BEST MUSICAL MOMENTS THIS YEAR
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KOLLECTIVE HITS FUNDING GOAL, RELEASES ALBUM
In November of last year, The Kollective, a group of high school emcees, launched a Kickstarter to fund its forthcoming record.
The goal for the crowd-funding was to use the money to release an album – pay for studio time, merchandise, and art – and was set at $4,000. That’s a lofty goal for a group of students who, by their own account, didn’t expect it to be reached. However, The Kollective reached its goal and released the controversially titled K.K.K. on DatPiff.com, a popular website that hosts up and coming, as well as internationally accredited, artists’ music.
ED E. RUGER RELEASES GUERILLA GRIND
Shortly after the end of 2014, James Raymond Armfield, better known in rap circles as Ed E. Ruger, dropped his long awaited album, Guerilla Grind. In an interview conducted by YES! Weekly, Ed E. Ruger described the process of dropping singles, and the different approach he took to create the album. “I took a little break to raise my youngins,” he said, “a break from traveling, writing, and rapping. But I dropped a song with Rittz and Shotty Horroh last summer and people started asking when the album was coming out.” He described how the album title came to be from a slogan, and how it’s about going against opposition and “putting the grind behind it.” There are talks of a sequel album, the likes of which we are anxiously awaiting a preview.
FLEETWOOD MAC PLAYS GREENSBORO COLISEUM
In a few years, Fleetwood Mac will go “over the hill” in its storied career as one of the greatest rock and roll bands to ever grace the stage. When the act came to Greensboro, with the recent readdition of Christine McVie, a packed coliseum erupted with joy for the entire set. In the pantheon of rock and roll, Fleetwood Mac could never release a greatest hits album, arguably because all of the band’s songs are hits. At the live show, which saw a palpitating drum solo from Mick Fleetwood, an awe-inspiring (for a man of his age) guitar solo from Lindsey Buckingham, and the enticing vocals from both McVie and Stevie Nicks, one could not but feel a range of emotions as Fleetwood Mac traveled through decades of timeless songs. It could be the last chance to see one of the greatest bands of all time, and Greensboro fans didn’t falter from the first note to the final send-off.
SNOOP DOGG HITS WINSTON-SALEM
We’re pretty lucky in the Triad to be exposed to so many different types of music, but being able to see Tha Doggfather playing to thousands of people in the rain at the north end of Trade Street on an outdoor stage was easily one of the best shows of the year. Long lines didn’t ruin moods, nor did the slippery hill that had people falling everywhere, nor did the muddy lot where the chunk of fans stood: This was Snoop Dogg greeting the Triad, and the Triad welcomed him with eruptions of sing-a-longs. Bowwow-wow yippee-yo yippee-yay, the sounds of the Dogg kept Winston-Salem at bay.
CARRI SMITHEY BAND PLAYS MERLEFEST
Carri Smithey teamed up with the musicians from The Ends, a rock trio made up of Keith Ingalls, Josh Coe and Ryan “Bunk” Burgess, to record two songs in January that were submitted to the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest. The group was joined by Greensboro’s Josh King, a guitarist known for his work with House of Fools and Roseland. Smithey submitted two songs, and the judges selected the track “No More” as one of three finalists invited to perform at MerleFest. The Carri Smithey Band, as the collaboration is known, kicked off the first annual Rock The Rails event at the Railyard in Downtown Greensboro last month. – Jeff Sykes
PHUZZ PHEST TAKES TO BAILEY PARK
There are a lot of venues in the area, some geared towards specific types of music, others adhering to more of an open format style, but when Bailey Park opened, an entirely new type of venue was delivered to Winston-Salem on a lush green platter back-dropped by the future and past of the Twin City. Although the grand opening celebration saw a band play the stage, the official first “concert” featured Daddy Issues, Mac McCaughan and Ex Hex. The stage faces north away from the expansive lawn, but the seating and viewpoints for the venue are prime for outdoor concerts. Whatever shows the future holds at Bailey Park will be treats for locals and out-of-towners. !