On Saturday, Oct. 20, during the Woolly Worm Festival, the Babylon Brothers and special guest Matt Hemond will be performing at Elevations Tavern and Grill in Sugar Mountain. The music of the night will be performed as a tribute to Steely Dan.
Elevations Tavern and Grill first opened June 1. Owner Ed Plante first delved into the restaurant world about 15 years ago with a hot dog cart that he ran alongside his daughter, Kaylee.
“My daughter Kaylee and myself sat on the side of the road up here in Foscoe where the zipline used to be,” Plante said. “We used to sit there on the side of the road selling hot dogs. It’s like the rags-to-riches story.”
The two eventually upgraded to a restaurant in Beech Mountain where they maintained successful business for nine and a half years. This upgrade also allowed Plante to incorporate music and entertainment into his business.
“Different bands would come in there that we would have on a regular basis,” Plante said. “Things worked really well.”
Fast forward to this year at Elevations Tavern and Grill where Plante has transitioned into upscale dining and fine entertainment, serving delicious foods like filets, trout, crab cakes, calamari fries and great bison burgers. The restaurant features a full liquor bar and serves a selection of craft beers and a draft beer tap. The restaurant has recently started serving breakfast, as well, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The full menu is featured on its website and can be accessed by clicking the “Menu” tab at the top of the page.
Plante came up with the idea of incorporating a tribute band with the Babylon Brothers and Bill Close. He remembers Andy Page questioning who they would even tribute with their music.
“I think we should try Steely Dan,” Plante said in response to Page’s inquisition. “I think that would be a great place to start out with.”
They all loved the idea and pieced the program together, adopting the name “Babylon Brothers” in tribute of the Steely Dan song, “Babylon Sisters.”
Steely Dan is a 70’s American rock band with influences of jazz, funk and R&B. The Babylon Brothers will perform the songs (in no particular order) “Chain Lightning,” “Reeling in the years,” “Peg,” “Golden Earrings,” “Hey Nineteen” and “Kid Charlemagne.”
“Everybody knows their music because they’re so unique,” Plante said about Steely Dan. “We’ve always loved their music. I’ve seen them in concert several times so I guess you could put me down as being a fan of them.”
The Babylon Brothers’ music mainly focuses on influences of jazz, making their tribute to Steely Dan a felicitous one. Band members include brothers Andy and Zack Page, Jim Schaller on the vox, Aaron Price on the keys, Rick Hefner on the saxophone and John Spurrier on the drums. Elevations Tavern and Grill will rearrange the dining room in order to accommodate the band and audience for the perfect entertainment experience.
Elevations Tavern and Grill will also feature a live performance by Matt Hemond in the bar area. Hemond is described as a one-man show with a versatile range and talent.
“We call him the piano man,” Plante said. “He plays everything. He played Queen; he turned around and played Billy Joel; he played Stevie Wonder; he played The Beatles and then he’d pull out his guitar and play Led Zeppelin.”
Since the Steely Dan tribute starts at 9 p.m., Hemond will perform different genres and styles of music.
Hemond—The Piano Man—will perform at the bar area from 6 to 9 p.m. The Babylon Brothers will begin performing at 9 p.m. until midnight.
Elevations Tavern and Grill is located at 3990 NC-105 South in Banner Elk in front of Lowes Foods.
Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be accessed by visiting the restaurant or visiting Eventbrite.com.