Asheville, North Carolina’s vibrant culture comes to life through intricate art scenes and historic architecture. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city boasts an impressive downtown art district filled with galleries and museums. One of Thrillist’s “America’s Twelve Greatest Music Cities”, Asheville regularly produces stars in the music industry. Roberta Flack, Luke Combs, and Chase Rice are some examples of the extraordinary locally raised talent.
While the road has been paved, there currently exists a new wave of talent eager to display their artistic visions and expressions to the world. Lua Flora is riding that wave and endeavors to do just that. Their music combines backgrounds of bluegrass and classical music and is also inspired by the likes of Steel Pulse and Culture.
The group already shows great experience and chemistry with the promise of deepening connection and success in the years to come. While Lua Flora gears up for more shows in the fall, they will also release singles throughout the year, including “Little Butterfly”—their most recent single available now via streaming platforms. Face the Current connected with Evan Button (vocals and guitar) to learn more about the group’s origins and sound.
Ty Johnson: Lua Flora is based out of Asheville, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains. How have the surrounding mountains and nature influenced the sound and feel of the group?
TJ: There is a smooth and sincere vibe to the music that you guys make, blending the genres of folk, reggae, and world. Who or what are some of the biggest inspirations and motivations when it comes to the production of your songs?
EB: We all come from different backgrounds, musically and culturally. Our biggest motivation is to find that balance where each of those backgrounds is represented. Roots reggae-acts like Steel Pulse and Culture have been some of my major inspirations, but the other guys have big bluegrass and classical backgrounds. I think each of those influences shine in different ways on this track.
TJ: Your newest single, “Little Butterfly”, was inspired by a collection of Alan Watts’ lectures. You said, “Little Butterfly came out of the need to not feel lonely when I moved to a new city. Through those lectures, I found that I was surrounded by everything I needed.” Can you give us a short glimpse into the mind and ideas of Alan Watts that led to the creation of this piece?
EB: The one Alan Watts concept that really started this whole idea for me is that a human is no different than a blade of grass. Each are extensions of the universe. Just like a human, a blade of grass is living and breathing. It may not have the same intellectual capabilities that are ultimately connected to the ego, but it is an equal partner in this journey.
TJ: “Little Butterfly” explores the connectivity of human beings to every living organism, and the way in which this relates to a positive mindset. How do you find peace or solace in the fact that we each play our part in a much bigger picture?
EB: It is hard to feel alone when surrounded by thousands, if not millions, of living beings all the time. Yeah, I might not be able to have conversations with them, but there is energy there that you can feel when you are open to it. That has helped me find comfort in many challenging times. A walk in nature can instantly rebound my mindset due to that fact, and I will always be thankful for that.
TJ: When it comes to the music industry, it is very important to get your songs out there and engage with your fans. How do you make sure to stay connected with your fans and listeners, and how do these individuals influence the songs that you create?
EB: Especially during the past year, this has primarily been through social media. I think taking the time to listen to everyone’s perspective is a crucial element of this. It has certainly caused me to be more open and patient. One of the most motivating feelings for me is when a listener shares how a song helped them through a challenging time, as that is how a lot of these songs start out for me. Getting to share that connection with someone is unparalleled.
TJ: Lua Flora is comprised of yourself (vocals, guitar), Sean Gorham (bass, charango), Hinton Edgerton (mandolin, bass, harmony vocals), and Austin Martin (percussion), and you have been playing together for more than six years. What are some of the memorable moments that stand out from the group’s time together?
EB: Late nights crammed into a car. Those conversations are special. Also, that moment when we get to hear what a song eventually becomes, from its beginning in our rehearsal space, is one of my favorites. Especially on “Little Butterfly”, the entire team put so much energy and thought into the production and it was such a big moment to hear the final product.
TJ: You guys really seem to be finding your style and getting comfortable playing with each other. What can you tell your fans about your upcoming plans for the group?
EB: This single is the first of a batch of songs we recorded earlier this year. We will be dropping those steadily for the remainder of 2021 and look forward to getting back to shows this fall.
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