Pierce Edens is a Western North Carolina native, granting his mountain-bred country rock an authenticity that is immediately evident. He’s maintained a devoted following since appearing on the scene six years ago, due in large part to a relentless touring schedule — which has included more than 15 local appearances this year.
Edens' lyrical prowess and gruff, smoky vocals, along with the band’s rambling, often-frantic marriage of Southern twang and energetic blues-rock have made them no stranger to the Best of WNC. The group’s latest release, 2009’s Long Days Above Ground, is a departure from the heavier rock sensibilities of previous efforts, and proof that that Edens’ songwriting is an ever-evolving craft that knows no bounds.
The Trainwreks have been a hit on the Asheville scene since their arrival in 2006, specializing in what they’ve dubbed “dirty-tonk,” a howlin’ brand of raucous country perfect for drinking, fighting or releasing your inner Swayze, à la Roadhouse. This year, the band officially entered the Best of Hall of Fame, proving that WNC voters have a wild streak.
Lyrically, the band shies away from the serious, focusing instead on songs about lighthearted barroom antics and women. But with topnotch instrumentation, ranging from pedal steel and fiddle, to electric mandolin and guitar, the Trainwreks demand to be taken seriously. This is their fourth straight win for Best Local Country/Alt-Country Band.
According to the band’s MySpace page, it began work on a new record in January, so stay tuned for more to come from this rowdy bunch.
— Dane Smith