Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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There’s a stunning amount of great music being made in Asheville these days, with local musicians scheduled to release a ton of new recordings. We’ll do our best to keep up, starting with new albums by David Earl Tomlinson and The Moon and You.

Tomlinson will celebrate the release of Catch a Thrill at 9 p.m. Saturday (today) at The Isis Music Hall in West Asheville. The record is high-powered rock and roll by a seasoned musician and his band, formerly The Plowshares. Black Robin Hero opens. Get tickets here.

The Moon and You, the husband-and-wife duo of Melissa Hyman and Ryan Furstenberg, are marking the release of Endless Maria at N.C. Stage with a 6:30 p.m. show on Sunday. Get tickets here.

Here’s more on both albums:

Catch a Thrill

David Earl Tomlinson brings solid arrangements and an undeniable swagger to his collection of new tunes. He also brings along an awesome array of local talent. Here’s more from a press release about the record:

At some point, the old time influences gave way to the Earl’s more modern, originals songs. Songs of ragged glory, back seat gospel, tempered sensitivity, and measured optimism. Having already been through the trappings of fame without bothering to get famous, David Earl’s songs simmer with the wisdom of a recovering addict and the humor of one who has come too far to take himself too seriously. And the band. The BAND! From Silas Durocher (the Get Right Band) to Chris Pyle (Royal Trux, Scrappy Hamilton) and his father Artimus (Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Artimus Pyle Band), Lenny Pettinelli (Empire Strikes Brass) and the secret weapon, Matt Lane (Black Robin Hero), there was more than enough of the right talent on hand to realize the Earl’s songs. The band took a simple, live approach to the recordings in Matt Williams Eagle Room Studio and the result is rough perfection. “It is nothing less than a dream come true to have these amazing players on my debut record” says David Earl.

Endless Maria

Ryan Furstenberg and Melissa Hyman are endlessly creative and collaborative. Their sound spans genres, but the lush orchestral arrangements on Endless Maria may have been influenced by their recent time spent in Europe.

Here’s more from their press release:

The making of Endless Maria – recorded in March 2016 – was a transformative process for the band. Each of its 8 tracks features orchestration for string quartet (2 violins and 2 cellos), backed by a rock-n-roll rhythm section. Lyndsay Pruett of Jon Stickley Trio, Lee Stanford of Sirius.B, Quetzal Jordan of Tina & Her Pony and Hyman make up the string section; hot bluegrass bassist Rob Parks and drummer Ross Montsinger of Holy Ghost Tent Revival join Furstenberg to form the rhythm section. Lush arrangements dreamed up collaboratively in the studio were sometimes improvised, sometimes built up through co-writing. They highlight by turns the distinct voice of each instrumentalist, and the result is a transcendent alchemy of sound.

The songs on Endless Maria, like those on The Moon and You’s debut A White Light That Sings, range across genres. We hear earthy folk and bluegrass give way to a surreal, French café sound. The attentive listener might find echoes of 60s pop and Bruce Springsteen-style American rock in there, too. As might be expected from a duo that’s half cellist, the strings here are used in imaginative ways. On some tracks they create intense and spooky drama. Elsewhere, they are as warm and comforting as a hug from a trusted friend. Both Hyman and Furstenberg bring some great songwriting to the table here, as they did on White Light. Dense with imagery, both songwriters’ lyrics form a rock-solid base for the string section’s flights of fancy.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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