EP would likely be somewhat divergent from anything the Plowshares have turned out to date.

When asked about the songs on the forthcoming EP Earl paused for a moment, collected his thoughts and while trying to clearly hold back from laughing answered, “The songwriting for Worth The Trouble is more sophisticated and more romantic but don’t tell anyone I said that.”

“These are songs that I felt maybe weren’t right for the Plowshares but they were still great songs that just needed a different approach.”

“I guess the songs are really a bit more balladry, thought provoking, intellectual and ultimately more lyric driven.”

Earl, who is the only performer on the album, recorded the EP at his home where he enlisted the talents of local song writer, singer, producer, engineer, keys player and all around musical guru, Lenny Pettinelli.

David Earl continues to invigorate Asheville with his unique brand of art while also inspiring throngs of locals and tourists alike to get their asses out their chairs and to join him on the dance floor to celebrate life, music and the pursuit of happiness.

Come be a part of the jubilation at the Millroom at the Asheville Brewing Company this Saturday August 15th at 9:00 PM for the Worth The Trouble CD Release party.

  • David Earl will be doing a solo acoustic performance that will include tracks of the five-song EP. The Plowshares will be joined by special guests Lenny Pettinelli (keys) and Andrew Scotchie of the River Rats (guitar) who will also be performing a solo set at the event.