Monte Yoho offers a benediction of sorts

© John Gellman

May the music bless you and keep you, and shine upon you, and give you peace. Or, at the very least, may your grass be green and your tides be high. The Outlaws took a moment to pose for me after their sound check at the Lyric Theater in Stuart, Florida.

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Texting time

© John Gellman
Kent Wynn and his buddy, Ben Gibson, drove all the way from their homes to the Florida Theater in Jacksonville, presumably without texting while driving. They are so cool, they were the only fans allowed to watch The Outlwas perform during sound check, and got to hear the band play Cold Harbor, which they did not play during the show. But the pull of the electronic devices is so strong, that even during such a special moment, Kent’s thumbs were a walkin’ across his phone. But he did bring a truly great cake, so all is good.

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Welcome to our house

© John Gellman

Really, they were just visiting. Here’s a pic of Blackberry Smoke on stage after sound check on Sunday afternoon at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. This was shot around 3:30 in the afternoon. About four hours later, they opened for ZZ Top at the sold-out show. This is a venue like no other. The stage faces one end of the Biltmore House, with a panoramic view of the mountains to the left. By showtime, the skies had cleared and the weather was perfect. Check out my previous post for a shot of the sunset. I’m told this area was originally used for lawn games, such as croquet by the Vanderbilt family and their guests. The house was built as a private residence by George Washington Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895, and is the largest private home in the United States. Today, the house and the magnificent estate are open to the public. There’s lots more information about visiting on the Biltmore website.

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Biltmore sunset over Blackberry Smoke

© John Gellman

Well, you just don’t see this every day. Blackberry Smoke performed outside at Asheville’s Biltmore Estate Sunday evening in front of 4,000 happy fans and a spectacular sunset. The Smoky Mountains are in the distant background. No gargoyles on the stage, but they are nearby. It’s nice having BBS play so close to where I live, only five minutes from the gate.

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Gargoyles of Asheville

© John Gellman

The local gargoyles are howling as a rabbit cloud hovers over their tower.

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Daytripp before the road trip

© John Gellman

Artist and hip-hop performer Leo Godfriaux, aka Daytripp, stopped by my Flatiron Studio before driving to Florida for a show. Daytripp is one third of the group Third Eye Trybe, and they have a show in Tallahassee on Friday night. He and his buds will be back performing around Asheville later this month.

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They Ain’t Nothing Much, but they’ll do

© John Gellman

If you have spent any time at all walking around downtown Asheville over the last few months, then you’ve probably heard these guys playing on a sidewalk. Sonny Blister, Billy Scribbles, Stephen Ray Lester, Chicken Coop Willaye, and Josh Jakubowski are Ain’t Nothing Much. They play their own brand of rowdy bluegrass music that makes people stop, dance, and throw money at them.

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Traveling brothers

© John Gellman

It’s mid-summer, and people are pouring into Asheville from all over. Jesse and Sam Williams were sitting together on Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville as I walked up. Sam was holding his violin. He started playing a classical tune that I did not recognize. I asked him what it was and he said “Something I wrote.” I did not realize they were brothers. They are from Iowa, which is a bit ironic for me because I spent the day yesterday hosting an old friend from my college days and his family who are from… you guessed it, Iowa. We talked for a while and they accepted my invite to come up to my studio for a pic. They are headed to Hot Springs in a couple days and then back to the Midwest.

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