Nightlife in Asheville, NC

By Bridget Huckabee on April 26, 2011 at 10:08 am EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins

Asheville's music venues create a symphony of sound that appeals to audiophiles of all genres.

Array of Music

The city's expanding musical menu not only embraces traditional bluegrass"š but also jazz"š Celtic melodies"š Indie rock and international ryhthms.

At Jack of the Wood"š a cozy Celtic pub downtown"š locals and visitors gather around the black walnut bar or at long tavern tables to sip pints of ale and listen to local musicians play Irish reels. Although the Celtic influence is strong here"š listeners can hear music from a variety of local and international guest artists. The pub also plays host to three different jam sessions during the week"š where everyone is invited to bring their instruments and help make a little music or just sit and listen.

For the jazz enthusiast"š there's Tressa's Downtown Jazz and Blues on Broadway. Now in its seventh year"š Tressa's offers great music in a softly lit New Orleans-style atmosphere. There's Motown Mondays and Tuesday's jazz and blues talent night"š along with special events"š benefits"š art openings and holiday celebrations - all with great music on tap.

The Orange Peel

Another live-music venue is the Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club"š headquartered on Biltmore Avenue in one of Asheville's landmark buildings. Owners Jack and Lesley Groetsch relocated from New Orleans after operating the Howlin' Wolf there for 12 years.

"We never thought we'd leave New Orleans"š" says Lesley Groetsch. "But a friend invited us to Asheville"š and we loved it."

Jack Groetsch brings a steady stream of strong performers to the club thanks to his New Orleans connections. Acts have included Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead"š Bob Dylan"š Fishbone and Arrested Development.

"Music is in a good position right now"š" Groetsch says. "People are excited about music again."

And fans are obviously excited about The Orange Peel"š which can accommodate 1"š000 listeners and boasts state-of-the-art sound. Large"š open and airy with bench seating in the entry"š the club has a few tables in the main room and a big"š beautiful bar. Clientele is diverse and the musicianship taps a wide range of influences.

More Live Music

And then there's Magnolia's"š offering classic rock and blues; Hanna Flanagan's and Barley's"š offering musical styles from funk to rockabilly; Vincenzo's piano bar; and The Grey Eagle"š with a mix of music mostly from bigger-name bands.

If you prefer the great outdoors"š there's music there"š too. Community festivals and celebrations like Shindig on the GreenDowntown After Five and Goombay Festival all give listeners more opportunities to steep themselves in a variety of musical styles.

Read about more fun things to do in Asheville, NC.

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