Music Review. | The Asheville Symphony Sessions. | Various Artists.

In Audiorotic by Niki Gatewood

From start to finish, the various artists on The Asheville Symphony Sessions do not disappoint. Faultless instrumentation from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra reinforces the overall effort. Rarely does an album, which incorporates everything from Broadway to Bluegrass compel a listener’s complete attention.

Amplified by the ASO caress, Rising Appalachia kicks off the album with “Filthy Dirty South.” Their surprisingly soothing voices lead into Doc Aquatic’s “Monday.” Here the collective strings are as urging as his lamenting voice.  The next selection “Don’t Freak Out,” by Lovett, offers an organic and unpretentious BIG Broadway number.

While the Electric Owls “Pontiac” arouses a steady 50’s atmosphere, the Free Planet Radio and Lizz Wright collab “Circle Around The Flame” entices a universal audience. This number gives a welcomed brain massage. Never ones to disappoint,  both Matt Townsend and Steep Canyon Rangers deliver on their respective tracks, “For Now, We Are,” and “Blue Velvet Rain.”

Although it boasts an unassuming title, Shannon Whitworth’s “No Expectations” is beyond beautiful. Stripped and honest, Whitworth’s honeyed voice and the ASO’s poignant presence, ensures that everything on this song is perfect. In a fleeting world the The Asheville Symphony Sessions is a true gem.

To listen to this album no skips will be needed!

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