The Collection

– ALL AGES- STANDING ROOM ONLYTHE COLLECTION When we lean on one another, we don’t fall. The Collection derives an inimitable musical language from the unbreakable bond between its members. Fronted by David Wimbish, the Saxapahaw, NC-based band places just as much emphasis on interpersonal community and relationships as it does on the music itself.On their new EP How To Survive An Ending (Nettwerk Music Group, January 2023), The Collection emanates positivity from a place of pure love encoded in a pastiche of alternative, pop, folk, and roots. This isn’t an overnight success story. This is generating tens of millions of streams across various releases, logging tens of thousands of miles on the road, earning praise from American Songwriter, Glide, Parade, and more, and landing on NPR Tiny Desk Judges’ Picks – all before signing their first record deal. Over the years, the group has fine-tuned their approach to making music and being together on the road to the point of codifying a signature set of “rules for how to be a band.” Wimbish notes these rules maintain “good boundaries and foster better relationships, better shows, and overall better conditions amongst the crew.” He reveals, “The first rule is a strict ‘No Sarcasm Rule’. We don’t put each other down or act passive aggressively.” Instead, they’re honest, direct, and open. They take time for therapy and mental health as another rule. “We’re always supportive of each other. We’re listening, we’re trying our best to show up for one another.” It’s clear when you speak to Wimbish about his bandmates that they are real friends. It isn’t just about music or the shows. They really do care for one another. “We try to give each other constant encouragement, especially on the road” notes Wimbish. “If someone needs a cheerleading session, we pitch in and encourage that person. Before we get on stage, we’ll do breathing exercises together and get everyone in the same place mentally. In general, we try to implement healthy practices—whether we’re on tour or at home. It’s part of who we are and it’s part of our community.” And that community has only continued to blossom. Following 2014’s full-length debut Ars Morendi, the  band attracted a devout fanbase with Listen To The River [2017] and Entropy [2018]. Among many highlights from the latter, standout single “Beautiful Life” has gathered 6.5 million Spotify streams and counting. At the same time, they became renowned for raucous and rowdy performances. The group has lit up festival stages and crisscrossed the country with The Oh Hellos, RIPE, Tall Heights, and Sammy Rae & The Friends, to name a few Following their Valentine’s Day EP I Love You, and I Think I Like You Too in 2020, the band unveiled a string of acclaimed singles while touring halted and they waited for the pandemic to subside. Of “Blue Day,” the first of the bunch, Parade proclaimed, “Breezy acoustic guitar and a sweet melancholy sentiment help paint this pristine vocal landscape,” and American Songwriter noted, “The raw track evokes a sense of serenity with lofty vocals that eloquently deliver a timely reminder of kindness.” “GET LOST” came along next, which Alfitude hailed as “a song with deeply meaningful lyricism, emotive vocals and a beautifully constructed melody.”

The Sadies

– ALL AGES- STANDING ROOM ONLYTHE SADIES Without doubt or qualification, The Sadies are one of this continent’s greatest extant rock ’n’ roll bands — just as they have been for the last quarter-century. Versatile and imaginative, they skip from astral psychedelia to shuffling bucolics and leap from puckish pop to righteous garage-rock without losing momentum or mastery. Their albums deliver masterclasses on pointed songwriting, lockstep harmonies, and a devil-may-care attitude to expectations and past successes.  With their new album – Colder Streams – out now, check out what Shindig Magazine calls “a stone-cold masterpiece”. 

NIGHT ONE: Watchhouse (Special Duo Set) at Asheville Masonic Temple

– ALL AGES- SEATED SHOW- AT ASHEVILLE MASONIC TEMPLEWATCHHOUSE Over a year after Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Watchhouse (formerly known as Mandolin Orange) reintroduced themselves on their 2021 self-titled LP, the pair shared a special surprise release: Watchhouse (Duo), a self-produced recording of Marlin and Frantz performing the most elemental possible arrangements of all nine songs from Watchhouse. It’s a project that captures the fundamental power of Watchhouse: Two singers and musicians with profound chemistry, performing earnest yet masterfully crafted songs that encompass the unknowable mysteries, existential heartbreak, and communal joys of modern life.   Starting over a decade ago playing coffee shops and local restaurants around North Carolina, Watchhouse is a grassroots success story that’s been driven by Marlin’s poignant songwriting. They’ve sold out iconic venues (Red Rocks, Ryman Auditorium) and attract hundreds of millions of streams while producing exploratory music that “redefines roots music for a younger generation” (Washington Post).   2022 was filled with many endeavors including the American Acoustic Tour with Punch Brothers, headlining shows across the US, collaborating with Planet Bluegrass on Mabon, an autumn equinox concert series, and of course Watchhouse (Duo). In 2023, Marlin and Frantz will celebrate the release of Watchhouse (Duo) with a short run of shows that will feature just the two of them, harkening back to their earliest days of performing.SAMANTHA CRAINSamantha Crain is a Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer, and musician from Oklahoma. She is a two-time Native American Music Award winner and winner of an Indigenous Music Award. Her genre spanning discography has been critically acclaimed by media outlets such as Rolling Stone, SPIN, Paste, No Depression, NPR, PRI, The Guardian, NME, Uncut, and others. She has toured extensively over the past 15 yearsnationally and internationally, presenting ambitious orchestrated shows with a band and intimate folk leaning solo performances. She has toured with First Aid Kit, Neutral Milk Hotel, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Avett Brothers, The Mountain Goats, Brandi Carlile, Langhorne Slim, The Staves, and many other bands and artists. With her new album, “A Small Death”, and newer EP, “I Guess We Live Here Now”, she continues her traditionof keeping things close to the heart and the ground by leaning into the fulfillment of affinity with an audience and the satisfaction of a song with a memorable melody and an honest story.

Matt Heckler w/ Vaden Landers

– ALL AGES- SEATED SHOW- LIMITED NUMBER OF PREMIUM SEATING TICKETS AVAILABLEMATT HECKLERMATT HECKLER is a solo multi-instrumentalist that barely fits into any ordinary musical category. He tends to keep to the darker side of Appalachian mountain music and early bluegrass but listen long enough and you’ll soon be transported to the mountains of Eastern Europe or a dimly lit bar in Ireland where they honor those who have passed with a gently swaying a cappella ballad.After touring almost nonstop for years in support of bands like Devil Makes Three, Lost Dog Street Band, Flogging Molly, and others, HECKLER, like the rest of us, got sidelined by the ongoing global pandemic. With the newfound time off, he set to pushing creative boundaries in his home recording studio as far as his mind would allow. Each fiddle, banjo, and guitar track carefully put in place all the while retaining the grit and energy reflected in his live shows. Paired perfectly as the sequel to After The Flood, the Blood, Water, Coal album is a defining release in his career.Blood, Water, Coal was performed and recorded by MATT HECKLER with upright bass and backing vocals provided by Jeff Loops (Lost Dog Street Band). While recording Blood, Water, Coal, MATT HECKLER released The Magnolia Sessions outdoor live set – the maiden release for the now popular series – which made it to #9 on the Bluegrass Billboard Charts. The Magnolia Sessions was still charting upon the release of Blood, Water, Coal, which debuted at #3, leaving HECKLER with two albums running on the Billboard Charts simultaneously.HECKLER writes, “I started working on this album over a year ago in my home. Ran into a lot of snags and problems inherent in self-recording, but being alone, just a mic and my instruments, was the only way to capture the raw emotions this collection of songs holds for me. Some of these tunes were written over a decade ago, most of them in more recent years. Others took years to write. But now that it’s done, I can confidently say this album is the perfect sequel to After The Flood.”VADEN LANDERSVaden Landers is a 28-yr-old emerging artist from East Tennessee, penning songs that evoke the golden era of country music. With a voice often compared to Hank Sr, this former train-hopper/street-busker has gained a reputation in Asheville NC as one of the city’s finest performers. Billed as “The Yodeling Country Bluesman”, he possesses a rare authenticity that carries on the classic tradition.

SUSTO

– ALL AGES- STANDING ROOM ONLYSUSTOMuch like stars across the night sky, our souls dot this plane of existence, flaring brighter over time. As one fades out, another flickers into focus—and so the cycle continues into eternity and beyond.For SUSTO, the joy of birth, the closure of death, the warmth of true friendship, and the promise of the future rotate on the axis of the band’s fourth full-length and debut for New West Records, Time In The Sun. Frontman Justin Osborne distills this ebb and flow into eleven tracks underpinned by lyrical eloquence, unpredictable dynamics, and a thoroughly alive rock ‘n’ roll spirit. “We’re all just products of the sunlight, revolving around a big ball of fire,” observes Justin. “I was thinking of the meaning of life as I’m sure many of us were in 2020. I’ve come to believe life is all one big chance happening with no deeper meaning other than what we make of it. Every album is like a timestamp, and Time In The Sun was about trying to express this moment in my life. I was stuck in the middle of losing my father and also becoming a father myself. Through these songs, I’m expressing what it felt like and how it’s changed me.”Since 2013, Justin has quietly prepared to make such a statement. He went from penning tunes as a kid back in South Carolina to forming SUSTO on a pilgrimage to Havana, Cuba where he resumed writing music again after a creative respite. Following the self-titled SUSTO [2014] and & I’m Fine Today [2017], the band delivered the fan and critical favorite Ever Since I Lost My Mind during 2019. In addition to looks from Billboard, No Depression, and NPR, Paste raved, “the album is a resounding triumph,” and Rolling Stone touted their “songs that range from hook-oriented roots pop to heavy grunge.”Along the way, the collective opened up for everyone from The Lumineers and Band of Horses to The Head and The Heart in addition to gracing the bills of festivals such as Hangout, Stagecoach, Austin City Limits, and more. SUSTO also made their television debut on CBS This Morning: Saturday. In the middle of this whirlwind, Justin became a father in the summer of 2019 as he started compiling ideas. He officially entered the studio with producer and engineer Wolfgang Zimmerman [Band of Horses] at the top of 2020. After a February tour, the world shutdown and Justin retreated into his next body of work. A revolving cast of collaborators, friends, and members of the Charleston musical community rolled through and contributed to the recording. “It takes a village to make a record,” he smiles.In the end, SUSTO launches a new cycle in their journey, and it’s bolder and brighter than ever. “I was exorcising a lot of emotions,” he leaves off. “I hope people connect to Time In The Sun enough that I can keep doing this again and again. I’m just excited to make another record and keep going. Maybe it will help someone work through their emotions. This was my dream at 12-years-old. It’s still what I want to do.”CLINT ROBERTS & THE HOLLER CHOIRHailing from the rural mountains of western NC, Roberts combines Folk, Americana and Bluegrass to create a powerful country sound full of luscious soundscapes. His commanding voice, evocative lyricism and carefully crafted storytelling touches on an array of emotions to create what he calls “contemporary Appalachia music.”

Love Bubble Meets The Beatles

– ALL AGES- SEATED SHOW- LIMITED NUMBER OF PREMIUM SEATING TICKETS AVAILABLELOVE BUBBLE Love Bubble Meets the Beatles “Love Bubble” is the name of the freshest harmony-driven trio in WNC! Made up of 3 of our areas finest and most sought after singers, you’re in for a dreamy, nostalgic, heartwarming and whimsical time!  Debuting in December 2018 at the Eagle and selling out their freshman CD release show (Love Revolution) here in 2021 as well, you’re in for another uplifting ride into the throwback pop vibe of this delightful trio. Hank Bones who is affectionately referred to as “the man of 1000 songs” is also a master on guitar, arranging and songwriting. Peggy ‘Blues Chanteuse’ Ratusz has been a staple in WNC for nearly 20 years. In 2016 she swept the Mountain Express Readers poll with honors in Best in Blues, Best Vocalist and Artist that Gives Back. Along with the brilliant and scintillating vocal abilities of performance and session’s singer to the stars, Paula Hanke, these 3 create a quintessential musical ménage e trois! Your favorite harmony driven psychedelic rock, soul, jazz and pop trio will be performing a mix of Beatles hits and their own captivating originals at the Grey Eagle! 

An Evening With The Dancing Fleas

– ALL AGES- SEATED SHOW- LIMITED NUMBER OF PREMIUM SEATING TICKETS AVAILABLETHE DANCING FLEAS The Dancing Fleas, aka America’s Premier Ukulele Party Band, are a ten piece combo, heavy on the ukes but light on the attitude.  Their uplifting originals and covers have been known to make even the most jaded hipsters smile unselfconsciously.  The Fleas bring their high energy, big fun approach to a genre-bending set of tunes with styles ranging from classic country to sassy funky.  Expect dueling ukuleles, blistering pedal steel licks, and big harmonies from the band’s five vocalists.  The band’s debut album, The Dancing Fleas Play the Music of Don Gibson, is streaming on all platforms along with a handful of tasty original singles.  Once you’ve seen them live, you’ll join the ranks of the #fleabitten! “Sometimes the only thing standing between you and a good time are your own reservations. These are the times when the jaded music critic in you should just let your hair down, get up out of your seat and shake your groove thing. These are the times for The Dancing Fleas to liberate your inner geek and let you remember what it was like to not be so dang self conscious about what people might think. Music fans often use the term “guilty pleasure” to refer to music that they keep to themselves even though it makes them smile. The Dancing Fleas are here to relieve you of this guilt. Go ahead, lay that burden down, brothers and sisters. Jump up out of that pew and come down front where we all can shout and sing!  But here’s the other thing: The Fleas are actually very good. Like, tasty licks. Original songs that are instantly memorable. And an unlimited supply of that joyous, nerdy charisma. If you don’t believe me, just drop in on their set and you will understand. No reservations necessary. “ -Joe Kendrick, WNCW

Shawn Mullins + Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

– ALL AGES- FULLY SEATED SHOW- LIMITED NUMBER OF PREMIUM SEATING TICKETS AVAILABLESHAWN MULLINSAfter a series of indie record releases, Shawn Mullins’ critical breakthrough came when 1998 Soul’s Core album shot him to fame on the strength of its Grammy-nominated No. 1 hit, “Lullaby” followed by AAA/Americana No. 1 “Beautiful Wreck” from 2006’s 9th Ward Pickin Parlor. His song, “Shimmer” was used in promotion of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and was included on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack. He co-wrote “All in My Head” which was featured in episode one of the hit TV sitcom “Scrubs.” Mullins also co-wrote the Zac Brown Band’s No. 1 country tune “Toes.” In early 2002, he formed super group The Thorns with Matthew Sweet and Peter Droge. Mullins’ most recent album My Stupid Heart, was released in 2015, the theme of which, Mullins says, can be summed up most succinctly by the song title, “It All Comes Down To Love,” the guiding force behind just about every song on the album. Mullins is currently embarking on a recording project in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the release of his album Soul’s Core, which came out July 17, 1998. He always performs songs from Soul’s Core in his live sets including “Lullaby” (Rockabye), “Gulf of Mexico,” “Twin Rocks Oregon,” “Shimmer” and “Anchored in You”. The song arrangements have evolved through the years as he continues to perform them live and grow as an artist.LARRY CAMPBELL AND TERESA WILLIAMS Multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams’ acclaimed eponymous 2015 debut, released after seven years of playing in Levon Helm’s band – and frequent guesting with Phil Lesh, Little Feat, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, brought to the stage the crackling creative energy of a decades-long offstage union. A whirlwind of touring and promo followed, and when the dust cleared, the duo was ready to do it all again. Which brings us to Contraband Love, a riskier slice of Americana. Larry, who produced Contraband Love, says, “I wanted this record to be a progression, bigger than the first one. That’s all I knew. I wanted the songwriting to be deeper, the arrangements more interesting, the performances more dynamic. Specifically how to get there, I didn’t know. I did know the songs were different. The subject matter was darker than anything else I’ve written.” “More painful!” Teresa says, and laughs. “Yeah,” Larry says with a smile. “I’m proud of our debut, but I felt like the songs were lighter than what I’m capable of doing. As a songwriter, I aspire to a sense of uniqueness: this is a great song and it could only have been written by me. I want to get there. It’s a journey, a goal, a pursuit. The mechanics of that pursuit are figuring out what you need to do to surpass your last body of work.”

Midnight North

– ALL AGES- STANDING ROOM ONLYMIDNIGHT NORTHThere’s Always a Story represents a new chapter for Midnight North. Ten stories told through song on their most polished album to date.                 Reflecting on the time since their origin, Midnight North is ready to tell the world its story. A group of multi-instrumentalists with songwriting roots in Folk and Americana, Midnight North is a mainstay on the stages of the national touring circuit. Rolling Stone hailed Midnight North as the “Best New Act” in its review of 2018’s Peach Music Festival saying the band “takes the best parts of roots music and weaves them into a tapestry of rock and Americana.”Grahame Lesh, Elliott Peck, & Connor O’Sullivan began playing together in San Francisco. In early 2012 they played their first show as Grahame Lesh & Friends. Grahame & Elliott both brought a repertoire of original music to this new project that was a perfect marriage once the band began performing in earnest. In late 2012 the band went into the studio for the first time, tracking the entirety of their debut album End of the Night in just 2 days. End of the Night (mixed & produced by Connor) was released in June 2013 as they officially debuted the name Midnight North.The band began touring in June 2015, with the release of their second album Scarlet Skies. That began a five year run as a touring band, playing in 36 states in front of thousands of people across the country. They released Under the Lights, their most successful studio album to date, in summer 2017. “Across all of the tracks, when you think you have the band pegged for a style or a genre, all of a sudden a chorus, or a new solo or new instrument altogether, diverts the music boldly but smartly to a new sound and feel,” said The Poke Around in their review of Under the Lights. They also released two live albums including 2018’s Selections From the Great American Music Hall which featured Bob Weir & Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead plus members of Twiddle as special guests.A pivotal moment for the band came when Grahame met drummer Nathan Graham at a benefit show in Philadelphia in 2016. A month later Nathan sat in with the band for a show, eventually joining the band for their longest tour to date in the Spring of 2017. Bringing on the well seasoned drummer as a full-time member of the band (and learning about his banjo playing, singing, and song-writing skills) represented the next step forward as plans were made to record their fourth studio album.In January 2020, the band went into a California studio with producer David Simon-Baker to craft their fourth studio album, There’s Always a Story, released in 2021 on Americana Vibes. As the world shut down in March and the band quarantined separately around the country, the album was finished remotely in California and Pennsylvania. As the months ticked by they let the rest of the newly written & recorded songs sink into their consciousness so that when work resumed on the album in June the entire album became even better than they could have hoped.2022 and beyond is a new beginning, and while Midnight North longingly looks ahead, hand-in-hand with the rest of the world, There’s Always a Story will serve as a collective and reflective narrative.

Machine Funk: A Tribute to Widespread Panic

– ALL AGES- STANDING ROOM ONLYMACHINE FUNK:  A TRIBUTE TO WIDESPREAD PANIC Machine Funk “Tribute to Widespread Panic” was formed in the summer of 2006 in Florence, SC. The band tours the southeast covering the music of Widespread Panic. Night after night their set lists are never the same, with having over 150 songs in rotation you will not see the same show twice. MF also include songs from Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Talking Heads and many others. Machine Funk has shared the stage with musicians from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, North Mississippi Allstars, Randall Bramblett, ALSO Todd Nance and Jojo Hermann of Widespread Panic. We thank you for your support. See you on the road!  Sean Mills- Guitar, Vocals Will Ames- Bass, Vocals Greg Buie- Keyboards Laddie Johnson- Drums Parker DeWitt- Percussion/Vocals