By Bailey Faulkner
The High Country may play host to some of the country’s most famous traveling musicians and artists, but this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains offers some homegrown talent of its own. Boone local and internationally-renowned embodiment of all things rock Melissa Reaves will take to Neighborhood Yoga for an “intimately explosive concert” with longtime friend and fellow musician Masa Takahashi this Friday, June 30.
“I can’t think of a better, more energetically appropriate place for this show. The space is truly magical and regal — a perfect complement to the music,” Reaves said.
Reaves’ show at Neighborhood Yoga, located above the historic Farmers Hardware store in downtown Boone, is just one show in Reaves’ upcoming tour of the Carolinas with Takahashi. The Boone native is excited for the chance to share a hometown stage with her friend of over two decades.
“We’ve been friends for over 23 years,” Reaves said.
The dynamic duo first met while attending a jam session in Somerville, Massachusetts just down the road from their homes in Boston. The jam session randomly paired each musician with another attendee to ensure that each resulting jam was comprised of complete strangers. Before long, Reaves was able to recognize the luck in her pairing with Takahashi.
“There was just something different about him,” Reaves reflected.
Giving Takahashi a recording of some of her music, Reaves returned to Boston, spending her time performing around the area. Reaves began to receive seemingly incessant calls from Takahashi asking to meet up, so she finally decided to give in to the Japanese-born musician’s request. That decision marks a major turning point in Reaves’ career as a musician.
“I met up with him and he had learned every one of the tunes on the CD note for note. That was so impressive to me.”
Takahashi’s determination, along with his uncanny ability to mesh sonically with his fellow stagemate, is one of the key reasons Reaves continues looking forward to performances together.
“He is one of the most committed musicians I know. And he has been that way especially to me in my career. He, like none other, is so gifted at anticipating my next move. He seems to play what I’m hearing in my head,” Reaves said with a joyful tone. “He’s so intuitive, and I feel like we have a special chemistry together.”
You can expect that sense of anticipation and intuition from musicians with over twenty years of experience playing together, but for Reaves and Takahashi, that all clicked almost immediately after first playing together.
Since then, the two have recorded three albums and a number of singles and toured the country showcasing their love for roots rock with experimentation.
The duo’s show at Neighborhood Yoga resulted from a “negative turned to a positive,” Reaves said. Originally booked for another local venue, Reaves found out the last-minute news that that venue would not be available for Friday’s show. A blessing in disguise, the cancellation made it possible for Reaves and Takahashi to relocate to Neighborhood Yoga, which arguably serves as a much more fitting venue for the performance.
“I can’t think of a better environment for the show. It transitioned into an even more awesome location, which I honestly think is going to be perfect for what Masa and I do,” Reaves rejoiced.
If you like what you see and hear, stay tuned for exciting news on Reaves’ upcoming album, Bitter Pear, set for release sometime this fall. Reaves has been happy to work on the project with New York City-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Bellar. You can learn more about Bellar here. The new album is currently in the mixing stage.
“Everybody will be hearing about that nonstop from me,” Reaves laughed.
Reaves’ and Takahashi’s show at Neighborhood Yoga will kick off at 8 p.m., with doors set for 7:30 p.m. Neighborhood Yoga’s ideal location in downtown Boone offers ample parking and a great opportunity to grab some food or drinks before the show.
To learn more about the event, click here. The duo will also perform a set of dance-inducing blues at Reckless Arts in downtown Boone on Thursday for the venue’s up-and-coming Blues Dance series.
Don’t miss out on your chance to see one of the High Country’s fieriest performers this week!
Check out these videos of Reaves below.