Asheville music: War on Drugs, Devon Allman, Del McCoury, Maren Morris – Citizen Times
Grammy-award winning rock outfit The War on Drugs has a longstanding love for Asheville.
The band, which will play at 7 p.m. June 15 at Rabbit Rabbit, have performed in town for more than a decade.
“Asheville has been a really important place for our band,” band leader and singer Adam Granduciel said. “The first time we played there was the Transfiguration Festival in 2008 for Harvest Records and we fell in love with Asheville. We came back several times and played at The Grey Eagle and we loved Asheville so much that we spent a lot of time recording at Echo Mountain (Studios) for our ‘Slave Ambient’ and ‘Lost In The Dream’ records, and we’ve played The Orange Peel. Our bass player Dave (Hartley) lives in Asheville now. So, it’s just been one of those places that our whole career it has been an important place. Lots of memories.”
Granduciel and his bandmates began to tour heavily in January to support their newest release, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which was released last October. The album made several end-of-the-year best-of lists and garnered high reviews, and every song has been streamed more than 2 million times each on Spotify.
Granduciel worried a little about how the band would play some of the new and more complex songs live, but tracks like “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” “Living Proof” and “Victim” have fell into the group’s “sweet spot,” Granduciel said.
The War on Drugs have played more than 70 shows, he said, since the start of the year, beginning its tour when the country was battling the omicron variant of COVID-19.
“It was clear that anyone there wanted to be there,” he said of fans. “The days of having to prove ourselves or feeling like some people are there because they heard it might be good, all went out the window. People were there to see our band and that kind of loosened me up a little bit.”
The War on Drugs, which also includes Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards), Anthony LaMarca (guitar) and Eliza Hardy Jones (keyboards), won the Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2017. Granduciel had begun work on “I Don’t Live Here Anymore,” right before winning the award.
“After a year, when I had a lot of material, I felt pretty good, not about whether or not I was going to get a Grammy,” he said, “but about following up a popular record with material that I thought was an improvement and was a good reflection of what the band has become.”
Singer Maren Morris arrived on the country music scene with a self-released EP in 2015 and a Grammy win in 2016 for “My Church.” Morris then crossed over to the pop world as the singer on the track “The Middle.”
Now she is one of music’s brightest stars, and her March album release, titled “Humble Quest,” hit No. 2 on the country charts.
She will perform at 7 p.m. June 10 at Rabbit Rabbit with Brent Cobb opening the night.
The Devon Allman Project brings together a large palette of great Southern-bred music, from The Allman Brothers Band to the solo material of his father, Gregg, to Devon’s own music.
This night of entertaining rock and roll comes to town when The Devon Allman Project plays at 7 p.m. June 12 at Salvage Station with openers Ross Osteen Band. The group features the two Allman Betts Band drummers, bass, Hammond B3 organ and piano, and another guitarist.
The husband-and-wife duo of KP and Johnny Hawthorn, who perform as The HawtThorns, have been around the music business for years before they released their debut in 2019.
The duo, who have moved to Nashville from California, recently released a second record, titled “Tarot Cards and Shooting Stars,” and are touring to support their Americana music.
The HawtThorns will play at 7 p.m. June 11 at Isis Music Hall.
Del McCoury is one of the most recognized names, and voices, in bluegrass. McCoury, who was born in North Carolina, is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
One of his first big breaks was playing with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. But he’s been performing with his sons since the 1980s.
The Del McCoury Band will play at 7 p.m. June 11 at Silverado’s in Black Mountain.