A special nod to Hendricks, Vaughan and Franklin
The New Orleans gumbo of European, Afro-Caribbean and Native American influences is present in every note played by Big Easy transplant Marcel Anton. The music of this guitarist and vocalist was shaped and nurtured by the city in all its quirky glory. But the destruction of Hurricane Katrina ultimately led him to Asheville, where he’s established himself as a dynamic and versatile performer steeped in the many styles he’s made his own during his musical journey.
On Saturday, Sept. 2, Anton’s band and guests Artimus Pyle and Rhoda Weaver will present a special tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and other musical legends at White Horse Black Mountain. If that sounds daunting, it is. But in his past White Horse appearances, Anton has proven himself capable of doing justice to such an array of musical giants.
Of Native American and Creole descent, Anton’s heritage is as eclectic as his music. Music, healing and a vision rooted in his sense of place, along with exposure to Jewish, Christian and Native American mysticism, helped shape his world view from an early age. Raised by show business parents (Mom was a Rockette, Dad on the business side), he had a peripatetic childhood, but life centered around New Orleans.
Anton planned to be a scientist, but the arts called more strongly, and he went on to study with musical giants like Gil Evans, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schiffrin, and guitarists Larry Coryell, Joe Pass and Pat Martino. Charlie Allen of the classic rock band Pacific Gas and Electric heard Marcel’s work and brought him to California where he gained experience with PG&E, later working with major artists as diverse as blues greats Albert and Freddie King, Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison, the Jazz Crusaders, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. John and many more. Anton’s performances of originals and covers are flamboyant, theatrical, and larger than life, catching up audiences in their celebratory intensity.
Pyle, a resident of Swannanoa, is familiar to any rock fan as the longtime drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. He’s since fronted several incarnations of the Artimus Pyle Band and has lent his inimitable drumming talents to several groups in the Asheville area. In 2017 he published a memoir, “Street Survivor: Keeping the Beat in Lynyrd Skynyrd,” recounting his colorful life and times. Pyle will be be joined in the Marcel Anton Band rhythm section by veteran bassist Mike Filippone.
Vocalist Rhoda Weaver’s resumé reads a bit like a movie script. Urged to sing in public by appreciative friends, she performed on downtown Asheville streets, becoming a popular busker with her strong, heartfelt and emotionally true renditions of songs from the American songbook. Her career progressed steadily to club, concert and festival dates, where she often appears with her band, The Soul Mates.
Paying their props
Who: Anton Marcel and band
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 2
Where: White Horse Black Mountain
Cost: $12 advance, $15 door