Asheville Music Weekend: Sister Ivy, Emma’s Lounge, Alive Poets Society, more


Sister Ivy Album Release at Isis Music Hall on Friday

Sister Ivy, as a band, is built upon the poetry of lead singer and front-woman Rachel Waterhouse. Formed nearly three years ago when Waterhouse was asked to perform for the Mountain Xpress Acoustic video series, they have been steadily gaining a following in and around the mountains of Western North Carolina.

As with most bands their sound, and their lineup, has undergone it’s share of change over that time, but, for Waterhouse, it represents an evolution, not an identity crisis.

“It’s been a very organic adventure,” Waterhouse reminisces. “Lots of people set out to create something specific, a specific genre, but I just kind of followed the muse. Some things work, and some things don’t, but it is really taking shape as a very jazz, r-and-b influenced project, although my time playing in jam bands has definitely influenced things as well.” She goes on, “I love opening up to jam sessions, especially live. It’s cocoon to allow everyone who is playing to put their fingerprints on the music.”

Friday will be an album release show for them, however, according to Waterhouse this album is a bit of a look back. Recorded in July of last year with a different set of musicians Waterhouse explains the concept behind releasing it now: “I feel like our sound has definitely evolved since then, but I really did want to release something from that era of the projects evolution.”

This meeting of old and new, combined with Sister Ivy’s precision and excellent song-smithing, should make this particularly appealing to the more intelligent listener.

Emma’s Lounge Headlining Asheville Music Hall Saturday

If you know anything about me you know that I love Emma’s Lounge. In fact, if you know me well, you’re laughing at the understatement.

I love the originality of Emma’s Lounge. Originality is cool, and therefore, by default, Emma’s Lounge is the musical equivalent of the other side of the pillow. Known for their raucous live performances and their powerful vibe this self-labeled space-age folk-wave band is local and undeniably part of what makes Asheville Asheville.

Formed a couple of years ago around the original music of Logan Venderlic, the band has steadily moved away from the concept of a frontman, morphing into a true collective. They bring to every show an energy and a force of love that is unmatched by any other band touring the Southeast right now.

The addition last summer of Brendan Bower and his seven-string metal-prog genius, coupled with Emma Forster’s growthe into her role on the fiddle, as well asthe intense maturation of Meg Heathman into a bona-fide super-star on the keys and with her vox, has them poised on the edge of being a household name nationwide.

It wouldn’t be an Emma’s Lounge show without some shenanigans, and I’ve been assured that an adult Easter Egg hunt is in the works. They also ask that you dress as crazily, funkily, sexily, or weirdly as you possibly can so that we can all celebrate ourselves and each other together with no judgement.

So I guess if dancing your ass off, dressed any way you want, while hanging out with other beautiful people and searching for Jesus’ lost Easter Eggs sounds like a good time to you, then I know where you’ll be Saturday night.

Brie Capone with The Maggie Valley Band Saturday at The Mothlight

There are other amazing things happening Saturday night. Over at The Mothlight will be Asheville’s own Brie Capone, playing with The Maggie Valley Band. What a lovely evening it promises to be.

Capone, who spent some of the winter putting together a new EP, is using this as the real party for her new album, considering that she’s going to be out of town on the 4/20 release date. It also gave her a chance to work with a band she has been wanting to play with for some time.

“I have been following them for a bit. They are extremely hard working and talented and really just kind people,” she says. “They tour a lot outside of the Asheville scene and this seemed like a great way to introduce our fans to each other.”

Truth is, I love all of these musicians. TMVB is certainly on the rise in the indie/americana scene, while Berklee graduate and former Brown-Bag winner Capone is one of my favorite songwriters, not just in these mountains but nationally right now.

So if you want something a little more relaxed than Emma’s Lounge, but every bit as powerful and meaningful, this is the place for you.

Alive Poets Society Friday at The Block off Biltmore

I’ve mentioned that old Bird Collective a time or two in these pieces, but always in reference to the musician side of things of their crew. The cool thing about this entire group of artists, however, is that they make much less distinction between forms of art than most of the rest of us do. Every one of them is involved in all sorts of artistic and creative expression and Friday night they will be hosting a poetry event at The Block of Biltmore.

The Alive Poets Society aims to empower others in the community to come out and read their writing. It holds an event at the end of every month. Created and run by Hailey Gladden, Andrew Benjamin Freeman (of Rich Girl Poor Boy), and Abbie Young (my favorite spoken word poet in Asheville), the three of them will be reading first before opening up the event to others.

The event runs from 6:45-8:45 p.m. and is free. It promises to be one of the safest, most loving places to be in Asheville this weekend.