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Twisted Pine + Bill and the Belles + Golden Shoals

May 12 @ 8:00 pm

Tickets
Twisted Pines, Bill & The Belles, and Golden Shoals visit The Grey Eagle in Asheville NC on Thursday May 12th at 8pm for an ALL AGES show!

7PM DOORS / 8PM SHOW

ALL AGES

PARTIALLY SEATED SHOW – GENERAL ADMISSION SEATING IS FIRST COME FIRST SERVED

TWISTED PINE

Praised by NPR for their “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; and virtuosic solos,” Twisted Pine will release their sophomore full-length Right Now on August 14, 2020 (Signature Sounds). Exploring a sound they call Americana funk, Twisted Pine takes traditional music in exhilarating directions. Bassist Chris Sartori writes, “This album is easier to feel than describe. We’re rooted in bluegrass, continually inspired by explorers like Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, and SierraHull.Right Now takes this heritage into a new dimension. Our bluegrass is jazzy, our indie folk is poppy, our grooves are funky.”Twisted Pine grooves with fearless improvisation and intricate arrangements. “They were once bluegrass,” wroteThe BostonGlobe, “but … this Boston band has become something else, a wider version of string band, boundary jumpers akin to outfits like PunchBrothers, Nickel Creek, and Crooked Still.”

BILL & THE BELLES

“What may be the most innovative modern interpretation of vintage roots music.” –No Depression

“Bill and the Belles is committed to helping early country music remain appreciated – not just replicated.” –Rolling Stone

“They’re a joy to watch live, and we bet you can’t make it through their set without smiling.” –The Bluegrass Situation

“Bill and the Belles’ brand of Americana oftentimes feels like it’s turning back the hands of time with their charming vintage sound.” –Pop Matters

“Bill and the Belles blend a traditional stringband sound with ’60 pop“ –Wide Open Country

“It’s Americana as dark comedy.” –Tinnitist

Happy Again isn’t exactly happy. But the delightfully deadpan new album from roots mainstays Bill and the Belles is full of life, humor, and tongue-in-cheek explorations of love and loss. Out May 21, 2021 on Ditty Boom Records (distribution and promotion by Free Dirt Service Co.), Happy Again marks a new chapter for the group by featuring eleven all-original songs penned by founding member Kris Truelsen. There’s no dancing around it: this album is about his divorce. But the group has a knack for saying sad things with a bit of an ironic smirk, pairing painful topics with a sense of release and relief. Anyone who’s been to one of their shows can attest that you leave feeling lighter and refreshed. The band often jokes that their setlists appear mournful and angry, but if you don’t listen to the words, you wouldn’t know it. “One of the darkest times of my life turned out to be one of the most creative,” says Truelsen. “I realized, ‘My life is chaos. I need to write about this shit.’” This personal loss turned out to be a creative boon for the band. Many of the songs were cranked out in just a few months, two were even written the night before they were recorded. This raw songcraft, along with the deft production touch of Teddy Thompson, son of Linda and Richard Thompson, who encouraged using only first or second takes, gives Happy Again an emotional punch that deepens with each listen.

The core of Happy Again is the foundational Bill and the Belles quartet sound featuring Truelsen on guitar, fiddler Kalia Yeagle, bassist Andrew Small, and banjo/banjo-uke player Helena Hunt, recently replaced by Aidan VanSuetendael. The album is also gently supported by Nick Falk on electric guitar and percussion and Don Eanes on piano and B3 Hammond. Early fans of the band were hooked by their singing, and Happy Again continues to deliver stellar vocal trio arrangements, honed by Yeagle, that nod toward groups like the Ronettes and The Shangri-Las. ​The band began as a project to explore the sounds between rural and urban music, between vaudeville and down home roots, but they’ve arrived somewhere wholly their own. They revel in the in-between: deeply engaged with the stringband tradition and eager to stretch those influences to contemporary settings. Happy Again is the latest chapter of that ongoing story: what happens when a stringband from East Tennessee lays down a session at Motown. It’s a welcome evolution that feels familiar and timeless.

With all their tongue-in-cheek quips, you’d think Bill and the Belles avoids the tough stuff, however, that’s far from the truth. “Never Be Happy Again” is a laundry list of existential woes, and “People Gonna Talk” profiles some of the frustrations of small-town living. “Make It Look Easy” is both an anthem for apathy and a proper “buzz off” to those who’ve got something to say about your life choices. And of course there’s “Sobbin’ the Blues,” Truelsen’s homage to the ‘talking blues’ numbers of the past, neatly tied up with a moral-of-the-story twist. Tucked in amongst the grief and jubilation of Happy Again are some noteworthy oddballs, including two songs that began their lives as jingles on Farm and Fun Time (the band’s live variety radio show now syndicated on PBS, reaching over 20 million homes): “Bye Bye Bill” (a tale about a pale ale drinking whale) and the “The Corn Shuckin’ Song” (make of it what you will). The band presents these themes simply and playfully, inviting listeners to reframe their own burdens and look to the future. “This was one of the first times I felt like I was writing country songs like my heros that were actually from my own perspective,” says Truelsen. “I quickly realized it made sense for us to break the rules.” The group subverts expectations for a stringband, taking a page from some of the finest early country and rock songwriters that drifted happily between genres. Truelsen describes the band’s mission: “One of my ultimate goals is to write songs that are hard to classify in a certain time period. To transcend the now.”

GOLDEN SHOALS

For Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski, the emergence of a brand new self-titled album also marks a rebirth of sorts for their band, Golden Shoals. Eight years ago, the duo was formed for a very unique performance project, called “The Massachusetts Walking Tour”, on which they hiked 6-12 miles per day with packs and instruments, and played shows each night for two weeks. The two semi-nomadic musicians, who have called Asheville, Boston, and various moving vehicles home for the past eight years, have grown individually and as a unit, yet continue to find musical fulfillment in their collaboration. They now call Nashville, Tennessee their home base.

Initially brought together by a mutual love of American folk music, their sound has expanded to include country, Americana, Indie and Experimental influences, allowing them to move more freely beyond genre boundaries with their songwriting while still emanating a deep understanding of Old-Time and Bluegrass music. Ever inspired by the enduring spirit of traditional Appalachian mountain music, their songwriting comes across as simple, honest, and fresh to the ears. The listener can expect the polished technique of conservatory training, in tandem with the grit, drive, and soul of musicians like Roscoe Holcomb or Ola Belle Reed.

Tickets

Venue

The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC 28801 United States
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