Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony + Alexa Rose

The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present

Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony + Alexa Rose

Sat, January 6, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

SEATED SHOW

Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony
Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony
Phan is a prolific poet, songwriter, and guitarist, with the soul of an improviser. He crafts his songs to give room for presence, self-expression, and improvisation in the moment. He believes that the best live music is when everyone playing is co -creating – which means that every one of his concerts offers audiences a different sound and a unique experience.

A year of jazz conservatory at Virginia Commonwealth University left Ben Phan rebellious: uninspired by the environment and fed-up with the structure, he knew he didn’t want to be an academic musician.

So Phan began his professional career as a founding member of the Richmond Afrobeat Movement, a blend of jazz, funk and African dance music which earned significant attention in the South, including a TV appearance and other media features.

A stint as Musical Director for Free Run Wine Merchants gave Phan a chance to develop his professional skills, setting up musical events for the company, which included solo jazz gigs as well as band arrangements.

Phan then joined a bluegrass and folk band, the Rusty Strings, and discovered the joy in sitting on a porch and singing together with others, simply for the love of music.

In 2014, Phan decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and his life changed forever. Along with everything else he needed, he carried a mini-guitar on his back and became known by the name “Shredder” because of how he “shredded the guitar” when he played. Five months of travel on foot, 2,668 miles from the Mexican border all the way into Canada, playing for himself and the people he met, transformed his relationship with music. He began writing songs, drawn from his experiences on the trail as well as his past struggles with depression, addiction, loss and love. The music offered hope and solace, to him and to his audiences.

The time on the Pacific Crest Trail renewed Phan’s passion for music. With a prolific body of original work, he returned to Asheville to record his first solo EP, “Hold On, Let Go.” He assembled a band, made up of some of the best musicians in Asheville: besides liking his music, they appreciate the dedication and professionalism Phan brings to his work. The band released it's debut album, "Dreams in Modern Folk", to a sold out crowd at the Altamont Theatre, one of Asheville's finest listening rooms. The band continued to perform successful shows over the following year, refining their high energy sound which combines fiery improvisation with rich composition. This led to a successful kickstarter campaign to fund their next album, "Fear is the Teacher", which the band recorded with two time Grammy winning producer Matt Williams. Phan continues to perform with the band, as a solo artist, and in collaborations with other musicians; he has also built a successful guitar teaching practice, which he finds a great source of inspiration.

Phan is a prolific poet, songwriter, and guitarist, with the soul of an improviser. He crafts his songs to give room for improvisation, presence, and self-expression in the moment. He believes that the best live music is when everyone playing is co-creating – which means that every one of his concerts offers audiences a different sound and a unique experience.
Alexa Rose
Alexa Rose
Carolina songstress Alexa Rose crafts clever lyrics and boot-tapping mountain magic in her own brand of modern folk. She has spent her formative years curating original music in the Blue Ridge, releasing two albums in her early twenties. You can often catch her sporting her dusty Frye boots in some southern lagoon, or on the regional radio stations that spin her latest full-length release, "Low and Lonesome." Written on a hand me down guitar from her mother, the title track is a toast to Rose's heritage, and its anthem-like chorus haunts the listener with a somberness evocative of Gillian Welch.

Her band currently tours under the moniker, Alexa Rose & The Midnight Stringbird, and delivers heartfelt performances with stringed instruments and warm family-style harmonies. Since Rose began her run as a touring artist last year, she and her bandmates have shared stages with Jessica Lea Mayfield, The Ragbirds, and The Wild Reeds. Her song "Lottery Ticket" was featured WNCW's Midnight Folk pick of the week, and "Borrow Your Heart" was a finalist in the 2017 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. In October 2016, Rose won Asheville NC's Brown Bag Songwriting Contest.

When asked which aspects of her music she hoped listeners would take away, Rose answered: "A sense of place of which they are a part. Once, after a show, an audience member said to us, “I felt like I was sitting on my grandparents’ porch listening to June Carter!” While we aren’t playing Carter Family covers or really presenting traditional music, we are mountain people curating art that is inseparable from our upbringing in the regional music and tradition of Appalachia and of the American South. This informs not only our playing style, but also the way we tell the stories within the songs — from homegrown tomatoes to heartbreaks. We want people to feel as good listening to our stuff as we feel when we play it." (Alexa Rose, Asheville Downtown Association Q&A, June 2017)
Venue Information:
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801
http://www.thegreyeagle.com/