Alex Deutsch, bassist for jangle pop band Modern Strangers (and the occasional guest reviewer), recommends some of the best music Western North Carolina has to offer. We recommend these songs to download because you're going to want to listen to them over and over. Here are a couple of easy links to download these songs-
 
 
 
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Visit our compilation album from WNC Musicians for Change
 
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Theme song by Modern Strangers
 
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"There are few groups on the local scene that would classify as pop bands. Modern Strangers is among that elite camp. With catchy melodies and an infectious energy, they create a sound that feels as if it comes from another era" - Mountain Xpress (09/09/2017)
“ There isn’t enough pop music in Asheville, but Modern Strangers are helping to change that” - Ashvegas (Caleb Calhoun 3/22/2018)
“You Guys are a gnarly party band!!” (Quinn Powers 06/02/2019)

Modern Strangers is an Asheville-based band playing high-energy, toe-tapping, and melodic rock music! A 4-piece combo of journeymen musicians, they take their varied influences and form them into a JanglePop juggernaut with a mountain twist. Hard to pin down their sound, they've heard comparisons from The Beatles to The Pixies to early REM to Elvis Costello to The Kinks. Catchy songs, vocal harmonies and just the right amount of edge make these guys a fun night whether they're playing originals or quirky covers.

This episode features selections from Represented, the  WNC Musicians For Change compilation album in support of voting rights and access. Here's a link to the whole thing. All tracks are free, and contain links to valuable voting information.
 
Our musicians are supporting several causes, but the main compilation supports Reclaim Our Vote, an organization that fights to restore voting rights to disenfranchised populations.
 
For a great selection of voting resources visit https://www.vote.org/
 

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Artists featured on this episode
 
Julia Sanders
 
The Blue Eyed Bettys
 
Tin Roof Echo
 
The Deathbots
 
Eleanor Underhill
 
The Lily Vakili Band
 
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Thanks to Eric Case for the closing song
 
 
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Here’s to the words and the Songs of the Folk that come like a fire, and linger like the smoke…”

Songs of the Folk is a music duo formed by Tyler and Lauren Cason, based out of Western North Carolina, who perform original music that incorporates folk revival and roots-based elements within an elevated art form that focuses on lyrical content, innovative harmony, and unique instrumental techniques.

The couple met in college while obtaining their Master’s degrees in music. In 2015, the two formed the band, Swamp Rabbit Railroad, playing numerous shows across the Southeast, including the Savannah Folk Music Society, Isis Music Hall in Asheville, WDVX Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, an opening for Gabe Dixon at The Spinning Jenny, and an opening for Davina and the Vagabonds at The Grey Eagle. In 2017, Swamp Rabbit Railroad released a studio album, Down by the Riverside, a unique collection of spiritual folk songs recorded in a historic church in Upstate South Carolina and produced by Nashville artist/producer, Akil Thompson (Little Big Town, Jonny Lang, Kelly Clarkson). The album is currently available on most major listening platforms.

Songs of the Folk combines high-level musical training with a natural sense of American roots music, creating a characteristic style that is both sophisticated and authentic, innovative and familiar. Their songs are for and about people in all walks of life, appealing to both the common listener and the connoisseur alike.

Songs of the Folk is currently recording selections of their original songs with producer, Mike Horner of Sideways Audio. Debut singles “The Man in the Arcade,” “The Ballad of Maddie Rice,” and “Aloysius Beam” have been released with several more singles coming out throughout 2020.

“‘Is there a more aptly named musical act than Songs of the Folk? Their music recalls the beginnings of folk. Not early America, not Celtic troubadours, but the beginnings of music itself, when song was a tool to tell stories. When you hear a Songs of the Folk selection, you will be impressed with the harmonies and the instrumental skill, but what will stick with you are the stories. You kind of get the idea they are building a world, and you’re hearing the first scenes in something larger. They sing about someone in their community and you can’t help but picture the whole town, and the next song seems to exist in that same town. You look forward to the next tune like you do the next chapter of a book. One you don’t want to put down.”

-WNC Original Music Podcast

Alex Deutsch, bassist for jangle pop band Modern Strangers, recommends some of the best music Western North Carolina has to offer. We recommend these songs to download because you're going to want to listen to them over and over. Here are a couple of easy links to download these songs-
 
Special guest reviewer Landon Gray is leader of the band Landon Gray and the Lucky Strikes and hosts the The First Gray Music Pod on YouTube
 
Songs Worth Downloading is hosted by Alex Deutsch
 
Listen Here
 
Our Group Page - https://bit.ly/WNCOMGroup
 
Visit our compilation album from WNC Musicians for Change
 
More From Andrew Thelston Band
 
More from Who I Are
 
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Theme song by Modern Strangers
 
All music used by permission
 Visit our facebook group - Western NC Original Music
 
Click here for easy streaming or download -  
 
Places to listen
Listen and follow Hope  at these places
 
Thanks to The Krickets for the closing song
 
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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
 Visit our facebook group - Western NC Original Music
 
Click here for easy streaming or download -   https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/rnxr6p/ep93joshuacarpenterpt1.mp3
 
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Link to WNC Musicians for Change Compilation
 
Mike Blair and the Stonewalls
 
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Joshua Carpenter has done stints with Floating Action, The Nein, and even a handful of gigs here and there with cult-hero-turned-phenomenon Rodriguez. The Asheville, NC resident currently plays with Schooner, Better Twin, & Emily Easterly in addition to writing and performing under his own name. Carpenter has released two under-the-radar-but-stellar solo albums, Full Flight, in 2011, and Prey Tells, in 2017.

Carpenter’s aesthetic lends itself to Big Star’s memorable hooks with the wry, eviscerating wit of Andy Partridge. Catchy, cerebral, and a little pugnacious.

"… traces back through songsmiths Tobin Sprout and Matthew Sweet to Robyn Hitchcock and Ray Davies - nostalgia obsessives unafraid to dress their melancholy in pop trappings."

-John Schacht, Independent Weekly (NC)

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