I am without armour at this juncture. And yet I feel protected, prepared, Jason's music so prevalent every step of my journey, his spirit an apotropaic force in my life.. Every corner I turn, there he is.Read More
This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Marshall High Studios on Blanahassett Island in Downtown Marshall, for the Marshall Handmade Market. I met some lovely artists, saw some familiar faces, and truly enjoyed every moment spent inside that completely captivating building. I was lucky enough to catch up with Beth of Quill and Arrow Press (7 Ton co.) at her booth, and also to meet Amber of Sketchbook Crafts who has the most darling, ochre-saturated studio. It was so nice to meet such creative, dynamic business-lady-artists, and I left with a heart full of inspiration.
Here are a few shots of Beth's booth and Amber's studio, toward the end of the day as the light fell and became buttery.
[this post originally appeared 9.27.2011] Tyler Ramsey has a formidable presence. Though outwardly regal and composed, when he sings, all the tiny and beautiful creatures come pouring out of him, amongst their stories, and wind their way out from behind the mane of chestnut curls which swing freely across his face while he plays. His arrangements are humbly alive, even the softest notes are electric, the absence of sound is heavy and substantial.
Ramsey has a singular sound, somewhere between Jason Molina and Mark Kozalek, and is able to hit notes on the higher end of the spectrum that could sound labored when sung by a less-resonant voice. Ramsey’s vocal mutability is characteristic of a seasoned musician who exercises his strengths while challenging his weaknesses. His Americana-infused finger-picking walks the line between delicate and complex, mathematical and fluid. The more complex his composition, the more effortless it seems, and yet, when playing the simplest of notes, there’s a strained beauty, a haunting quality to the sustained notes.
The Valley Wind proves Ramsey’s skill at arranging sparse yet effective compositions to accent his uncanny ability to tell stories through suggestion. The title track features a heart-beat courtesy of Seth Kauffman, and the cascade which mirrors this rhythm feeds the image of long road-trips and borders on anthemic, while “Nightbird,”** with it’s layered tracks of increasingly incandescent guitars is monumental in it’s subtlety: “is it the ocean, the ocean or the sky that you are seeing, I know sometimes our eyes can be deceiving. Is there a reason for these disconnected feelings you are feeling? Everybody knows you should be sleeping.. you should be sleeping.”
The Valley Wind is out today.
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Here are a few shots from the Tyler Ramsey show in Asheville on November 18th 2010.
**(“Nightbird,” is particularly resonant for me as I heard it the last time I visited Asheville, sitting in Tyler & Joti’s kitchen. The morning I left to drive back up North, we listened to the beginnings of this record, just after Tyler had shared a few of the newer songs at a show at the Grey Eagle a few nights prior, and for some reason this one stuck in so many ways. And now, eight months later, he is releasing the record as I am flying into Ashevile.. “fly home, everybody’s waiting.”)
edit: I've moved back to Asheville, and it's even more timely now, somehow.
I am decidedly not a morning person. The shortlist of things which will pull me begrudgingly out of bed is very short, but it does include local, hot, fresh, just fried doughnuts. So, Saturday morning, I awoke before the dawn and walked directly to Hole. Nestled right on the strip of uphill Haywood just above the River Arts District and Burger Bar but not quite to East-West Asheville spots Urban Orchard, Short Street Cakes, and Villagers is a tiny building with big potential. It is the home of Hole, a brand new doughnut shop with a simple but delicious plan to "serve up Fresh doughnuts and hot coffee."
Co-owners Caroline Whatley and Kim Dryden have focused on the old-fashioned variety of fried confections, offering three flavors to choose from, all of which have sold out well before closing time through their first official week open. I opted for the Vanilla Glazed during my first visit, as I equated it to trying a new brewery's IPA before anything else - start with the standard and work your way in.
If the last three days have been any indication of Hole’s already sterling reputation, their future seems bright even as the days get shorter and the mornings darker. The space feels cozy but not overly designed, with graphic, hand- painted signage by Tim Maddox at Mighty Fine Signs and lovely weathered wood on the walls of the main din ing room. Whatley and Dryden even thought to add an outdoor-indoor seating option inside their food-truck-cum-dining-car in the parking lot, which was decorated with a pitcher of what must be the last dahlias of the season and a tiny note inviting patrons to "dine in." A warm spot to grab a cup of coffee, a quick doughnut, or sit outside and savor the last few nice days of the season, Hole is sure to welcome Asheville into fall in style.
Hole is open 7-1p, Thursday through Monday.
When I first began working at Blue Barnhouse back in Spring 2009 I knew nothing of Letterpress and only a little about printmaking in general. After a few crash sessions on the Vandercook and the C&P, a little hanging around the shop, and a modicum of historical letterpress education, I fell in love. It was the smell of the ink, the clankety-clack of the C&P and the side-stepping necessary while operating the Vandercook. The feel of the different grains of paper and how they accepted ink. The little bit of fear that gripped my heart every time I fed the motorized C&P and the exhaustion of my body after operating the foot-pedal C&P.Read More
Michael Libramento and Evan Martin are both super-talented men of many bands. Currently, Michael is playing with Grace Poter and the Nocturnals, and Evan has recently played with Angi West and Floating Action. But none of this matters, because together, they are Ice Cream.Read More