This is a playlist of 12 songs by Asheville artists that have entertained and inspired me in my own little corner of this town. To choose only 12 was a challenge, to say the least, since the music scene keeps growing and it seems that every day there are new songwriters and musicians adding their talents to the pool. I felt a little under-qualified as I started to narrow it down. By no means comprehensive, erring a little on the old school side, this is what I came up with. — Amanda Anne Platt (of the Honeycutters)
Malcolm Holcombe — “Who Carried You”
What better place to start an Asheville list than with Malcolm Holcombe? He’s an incredible songwriter, a captivating performer, and a local legend. This is one of my favorite songs, ever. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out The RCA sessions yet, do it!
Taylor Martin — “Travel Far, Travel Wide”
Taylor Martin may sound like a made up name for a songwriter, but he’s the real deal. This is one of my favorite Taylor songs, from his 2014 release Heartache or Bust.
Moses Atwood — “Garden of Eden”
Moses hasn’t put an album out in a while, but the two he has are still in heavy rotation at our house. I would have put four or five of his tunes on here, if I had more space.
Miriam Allen — “Contrabandista”
She’s got a beautiful voice, is a badass guitar player and songwriter, and she built her own house. I aspire to be a fraction as cool as Miriam Allen.
Floating Action — “To Connect”
This was the first Floating Action song I ever heard, when I found myself stoned and sitting on the old couch at the Grey Eagle for a free show. It still might be my favorite.
Aaron Woody Wood — “Coal Black Hair”
No list of Asheville songs would be complete without a murder ballad. I first heard of Woody Wood as a member of the Blue Rags, and then with his rock band Hollywood Red, but some of my favorite performances of his are solo acoustic.
Jen and the Juice — “The Damnsong”
I remember someone saying to me, when I was new in town, that I had to meet “Jenny Juice.” “She just writes songs that make you smile,” they said. And she does. Jen also has done many things over the years to unite the music scene here, including starting the Brown Bag Songwriting contest.
Town Mountain – “Long Time Coming”
Followers of the Bluegrass Situation won’t be strangers to Town Mountain. This is my favorite cut off of their most recent release, Southern Crescent.
Grits & Soul — “Hundred Year Farm”
Though they have technically relocated to Mt Sterling, Kentucky, Grits & Soul will always be an Asheville band in my heart. This album has a lot of great tunes, but this is the one that’s been worn out on my copy. It’s a tear jerker.
Red June — “I Saw You in August”
This is a tune written by my friend Will Straughan, though this album has great songs from all three writers. I love their harmonies.
Laura Blackley & the Wildflowers — “Favorite”
This song should be on a list of the greatest slow dance songs of all time.
Tyler Ramsey — “No One Goes Out”
As a child of the ’90s, I’m a fan of ending a mix with a slow, retrospective song. Love this whole album from Tyler Ramsey.
Photo credit: Eliza Schweizbach