Jane Kramer at The Grey Eagle

The Grey Eagle is a small ramshackle warehouse in the River Arts District. It is a popular music venue that often features local artists. As a creative team, West Ashe loves to support all the local talent Asheville has to offer. Last weekend we were proud to be asked to shoot Jane Kramer's concert at, you guessed it, the Grey Eagle.

The Asheville institution slowly filled with expectant locals as the clocked ticked it's way to curtain call. The usually standing room only venue had dozens of chairs laid out for guests to settle into with their assorted libations courtesy of the Eagle’s eclectic staff.  I was excited to find that Jane Kramer had a full band which included: a fiddle, acoustic guitar, lap slide guitar, upright bass, keyboard, and drums. The stage, lighted with cool blue and magenta lights, created a fun and flirty atmosphere as they reflected off pink and red paper hearts that had been strung across a black velvet curtain decorating the back of the stage. Pink roses were thoughtfully placed in front of her music stand, reminding everyone that Valentine's day was fast approaching. A charming touch Jane offered her fans, were free chocolates from the Chocolate Fetish, a local chocolatier, at admission.

Jane Kramer started things off with a slow southern ballad that reminded me of that long slow drive on a sunny day to Hot Springs, which she mentioned in the song. The band kicked up the pace with a bluegrass jam appropriately featuring brown liquor, a tune I could see myself dancing in the kitchen too. My favorite song ‘Valley of the Bones’ had the storytelling power and pacing of a legendary Dolly Parton song coming from a  sultry smooth voice similar to Alison Krauss. There were several tunes crossing blues and country jams, in that old-timey country sound that all mountain people love.

‘Carnival of Hope’ continued to highlight her prowess with lyrics, and ‘Morning Dove’ a tribute to a friend who had passed will make you want to rip out your heart while smiling. The crowd-pleaser of the night was a song about one of the finest southern establishments: Waffle House. All she wanted was a smothered, covered, scattered kind of love.

Jane charmed the crowd with her smile and honest stories about her life and the sources of her inspiration for the songs. It turned out to be a lovely evening, listening to lyrics that charmed and entertained, and a fun photo shoot. I would highly recommend you check out Jane Kramer if you get the chance.

Colby SextonComment