is dedicated to simple, bittersweet songs worn down to a thin comfort.
Major influences are Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, David Wilcox, and Gregory Alan Isakov.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Hope Griffin was literally born into music. Surrounded by a musical family, she began singing and performing when she was very young. Hope first got turned onto the idea of writing her own music when she received a guitar at age 17. She attended Carson-Newman University and went on to receive a Bachelors degree in classical voice. It was there that her true flair for songwriting developed. Hope’s drive to perform her original works was launched after winning a songwriters contest in college in 2007. She eventually moved to Asheville, North Carolina where she began introducing her angelic vocals and folky lyrics into the music scene.
Hope quickly began to rise as an Asheville favorite. In 2012, her debut single “Hanging In The Balance” made international radio play. She was recognized in regional publications such as the Herald-Journal, The Mountain Xpress, and The Daily Times. She appeared on WNC television, and began touring all over the Southeast USA. In 2014, in an effort to expand her acoustic sound, she teamed up with NJ born cellist and Asheville transplant Jamie Leigh Bennett to create a dynamic guitar/cello blend of original sound. In 2016, 2017 & 2018, she consecutively snagged both best “Singer-Songwriter” and best “Acoustic/Folk Band” titles in Western North Carolina though community votes. Together, their combined fusion of her silky vocals and Jamie Leigh’s deep, rich cello lines has made for a listening experience quite unlike any other. Hope’s “in your face” style of ballad writing, as well as the duo’s reputation for playing fresh versions of songs that span through the decades has made them popular amongst a wide range of age groups.
Hope continued to wow audiences and stretch the musical boundaries by switching from soulful ballads to high-energy blues with ease. Her 6 original song EP, entitled “Say What You Will” released on February 6th, 2015 to a sold out show at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall in Asheville, NC. Her third song on the album titled “A Fisherman’s Life” was awarded “best song” in WNC in 2016. Each song on the record offered a diverse style and hook worthy of its subject matter, but all were linked with Hope’s angelic voice, catchy beats, and poignant imagery. The album was one that fans of folk music and singer-songwriters had been waiting for since Hope first began mesmerizing her audiences, and was the perfect exhibition of her extraordinary talent.
Riding on the wings of the success of 2015’s album, Hope jumped back in the studio to record a larger project titled “Where the Soil & the Stars Meet”, which released on October 31st, 2016. As a strong follow up to her previous release, Hope’s album—her first LP—was as eclectic and as unpredictable of a musical journey as those who fell in love with her debut might have expected. Song after song, Hope defied convention, leading her audience by the hand through honest reflections of true love, a broken heart left devastated, a chance meeting with strangers, to the celebration of a long life well-lived. Constantly blending genres, the very essence of Hope’s trademark style constantly remains: Her lyrical quality of capturing the simplest of life’s moments and rendering them profound reflections on the emotions that unite us all. A haunting and always evolving collection of ballads, “Where the Soil and Stars Meet” peered into the soul of an artist whose fingers remain firmly on the pulse of the curious odyssey in which we all find ourselves.
At the conclusion of 2017 (and just in time for the season), Hope released her latest project “And the Lights Will Shine” – a 6-song collection of holiday tunes. Reflective of her usual folk flair, the EP was well received by all. As expressed by Bill Kopp from the Mountain Xpress: “With ‘And the Lights Will Shine,’ folk/Americana artist Hope Griffin bravely takes on a clutch of holiday classics (adding an original of her own) and creates a fine, distinctive record in the process.”
Since then, Hope has far from slowed down. In 2018, she toured nationally in the the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest regions and released her latest single “Carousel”, a hauntingly beautiful ballad which garnered much praise from both her local community and abroad. She can currently be seen on tour in a variety of combinations, most notably as a Folk/Americana duo with her cellist Jamie Leigh. Her free spirited personality and ability to tell beautiful stories through song make her a true force to be reckoned with – and a hard excuse to miss.
All music used by permission
The story of Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats began in 2011 when Andrew began the project busking on the streets of his hometown of Asheville, NC. Since then the band has transformed from an acoustic street duo into the current setup of a full electric power trio. The current lineup of Andrew Scotchie (Vocals/Guitar), Eliza Hill (Drums) and Keith Harry (Vocals/Bass) came to be in early 2016 and since then have been revered far wide for their engaging, interactive High-Energy, Funk-ti-fied Rock n’ Roll show. Couple the abilities and in the moment spirit of a jam-band with a punk rock fierceness and energy, and you’ll get a show that will have familiar songs but with a twist that offers a listener something only in that moment.
2018 in particular brought the band many new opportunities traveling to previously untapped regions to connect to new fans, especially after the release of our latest and most eclectic album, Family Dynamo. Last year the band toured up and down the East Coast from Florida to New York, electrifying and magnetizing fans and new folks alike with the live show and new record. Some notable venues along that trip include The Grey Eagle, 1904 Music Hall, Visulite Theatre, Brookfield Place, The Pour House, Barter Theatre, Floyd Fest, and the Purple Fiddle. 2019 has already taken the band to new heights and places. The band wrapped up a month long “Winter Out West Tour” in February with a sold out show in Steamboat Springs (Old Town Pub), and many other highly successful and impactful shows in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. Building on the success of that winter tour the band took to the van again for the follow up Summer Out West Tour. The summer tour took them to many of the same places as the winter tour, but with new stops in Helena, MT and Jonesboro, AK.
Consistent studio recordings, year round touring, earnest songwriting & sharing show bills with such greats as Sonny Landreth, Blind Boys of Alabama, Drivin N Cryin, Ghost Light, Eric Gales, Big Daddy Love and Bettye Lavette has made Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats one of the industry’s fastest growing Rock n Roll bands, and WNC’s best Rock band 5 years running. Rolling Stone’s Garret Woodward gave mention to the band in his coverage of Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam stating that the band is “starting to make a name for themselves on the national scene”.
Andrew Scotchie: Guitars/Lead Vocals
Keith Harry: Bass/Backup Vocals
Eliza Hill: Drums
Right out of highschool she started traveling the country solo; just a girl and her guitar. Playing listening rooms, living rooms, and festivals, Xaris has captured the people of small town America’s ears with her melodious, high toned voice. She has been compared to Dolly Parton, Allison Krauss, and Joan Baez but has a whole other side of sound all her own. Xaris also writes her own songs. She’s played many songwriters festivals, since the age of twelve and has been featured at the 50th Anniversary Eddie’s Attic Songwriters Shootout in Decatur, Georgia. Now living in Pittsburg, Kansas, Xaris is working on releasing her first full length album of original music in 2020.
Striking Copper is a harmony driven roots rock band led by redhead twin sisters, Allie and Jacquie Lee, whose powerhouse vocals bring a feminine charm to their rock and roll counterparts. The band is rounded out with Matt Donnelly (vocals, rhythm guitar), Dan Bennett (lead guitar), and Frank Cacciutto (drums). Striking Copper uses haunting vocal arrangements, accompanied with full volume instruments, delivering a lasting, melodic sound. Based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, the six piece band's music draws from humanity, embodies strength in vulnerability and authors homage to home. SC believes music is a way in which to tell a story. It’s not just what the story is about, but it’s how you present it, and how you preserve it.
This week's episode features selections from just a few of the contestants, judges, and other participants in the upcoming Barrelhouse Songwriter Showdown.