There are common threads connecting The Lazybirds and The Appalucians, who will share the spotlight at White Horse Black Mountain on Friday, Feb 16 at 8 p.m. One is a commitment to hugely entertaining rootsy originals and cover songs. And the other is the presence of the multi-talented Jay Brown. Together, they guarantee a rollicking good time.
The Lazybirds are rooted in American classic blues, jazz and ragtime. They cover a lot of musical ground, from old-time string band music to Dylan songs, and have been incorporating more classic-sounding originals into their shows recently. Five originals have been included on The Lazybirds’ latest record, “American Roots,” but a listener would be hard-pressed to sort out the new from the vintage stylistically, the band having incorporated the roots influences so thoroughly.
The band’s history goes back nearly 20 years when Jay Brown met James T. Browne in high school. After moving to Boone they met bassist Mitchell Johnson, whose hard-driving style complemented Browne's drumming and Brown's bluesy finger-picked guitar and harmonica. The newest member is German-born fiddler Alfred Michels, who when not playing with The Lazybirds tends his farm and builds fine stringed instruments. The group has played major festivals across the Southeast, sharing stages with Doc Watson, the Avett Brothers, The Old Crow Medicine Show and many more.
The Appalalucians are a double duo formed by Jay Brown and his wife Adithi (Shantavaani) with Angie Heimann and Cas Sochaki of The Blushing’ Roulettes. Adithi adds Celtic harp to her husband’s guitar, harmonica and foot percussion, while Heimann plays rhythm guitar and Sochaki contributes leads and fills on slide guitar.
All four are strong singers who can solo, duet or add sparkling harmonies to the songs, which range from classic country and Appalachian tunes to the work of contemporary songwriters, including members of the band. Not long ago The Appalucians recently finished a Thursday afternoon residency at Pisgah Brewing.
Tickets are $10 advance, $12 door.