Asheville Music Weekend: Stephanie Morgan, RBTS Win, Double Benefits


By Caleb Calhoun

Here’s a quick look at some of the great music happening in Asheville this weekend:

Stephanie Morgan at The Mothlight

Ok, I know I mentioned this last week, but has anyone else just been blown away by the booking going on over at The Mothlight? This will be the second time in two weeks that we talk about what’s going on in their corner of West Asheville, and that is without me even mentioning Diet Cig last Sunday or MEWITHOUTYOU next month.

This week, they’re dishing up some brand spanking new classic Asheville. Stephanie Morgan laid the groundwork for her current project, The Mercurists, by leading the critically acclaimed pop-noir trio Stephaniesid. Known for her improvisational vocal style and eerie, soulful melodies, she has set herself apart as one of the premier songwriters in the Southeast. Morgan will be surrounded in this case by some of Asheville’s most talented musicians this is the place to be Saturday night.

One of two bands she is currently playing with (Pink Mercury, her other project being an experimental improvisational pursuit) The Mercurists are playing a much tighter, more rehearsed show, featuring Morgan’s original songs.

“The thing about Stephanie Morgan and The Mercurists, which is the band that has kind of taken over my original songs, is the chance to play arrangements, songs that we have made special by the little details” she says.

The band is made up of Rich Brownstein on keys, Ryan Reardon on bass, Drew Heller on guitar and Patrick Armitage on drums. That’s a bit of a whose-who on the Asheville music scene. To add to the aura of this particular show, it will be held on Morgan’s birthday.

“I like to celebrate on the day,” Morgan laughs. “But what I really want to talk about is Night of Bravery. Night of Bravery is not a band, it’s an event, and we did it a few years ago with Stephaniesid. It’s an audience participation event that I host, where people are invited on stage and they get five minutes to do something that, for them, represents an act of bravery. It’s not an open-mic, it’s a chance for someone to push to the next place.”

With an interactive opening and what promises to be an on-point main-event this is an event that only Asheville could truly provide.

Highland Brewing Traumatic Brain Injury Benefit

Did you know that since the switch to Kevlar helmets that traumatic brain injury  has become the most common injury to our soldiers on the battlefield. Back in 2005 Dorsey Parker was working one-on-one with a man suffering from TBI after a car accident. After looking extensively for a place, a group home or facility, where this man could live and work from and finding nothing, he decided that, with the help of Karen Keating from Hinds Feet Farm, they would do something about it themselves. After several years of working together they found a home at Highland Brewing Company to kick off TBI awareness month each year.

“This will be our fourth year at Highland,” Parker discusses. “My perspective is that you can’t solve a problem until you start to talk about it in the community.”

With a goal of raising awareness and a solid lineup including Dorsey’s Big Benefit Band, Chalwa, and Velvet Truckstop this afternoon event, running 1-6pm, on Sunday, is a way to both enjoy yourself and support a good cause.

“All of us are so blessed in a place like Asheville and that gives us more responsibility to take care of others,” Parker states. “So many of these veterans come back (permanently) disabled and the least we can do is show up, drink some beers, party, have a good time and talk about these things.”

RBTS Win, Ellington Underground

One of the most cutting edge collaborations in these Western North Carolina Mountains RBTS Win crush the dance scene relying on mainly analog synthesizers and old-school samplers. Respected throughout he southeast for their back to basics style and unbelievably shiny hooks, RBTS Win and Ellington Underground is a perfect combination.

Playing from 10pm to 2am on Saturday night, if you are into the DJ scene and not headed to the Homeward Bound benefit at Banks Avenue, this is probably the place for you.

Homeward Bound Benefit at Banks Avenue

Not to further confuse you but this is Asheville and lots of things happen every night. Another option on Saturday, whether you are looking for a positive place to be all night or an after-party for the Stephanie Morgan and The Mercurists show, this is the place to be.

With all proceeds going to Homeward Bound, a non-profit that helps the homeless in the WNC area, and three stellar DJ’s (DJ Honey, Rexxstep, and DJ Acolyte) this is a charitable party that will last until the bar kicks everyone out.

According to organizer Ethan Delaney it’s a pretty obvious fund-raiser to throw: “I’ve just traveled a lot and I’ve seen homelessness in America and it’s pretty bad in Asheville too. This is my community and I am going to be living in it so I want to put out some energy in to fixing it.”

With no real cost, just a suggested donation at the door which goes to Homeward Bound, this is an opportunity to get lit up and feel good about it.

Not like Asheville doesn’t have enough of those.


If you aren’t headed to Railroad Earth on Thursday, shit, even if you are, make your way down to Asheville Music Hall after (11pm-ish) for Backup Planet. Not local, but these Nashville boys are one of the most explosive live bands going.

Caleb Calhoun is a writer. He has a dog. See spot run at