The Grey Eagle, one of Asheville’s most venerable music venues, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a day-long music festival on Saturday, June 29, at Lake Eden in Black Mountain, featuring Mandolin Orange, The Budos Band, James McMurtry, Of Montreal, and more. Hayes Carll, The Suffers, Drivin N Cryin, Unknown Hinson and Sierra Hull round out the bill on Saturday.
On Friday, a kick-off party at The Grey Eagle will start at 6 p.m. and feature Anya Hinkle & Tellico, Ouroboros Boys, Krekel And Whoa, Blue Dragons and Laura Blackley.
The Grey Eagle Tavern and Music Hall was first located in downtown Black Mountain. Its name was a nod to the old Cherokee name for that region, and the original name of the town, according to a news release. Originally housed in 1994 in a garage and paint room of a former Chevrolet dealership, The Grey Eagle grew into a reputation for being a comfortable neighborhood bars and hosting local musicians, as well as some touring songwriters.
In the fall of 1998, The Grey Eagle bid farewell to Black Mountain with a momentous Halloween show and moved 12 miles away to a beautiful new venue by the French Board River in Asheville. June 11, 1999, saw the inaugural with a show from an old friend, David LaMotte, the release states.
Today The Grey Eagle is Asheville’s longest-running all-ages venue and has hosted over 10,000 different bands and artists including Ralph Stanley, Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, Richie Havens, Frank Black, Deen Ween, Lake Street Dive, Slick Rick, Nathaniel Ratcliff, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Budos Band, Darrell Scott, and many more.
Equally impressive is the long list of local talents performing in a setting featuring a large dance floor, relaxing patio area, and one of the best sound systems in Asheville. The performance room boasts an intimate stage with options for seated shows, two flat-screen TVs and projector. An in-house Taqueria featuring original and creative meals and an ever-expanding beer selection.
The Grey Eagle continues to garner local and national acclaim. In March, David Dye hosted the NPR series World Cafe’s “Sense of Place” show at The Grey Eagle. For these and other reasons, The Grey Eagle was voted by touring musicians as one of the nation’s top 25 live music venues and in 2016 by Garden and Gun magazine, as one of “Ten Must-See Music Venues in the Southeast.”