On the Blogs: ‘Why Solar Keeps Being Underestimated’

first_imgOn the Blogs: ‘Why Solar Keeps Being Underestimated’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CarbonBrief.org:Why is there such a gap between expectation and reality? Admittedly, solar’s growth, starting from a miniscule base, has been spectacular. Few technologies have taken hold so fast.Consumers proved willing to pay a premium for green technology on their own rooftops, while ambitious policy instruments like Germany’s Feed-in-Tariff and California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard pushed renewables much faster than anticipated.These dynamics have so far been poorly captured by energy system models, which tended to represent the complex mix of different climate policies in a simplified and stylised way – for example, as a single, economy-wide carbon price. These models also assume that society will always seek to minimise costs, ignoring the potential role of personal preferences.Most importantly, faster initial deployment caused costs to decline rapidly and consistently. In fact, solar module costs decreased by around 23% with each doubling in installed capacity, a phenomenon dubbed “technological learning“. Traditionally, technological learning has been inadequately reflected in many models.The levelised costs of solar are now undercutting fossil fuels in competitive markets. In locations as diverse as Dubai, Mexico, and Chile, the best solar PV projects are selling power at less than $0.03 per kilowatt hour (kWh). In India or Zambia, some PV projects are producing power at or below $0.06/kWh, outcompeting coal.One final factor explaining why models have underestimated solar is their cost projections for other technologies. As a result, they have not only overestimated the costs of solar, they have also been too optimistic about cost reductions for the alternatives or even failed to foresee cost increases.More: Why Solar Keeps Being Underestimatedlast_img read more

International Banks Continue to Back Coal Projects, Contrary to Policy Commitments

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times:Between January 2014 and September 2017 international banks channeled $630bn to the top 120 companies planning to build new coal plants around the world.The researchers highlighted Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the biggest underwriter for bond and share issues of coal plant developers, providing more than $33bn over that period.The researchers also found that nine western banks increased their financing of coal plant developers in 2016: Citi, UBS, Barclays, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, ING, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered and Crédit Agricole.The campaign groups said the figures were startling against the backdrop of the two-year anniversary of the Paris accord, where 195 countries agreed to fight global warming.The top two lenders to coal plant developers since January 2014 were Japanese banks Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, providing $11.5bn and $10.2bn respectively.The figures will raise questions over the seriousness of banks’ public claims to want to help tackle climate change. Many have vowed to help reduce global warming by supporting green financing initiatives.More: Banks criticised for funding coal deals despite Paris agreement International Banks Continue to Back Coal Projects, Contrary to Policy Commitmentslast_img read more

Budweiser to brew its British beverages with solar power by 2020

first_imgBudweiser to brew its British beverages with solar power by 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Budweiser beer will be brewed in Britain using solar power from 2020 following a 15-year deal signed by brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and renewable power developer Lightsource BP, the companies said on Wednesday.Lightsource BP will develop and operate 100 megawatts (MW) of solar projects to generate enough electricity for AB InBev’s breweries. The power being generated is the equivalent to the amount used by 18,000 homes. The solar projects are expected to be completed and connected to Britain’s power grid by the end of 2020.AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, produces more than 17 million cans and bottles of Budweiser beer each week from its two main breweries in Magor, South Wales and Samlesbury, Lancashire.The initiative is part of the company’s sustainability goals which include purchasing all electricity from renewable sources by 2025, AB InBev said in a statement.No financial details were disclosed, but Lightsource said the deal would enable it to develop the solar projects without subsidies. Oil major BP acquired a 43 percent stake in Lightsource, Europe’s biggest solar energy developer, last year.More: British brewed Budweiser beer to rely on solar power from 2020last_img read more

Market forces pushing coal off the grid in the U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNN:President Donald Trump has gutted regulations on the coal industry, falsely claimed that windmills cause cancer and installed a former coal lobbyist to lead the EPA.In the face of those efforts to rescue coal country, America’s aging fleet of coal-fired power plants continues to shrink. New coal plants are not getting built.Trump’s vow to rip up environmental rules has been overwhelmed by an even more powerful force: the free market. Coal just can’t keep up with dirt-cheap natural gas and increasingly affordable renewables.“It’s hard to see any scenario where coal rebounds,” said Joe Aldina, manager of coal research at S&P Global Platts Analytics.Approximately 15% of America’s coal fleet has been retired since 2017, the year Trump took office, according to Platts. And that trend will probably continue. Platts expects another 10% of the coal fleet will be shuttered between 2019 and 2020. That translates to more than 100 coal-fired units at power plants.“Coal is going to get phased out over the long term,” Aldina said.More: The market has spoken: Coal is dying Market forces pushing coal off the grid in the U.S.last_img read more

Developers begin work on 500MW, $2.2 billion wind farm off the French coast

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:The developers of the 500-MW Fecamp offshore wind project today announced the launch of the construction process, having closed financing deals between them and the financial partners.EDF Renewables and Canada-based Enbridge Inc each hold 35% stakes in the project, while the offshore wind unit of Wpd has the remaining 30% interest. They said that the total project capital cost amounts to EUR 2 billion (USD 2.23bn) and that most of it will be covered with non-recourse project level debt.The parties also confirmed they have awarded a wind turbine supply contract to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, which yesterday said it will deliver 71 units of the SWT-7.0-154 model for the project. SGRE plans to start building works on a new turbine manufacturing plant in Le Havre this summer.The Fecamp wind park is expected to be commissioned in 2023, when it will start selling electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that was awarded to the consortium in June 2018. The output of the plant will be enough to meet the annual consumption of about 770,000 people.[Ivan Shumkov]More: Developer trio kicks off construction of 500-MW Fecamp offshore wind farm Developers begin work on 500MW, $2.2 billion wind farm off the French coastlast_img read more

Daily Dirt: GSMNP Opens, PNF Death, GABF Winners

first_imgYour daily outdoor news bulletin for October 16, the day Reinhold Messner made a successful ascent of Lhotse  in 1986, making him the first person to climb all 14 of the 8,000m peaks:Great Smoky Mountains National Park OpensWith the government shut down in its 16th day, the states finally took matters into their own hands. No, we are not talking about Maryland and Virginia teaming up to force Congress to stay in D.C. until they figure it out, brother lock-in style (although that would be an awesome move), and we are not talking about a violent uprising. We are talking about the states ponying up the dough to keep National Parks open for short periods of time. This is a trend that started out West with Utah spending $1.67 million to keep their five parks open for 10 days. Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, and New York followed suit, and now Tennessee and North Carolina are getting into the national park funding game. Tennessee freed up $305,000 and North Carolina found $75,000 to keep Great Smoky Mountains National Park up and running…for five days. GSMNP opens today, and will remain open through Sunday. Past that, who knows what will happen.It is not lost on this magazine, and others, that this move by the states comes on the same day that Republican lawmakers called National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis before a committee to berate him for closing parks and national monuments along the Mall in Washington, D.C. – the same monuments Republicans have used as a public relations pawn since this whole thing began. They accused him of…something…political motivation?..like it was his fault the government shut down and he wanted to close the parks. Yeah, that makes sense. But this is what we’ve come to expect from our elected leaders, who operate in a dimension removed from our own.It is also not lost on the Citizen-Times and USA Today who call out U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican from N.C.’s 11th District which borders the park, for pushing to delay the Affordable Care Act – the move that lead to the shutdown.Big Falls Body RecoveredRescue workers recovered the body of a man who died following a fall in Pisgah National Forest on Sunday. The victim, who was from the Asheville area but whose name has not been released, fell from rocks at Big Falls on the Thompson River around 5 pm. His female hiking companion hiked out of the woods and called 911, but it took her several hours. The retrieval required a technical rope rescue team as the terrain was rugged. This is a good reminder that waterfalls and rivers can be extremely slippery and dangerous. This may be an afterthought during the fall season, but falling into cold water makes it even more of a risk. Be safe out there.In slightly happier news, a couple of lost hikers were found overnight Sunday and returned safely to civilization…where they were promptly arrested. Lost hikers Derek Vann Whitson and Jesse Daniel Mizell were located by rescue teams and led out of the woods early Monday morning and were charged with felony theft of ginseng. I guess getting lost in the woods doesn’t pay! BA-ZING.Regional Winners at Great American Beer FestThe Great American Beer Fest is held in Denver, CO and is one of the biggest beer festivals in the world. If you ever have the chance, and you can get your hands on a ticket, YOU MUST GO. Just make sure you pack your pretzel necklace and take the light-rail. It’s a total beer circus in a good way – trust me, I’ve been to it – but the main point is to crown the best beers and the best breweries in the U.S. Of course California brews took home the most titles, with Colorado coming in a close second (hometown bias?), but beers from the Blue Ridge region were very well represented. Here are a few of the highlights.Imperial IPA (second most entered category) Bronze: Smartmouth Brewing Co., Norfolk, VA – Notch 9 Double IPARye Beer Gold: SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA – LowRyeDerAmerican-Style Brett Beer Gold: Wicked Week Brewing, Asheville, NC – SerenityGerman-Style Marzen Gold: Lost Rhino Brewing, Asheburn, VA – RhinofestBelgian-Style Witbier Gold: Port City Brewing, Alexandria, VA – Optimal WitAmerican-Style or International-Style Pilsener Silver: Devils Backbone Brewing, Roseland, VA – Gold Leaf LagerActually, Devils Backbone brought home a slew of awards in multiple categories, but they also took home one of the biggest prizes in the “competition.” They were awarded the Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year award.You can see the full results here.last_img read more

Enter the Vortex: Pisgah Brewing Vortex II

first_imgEnter the Vortex. Love the Vortex.The Christmas season just keeps getting better. First, you had the release of Cold Mountain Winter Ale, a ridiculously popular holiday beer from Highland Brewing that flies off the shelves faster than the Elf on the Shelf heading to the North Pole. Now, we get to look forward to Pisgah Brewing releasing its annual winter brew, Vortex. The annual Pisgah Brewing Vortex is typically a dark, rich, high gravity beer. This year, they’re releasing Pisgah Brewing Vortex II Russian Imperial Stout. And they’ve collaborated with French Broad Chocolate Factory to add crazy delicious cocoa nibs.Mmmm…nibs.Half of the Pisgah Brewing Vortex II batch will get the nibs, the other half will be released “naked.” Both will be released in an annoyingly limited amounts of 22 ounce bottles. The release party is set for Dec. 20. Hit the brewery directly, or be prepared to hunt stores around Asheville for the beautiful “deuce deuce” bottles from Pisgah.last_img read more

Mountain Mama: Run for You

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,My sister started running a year ago and now runs faster than me. She wants to join me, but I end up spending most of the run feeling bad about myself. She’s the annoying good-at-everything-and-gorgeous-younger sister. Running has always been my thing so I want to tell her to get her own hobby.How do I tell her politely to stop running?Thanks,Runner GirlDear Runner Girl,The only person we have any semblance of control over is ourselves. That means the most you can ask is that your sister doesn’t run with you, but you don’t get to ask your sister to stop running.Running next to your sister doesn’t have to make you feel inadequate. Instead, focus on thinking about the positive. When you run with someone faster, over time you become faster. Think of her as your very own personal coach – one who trains you for free.In the long-term, you might grow to treasure those runs with your sister. When I was fifteen and my brother was seventeen, he’d take off on runs to condition for the soccer team. Eager to do whatever he was doing, I’d lace up my running shoes and follow him, although he never invited me.Most days he’d turn around and point to the swoosh on the back of his Nikes. “See this? Get a good look now because it’ll all be a distant blur to you in a few seconds.” Then he’d pull ahead, until he eventually disappeared from sight.By the time he left for college, I was hooked on running. He came home the next summer carrying an extra fifteen pounds.  On a mission to lose weight, he tagged along with me. My year of daily runs meant I was in better shape than he was, at least at first. We talked the miles away, often complaining about our parents, the way that only siblings can.Over the years, we’ve run before each of us got married and after the birth of our respective children. Last spring when my toddler and I flew to Europe to meet my brother and his family for a week-long vacation in Spain, my brother surprised me with the news that he signed me up to run a 10-k the next day.These days we live an ocean apart so our runs are few and far apart. This past weekend he was in town for a family wedding, and we snuck away from family obligations for a quick run. We picked up right where we left off, falling in stride with one another’s footsteps. Our conversation flowed easier than our breathing, and my brother provided some tips for dealing with my toddler as he enters the terrible two’s. I’m reassured running with my brother by my side, because like most areas of life, he’s already paved the way.I’m suggesting, Runner Girl, that perhaps you can view running with your sister as an opportunity to create a special bond. Besides, siblings have a way of fueling our competitive streaks. That’s a good thing, because on days when you’d rather stay on the couch in front of the TV, imagining your sister running without you will motivate you to hit the trail.Just because your sister is faster than you doesn’t mean that will always be the case. Life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in our running path, from demanding careers to childrearing, and sometimes running takes a backseat. But even if your sister is always a few steps ahead of you, just remind yourself that trying to keep up with her will make you a better runner.Yours,Mountain MamaKy-Running-007last_img read more

The French Broad River Trail

first_imgHartwell Carson has a lot of stories. Stories about boats falling off of cars. Stories about standup paddle boarders too hungover to stand on their boards. Stories about farmers pulling guns on the riverbank. Stories about sneaking upriver in the middle of the night to sample bacteria levels.He’s telling me about a guy, a sales rep from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, who can open a beer bottle with a folded up napkin (“like a ninja”) as we paddle separate canoes down the French Broad River just east of downtown Asheville. Carson is the French Broad Riverkeeper for the Western North Carolina Alliance. Picture a job where you paddle the French Broad, test water quality, raise funds for environmental protection, and generally try to get people stoked about boating and fishing a river system. As the Riverkeeper, Carson is the primary protector of the French Broad, a 215-mile river that runs northwest from Rosman to its confluence with the Tennessee in Knoxville. If you’re an angler, and you notice something green oozing from a drain pipe into the river, you call Carson and he gets in his canoe and checks it out.“That’s my favorite part of the job,” Carson says. “Getting in my canoe around sunset and paddling upstream, trying to be all stealth, like Natty Bumppo.”We’re paddling a short, two-day section of the French Broad so Carson can show off his latest achievement, the French Broad River Trail, a new blueway that covers 140 miles of the French Broad through North Carolina with half a dozen paddle-in-only campsites spaced every 15 miles on islands and riverbanks leased from private landowners and the state of North Carolina. Carson and the WNCA opened the trail last summer. He can rattle off all the statistics that justify the creation of the trail from an economic standpoint (paddlers on a multi-day trip will spend $88 a day in local communities according to a 2001 impact study), but paddle a few miles with him and he’ll give you the straight dope. “This whole trail is a selfish endeavor,” he says, leaning back in his canoe, his dog June Bug on high alert at the bow. “I love paddle trails, but I was tired of driving six hours to paddle and camp. Now we have this amazing adventure in our backyard.”11898777_1061037423906391_51863028726144727_nPhoto Courtesy of the French Broad RiverkeeperWe put our boats in near Mills River and paddle past corn fields and the site of the future Sierra Nevada brewery (they’ll have their own boat launch and an island campsite island a half-mile upriver from their property). We move past kids on four wheelers exploring their family’s farm. The river is high thanks to an unusually rainy summer that’s left most creeks at flood stage levels, so we move fast down the river, barely having to paddle at all except for the occasional correction stroke. My neighbor and good friend, Kevin Palme, is at the helm of my canoe. When I told Palme I was going to spend two days paddling the French Broad with Carson, he was hesitant. When I told him we were packing a cooler of beer to consume on an island in the middle of the river, he was sold. Paddling from one campsite to the next is a different sort of adventure than what I’m used to. Most of my excursions into the backcountry involve contusions, the frantic rush to beat sunset, and at least a brush with hypothermia. Paddling the French Broad, heading toward an island where we’ll leisurely set up camp and cook and drink, is downright relaxing. I’m not prepared for this sort of adventure. My gear is too minimalist. I keep wanting to paddle faster, to make good time. Carson is used to new boaters having to make this mental adjustment. Every year, he spearheads a nine-day journey along the entire length of the river trail and every year, it’s the same thing: “I spend the first couple of days having to convince everyone to slow down. There’s no rush. And there’s no need to be hardcore.”As we approach Firefighter Island, our home for the night, Carson tells us about how he used to love backpacking—going deep into the backcountry and not seeing another person for days at a time. “Lately though, I don’t see the point. Why carry a backpack with just the necessities when you can put everything you could imagine in a canoe and float down the river? People need to evolve and put their shit in a canoe.”When Carson says “put everything in a canoe,” he means everything. Here’s a rundown of our rations for the two-day trip: A cooler full of Sierra Nevada, one bottle of bourbon, one bottle of champagne, one bottle of orange juice (for mimosas). And that’s just the alcohol. For dinner, we’re cooking apple-smoked chicken sausage with peppers and onions over couscous, and a side of asparagus. In the morning, we’ll have grits and bacon and mimosas. Don’t get me started on the snacks. Or the full living room set complete with a stereo that Carson somehow squeezed into his canoe.Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.35.00 AMA scenic section of the French Broad River near Hot Spings, NC. Photo by David WilsonFirefighter Island has a winding trail running through its center that connects four or five campsites, a beach with a fire ring, and a composting toilet that Carson built last summer. It’s hard to say you’re roughing it when you have a working toilet, but at the same time, it’s difficult for us to reconcile the fact that we’re maybe seven river miles shy of downtown Asheville. We haven’t seen another boater all day. It’s quiet on the island, which is surrounded by farmland, without a sound other than the rush of the water all around us. And the gangster rap coming from the stereo. Turns out Carson hates jam bands. It’s a secret he’s harbored for decades. He’s a big fan of Tupac, though.The tents go up fast and Palme quickly builds a fire. Then we hit the bourbon. As it gets dark, we keep hitting the bourbon and Kevin falls down in a thick mud pit near the water line, getting stuck for at least seven minutes while Carson and I laugh. The whole evening unravels from there, culminating in an absurd campfire-side discussion of the Biggie/Tupac rivalry. I fall asleep humming Tupac’s “Changes” as the river gurgles a few feet from my tent.The French Broad isn’t the wildest river in the South. It’s not even close. The Big South Fork, The Chattooga—those are primitive rivers cutting through pristine gorges unlike anything else in the South. The French Broad is like a lot of other Southern rivers. It’s pretty, passing through some of the oldest mountains in the world, but it’s been abused.In the ‘50s and ‘60s, locals say you could smell the river before you could see it. Author Wilma Dykeman summed up the French Broad’s state in the ‘50s: “It’s too thick to drink and too thin to plow.”“It’s dramatically cleaner than it used to be, thanks largely to the Clean Water Act,” Carson says. “Even just eight years ago, I couldn’t convince anyone to go tubing with me on the river. Now, the river is packed with tubers and boaters. That’s a good sign.”Hopefully, it’s a sign of good things to come. Carson is still concerned about the amount of bacteria in the river. There’s still a good bit of agricultural runoff affecting water quality. And a power plant east of Asheville leaches heavy metals into the groundwater. Keeping the river clean is a constant battle that will have Carson in his boat, sneaking around like Natty Bumppo for years to come, but that’s one of the reasons he pushed so hard to create the paddle trail.“Everyone points to the economic benefits of paddle trails, which are significant,” Carson says. “But the main reason we wanted to implement this trail was to prompt environmental protection. If you can get folks on the river canoeing and camping and tubing, those people will develop a bigger sense of stewardship. We want to leverage that enthusiasm to better protect the French Broad.”After packing up our bourbon and tents, we continue the languid paddle west toward Asheville. The Biltmore Estate occupies a shocking amount of riverside acres near town, and we see the occasional family riding on horseback through the pastoral backyard of the Vanderbilts. The mimosas and bacon and eggs helped put me in the proper state of mind for a canoe trip, where the biggest concern I have is trying to find a good place to beach the canoe for a bathroom break.We see more people on the river the closer we get to town: kayakers and tubers, outfitters who run shuttles, the occasional rope swing. Carson spends half of the morning lying down in his canoe, letting the current carry him downstream. At one point, I hear him quote David Wooderson from Dazed and Confused: “This is living. L.I.V.I.N.”None of us are ready for the trip to end when we reach our take out. For a few minutes, we talk about continuing the trip. We could just head farther west past Asheville to the next campsite somewhere downstream for another night. We have a quarter bottle of bourbon left. A few beers. We’ll need food, but we could work that out.Alas, we all have children to go home to. Deadlines and responsibilities. But it’s comforting to know that the opportunity exists. It’s in my backyard. I can hit the river and just keep going for as long as I can take it, or until I run out of booze and food.Paddle the French BroadPlan on nine days to run the whole 140-mile river trail. You’ll paddle the winding headwaters that stretch through Pisgah National Forest then hit easy water and farmland as you make your way towards Asheville. Expect mild whitewater near Marshall and big whitewater on the edge of Hot Springs.Carson’s favorite section surrounds Marshall, where two-miles of mild whitewater lead to Evan’s Island, a campsite in the middle of the stream, followed by three miles of more mild whitewater. Here, the mountains rise straight from the riverbanks.600245_627666713910133_801696258_nPhoto Courtesy of the French Broad RiverkeeperPaddle Trail Info: wnca.orgOutfitter: Asheville Adventure Rentals has boats and will run shuttles (ashevilleadventurerentals.com).Paddle MoreFive more canoe trails with paddle-in-only campsitesGreenbrier River Trail, W.Va. This 80-mile canoe trail has mild rapids and campsites every five miles. Bonus: a crushed-gravel bike path parallels the river, making self-shuttling easy for multi-sport adventurers. greenbrierrailtrailstatepark.com Upper James River Water Trail, Va. Paddle 45 miles of the Upper James backcountry through valleys and farmland. You’ll see some class II whitewater and camp at a mix of private and forest service campgrounds. upperjamesriverwatertrail.comTennessee River Blueway This could be the perfect urban adventure. The blueway runs 50 miles from Chickamauga Dam south through downtown Chattanooga to the Nickajack Dam. Island camping galore, even downtown. canoetennessee.com Etowah River Water Trail The 165-mile Etowah River Trail is still a work in progress, but if you paddle the full length, you’ll pass Indian Mounds, skirt hip towns like Ellijay, and see some of North Georgia’s wildest country. etowahwatertrail.org Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, South Carolina Don’t let the color of the water full you, this blackwater river could be the cleanest stream on this list. Paddle by cypress swamps and camp in tree houses during this 57-mile journey. canoesc.comlast_img read more

Queen Bee & The Honeylovers – Live in Asheville!!

first_imgBRO – Tell me about how the inspiration came to make a record steeped in Asheville history. WM – Fresh, hot biscuits! Or maybe in a cup of mint tea from the garden. The stories contained on the appropriately titled Asheville dig deep into the mountain town’s history, telling stories of local speakeasies and tailor shops, tales of love gone awry, and highlighting local iconic spots such as Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore. Question – “Cornelia’s Masquerade” tells the story of Cornelia, eccentric heiress and member of what iconic family that built Biltmore? WM – I’d been on maternity leave for over a year when, in October of 2017, my old friend and bass player, Trevor Stoia, called me up to sing some jazz dates with his group, Hot Point Trio, at the Biltmore. I had so much fun and decided to put together a little swing group of my own. So I called up Michael Gamble, one of my oldest friends, and he jumped in on saxophone. I’d been in a traditional jazz band with Michael called The Gamblers and we invited our piano player from that group, James Posedel, to join us. Mattick Frick was a new friend. He’d made a name for himself as a drummer in Sirius B, The Resonant Rogues, and other bands around town, and was just starting to play jazz guitar professionally. I loved his style and voice and we shared a vision for creating a dreamy, nostalgic sound. I’m happy to say that I consider all the folks I play with close friends, which is pretty important considering how much time we spend together. I think it’s safe to say that all of us are pretty goofy and definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s refreshing to have a project totally unconcerned with being cool. I am a student of history, so when an artist takes on historical material as songwriting inspiration, of course I get interested. BRO – We are featuring “The Legend of Zelda Fitzgerald” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the history behind that one? WM – This one started out as a waltz I wrote in my sleep for my husband. I woke up with it fully composed and I went straight to the piano to get it down before I forgot it. We danced our first dance to it at our wedding. And a snippet of that original song is preserved in the intro “Dreamer’s Waltz.” Then James Posedel, our pianist, helped me write a bridge for it and turn it into a swing tune. When it came to to choose lyrical content for it, I was drawn to Zelda’s story. I suffered from anxiety and depression in the postpartum after my son was born and felt intense sympathy for the mental illness Zelda lived with for most of her life. How many people, and especially women, ended up institutionalized because they lacked access to good therapy, knowledge of diet and exercise, etc.? Would I have ended up like her if I had lived in those times? My husband was my rock during that time, as. F. Scott was Zelda’s, although, of course, their marriage was fraught with tremendous conflict. Still, I felt enough of a kinship to use some of their story to tell some of ours. Because this past weekend’s show sold out, Queen Bee & The Honeylovers will be hosting an encore performance on Friday, May 3rd, at Isis Music Hall, and Trail Mix wants to give you a shot to snag a pair of coveted tickets to the show! Whitney Moore, lead singer of Asheville’s swing outfit Queen Bee & The Honeylovers, recently penned a collection of songs rooted in the history of her hometown, Asheville, North Carolina. WM – As a fourth generation Asheville native, it’s bittersweet to watch Asheville change so quickly. As big hotels and condos go up, the landscape is changing dramatically, often destroying, or at least overshadowing, the very historic places and stories people come here to see. I wanted to share those stories, and sometimes with a bit of artistic license, dig further into them. Many of the songs were inspired by stories my grandparents told me, which I then went and looked up in the Pack Library North Carolina Room. And, of course, many were taken from local legends. On a personal note, I found studying history, and especially the history of this place where my roots go so deep, comforting during a time of upheaval and cynicism. It helped me to keep things in perspective and to remember that this is just one small moment in the grand scheme of things. BRO – Honey goes best on . . . Take a shot at the trivia question down below. A winner of two to this Friday’s show will be chosen from all correct responses received by Thursday (May 2nd) at noon. BRO – How did you go about putting together this particular hive of musicians? WM – So excited! I’ve gone to great pains to fill this album with little shout outs and tidbits for people to catch if they’re listening closely. I really hope it helps them feel as rooted to this place as I do and to celebrate our culture and history. By submitting your answer, you are not being added to any mailing list. Your information is kept private and never shared with anyone. I recently caught up with Whitney Moore to talk with her about writing songs in her sleep, the stories behind these Asheville songs, and just how yummy honey can be. For more information on Queen Bee & the Honeylovers and how you can grab a copy of the new record, be sure to check out the band’s website. BRO – How excited are you to share these songs with your hometown friends?last_img read more