I will be playing the West Asheville Farmer's Market.
in support of Local Farming and Food and the future of our planet. Come on out!
can hear us on 98.1 around 4pm.
poetry by Luke Hankins
of Asheville Poetry Review)
show! family friendly!
your tickets now!
Cent Orchestra will be playing with Alex Krug Combo.
Your Song : Your Voice
Songwriter's Course starts up again in September.
Write a song a week!
Hosted by Chelsea Lynn La Bate
The Artist's Journey.
A 12 Week artist support group using The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
Hosted by Chelsea Lynn La Bate.
Battery Park Book Exchange.
Starting September 22, 2013.
*CHECK OUT THIS NTERVIEW FROM RAPID RIVER MAGAZINE*
Release by James Cassara
three short years since Chelsea Lynn La Bate rolled into Asheville-her ’95
Honda stuffed full with her belongings-she has quietly both observed and participated
in our town’s vibrant and accepting music community. Hitting the road with
the most Spartan of belongings, including her nylon stringed guitar, battery powered
amp, clothes, and a “small collection of poetry books” La Bate had spent
three solid years supporting herself through her music. Breaking even at best but
doing what she chose to do. Having not even picked up the guitar until after finishing
an undergraduate degree in visuals arts La Bate tenaciously bucked the odds and
continued pursuing her dream. After finding Asheville (or perhaps more correctly
after Asheville found her) she began making more deliberate plans as to what would
come next. That “next” has culminated in the Ten Cent Orchestra,
a series of shows arranged (in more ways than one) by La Bate that engage a semi-rotating
cast of local musicians to perform compositions written by La Bate. With several
successful performances under their belt, including a half dozen or so this year
alone, La Bate is expanding her vision and moving Ten Cent to what seems the next
us a brief bit of background, where you were previously and what attracted you to
I came to Asheville, I was living out of my car, touring the South full time. Before
that, I was in NYC playing music every night at songwriter showcases, open micas
and headlining shows in mostly in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. My first tour
was in Europe. I toured six countries and did thirty performances. After that I
was sold on music. I came back to the states in search for a home base - one with
a music scene, a healthy, happy, conscious community and access to wild and beautiful
you arrive here with a clear goal in mind? How did you go about making contacts
in an already crowded local music scene?
My goal was to make my first album, Picking Through the Pawn Shop. I only had live
recordings up until that point and wanted material radio would play. I couldn't
do it living out of my car. I needed to be in one place.
a lot of songwriting contests in a two month span and did a pre-order campaign,
earning support from fans throughout the whole East Coast. I then had enough money
to start recording and hire an engineer and producer. Over ten musicians from the
Asheville scene were guests on the record, most of them contacts from Jenny
Greer's Brown Bag Competition.
mentioned a bit that Asheville was initially not a good fit for you. You don’t
play bluegrass or jam, and you don’t fit into the singer/songwriter mold.
What did it take to overcome that?
know that I have! Ha! I mean, I haven't been the first artist they call up for
a street festival, but I'm not concerned with that. My goal has never been to
be big in Asheville. I'm interested in my music reaching far beyond this town.
I'm coming from a very big city of songwriters, several of whom toured the world
with just their guitar or piano and now rule the airwaves. Around here it's
"we don't do the songwriter thing." A lot of venues want funk bands
that can sell beer. I'll never be that so I'm just do my own thing and stay
away from places like that.
found my place here as a performer by learning to knock on the right doors and work
with the right venues. I also rent out private spaces for the Ten Cent Orchestra
so that I have full artistic control and we don't have to fork over all of our
patrons donations to slimy club owners.
result has been the blessing a very engaged, intelligent, conscious, fan base here
in Asheville and the South East. They are not the kind of people that flock out
to a free jam night to drink cheap beer and talk over us while we play. Our fans
come to the show because they know the music is made to be medicine. I work hard
to create events that are intimate and articulate, where we can all relax into the
experience, where the art comes first.
from that you’ve moved towards the Ten Cent Orchestra. Talk a bit about
what that project is, and what sets it apart from what might be described as the
“typical Asheville show.”
Ten Cent Orchestra is my biggest dream. It's ten years of song writing, song
wishing, song working, song sacrificing. Ten Cent Orchestra takes dozens of Ten
Cent Poetry songs and invites classical instrumentation into the mix with masterful
arrangements by Silas Durocher. Each song has been tediously composed and arranged
with the skill and attention of classical music. The lyrics, however, bring the
fresh voice of contemporary songwriting, songwriting that speaks on our times now,
on our issues now as well as merging ancient human experience.
sets it apart from a typical show here in Asheville? Well, when is the last time
you went to see a songwriter perform, only to discover they were playing with a
full string orchestra?
working a lot with Alex Krug. Can you expand a bit on that collaboration?
Krug is one of my dearest, closest friends. We hike together, celebrate each other's
small victories and meet almost daily for pep talks and check ins. Artists need
strong support from other artists. Only other artists can understand what it takes
to walk this path. I mean, I wake up and write for five hours and when I clock out,
there is no check waiting for me.
is in this full force too and gets so excited about my artistic growth. She comes
to my shows and does sound when I need it. She helps to sell merch and take care
of my musicians. I do the same for her. I give her feedback on press releases and
have made flyers in photoshop for her cd releases. I loan her my car when it's
raining. We've had silkscreen sessions where we help each other print t-shirts
and posters. We flyer downtown together.
upstream side by side. We are shoulder to shoulder in this from the emotional to
artistic to the technical. This has been going on for years, a huge investment in
each other's artist and spiritual path.
shared many big stages together, co-billing or singing with each other. Our show
at the Isis Theater will be the most beautiful one yet. Me with the Orchestra, Alex
with her combo and a handful of albums under her belt.
next for the Ten Cent Orchestra? I assume there are plans to take it to other
Cent Orchestra is not your typical music experience. It is looking for listening
rooms, theaters, old cathedrals, private spaces, festival stages. I want to bring
it to schools, community orchestras, churches, universities. I can travel solo and
collaborate with musicians anywhere in the world. I have the sheet music! They don't
even have to speak English. That is the vision. To blaze through as a visiting artist,
maybe do a workshop on songwriting, have dinner with the players and then have a
sponsored or low cost performance that accessible to their community. If orchestra
is going to survive and continue to be appreciated, it needs to be accessible both
financially and socially. I want to see their craft survive. It is a beauty that
we can't afford to lose.
else you’d like to add?
an enthusiastic cheerleader for songwriters. I teach courses and workshops on songwriting.
I do one on one lyric tutoring. I find it crucial to bring songwriters together
so that they can find the support they need, support that they maybe don't get
from their parents, spouses, teachers or local music scene. I also offer Artist
Way Courses and am working towards artists retreats too!
visiting artist talks and love to perform and speak to students, especially empowering
of that information can be found at my website