We have our region's two best known singer/storytellers here on Wednesday morning. Sheila Kay Adams recently received the National Heritage Fellowship at The White House, which is the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. She and Michael Reno Harrell will perform Holiday songs from their "Blue Ridge Christmas" shows they'll be doing on the 8th in Black Mountain, the 12th and 15th in Waynesville, and the 20th in Brevard.
There aren't a whole lot of bluegrass-inspired bands that embrace electronic music, to the point where they've performed at Asheville's Moog Music Factory. In fact who knows, Brushfire Stankgrass might be the only one. Their earlier album One for the Salamanders was a regional favorite among WNCW listeners, and their new release Microclimates has what it takes to top that one. The boys return and will join Joe Kendrick live Wednesday at 2.
Jacob Johnson, from Traveler's Rest, SC, is back with a new Christmas album. "Johnson sounds like Norman Rockwell paintings and the open road. He has blended and blurred the lines of genres to craft a sound he calls 'Neo-Acoustic Folk/Funk'." - The Florence Morning News. He plays in Waynesville Thursday night, and Spartanburg & Greenville the weekend after next.
Sweet Claudette is an Asheville quartet made up of members of The Honeycutters (Amanda Platt), Now You See Them, and The Moon and You. They describe themselves as a country Motown band, who formed out of a women's songwriter showcase in 2009. They make their first WNCW appearance this Wednesday morning with Martin Anderson.
You know'em, you love'em, you'll hear'em. They're not one but TWO of WNCW's favorite singer/songwriter/pickers, and they play not one but TWO nights in Asheville this week. Songs from their new collaboration Memories and Moments, and funny jokes, and matching bowler hats, live in Studio B this Thursday.
Leave it to Susan Werner to successfully weave both humor and serious passion into an album that centers around agrochemicals, climate change, and sustainable agriculture. The singer/songwriter with deep Iowa farm roots does so on her latest project Hayseed, and she'll talk with us about it this Thursday afternoon in advance of her Asheville concert.
Armed with autoharp, charango, guitar, percussion, and various assorted keyboards (pianoette??), Basia Bulat's new album Tall Tall Shadow was made in collaboration with members of Arcade Fire. You may have heard her interview on The World Cafe last week, or read any number of rave reviews in the NY Times, SPIN, Mother Jones, or Pitchfork. The Toronto native visits us for the first time on her way to her Asheville show Thursday night.
Willy Mason is a fascinating songwriter with a fascinating family tree (a direct descendant of the 19th-century philosopher William James, the brother of novelist Henry James.) His first big break came in 2004 when Conor Oborst fell in love with his work, which has drawn comparisons to Springsteen's Nebraska, or Salinger's Holden Caulfield. He's been on a big tour supporting Mumford & Sons this year, but plays Asheville with the great Laura Marling Wednesday night.
This just in! Karl Denson and band return to Studio B this Friday morning, in between their Thursday Charlotte and Friday Asheville shows. The co-founder of The Greyboy Allstars and currently a member of dub reggae band Slightly Stoopid, Denson is a powerful force. His 6-piece band has a tight, full sound that is anything but tiny.
Nashville legend Lloyd Maines, who has produced the Sons of Fathers' latest release, describes them as “the Everly Brothers meets Neil Young and Merle Haggard and The Clash.” And we don't want to argue with Lloyd Maines... They play Knoxville Thursday and Charlotte Friday.