The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam's possible return to Asheville in 2021 and more music news
Also, American Vinyl Co. has found a new home on the South Slope
Hey y’all, I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. Before jumping into some music happenings, I just want to thank everyone for following this new format of the Hot Sheet newsletter. It’s off to an amazing start after the March launch. Please consider buying a subscription if you haven’t already, and thank you for your support.
Is the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam ready to return to Asheville?
That’s the question that fans of the city’s signature music event are dying to have answered, and a possible clue circulated around social media platforms on Monday.
That hint: a screen shot of what appeared to be a list of concert names and dates, including a Dec. 11 date for “Xmas Jam,” under a heading seeking volunteers to work concessions, presumably at Harrah’s Cherokee Center - Asheville. The venue has a volunteer concession program, as well as paid staff, to serve patrons during events.
It’s an unconfirmed bit of social media ephemera, but it was enough to get fans of the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam especially pumped. Haynes, of course, is the Asheville native whose rock guitar virtuosity has taken him to great musical heights. And his Christmas Jam, which had been an annual event for 30 years up until 2019, brought all kinds of rockstars to town for a marathon musical evening that benefitted the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. (The event has donated more than $2 million to the nonprofit.)
You can’t blame Christmas Jam devotees for their excitement. It’s been two years since their last party. Haynes and company announced in 2019 that they were taking the year off to regroup after the 2018 edition, which was a doozy. That was the Christmas Jam’s 30th anniversary, and it included everything from a guest appearance by Abby the Spoon Lady to a surprise pop-up “Snow Jam” that none in attendance will ever forget. The pandemic, of course, took out any hope of a concert return last year.
So we’ll wait in hopeful anticipation.
American Vinyl Co.’s new one-stop shop for lovers of vinyl records
Ryan Schilling and Christy Lynn of American Vinyl Co. have found a new home for their record cutting and pressing company, and it promises to be an amazing destination for audiophiles.
The location is the top floor of a building at the south end of Coxe Avenue in the South Slope neighborhood. (They opened their first location in town near Biltmore Village a couple of years ago.) It’s there that they’ll offer the following in one 4,000-square-foot space: custom vinyl production facilities; a vinyl record shop; a mini-museum featuring vintage recording equipment; a small bar; and a performance space.
Schilling and Lynn are self-described addicts of audio history and they’re clearly inspired by those who pioneered it. They’re working hard on this new home for their business and their passion.
Lonesome Station is the name of the music series that will be presented in this space, and two great shows have already been confirmed so far: Alexa Rose + Blue Cactus at 7 p.m. on June 18; and Libby Rodenbough of Mipso + Trippers and Askers at 7 p.m. on July 1. Follow @lonesomestationmusic on Instagram for all ticket details and updates.
This will be the second fantastic destination devoted to vinyl record making, the other being Citizen Vinyl, which opened last fall, just across town.
More and more music shows announced for Asheville
Monday just oozed music for me. As I started writing this newsletter, WNCW kept a steady playlist of Bob Dylan greatness on the air to honor the legend’s 80th birthday, all as a steady stream of musical announcements rolled in.
The venerable Merlefest, which was moved to Sept. 16-19 this year up in Wilkesboro, announced that Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Shovels & Rope had been added to an already loaded schedule.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Modest Mouse are coming to the new Rabbitt Rabbitt outdoor venue in downtown Asheville in September and October, respectively. There’s plenty more on the bill, not the least of which is one of my faves, Drive-by Truckers, also in October.
Meantime, keep your eyes on Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre, which right now ranks as my favorite new outdoor music venue. They’ve really cranked up the musical offerings at this intimate space nestled in the Montford neighborhood this year. Coming up in June: Jerry Douglas Band; Chris Knight; and The Travelin' McCourys' Grateful Ball w/ Jon Stickley Trio. There’s more on the schedule and more to be announced here. I can promise that you’ll want to be paying attention.
Thanks for reading!