To celebrate five years at their west Asheville location, Harvest Records co-owners Mark Capon and Matt Schnable wanted to do something special. They fashioned three nights of music that reflect Harvest' s independent musical spirit, and named it Transfigurations 2009.
"It's kind of a reflection of what we've come to love. Some of the artists, like Bonnie Prince Billy and The Books, we've known about for years, before even moving to Asheville, and some of them are things that we got into because of people in town pointing stuff out to us. It's a mix of our personal taste and what our clientele in Asheville is into."
Transfigurations 2009 takes place August 13-15 at Diana Wortham, the Grey Eagle, and the Fine Arts Theatre. Musical acts include the New York "freak folk" trio Akron/Family, volcanic blues drummer Jonathan Kane, Phil Elvrum's psych pop band Mount Eerie, Philadelphia indie-folk group Espers, and the 11-piece Staten Island afro-soul group Budos Band. Also appearing will be Atlanta punk group Coathangers, Philadephia guitarist Kurt Vile and War On Drugs, ambient experimentalists Villages, Asheville's own Ice Cream, and more.
The festival also features an afternoon panel discussion with Eric Isaacson of Mississippi Records, Lance Ledbetter of Dust To Digital Records, and music archivist Nathan Salsburg.
Capon and Schnable put venues on hold a year ago and began making lists of groups they hoped would come. "We've actually inquired about some of these artists for years now, and this is our first time getting them," Capon says. "In addition to celebrating our store, one of our goals in doing this was to keep the performances intimate. We feel like these are high quality artists playing relatively intimate venues, so we're really excited about that."
Harvest Records' owners met at college in Virginia, decided to go into business together, visited Asheville to scout out locations and "officially fell in love" with the city, according to Capon. "I can't see our store succeeding everywhere," he concedes. "I think a lot of our success is in relation to how great a town we live in, how unique and open-minded people are in Asheville. And that goes beyond just music to welcoming new ideas, artistically, politically or otherwise. So for a business like ours, that kind of environment breeds the ability to succeed. The diversity of thought in this city really makes it easier on us."
Tickets for all the shows are available online at www.harvest-records.com, or in person at Harvest Records, 415 Haywood Road in Asheville. Call 828-258-2999 for more information.