Music Scene in Asheville, NC

By Chris Russell on August 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm EST
The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins

In Asheville, the music scene is in full swing and the crowd is primed.

“Asheville has grown exponentially, and much of this is due to the public’s overwhelming support of it as an arts destination,” says Laura Blackley, a musician who has lived in Asheville since 1996, and hosts/produces two radio shows that spotlight local and regional music talent.

“There is a certain, dare I say, spirituality about making one’s living as an artist. The Asheville scene reflects that, and as a general rule supports it,” she says.

Make Your Own Music

Echo Mountain Recording Studio strikes the perfect chord for its clients by balancing work and relaxation. Within the studio, two rooms feature top-quality audio and video equipment to help artists achieve their creative best. When the workday is done, two nearby four-bedroom houses let the performers unwind in relaxed country settings.

“The space is beautiful, the people are friendly and our gear is really good. You can just stay in Asheville and hang out. It’s a real tourist destination,” says studio engineer John Ashley, who adds that location is another part of Echo Mountain’s appeal. “The studio is near downtown, which has a lot of breweries and restaurants near it.”

The studio counts Zac Brown Band, Band of Horses and the Smashing Pumpkins among its more than 130 clients.

Live Music

Great music does more than just create a great atmosphere. The right tunes can take you to another place entirely and put you into the proverbial zone.

Asheville's live music venues do that with the best of them.

At The Grey Eagle, a huge variety of artists and musical styles are featured. Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the TV program The Daily Show, says while living in Asheville for 10 years and frequenting the club, “I can say without hesitation that the Eagle’s ambiance and intimacy, coupled with an excellent sound system, has always made for a profound concert experience.” The menu features more than 30 items for lunch and dinner.

The Orange Peel has been called one of the best live music venues in the country, and has been featured in several prominent publications, such as USA Today and Rolling Stone. Expanded in late 2009 to host 1,100 people including standing room, the club is home to PULP, a 75-person private club with a funky, retro atmosphere. The Orange Peel can also host a variety of special occasions.

ISIS Restaurant & Music Hall mixes the best in dining and performance to make a memorable experience for guests. Menus feature seasonal products (for brunch, meals or late-night eating indoors or on the patio) served by a friendly and enthusiastic staff. That's just the start of an evening that can include anyone from local performers to nationally recognized acts.

At Skinny Beats Drum Shop & Gallery, visitors can get in on the  action by purchasing their own drum set and signing up for classes. There are also sound healing classes twice a month, and private lessons are available.

The Urban Arts Institute was originally established in 2007 and offers after-school dance, drama and music classes to almost 300 disadvantaged and inner-city students from ages 5 to 25.

“The positives of living here in the jewel of western North Carolina, making sweet music against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains ... it’s a pretty wonderful way to live,” Blackley says.

Check out more music in Asheville, NC.

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