Sunday, January 30, 2011

Donna The Buffalo at The Orange Peel

                     Black Betty and I got our groove on at one hell of 
                     a Donna The Buffalo show last night at the Orange 
                     Peel. This week is being celebrated as The 
                     Birthday Week of Carolina resident and 
                     keyboardist extraordinaire Dave McCracken. 
                     Although, and I kid you not, at one point he 
                     actually had a cordless drill out on stage while 
                     the rest of the band was playing, in an attempt to
                     repair a broken component of his rode-hard and
                     road-weary organ.
                     McCracken persevered as he always manages
                     to do and ended the night by fueling an insanely 
                     scorching hot jam during a blistering encore 
                     rendition of Hot Tamale Baby which stampeded 
                     the herd in a hoof hopping, buffalo boogie frenzy. 
                     I've said it before, Donna the Buffalo is hot, hot,
                     hot, right now. 
                     The planets are in perfect "Donna" alignment.
                     See 'em now, don't miss 'em!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Greensky Bluegrass and Railroad Earth @ The Orange Peel

Black Betty and I got to see two of the hottest Americana jam bands touring today when they rolled into Asheville last night.

Greensky Bluegrass opened for Railroad Earth at The Orange Peel and got the crowd warmed up for a scorching hot show on a cold Friday night.
Here is a recording of their set on Archive; Greensky Bluegrass.

Railroad Earth started the first set with a heavy electric bass intro by Andrew Altman with the Happy Song. Other first set highlights included a crowd-favorite Like A Buddha and ended with Lone Croft Farewell.
Set two featured the latest RRE sing-a-long, The Jupiter and the 119, and an epic and wonderfully jammy masterpiece Warhead Boogie, which really managed to get the whole house rockin' without restraint.
Here is a link to their show on Archive: Railroad Earth.
It was another fine night of listening to some of the best live music in the world delivered right to my door step in Western North Carolina. How lucky is that?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

11 Questions with Caroline Pond

From her Bio:
Caroline Pond is the front woman for Snake Oil Medicine Show.  From Asheville, North Carolina she has been a touring musician for 15 years.  She delights audiences with her vocals, fiddle and her Martin ukulele.  Her original songs are catchy, uplifting, positive and just plain fun.  Caroline dips through many styles of music, from Bluegrass, Old Time, Jazz, Reggae, Ska and funk.
Caroline Pond is an ambassador of peace through her music, art and positive outlook on life.  Her travels have spanned throughout Europe, North America and Jamaica.
Caroline has shared the stage with many artists/heroes including: Vassar Clements, Larry Keel, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Acoustic Syndicate, Donna The Buffalo, Mad Tea Party and so many more amazing musicians.

Caroline has a released a new solo album this winter entitled Follow Your Heart.
Special guest musicians appearing on the CD are Asheville artists Ben Scales, George Pond, Ami Worthem, and Jason Krekel.

Black Betty and I are big fans of everything Caroline and I was thrilled to be able to ask Caroline 11 questions for the new year, 2011.

1 Your new album is called Follow Your Heart. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I think the title track "Follow Your Heart" is my favorite.  I wrote the song on my back porch hanging with my dogs and thats when I dreamed of making the album and doing a tour.  Also, its a strong message for us to Follow our Hearts.  You can control your dreams and make your days the best days ever, whether you are in your most happiest spot like your back deck with the sun shining or having to wait in line at the Driver's License office.  Its what you make of it.  Follow your heart people.

2 You sing in Babies On The Lawn that babies don't belong in Babylon. Who would you say does belong in Babylon?  SO this song was spawned from a play on words Baby Lawn,Babylon, Babies on the Lawn.  And, I hear many Reggae Artists referring Babylon, as a negative place, like places of murder, disease, Corporate America, Wal-mart style places.  And I know that Babylon, used to be a beautiful place, the Ancient Mesopotamia with its Hanging Gardens, so its really interesting how a beautiful place has become known as an area of constant revolt. So, the answer to your question, no one should belong in Babylon.  I like to think of myself as an ambassador of peace through my music and so if i can spread the word by singing Babies on the Lawn don't belong in Babylon, then that's what I got to do.

3 We see you with Snake Oil Medicine Show, The Pond Farm Pickers, and sometimes with Sugar and Spice. Do you have any plans for 2011 yet?   Well my plans are to still play in heavy rotation with Snake Oil Medicine Show, we are taking a bit of time off this month for recording and the Pond Brothers are brand new daddies.  Also, I plan on averaging one show a month with Sugar & Spice with Ami Worthen.  We sure do have a blast.   I play in an old-time band called Tater Diggers and we have many shows and a new cd to share in 2011.  In addition, I plan on fine tuning my solo career and want to travel through the United States again.

4 You took your mother along for a cross country tour this Fall, playing solo shows and staying with friends and fans. What was that like?  I had a blast and was so grateful that I got to share that solo tour with my mom.  We managed to get along really well, except our nerves were getting challenged while driving through snowy conditions in Colorado.  We survived driving over Vail Pass.  My mom hula hooped at the Winter Park, Colorado show and all the kids were loving that.  Mom and i also got to spend a week with my sister in Southern California and that was such a lovely vacation family time, hanging out in warm climates and sitting by the poolside.  I am so grateful to all those people in my home country that supported me on my pathway and providing us with soft landings and yummy food.

5 Name one artist or band (someone you've never played with) that you'd jump at a chance for a 2011 collaboration.  I dig Jason Mraz and his positive music.

6 Your Snake Oil Medicine Show performance at Bishop's Cafe on 11-13-2004 has an amazing 500,00 downloads on Internet Archive. What if anything do you remember about the show?  This is sooo amazing to me that we have this many downloads.  I remember having to take a ferry to get on that island, which I believe was called Vashon  Island and I remember that not many people were at the show, but our host Alex and all the people that were there were so sweet, supportive and dancing their butts off.  I also remember loving just being with my Snake Oil Family and just being on tour together in such a cool spot.  Also, I was wearing a brand new dress that made me feel like I was rocking my mojo.  Music has definitely taken me places.

7 What is it like to be part of the Asheville music community?
Everybody plays with everybody. We have an open and supportive group here.

8 Name five non-Asheville area groups on your IPod today.  I have some random stuff and groups on my Ipod and mostly they are Zydeco bands from rural Louisiana. These bands feed my soul. 1. Little Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas, 2. Keith Frank 3. Brian Jack  4. Chris Ardoin & Double Clutch   5.  A non-zydeco band that I met in California,they are a swing band called Steve Lucky and The Rhumba Bums.

9 What is one regional music festival that you would encourage someone to try to attend this year?   I just love the French Broad River Festival.  Its held every year in lovely Hot Springs, NC.   Last weekend of April.  Family friendly, great bands, awesome folks, amazing vibe, on the river, across the street from the hot springs, cute little town and I emcee the fest. 

10 Your blog is called Caroline Pond's Earth Adventures and you sing a wonderful song called I Am Only Human. I'm also pretty sure that I once heard Col. Bruce Hampton refer to you as an alien. Are you really trying to convince us or is it you?  Well, Colonel Bruce definitely cracks me up, it takes one to know one.  As far as being an alien, its confidential, if I told you I would have to kill you.  Ha ha.  Just kidding.  The song I am only Human was another song written in my yard underneath the sunshine, it just all came out smooth as butter, between sips of coffee and ukulele strums the song was born. 

11 How can someone get a copy of
Follow Your Heart?  you can directly order it from me.  I accept paypal, check, deed to your tropical vacation home and cash.  You can go to  or email me at   Soon the album will be on i-tunes.