2014 Performers

We were really excited about this year’s music, which combined a bit of star power with wide diversity of styles we’ve all come to expect from this festival. As always, every act had direct ties to our neighborhood.

Performance Schedules


On the Montford Stage | View Schedule

10:30 am – Embe Marimba Band. Evergreen Community Charter School’s EMBE Marimba Band is not your ordinary middle school band. These 12 to 14 year-olds, including Montford resident Malina Japp, perform primarily on handmade Zimbabwean style marimbas, as well as on a variety of other percussion instruments. EMBE has performed in the community and across the state at events such as LAFFF (Lexington Avenue Family Fun Festival), Asheville Bravo Events "Art in the Garden", Smilefest, AMJAM, LEAF festival, The Wedge Gallery, NC Arboretum, Asheville Rotary Club, Warren Wilson College Chapel, UNC-A and the Asheville Holiday Parade, winning the Grand Prize, the "Spirit of the Parade" award -http://www.evergreenccs.com/

11:15 am - Ira Bernstein and Friends. Ira is a world-class percussive step dancer, and one of the co-founders of the Montford Festival. Ira is the only musical performer to have performed at every year’s festival. As in year’s past, Ira will be joined on stage by some of his friends. Over the years, Ira’s “friends” have included Grammy award winner Riley Baugus, who has recorded with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Tim O’Brien and Dirk Powell, among others, and John Herrmann, the legendary Zen Master of Old-Time, who performs on fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Regardless of who’s in the band, we’ll be treated to a classic set of music and dance celebrating the rich traditions of the Southern Appalachians, from one of the true treasures, not only of our neighborhood, but of the worlds of dance and old time music.

12:15 pm – Dub Kartel. This East coast reggae collective formed to perform at a benefit concert for the victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and have been performing together ever since. Dub Kartel delivers classic dub rhythms, paying tribute to the golden era of Jamaican music, from artists such as Studio One, Treasure Isle and Dub luminaries like King Tubby and Scientist. http://soundcloud.com/dub-kartel

1:15 pm – Hank West & the Smokin’ Hots. Billing themselves as the “Unstoppable Oldsmobile of Music,” these fellows describe their music as “Original Futura Exotica.” I think you truly have to hear it to understand, and even then, you might not. I love this band. Four of its members have performed at the festival as members of the Firecracker Jazz Band. The band consists of Henry Westmoreland (“Hank West”) on trumpet and vocals, Jon Corbin on guitar, Andrew Fletcher on keys, Mike Gray on drums, and Leo Johnson on bass. They’ll make you feel good. I promise. https://www.facebook.com/HankWestSmokinHots

2:30 pm – Cat Dragons. A few years back, George and Andy Pond were booked to host a weekly “bluegrass brunch” on Sundays at the One Stop Deli on College Street. Over the years, the Pond Brothers occasionally invited friends to sit in, and some started showing up regularly, so much so that this band was born. Never knowing exactly who’s going to be there any particular Sunday inspired the band’s name. When everybody shows up, we call ourselves the Cat Dragons. By “everybody,” we mean: Montford resident Jason Krekel on fiddle and mandolin, Andy Pond on banjo, George Pond, who works in Montford, on bass, yours truly on lap-style resophonic guitar, and Aaron “Woody” Wood on guitar. The music is pure Americana with bluegrass instruments in the various styles of Johnny Cash and John Hartford.

3:45 pm – The Krektones. . The Krektones blend the surf swagger of the Ventures with the scorching guitar of Link Wray and just a wee bit of Tav Falco psychobilly to make a beat that’s pretty much impossible to stand still to. The Krektones feature Jason Krekel at lead, Henry Westmoreland on trumpet, Dave Gay on bass, and Lance Wille on drums. Don’t let the sequined tuxedo jackets fool you—these boys will rip it up. http://krekel.bandcamp.com/

5:00 pm –The Secret B-Sides. The Secret B-Sides play funky futuristic Soul music with plenty of old-school cool. Since 2008, the band has maintained a consistent core group: Juan Holladay (guitar and lead vocal), Shayne Heather (bass), Robin Tolleson (drums), Jeff K'norr (keyboards)--everybody sings. K'norr is also an owner of Collapseable Recording Studio in West Asheville, where the B-Sides have the space-time to craft a sound garnering such description as "solid gold baby making music" (David Brewer, High County Press) and "a meticulous, groove-oriented trip through the history of Soul from the early '70s through the present and on into the future" (Jeff Eason, Mountain Times). Interspersed throughout the B-Sides repertoire are numerous references to flying saucers, dinosaurs, and love . . . mostly love. The Secret B-Sides are pleased to be joined by the fabulous Common Foundation Horns for Montford Fest 2014! http://www.thesecretb-sides.com

6:00 pm – WestSound. The sensation of the past four years’ festival, WestSound will once again rock the avenue with high-energy Motown, blues, R&B, and soul that had everybody humming, singing, and dancing. Don’t miss them! www.facebook.com/pages/WestSound/215017765645?v=info



On the Soco Stage | View Schedule | top

10:30 am – Ash Devine and Saro Lynch Thomason. “New Time Folk Fusion and Evolutionary Ballads” – With a musical style spans across genres of contemporary folk, traditional Appalachian, jazz, world and experimental. Ash Devine collects songs from elders in the Appalachian region and collaborates with local grassroots artists in dance, theater and concert settings. In 2014, Ash released her second collection of Original music, “Blessings on Your Journey”, a dynamic assortment of heartfelt songs with universal messages of social justice, love, human struggle and earth advocacy. On stage, Ash engages audiences in story and she encourages participation. The music is reminiscent of Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Michelle Shocked, Joan Armatrading, Neil Young, and Bob Marley. http://www.ashdevine.net/

11:15 am – Carolina Rex. Carolina Rex is built on a core of Texas Blues, R&B, funk, rock, and soul. Depending on the venue, Cajun blues, rockabilly, surf, classic rock, new wave, metal, jazz fusion and original music might creep in. Whatever the gig - there is always danceable music, vocal harmony, impressive musicianship, and a band that can change genres on a dime to play to the crowd. In addition to playing local clubs around Western North Carolina, Carolina Rex has performed at Bele Chere, the NC Mountain State Fair, Carolina Mountain Ribfest, Biltmore Park Town Square Concerts in the Park, Lake Toxaway Music on the Mountain, and the Harambee Festival. http://www.carolinarex.com/

12:15 pm – Fifty Year Flood. Elise and Ken Jones are a husband and wife duo not the least bit interested in being a husband and wife duo, so they found three of the funkiest, shreddinest, rockinest bandmates this town has to offer, and have since taken it upon ourselves to systematically dismantle every music venue around from the rafters down. Fifty Year Flood plays Neo-Roots/Psychedelic/Indie-folk, and are influenced by PJ Harvey, Neil Young, Gomez, Ween, Tom Waits, Patti Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Gillian Welch. https://www.facebook.com/FiftyYearFlood

1:15 pm – Free Flow Band. Making their return to the Montford Festival for the fourth year running is this trio of performers with their unique brand of “Old Skool R&B and Funk.” Lead Singer and Percussionist Lil’ Rog shows his love of Motown and R&B and the influence of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke through his silky velvet voice as he takes you on a musical journey of sweet soul music. Sharing the lead vocal duties and playing keyboards is Kevin "Kazual" Collins, the founder of Free Flow. Kazual has performed with bands Point of View and Crystal Blue and his musical influences range from Funkadelic to Earth Wind and Fire, from Blues to Hip-Hop, from Jazz to Soul, and everything in between. Kazual’s keyboard expertise and unmistakable Funk infused vocal ability takes Free Flow on to the next level. Darrell "BNote" Griffin, on bass and vocals, provides the heartbeat of the Free Flow band. His deep pocket bass playing and rich smooth chocolate vocals add a beautiful soul filled color to the Free Flow sound. As a seasoned musician, Darrell is deeply rooted in Jazz and Funk and has played bass for such artists as Expose, Eugene Wilde, Gerald Levert, and Betty Wright. LT is on guitar. Together, these guys are guaranteed to take you to a place Free Flow likes to call Planet Funk! www.freeflowband.info

2:30 pm – El Duende Hot Hot Latin jazz featuring Steve Karla - Guitar, Trevor Stoia - Upright Bass, Lyndsay Pruett - Violin , Je Widenhouse, a regular Montford festival performer who also played at the first festival in 2004 - Trumpet , Billy Sewell - Drums, Leo Johnson – Guitar. https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Duende/513463342040014

3:45 pm – Paul's Creek. .Featured performers at Merlefest, Paul’s Creek is rooted in traditional sounds, with a focus on singing and harmonies, old time songs and dance, mountain stories and humor, all accompanied on instruments including guitar, banjo, fiddle, upright bass, Dobro, harmonica and feet. Plus, we’re excited to announce that the legendary fiddler Arvil Freeman will be with them for this one. In the summer he reigns over Shindig on the Green Downtown with the Stoney Creek Boys and has played with everyone from the Sauceman Brothers and Bascom Lamar Lunsford to Raymond Fairchild, the Stanley Brothers, Marc Pruett Band, 40 West and more. http://www.carolrifkin.com/ .

5:00 pm – Fritz Beer and the Crooked Beat. Award winning Songwriter and performer Fritz Beer, fronts this group with his down-to-earth, spirited, songs about good-hearted people who sometimes go astray. His vocals waver somewhere between a Joe Strummer snarl and Graham Parker's soulful whine, but it’s American music and that means rock, country, soul, and blues laid out in a blithely simple format. Montford residents Elzy Lindsey (drums) and Dave Baker (bass and harmonies), originally from New Orleans, have been a rhythm section together for 20 years. You right that's tight. http://www.reverbnation.com/fritzbeerandthecrookedbeat

6:15pm – Lyric. . “Forget being signed. Paper fades. Legends don’t. I was born one.” This is what this band lives by. They started out as street musicians, filling downtown Asheville streets corners while touching many hearts. “The streets is where we love to be. We get so much positive feedback that it pushes us to work harder. This is where we started and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Leeda Jones(Lyric). Lyric has played street festivals such as the Bele Chere Festival, the Goombay festival and the Black Mountain arts festival, LAAFF, Sourwood Festival, Fall For Greenville, Downtown Alive and more. Lyric has shared the stage with Grammy award winning Count M’Butu from Derrick Trucks band and Grammy award winning Lizz Wright. The band is: Leeda Jones ,better known as “Lyric”- Guitar and vocals, Dave Matthews- Bass, Derrick Graves- Percussion, Mike Berlin- Drum Kit, Megan Drye- singer/songwriter and poet. http://www.reverbnation.com/lyricfans



Additional Performers | View Schedule | top

In between these musical acts will be performances by the Montford Park Players, the Asheville Morris Men and the Ashgrove Garland Dancers, the Mountain Lion Chinese Dragon, and storytelling by Joe Penland. We hope these acts, and more, will provide a little something for everybody for our 11th Annual celebration of all things Montford.