Category Archives: Performance

Queen Bee and the Honeylovers release their ‘Asheville’ album

queen_bee_honeylovers_by_joe_bruno2-1100x750(Mountain XPress) Traditionally, concept albums have been almost exclusively within the rock idiom. But Asheville-based singer and songwriter Whitney Moore has breathed new life into the form by applying it to a very different musical style: jazz. Celebrating the release of the local history-themed Asheville, Moore’s band, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers, will play a show at Isis Music Hall on Saturday, April 27.

Moore formed Queen Bee and the Honeylovers with double bassist Trevor Stoia in late 2016. From the beginning, the band focused on early and swing jazz. “This was right after the [presidential] election,” Moore recalls. “And sweet, nostalgic music was very healing and therapeutic in an otherwise dark moment.”

But rather than exclusively playing classics from the pre- and postwar jazz eras, Moore decided to take Queen Bee and the Honeylovers in a different direction. “I love writing, so any project I had was going to have some original music,” she says. “And as we started to write music, I was looking around for inspiration.” She found it close to home.

Read the full feature by Bill Kopp HERE>

[UPDATE: The Saturday, April 27 show is now sold out, but the band has announced an encore performance on Friday, May 3, at 8:30 p.m., also at Isis Music Hall.]

Comedian Hari Kondabolu on race, politics and educated audiences

hari-kondabolu-new(Mountain XPress) On a previous trip to Asheville, comedian Hari Kondabolu says, “It was incredible … before the show wandering around thrift stores, drinking good coffee and seeing the mountains. [Then] doing the gig and feeling like people got it.” He continues, “It feels like a home game. I have a bunch of folks who I don’t have to explain as much to and who are excited that I’m there.”

Plus, during his interview with Xpress, it was snowing in Brooklyn, where Kondabolu is based. So even if the comedian’s upcoming Sunday, March 3, show at The Orange Peel doesn’t fall squarely within spring, it’s likely to be a welcome reprieve, weatherwise.

Read the full feature by Alli Marshall HERE>

The Fritz ready to bounce their disco/funk/soul into the Orange Peel

the_fritz_asheville-768x591(AshVegas) With a new EP out, and yet another nationwide tour in the works, The Fritz have plenty to be excited about. Friday night they will bring their dance-inducing mix of disco, funk, and rock to a sold-out Orange Peel in support of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.

For long-time fans of the Asheville-based The Fritz, it doesn’t get much better than this. Pigeons is the perfect band to pair with them, the pungent cheese to The Fritz’ funky grenache, a grenache, by the way, that is loaded with songs that have not yet been performed at a show in Asheville.

Read the full article by Caleb Calhoun HERE>

In pursuit of the moment: Greg Ormont of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

507816f6e2a1fcd62a25c7ed37056935_xl(Smoky Mountain News)  In a day and age where everything that glistens and captures society’s short attention span is seemingly a smoke screen blurring the lines between appearance and reality, one of the most intricate and sacred of human experiences remains pure and untouched — live music.

At the core of the art of musical performance is the idea of improvisation. It’s a moment in the heat of a show where the energy on both sides of the microphone — between the artist and its audience — pulsates in this ebb and flow that circulates and swirls around the event itself.

Read the full feature by Garret K. Woodward HERE>