A lot has changed for Abby Bryant since her first studio release, an EP she did as a college student, dropped in 2017.
She’s moved from Charlotte to Asheville. She’s grown as a musician. And, now, she and guitarist Bailey Faulkner have new music to share.
“The labor of love with this new album in terms of studio preparation, overall performance and musicianship, and the time and thought that went into crafting each song and building the harmonies reflects an entirely new type of approach and maturity,” Bryant said in an email interview about her debut full-length album, “Not Your Little Girl.” “I’ve come a long way as a singer and songwriter since (the first release), and Bailey’s ear and musical vision have developed extraordinarily — so much so that he produced much of the new album.”
Their band, Abby Bryant and the Echoes, will bring its mix of Southern and roots rock to town with a 9 p.m. album release show Oct. 23 at Asheville Music Hall.
Bryant, a Gastonia native who attended Appalachian State University in Boone, moved to Asheville in 2018 during a transitional time for her and her band.
“I wanted more access to artists in a bigger music scene with more performance and jam opportunities and more chances to learn and grow,” she said. “Moving to Asheville changed things for the better and brought some meaningful community into my life. I feel supported as an artist here.”
She grew up around music, as she is the daughter of a music minister. Bryant said being around that type of music is huge in her musical preferences and her songwriting style and that singing back-up improvisational harmonies with the “praise team” as a kid played a big role in developing her ear.
“Church is largely where my singing voice became more developed. Compared to many of my artist friends today though, I knew very little about some ‘secular’ genres until relatively recently,” she said. “I grew up on mostly gospel music, and it wasn’t until college that I started exploring more in the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll world. I was thrilled when I realized how much these genres overlapped with my background in gospel music. I felt like I went on into performing music totally new to me without skipping a beat, and church music had prepared me for that transition.”
Local group drops new album
Asheville duo Zoe & Cloyd’s new album was recently released. “Rebuild,” has plenty of lyrics that are relatable to the world during the uncertainty of a pandemic.
Work on the record, which was released through Organic Records, began prior to the pandemic for married couple Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller and their bandmates Bennett Sullivan (banjo and guitar) and upright bassist Kevin Kehrberg.
The album’s name came from a song idea that Sullivan brought to Miller.
“The song became ‘Rebuild,’ and we quickly realized that this was an overarching theme running through this entire collection of songs,” Miller said in an email interview. “The pandemic has touched everyone in some way, and ‘Rebuild’ is a theme that runs through the whole album, whether it’s the idea of rebuilding ourselves, our relationships and our societies, or something more subtle, such as connections to place and our acceptance of change. Even the instrumentals evoke the idea of transformation out of the old and the inevitable rebuilding of a new reality.”
The group will celebrate the release of this album with an 8:30 p.m. show Oct. 23 at Isis Music Hall.
Zoe & Cloyd’s songs are folk and bluegrass and showcase their signature harmonies and songwriting chops. “Rebuild” is the follow-up to 2019’s “I Am Your Neighbor,” which included the same musicians.
“Listeners may notice more instrumental complexity and arrangement,” Miller said. “We’ve been so happy with this band and have really enjoyed crafting a sound with Kevin and Bennett over the last few years. They’re incredible musicians and great people to be around.”
Legendary folk duo back in town
Indigo Girls have had a long and exceptional career and continue to tour to an adoring crowd.
The group, led by the duo of Amy Ray and Emily Sailers, released “Look Long” in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, and are now touring the album. Indigo Girls will play at 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium with Danielle Howle as the opening act.
Ray and Sailers began their career in Atlanta in the mid-1980s and are known for their harmonies and songwriting skills. Songs like “Closer to Fine,” “Galileo” and “Power of Two” are singalong classics for fans.
Bluesman Buddy Guy plays outdoor gig
When music magazine Rolling Stone ranked the 100 great guitarists of all-time in 2015, bluesman Buddy Guy came in at No. 23 (just before AC/DC’s Angus Young and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi).
Guy, the 85-year-old who has influenced many other guitarists, is bringing his style of Chicago blues to town. He will play at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 24 at Salvage Station, with Ally Venable as the opening act.
Guy hasn’t rested on his stature of being an all-time great, but has continued to record music. His latest release was 2018’s “The Blues Is Alive and Well.” Earlier this year, a documentary about the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer titled “Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away” was released.