The Shrine – Space Steppin to the Orange Peel on September 6th

The Shrine

The Shrine (left to right) drummer Jeff Murphy, guitarist/vocalist Josh Landau & bassist Courtland Murphy

Don’t attempt to categorize or bucket Venice, California trio The Shrine into one genre or another as their sound sonically traverses across metal, punk, psychedelia, hardcore, thrash and just straight forward hard hitting rock n roll at times. The band has even personally coined the term, “psychedelic violence” to describe the beautiful chaos that is The Shrine.

Comprised of of lead singer and guitar player Josh Landau, bassist Court Murphy and drummer Jeff Murray The Shrine, formed in 2008, have released three studio efforts to date, 2012’s Primitive Blast, their sophomore effort 2014’s Bless Off and last year’s Rare Breed, which just may be one of the most underrated albums of the last decade.

The Shrine have already had quite the summer playing to thousands across the pond at festivals such as Download in England and Hellfest in France where they shared the same bill with rock heavyweights and royalty such as Black Sabbath, Anthrax and Rammstein.

This upcoming Tuesday September 6th The Shrine will be parking the van outside the Orange Peel’s doors to play alongside Portland, Oregon stoner-prog outfit Danava and headliners, U.K. psych rockers Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.

There’s quite a bit of retro embedded deep within The Shrine’s DNA.  Listening to their music it’s not surprising at all to learn that the southern California based rockers cite 70’s heroes such as Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath as influences.

Although the band pays some homage to these more classic rock sounds The Shrine certainly aren’t afraid to incorporate more punk based elements into their music as echoes of Black Fag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat also seem to permeate throughout their recordings.

“I grew up on Black Flag and you can just follow that backwards a bit to bands like Black Sabbath, Hendrix MC5, The Stooges and even 70’s hard rock like Budgie and Thin Lizzy”, said lead singer and guitarist Josh Landau while explaining what helped shaped him early on as a musician.

Rare Breed, The Shrine’s first major studio release (Century Media), was produced by one of the legends in the recording industry, Dave Jerden.   Jerden has worked with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa while also being the man behind the board for such iconic 90’s era records from the likes Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Social Distortion and the Offspring.

“One of our records was spinning at this guitar shop near our place and Dave Jerden was in the store and he asked our buddy that worked there about us.  We ended up meeting him and he said that he wanted to do your next record and asked if he could come over to our house,” discussed Landau as he explained how the band came to be signed to Century Media as well as how they first came into contact with producer Dave Jerden.

I could imagine working with a producer of Jerden’s ilk and recording history that The Shrine may have been intimidated about working with him but this turned out to not be the case at all.

“All the previous stuff we had actually recorded before we had done in our garage ourselves where I produced it.   It (Rare Breed) was definitely more of a serious production than we had ever done before.  He (Jerden) didn’t really tweak the songs at all but the way the record is mixed those were his choices, his sound and everyone was happy with how it all ended up coming together.”

When I sit back and listen to “Rare Breed” the record almost comes alive as if it’s a living and breathing soundtrack to a 1970’s New York City gang war I’d like to somehow and try to get in on.  If there’s a band that’s literally meant to score a remake of the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, it has to be The Shrine.

“That’s kind of where our inspiration is coming from, from like the 70s where every song had a different kind of color to it and the albums all had kind of one main story tying them together,” explained Landau while laughing a bit.

Playing the European festival circuit has to be a rush for any band as who couldn’t imagine being stoked to play in front of tens of thousands of screaming crazies, however, The Shrine strikes me as a band that would probably get more of a kick playing a gas station bathroom or a friend’s house party.

“It definitely changes our approach.  You almost have to pretend you’re 12-years- old playing in front of your bedroom mirror again because the audience seems so far away,” said Landau as he touched on the topic of playing to much larger audiences than The Shrine has typically been accustomed to recently.

The band is only a few dates into their current tour with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Danava with the former being known for having a fairly hard core and die hard fan base.  I was curious as to whether or not the audiences at their recent shows had embraced The Shrine.

Landau answered, “It’s been good.  People are stoked and they come out and buy our records and we kind of get the same positive response no matter what.  People seem to be digging what we’re doing whether it’s us opening up for Uncle Acid on this tour or with other bands like the tour we did with Clutch.”

The show this Tuesday September 6th at the Orange Peel is one that will reward audience members for showing up early as The Shrine will be the first band to hit the stage followed by Danava and then headliners Uncle Acid and Deadbeats.   Door are at 7:00 PM with the show starting at 8:00 PM.  Ticket prices are $18 in advance, $22 day of show.

Orange Peel Ticket Link:

Do you think you’d like some Black Sabbath meets Thin Lizzy meets Motörhead meets Kyuss meets Black Flag inspired tunes? If so check these songs out off of Rare Breed from The Shrine:  “Space Steppin” / “Dusted and Busted”

The Shrine Links:

Slice of the Peel: Houndmouth at the Orange Peel on March 5, 2016

Houndmouth - Asheville - 17

Houndmouth – Orange Peel – Asheville, NC – February 5, 2016

Most fans of any band tend go to see their music heroes in concert to not just hear and sing along to their favorite songs but to connect with the musicians on stage and to share an experience with them.

Had those actually been the goals of any fan of Houndmouth’s going into the band’s sold-out performance at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina last night they most definitely must have left the show unable to contain their inner most happiness while grinning from ear to ear.

Houndmouth delivered one of the most heart felt, joyous and just plain fun live shows the city of Asheville has barred witnessed to in quite some time.

The set list on the evening weighed more heavily toward the band’s sophomore release, Little Neon Limelight which saw the band play such stand out tracks as “Sedona”, “My Cousin Greg” “Gasoline” and “Black Gold”.

The band also sprinkled in some gems from their first record, From The Hills Below the City including “On the Road”, the Katie Toupin lead “Houston Train” and the fan favorite “Casino (Bad Things)”.

Few bands display as much sheer regalment on stage and with each as the four members of Houndmouth do.   When watching the band perform in a live setting it’s easily to get the impression that even if they were playing in an empty garage the band would have a rollicking good time.

By the time Houndmouth reached the three song encore portion of the evening I’m not sure there was a single member in the audience that wasn’t purely captivated and bewitched by the New Albany, Indiana based troubadours.   When the band broke out the Gary Wright classic “Dreamweaver” the entire audience launched into a 1,000-person karaoke version of the song that probably had most feeling they were actually part of the band.

And that’s the thing.  The members of Houndmouth are all superior song writers, vocalists and musicians but when the band performs live the biggest takeaway is the foursome’s ability to achieve a genuine symbiotic connection with the audience.

Having the opportunity to see a good live music performance is one thing. Leaving the venue feeling as though you just watched your best friend’s perform a show just for you is an experience very few bands are capable of delivering.

If you’re not friends with Houndmouth yet take my word for it, go attend any show they play within driving distance of your residence because I’m one-hundred percent confident upon the concert’s end you’ll want to go home and write a pen pal letter to Matt, Katie, Shane and Zak.

Dear Houndmouth, thank you for rocking my world.  Come back soon.  Very soon!!!!

One To Attend – Houndmouth – Orange Peel – Saturday March 5, 2016


Houndmouth: Zak Appleby, Katie Toupin, Matt Myers & Shane Cody

“Kentuckiana” quartet Houndmouth, who are set to play the Orange Peel this Saturday March 5th, have achieved quite a bit of buzz and stardom over what most would consider a short period of time as the band technically only became active back n 2011.

Despite the fact that Houndmouth are now regulars on the summer music festival circuit, are Rough Trade label mates with other rising stars such as Alabama Shakes and are capable of selling out shows as headliners themselves, it wasn’t all that long ago when the band were still regularly playing to 30 and 40 people at any given live show.

So what exactly was the catalyst that helped launch this roots, rock, pop, folk, alt-country, Americana, etc. foursome into stardom?   If you’ve ever listened to either of Houndmouth’s studio efforts, 2013’s From the Hills Below the City or last year’s Little Neon Limelight the shortest answer is talent.

Although this may be a gross simplification regarding Houndmouth’s ascendancy the fact remains Matt Myers (vocals/guitar), Katie Toupin (keyboards/vocals), Zak Appelby (bass/vocals) and Shane Cody are all superlative musicians, vocalists and song writers that effortlessly weave sonic tales of heartache, alcohol and drug abuse, love and loss that binds the listener to their music instantly.

That’s not to say the band doesn’t have a sense of humor as even though most of Houndmouth’s music tends to play to darker themes they have a light hearted side that they’re not afraid to display both on record as well as on the lighted stage.

I had the fortune of seeing Houndmouth perform live for the first time toward the beginning of their touring career when by chance I caught the band opening up for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in February of 2013 at the Rams Head in Baltimore Maryland.

By the end of their performance, which concluded with a cover of The Band’s “I Shall Be Released” which saw all four band members switching instruments, I was immediately convinced they were going to move onto to do great things.

It’s interesting that Houndmouth chose to cover a Band song because right or wrong it’s the band they are most often and somewhat unfairly compared to. Don’t get me wrong there are some similarities regarding the two outfits’ music particularly as it pertains to their four-part harmonies.

However, I think it would be a grievous miscalculation to pigeon hole Houndmouth as sounding like any one particular band or playing within any specific genre because the reality is Houndmouth’s sound encompasses a multitude of genres and their musical palate traverses across a wide variety of soundscapes.

Following my initial indoctrination into the Houndmouth universe I decided to make it a point to see the perform in seven different states and once even up in Canada throughout the course of 2013 and 2014.

Whether it was at IOTA in Arlington, VA, Signal Kitchen in Burlington, VT, the Sons of Herman Hall in Dallas, Texas or the Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine Houndmouth always impressed with the force of their live performance, how genuine they came across on stage and their ability to immediately connect with a crowd of strangers.

Another big takeaway from every live Houndmouth show I’ve ever barred witness to was just how much damn fun the band was having whether there was one person in the audience or two hundred.  This feeling of joy always managed to bleed itself into whatever size audience the band was playing to making each and every performance feel unique and warmly intimate.

Back in 2013 I was speaking with Cody after one of the band’s performances and I mentioned to him that I was in town for business but that when I saw that they were playing in the city I spent two-hundred dollars to change my flight back home to catch their show.  Upon hearing this Cody turned to me and said, “man that’s the coolest thing anyone has ever said to me about our band.”

A lot has changed for Houndmouth since then as much hipper things than talking to me in a dimly light club at two in the morning have come the band’s way including their being mentioned on nearly every buzz worthy music list you can shake a stick at, guest appearances on Letterman and Conan as well as their playing the likes of both Bonnaroo and Forecastle.   I’m okay with this because I’ve never really been all that cool anyway and that fact is Houndmouth has earned this type of praise and success.

Come see and hear for yourself as Houndmouth along with Justin Paul Lewis take to the Orange Peel’s stage this Saturday March 5th starting at 9:00 PM.

Who:           Houmdmouth plus Justin Paul Lewis

When:        Saturday March 5, 2015 / 9:00 PM

Where:      The Orange Peel / 101 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, NC

Cost:          $18 advance / $20 day of show


Umphrey’s McGee TAUK – Explore Asheville Arena – Photo Recap

AskAsheville was on hand for Umphrey’s McGee second night of the their Asheville residency over at the ExploreAsheville Arena. Your faithful AskAVL music editor shot night one for LiveMusicDaily. You can find these photos at the link below:

AskAsheville however is fortunate enough to have several great photographers that cover events and we’re sure glad Carol Spagnuola was at the ready to capture these great images from the second night of Umphrey’s McGee along with TAUK on February 20th, Enjoy!

You can find more of Carol’s photography at the link below as well as photos she captures at the Orange Peel that you can find on the Orange Peel’s Facebook page.

CS - UM - 26 CS - UM - 33 CS - UM - 32 CS - UM - 30 CS - UM - 29 CS - UM - 28 CS - UM - 27 CS - UM - 26 CS - UM - 25 CS - UM - 24 CS - UM - 23 CS - UM - 22 CS - UM - 21 CS - UM - 20 CS - UM - 19 CS - UM - 18 CS - UM - 17 CS - UM - 16 CS - UM - 15 CS - UM - 14 CS - UM - 13 CS - UM - 12 CS - UM - 11 CS - UM - 10 CS - UM - 9 CS - UM - 8 CS - UM - 7 CS - UM - 6 CS - UM - 5 CS - UM - 4 CS - UM - 3 CS - UM - 2 CS - UM - 1 CS Tauk -1 CS Tauk - 20 CS Tauk - 19 CS Tauk - 18 CS Tauk - 17 CS Tauk - 16 CS Tauk - 15 CS Tauk - 14 CS Tauk - 10 CS Tauk - 9 CS Tauk - 8 CS Tauk - 7 CS Tauk - 6 CS Tauk - 5 CS Tauk - 4 CS Tauk - 2 CS Tauk - 3

Recap – The Marcus King Band – New Mountain – February 12, 2016

Marcus King - NM - 3

The Marcus King Band – New Mountain Asheville, NC – February 12, 2016

The Marcus King Band has been steadily gaining momentum over the past eighteen months.   The band, based out of Greenville, South Carolina, have become known for regularly delivering bombastic live sets at various venues within Asheville’s city limits.

Continuing to tour on their recently re-released debut CD Soul Insight the band pulled into Asheivlle last Friday to perform at New Mountain.   Just under a year ago the MKB would typically play to 50-75 people at smaller venues around town, however, in recent months word on the street has apparently spread as MKB is now beginning to play larger venues that are either nearly sold out or sold out all together.

The band, recently signed to Warren Haynes’ label Evil Teen records, has been up in Stamford, Connecticut laying down tracks for their sophomore release with the Asheville legend serving as the record’s producer.

Plenty has been written about Marcus King’s bombastic guitar playing and soulful southern voice and rightfully so but it’s important to note that the Marcus King Band is not simply a one man show.

Jack Ryan (drums), Justin Johnson (horns), Stephen Campbell (bass), Matthew Jennings (keyboards) and the recently added Dean Mitchell on saxophone bring a high level of musical aptitude and energy to the band’s performance that help lift the Marcus King Band to levels live that go beyond well your typical jam band fare.

The band’s performance on the evening featured song MKB classics, a few newer songs that will likely appear on the band’s soon to be released sophomore effort and a couple of unique covers that included snippets of the Beatles “Dear Prudence”, Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and an absolutely jaw dropping take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”.

The band also had Asheville based bass virtuoso Cody Wright (Jonathan Scales Fourchestra) sit in for a few numbers.  All I convey about Wright’s time on stage with the MKB band is holy sh*t!!! I personally would love to see Wright combine with King and MKB band drummer Jack Ryan to form a power rock trio.  The force these three brilliant musicians could create together on record and under the lighted stage would most certainly be super charged.

The Marcus King Band has lifted off with an explosion of blues, rock, soul and psychedelia that is without question going to see their trajectory launch well beyond the southeast.  Proof of this alone is the fact that the MKB has already been booked to play in Austin at South By Southwest later this year as well as Mountain Jam later this summer where they will share the stage with such music titans as Beck, Gov’t Mule, Gary Clark Jr. Lettuce, Wilco and others.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in these pages; I highly suggest that you get out and see the Marcus King Band at these intimate venues and for short dollars while you still can. I assure you it will not be too long before the band is regularly playing much larger venues at shows that will definitely put a much larger dent in your wallet.

A brief aside New Mountain as a venue has come a long way recently. Maybe it’s just me but it seems as though the sound is bigger and more fluid than it’s every been inside the venue’s walls.

Already known as one Asheville’s premier venues, myself and every other live music fan can only hope that these improvements are but a harbinger of greater things from the folks over at New Mountain.