Deep-seated bluegrass roots harmonize with new talent and innovative sounds in Asheville. In winter, many nationally traveling local bands come home to the region to play shows and pop in to jam sessions. While things look different this year, some venues are expanding their offerings outdoors to keep the soul of the city beating.
- The South Slope district’s brand-new outdoor event venue, Rabbit Rabbit, will offer live music, movie screenings, local beer and food trucks this winter. The colorful, funky space will also be transformed into a winter wonderland in late November with holiday décor, lighting and themed holiday and winter drink menus. The space is a collaboration between Asheville Brewing Company and iconic music venue The Orange Peel.
- Keep an eye out for Asheville music venue The Grey Eagle’s drive-in-style concerts in scenic locations. Debuting this fall, the outdoor shows offer beautiful natural backdrops and touring acts from the Southeast and beyond, like the Sam Bush Band.
- Just opened, Citizen Vinyl offers an immersive music experience with a record plant, independent record store and music café and bar, Session. Powerhouses of Asheville’s maker scene have combined on this project and include Gar Ragland (music producer and president of NewSong Music), Susannah Gebhart (OWL Bakery) and Chef Graham House (formerly of Sovereign Remedies). Local art gallery and shop Horse + Hero has curated an immersive music-themed gallery space and storefront in the record store.
- Little-known bluegrass heritage: While making plans for the first-floor record plant and music café, it was recognized that the third floor of the building was once home to WWNC Radio and was the location where Bill Monroe (known as the “Father of Bluegrass”) and the Bluegrass Boys introduced the world to bluegrass music. Ragland’s studios are now located in the original WWNC Radio space, with original architectural details.