Alien Music Club is an eclectic blend of alternative music in diverse musical genres ranging from all forms of rock to jazz to funk to anything in between with intelligent lyrics and a playful sense of humor.

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So much happening right now! We have booked two repeat shows of "The British Are Coming" one at Isis Music Hall (a more intimate, scaled down version) in the Lounge on Saturday January 25th, 2020; A full band version at White Horse Black Mountain on April 18th, 2020. Closer in, we're looking at a Peggy Ratusz & Daddy Longlegs Dance Party at Isis on Saturday November 2nd, 2019; a Bonnie Raitt Tribute at Ambrose West on Friday November 8th, 2019; an Etta James Tribute at Isis on Saturday November 30th, 2019; and numerous other shows that I will post on Facebook! Very excited and thankful for all these gigs and shows!


Our British Invasion Tribute show “The British Are Coming” last Saturday at Isis Music Hall was a huge success! All I can say is thank you thank you thank you! To everyone who helped make this dream a reality, this magnificent band, wonderful venue, amazing friends and appreciative crowd that filled the fabulous Isis Music Hall to capacity! I sincerely hope we get to present “The British Are Coming” again in the future, don’t know where or when. Right now just basking in the glow and feeling so much gratitude! Much love and peace to you all!




On Saturday September 14th, Alien Music Club Presents "The British Are Coming"! The British Invasion Re-Imagined, with elements of Jazz, Country, Western Swing, Alt Rock and Funk! Great fun with top notch musicians in a fantastic setting, Isis Music Hall in Asheville! Featuring Peggy Ratusz (vocals/percussion), Bruce Lang (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Pearlman (guitar/vocals), Grant Cuthbertson (bass), Micah Thomas (drums/percussion/vocals), Ryan Stigmon (saxophone/pedal steel), and Aileen “Big Al” Pearlman (vocals), this is an event not to be missed! Expect tears of joy and an uplifted spirit! Tickets $10/advance $12/door. Doors 6:00pm, Show 8:30pm
Tickets and Information Available at: 



Friday August 9th at 7pm, "Paul Simon Meets The Beatles at Summer Tracks"! This will likely be the last performance of this consistantly sold out show. Join us in Rogers Park Amphitheater in the Town of Tryon, North Carolina Bring a comfy chair, and cooler if you like. Summer Tracks is a "cooler friendly" event for sensible, of-age patrons, but we do NOT sell alcohol. You can certainly bring your own, but we encourage you to purchase your evening's beer/wine from The Tryon Bottle just down the street.


The Bonnie Raitt Tribute show at The Grey Eagle here in Asheville was a huge success! What a wonderful, sold out audience! We look forward to doing it again on November 8th, which is Bonnie's birthday! Big thanks to everyone who came out! Peggy Ratusz killed it, as did Ben Bjorlie, Aaron Price, Rob Giesler and Kelly Jones. There are some video clips on Facebook.

Also, here are some recent videos from our Paul Simon/Beatles tribute show that we will again present at The Tryon Fine Arts Summer Tracks Series on August 9th, 2019:




Coming up on Sunday June 30th, we reprise our sold out show from 3 years ago: Love Letter: Bonnie Raitt Blues at The Grey Eagle. It will be a partially seated show, with plenty of room to dance! TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE AT THE GREY EAGLE WEBSITE! FOLLOW THIS LINK:



Great News! Another Encore Performance of "Paul Simon Meets The Beatles" is scheduled for one of Asheville's finest venues Isis Music Hall! Sunday, April 21st at 7:30pm! Tickets at

Scaling down obscure and beloved Beatles tunes, and bridging the acoustic sensibilities of Simon with the rock aesthetic of the Beatles, Paul Simon Meets The Beatles will soothe, move and groove you!
Guitarist and virtuoso, Jonathan Pearlman’s (aka, JP) influences are far-reaching, absorbing Lennon/McCartney, Hendrix, Clapton, and Motown. Guitarist and virtuoso, Jonathan Pearlman’s (aka, JP) influences are far-reaching, absorbing Lennon/McCartney, Hendrix, Clapton, and Motown. Jazz-fusion bands of the early 70’s were also influential, like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Frank Zappa. He also hosts the weekly Alien Music Club Jazz Jam at Barley’s Taproom in Asheville every Thursday night. “It’s a great opportunity to meet and share musical ideas with some of the best players while at the same time mentoring young musicians!”
Hendersonville, NC based guitarist Eric Congdon has a low-key virtuosity. His style radiates both skill and charm. 
Peggy Ratusz is a well-established presence in the Asheville music scene. Chosen as Best Blues Artist by Mountain Xpress for ten years running, she’s a willing servant to Jazz, Blues and Old School Soul.
Where would most any notable act in the area be without Drummer/percussionist Micah Thomas plays with panache and with the heart of an old soul. An affable and charming young man, his professionalism and skill are what make him an “in-demand” and “go-to” player.
Plus, for this performance, we are adding electric violinist Paul McIntire. Paul McIntire is a seasoned professional Violinist with decades of varied experience. He creates a unique blend of artistic expression, technical prowess and audience appeal. His extensive repertoire encompasses a diverse collection of musical styles.



Sold out show (again!) for Alien Music Club's "Paul Simon Meets The Beatles" show at The Artisan of Flat Rock last Saturday! This will be the last performance of this particular show, at least for the time being, but another is in the works! BIG thanks to everyone members, audience and the management of this outstanding venue!  And especially to Ken Voltz for this photo!!!


Saturday February 23rd at 7:30pm, Alien Music Club presents “Paul Simon Meets The Beatles” at the Artisan of Flat Rock. Paul Simon and The Beatles provide the soundtrack for many peoples’ lives! No matter where else I may go, musically speaking, I seem to always return to my roots with Simon/Lennon/McCartney for inspiration. That’s why I’m stoked to bring this heartfelt, rocking show to the new Artisan of Flat Rock! This is an mostly-acoustic show features Peggy Ratusz (vocals; percussion), Eric Congdon (guitar; vocals), Grant Cuthbertson (bass), Micah Thomas (percussion) and myself (guitar; vocals). Many of these tunes ring true now more than ever! Expect an exciting, thoughtful and uplifting performance!



Lots of exciting developments on tap in 2019! The Alien Music Club Jazz Jam at Barley's begins new, earlier Winter hours in January (8-11pm), and continues to draw nice crowds and new talent. "Elvis, The Early Years" takes the stage at Ambrose West on Tuesday, January 8th at 8pm! We reprise our "Paul Simon Meets The Beatles" show on Saturday, February 23rd at 7:30pm in Flat Rock, NC at a wonderful, new venue called The Artisan of Flat Rock. Also, Another "top secret" tribute show is in the works! And, two album projects are progressing! Happy New Year to all, and thank you for your interest in all things Alien! JP


I am at a loss for words but I’ll try anyway! Packed house full of happy people singing along to our favorite Paul Simon and Beatles tunes at the BLOCK off Biltmore last night! My Heart is full of gratitude and we will be making a generous donation to one of our favorite charities, the Eliada Home for Children! Special thanks to Campbell MacQueen and crew for making us feel so welcome & at home. Michael our engineer was fantastic and it just happened to be his 50th Birthday! My Alien Music Club bandmates outdid themselves: Peggy Ratusz, Eric Congdon, Micah Thomas & Grant Cuthbertson ! And all our wonderful friends who came out to show their love...just overwhelming! Thanks to all, and let’s do it again soon!


We are happy to announce an encore presentation of last May's Paul Simon/Beatles Tribute! It will be Friday November 2nd, 2018 at THE BLOCK off biltmore in Asheville, NC!
The concept of scaling down obscure and beloved Beatles tunes hatched during a conversation Peggy Ratusz shared with Jonathan Pearlman several years ago. They figured, with all the tribute and specialty shows taking place around the country, no one had truly done much with Beatles tunes, other than copy them verbatim. Pearlman has been brainstorming arrangements and Ratusz tests them out during their many acoustic shows together. Encouraged by the applause they receive each time they do their versions of classics like Oh Darlin, Two Of Us, Back in the USSR, I’ll Follow the Sun, they decided it was time to put the finishing touches on these songs and present them in a special show. Because the two of them grew up listening to, learning and playing Paul Simon tunes, they determined it to be a no brainer, to throw some of his greatest hits into this special night, bridging the acoustic sensibilities of Simon with the rock and roll aesthetic of the Beatles. Their buddies Eric Congdon on guitar and vocals and Grant Cuthbertson on upright bass along with Micha Thomas on kit and percussion, will add the missing links to the arrangements and play key roles in bringing their concepts/arrangements to fruition! For ONE NIGHT ONLY: “Bridge”, Paul Simon meets the Beatles will soothe, move and groove you!



This will be a rocking reprise of a show we did a couple of years ago! Can't wait!


Friday night was AMAZING! (Alien Music Club’s Paul Simon/Beatles tribute show at Ambrose West!) The room was full, and everyone had a great time, especially the band! Feeling very thankful and grateful. And so much love, applause and even standing ovations! I’m kind of sad and relieved at the same time after so many months of preparation and rehearsals, but hopefully we will do it again. Gracious thanks to everyone, especially my band mates, Peggy Ratusz, Eric Congdon, Grant Cuthbertson and Micah Thomas! You Guys Rock! And to Ambrose West where everyone made us feel so welcome, especially our Sound Tech (Bernard)! He made it sound SO good! (Thanks to Kate Kinney Barber for the photo! Video to come from Frank Zipperer!)


Friday May 11th, Alien Music Club presents “Simon & Garfunkel Bridge The Beatles” at the new Ambrose West. Paul Simon and The Beatles provide the soundtrack for many peoples’ lives, mine included! No matter where else I may go, musically speaking, I seem to always return to my roots with Simon/Lennon/McCartney for inspiration. That’s why I’m stoked to bring this heartfelt, rocking show to the gorgeous, new Ambrose West listening room in West Asheville (thanks to Sam Katz)! This is an all-acoustic show featuring Peggy Ratusz (vocals; percussion), Eric Congdon (guitar; vocals), Grant Cuthbertson (bass), Micah Thomas (percussion) and myself (guitar; vocals). Some of these tunes ring true now more than ever! Expect an exciting, thoughtful and uplifting performance!



Announcing our Encore Performance of Alien Music Club featuring Best in Blues Vocalist Peggy Ratusz: “Out of the Blue(s)” at Isis Music Hall Sunday January 14th at 7:30pm! This REPEAT performance is BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND and features inspired interpretations of tunes by diverse artists such as Gregg Allman, Chuck Berry, Joan Osborne, The Eurythmics, and many more, crossing over in styles from Jazz to Blues to Soul and beyond. Peggy Ratusz, Best in Blues vocalist will be featured as well as saxophonist, Frank Southecorvo and Alex Taub on keys! If you didn't catch the show back in November at Altamont Theatre, here's your chance again, cause this is guaranteed to be one you don’t want to miss!






Here are some excellent pictures from Alien Music Club "Out of the Blues" performance at The Altamont Theatre here in Asheville, November 18th, 2017. Video is forthcoming. All images and video Copyright©2017 Frank Zipperer, The Music Shooter.


I’m pleased to announce the first Alien Music Club show (other than the weekly Jazz Jam) in 12 years at the Altamont Theatre November 18th, 2017!  It will feature Peggy Ratusz, chosen as Best Blues Artist by Mountain Xpress for ten years running! More information to follow.


Dosta (Remastered) is now available on CD Baby and Bandcamp along with Bonus Tracks! Check it out on the Music Page! Thanks for listening!


The Alien Music Club Jazz Jam family! Seven years and still going strong!


Great picture by Frank Zipperer of us at The Salvage Station is Asheville! Looking forward to playing there again next Saturday May 20th!


CLC at Salvage Station (photo by Frank Zipperer)


Every once in a while, as a musician, you get unsolicited praise from unexpected places. A teacher from London asked permission to use an Alien Music Club song in a school project by 9 and 10 year olds in a science film they made! “We are a small school in south-west London, and have used your amazing song ‘Crash Landing’ in a science film we have made. We were wondering if we could have your permission to use it in the film and then submit to a school competition…Lots of lovely 9 and 10 years olds would be thrilled at this opportunity and we really hope you could help us out. A new generation awaits to discover your music!” Of course, I was more than happy to grant permission!


The AMC Jazz Jam January Lineup Poster!! Brad Pope does it again!!


What better time than the Holidays, and just days before Christmas, to come together as one – audience and entertainers - to lift up our voices in song? Best of WNC 2016 in 3 categories, Peggy Ratusz brings together some of the finest instrumentalists and vocalists in the area for this annual concert tradition! ‘Everybody is a Star’ is a fitting moniker to umbrella 2 sets of gospel, inspirational, uplifting affirmation songs made famous by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Al Green, The Beatles, Mary Gauthier, Nina Simone, The Staple Singers, Patty Griffin, Sting, Maria Muldaur, Curtis Mayfield, Joan Osborne and more! Sharing the stage is this stunning line up of Asheville Stars: Rhoda Weaver, Ryan Barber, Aaron Price, Paula Hanke, Jonathn Pearlman, Mare Carmody, Ben Bjorlie, Ashley Heath, Grant Cuthbertson, Peggy Swain and Linda Mitchell. And of course your hostess for the evening, Blues Chanteuse, Peggy Ratusz! Everybody is a star; One big circle goin’ round and round!



Great Photo by stephen houseworth photography from our Etta James Tribute at Isis Music Hall back in April 2016! Peggy Ratusz and Paula Hanke on vocals; Jim Arrendell on drums/vocals; Alex Taub on piano; Grant Cuthbertson on bass; Jonathan Pearlman on guitar and Frank Southecorvo on saxophone.  It was a sold out show! We're doing it again on November 18th, 2016 at The White Horse in Black Mountain!


Etta James Tribute


New AMC original song "You Leave Me Speechless".



Brad Pope does these fantastic posters promoting our free Jazz Jam...very cool! Thanks Brad!


Great photo by Stephen Houseworth (copyright © stephen houseworth photography) from our 9/12/15 Bonnie Raitt Tribute at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall — with Peggy Ratusz, Michael Barnes, Ben Bjorlie, Aaron Price and Michael Hynes.


Bonnie Raitt Tribute


Blast from the past! I forgot about this one. Kudos to the great Robin Tolleson on drums!


R.I.P. David Bowie. You will be missed. It's all been said. I can only add my voice. His life was his art and his art was inspiration personified. He died with dignity, humor and creativity.


Sunday December 13th on the ISIS Main Stage in Asheville, it’s "Peggy Ratusz presents Jingle Belles and Beaus, a Holiday & Christmas Celebration!" — 8pm
Blues Chanteuse Ratusz puts together a cavalcade of Asheville’s best singers and instrumentalists for an exceptionally exciting show filled with traditional popular Christmas & seasonal songs. The Belles and Beaus Peggy’s brought together is a stellar line up indeed: Paula Hanke, Caitlin Krisko (lead singer of the Broadcast), Jesse Barry, Sidney Barnes, Krista Tortora, Evalina Everidge, Darlyn Cain, Aileen Pearlman, Charlotte Sommers and Briana Hollifield. Aaron Price on piano/keys, Jonathan Pearlman on guitars, Michael Hynes on bass and Justin Watt on drums!


Excited to announce that an independent film company in Brazil has expressed an interest in using one of my tunes in an upcoming production! Julio Benck, director for Fradê Produções will be using the track "Ways To Die" from the album "Dosta" (see music page), in the film  "Compreensão".  Big thanks, Julio, and can't wait to see the film!


AMC Jazz Jam off the hook last night! Smokin' Sonny Rollins set followed by an "army" of badass sax players including a rare appearance by Ruby Mayfield, an unexpected performance on tubular bells(?) by Jason DeCristofaro, and those anonymous "tips" in the tip jar! Check out the Alien Music Club Facebook page (see 'Links') to see what I'm talking about!


Very excited to be performing a Bonnie Raitt Tribute this summer and fall, playing guitar with the very talented vocalist Peggy Ratusz, accompanied by a kick-ass group of musicians! We will be at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on July 3rd ( in the fall at ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall in Asheville. The band includes veteran musicians like Mike Barnes on guitar, Aaron Price on keys, Ben Bjorlie on drums and Michael Hynes on bass, among others!


This Wednesday April 8th, I’m very excited to be featured at Jazz Night at the Phoenix in Brevard along with the fantastic house band: Jason DeCristofaro on Vibes, Cameron Austin on Bass, and Bill Berg on Drums. We’ll be doing some of my original material along with some tasty jazz standards! — 8 - 11 PM, no cover.

Sunday, April 12th is a very special event at Tressa’s from 6 to 9pm —“Hitsville, Hipsters to Hippies, Sounds of the 60’s” an ultra-cool and groovy fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis. The house band will be Alex Taub (Keys), Jim Arrendell (Drums/Vocals), JP (Guitar/Vocals) and Jake Wolf (Bass). Peggy Ratusz and Anne Marie Garic put this event together and Peggy reached out to many great vocalists and assigned iconic tunes to match their vibe! Tax deductible cover/donation for the event is $15.00 adults; $10.00 teens and college students; $5.00 for kids 12 and under. Don't let the suggested donation deter you. NO ONE will be turned away at the door. Give what you can. It will be a "FUN"raiser for MS after all!


AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's in Asheville keeps going strong, and I'm proud to say is a vital part of the music scene! The band killed last night, burning through a set of tunes by the great Lee Morgan! Meanwhile, new tunes always in the works, and frequent gigs with wonderfully talented musicians. All this and a vibrant, beautiful city! What more could a person ask for?


The Alien Music Club Jazz Jam is still going strong, in spite of the winter weather! The quality of musicianship and variety of players is astounding! I'm quite honored to be part of it all. The studio work continues, albeit at a slower pace...waiting for the next wave of inspiration. Last Sunday night's performance "I Got A Right To Sing The Blues" at The ISIS in Asheville featuring vocalists Peggy Ratusz and Harry Schulz was a huge success! Upcoming gigs include Southern App Brewing in Hendersonville this Saturday 2/28 with Peggy Ratusz, The Purple Onion in Saluda, NC with Joseph Hasty on 3/21.



It has been a very busy summer with the AMC Jazz Jam, gigs with the Archrivals, with Stephaniesid and several guest appearances with local jazz artists! Really fortunate to have so many talented and gracious friends to perform with! Laying down trax for the new Stephaniesid album, and continuing my own writing and recording. Taking a breather from live performances this fall as Crybaby and The Archrivals go on hiatus. Just added a new CD Baby music player. Enjoy!


Two, groovy Archrivals shows coming up this weekend! Saturday 6/21 at The Phoenix Lounge in Brevard, NC 9pm, and ISIS Sunday Jazz Showcase in West Asheville 6/22 @ 8pm!


So proud to have been a part of this wonderful band/event!


SO glad Spring is finally here! Working on new tunes as always, plus some cover tunes. One is a collaboration with my son, Jaron Pearlman. The Alien Music Club Jazz Jam every Thursday night at Barley's Taproom in Asheville continues to thrive and grow! Who would have thought we'd still be doing this almost three years straight? I'm so fortunate to be able to share the stage night after night with world class players and singers!


Looking forward to opening for Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at Gottrocks in Greenville, SC tonight with my band The Archrivals! Planning to sit in on song or two with Jonathan and his amazing band!


Here is a link to my son Jaron Pearlman's new CD "Musings". It is amazing!


What an incredible way to bring in 2014 playing with my dear friends in Stephaniesid at ISIS in Asheville! Special thanks to FRANK ZIPPERER for this perfect picture!



Happy New Year from Alien Music Club! If you are near the Asheville area, please join us at THE ISIS Restaurant & Music Hall where I am pleased to be performing with two of my favorite bands "Crybaby" and "Stephaniesid"! Details here:


Free AMC downloads on Bandcamp! Individual tracks or entire albums. Enjoy...Cheers!


So much going on these days! The weekly AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's continues to grow in popularity. I am looking forward to numerous bookings with The Archrivals and with Crybaby! If you are in the Asheville area and would like information on these and other musical events, email me at and I will add you to my weekly email blast! Cheers, JP

BIG thanks to all who came out for our Wes Montgomery Tribute last week at the Jazz Jam, to the Archrivals show at Jack of Hearts, and to the Crybaby show at ISIS! What a wonderful, memorable week. We love you!


Man, LOTS of guitarists, bassists and keyboardists at The Jazz Jam at last night...probably because of John Mclaughlin and his band down the street at The Orange Peel! Big, energetic crowd filled with mostly stunned musicians. After the Chick Corea set, stage was packed all night and the music off the hook! Highlights include Stephanie Morgan, Andy Page, Chris Morgan and an amazing drummer/keyboard couple from DC, as well as this funky as hell badass bassist who's name I didn't get. Perhaps we should get McLaughlin to play here more often?


This Thursday, May 16th, marks the 2-year Anniversary of the AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's! It's hard to believe that it was May 2011 when we first got the okay to bring our jazz jam to Barley's! We're very happy to say it is alive & well, thanks to all of you! Come help us celebrate with music by Wayne Shorter! Barley's Taproom, downtown Asheville, Thursdays from 9-midnight!

Nice review of the latest AMC album "Dosta"! Thanks to Bold Life Magazine and Brent Fleury!



A lot has been happening in Alien Music Club Land of late. We are performing songs from the new album in two bands I am proud to be part of, THE ARCHRIVALS and CRYBABY. In fact, The Archrivals will be headlining at Charlotte's Visulite Theatre on April 19th and featuring tunes by AMC! Meanwhile, the weekly AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's Taproom in Asheville, continues to grow! The sheer number and virtuosity of musicians is astounding. It takes place every Thursday at 9pm if you happen to visit our fair city. If you would like more information about when and where, this and that, please feel free to contact me ( and ask to be added to the "Asheville Jazz & Blues" update newsletter, which is emailed out once a week. Thanks for your interest in Alien Music Club, and all things alien and music!





The new Alien Music Club CD "DOSTA" is here!
Influenced by Roger Waters, Tom Waits, Donald Fagen, Ian Hunter, Dizzy Gillespie, Django Reinhardt, The Beatles, and so many others. No love songs, no politics. Introspective and wryly humorous. A bit of a manifesto...a document for anyone who cares.

This one is very special because my son, Jaron Pearlman, acted as producer and played/sang on several tunes. Will Mitchell added tracks and acted as co-producer and mastering engineer. Their prowess made this project come alive! Both of these young men are tremendous artists in their own right, so check them out on the "Links" page!


Great clip from last year's Archrivals show at The One Stop in Asheville!



Thanks to Frank Zipperer for this awesome pic from Stephaniesid Bele Chere performance 2012!


In the final stages of production on the new release! Expect the unexpected as AMC continues to morph and evolve. I am so excited to have my son Jaron Pearlman as co-producer on this project!  He's currently drummer for the Indigo Girls among his many projects and has been touring the country, playing some of the world's finest venues to sell-out crowds!  In addition, he's an excellent audio engineer with a degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta.  This is AMC's first project produced entirely on the ProTools platform, so the sound quality is superb!  The material, as I mentioned, is...well, different! All vocal tunes, no instrumentals. Stay tuned!


Excellent pics by Frank Zipperer of the AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's in Asheville!




Here is a link to a recent article written about me in Rapid River Magazine by Eddie LeShure!


Tomorrow night is my singing debut at Barley's here in Asheville! It's COLE PORTER night & these tunes must be sung! It's gonna be fun! Here's the setlist: Night and Day - I Love You - What Is This Thing Called Love - Iíve Got You Under My Skin - Just One of Those Things - All of You - I Love Paris




Tomorrow Night, March 20th, Alien Music Club will perform original jazz compositions at the Asheville Original Music Series at The Altamont Theatre. JP on guitar, Chuck Lichtenberger on piano, Zack Page on bass, Justin Watt & Tim Haney on drums! We start around 8pm. The first set features my original compositions, and the 2nd set is an open jam! For more info:

Last night I had the opportunity to play with a living legend...Ike Stubblefield! What a thrill! He's the real deal...cut his teeth with Motown artists like Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder. Backed up Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters and George Benson. He's still going strong kicking off 2012 with a new CD, featuring 5, new 2012 Grammy winners performing on it, and he himself performing on 29 Cd's last year CeeLo, Jimmy Herring and most recent Ruthie Foster"s "Let It Burn" to name a few...


Great article from Blue Ridge Now written by Robin Tolleson about me and the AMC Jazz Jam:

Published: Friday, February 17, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

I kind of got into jazz backwards," admits guitarist Jonathan Pearlman ("JP") of Alien Music Club. "I grew up listening to Clapton, Hendrix, Allman, blues-oriented stuff. Steely Dan had some of the best jazz guitarists ever. Jeff Beck has always been a huge influence. I listened to Stevie Wonder, and got into Brian Setzer.

"The more you listen, the more you realize that it all came from jazz and blues originally. That's the reservoir, and the deeper you get into it, the more hooked you are. (John) Scofield is one of my heroes because he straddles those worlds. He'll jump from traditional jazz into blues in a heartbeat."

Alien Music Club hosts a jazz jam session every Thursday at Barley's in Asheville. Keyboardist and co-emcee is Chuck Lichtenberger, with whom Pearlman also performs in the rock-jazz group The Archrivals. "Chuck's really the one that mentored me about jazz," he says, "and got this jam going too."

There's no one set lineup in Alien Music Club, but you'll often find Ben Bjorlie on drums, Zack Page on upright bass, Jason Rodriguez on sax and Justin Ray on trumpet. "The idea of a ‘club' fits it, actually. It's a great opportunity to meet people, rub elbows and talk about jazz and music in general. It's a shmooze," JP says.

"We have subs," he explains.

"Anybody who comes out on a regular basis and is interested and knows the tunes could sub when Chuck and I have a gig out of town. There's a great pool of talent here."

Aspiring young players have been joining the jam too. "A lot of 12- to 16-year-olds have been coming out and getting their first chance to play with more experienced guys," he says. "They're sharing their newfound love of jazz with us. We've also had a lot of vocalists come out. You never know what's going to happen."

Each week they highlight the music of a different jazz superstar during the first set. Pearlman posts the tunelist online in advance so that participants can "learn the head and get comfortable soloing over the changes."

"We do seven tunes by a specific composer — Wayne Shorter, Miles or Coltrane, Horace Silver, Ellington, Dizzy, Monk or Herbie (Hancock). All that fun, great stuff. It's timeless," JP says. "Some nights are a little harder than others, like Mingus. It's educational for me."

Most of the material is taken from the popular jazz songbook called The Real Book. "We're trying to put easier tunes first in the set so that kids can get up and play, and then go home and get ready for school the next day. Tunes like ‘Footprints,' ‘Night In Tunisia,' standards," he says.

"My goal is to be able to play the head on ‘Donna Lee,' to solo over ‘Giant Steps.' You can spend your life trying to conquer that hill," the guitarist says, smiling. "I love watching other people just play circles around me. That keeps me from getting smug. There's always somebody better."

There is no sign-up sheet at the jam. Lichtenberger patrols the floor to see who might perform during the more open-ended second set. "Chuck's good at pairing people together," he says. "He finds out who's there and who wants to play, and then puts together little bands. Each lineup plays a couple songs, and there are no rules except that you know how to play the song you call."

Occasionally, as at any jam, the train slides off the track. "You pick it back up," Pearlman says. "I've learned from this experience that you don't apologize, you don't admit defeat, you don't say anything about it, you just keep on going. You plough through it because maybe the next tune or the one after will be a real gem."

The AMC Jazz Jam features tunes by the great Sonny Rollins this Thursday 9pm at Barley's! tenor madness - st. thomas - strode road - doxy - airegin - pent up house (latin) - oleo - "Rollins is recognized by many for the length and quality of his career, one not easily matched in the world of music. His melodic sensibilities, playing style and solos have influenced several generations of musicians."



Alien Music Club has been asked to appear as part of the Asheville Original Music Series at the Altamont Theatre on March 20th. We will be performing my jazz compositions, many of which have never been played in public in a beautiful, acoustically-perfect, black box theatre setting! The show starts around 8pm. For more info:

The AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's, 9pm this Thursday Feb. 16th features compositions by DIZZY GILLISPIE! tour de force - a night in tunisia - woody n you - con alma - groovin high - manteca - salt peanuts - FREE as always!

The first Asheville Improvisational Music Festival is coming to The Magnetic Field Thursday Feb. 16th thru Saturday Feb. 18th! Here is a link to event pages: Performers include Like Mind Trio, Spork, Jonathan Scales, Shane Perlowin, The Page Brothers, and many more! The Archrivals will be performing on Saturday. This great event will shine a light on the Asheville music scene in new and exciting ways!

Also, my band The Archrivals will be performing live on the air at WNCW this Friday Feb. 17th @ 3pm! Tune us in if you can (you can stream from the website!) and come see us at Barley's in Spindale the same evening!!

The AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's, 9pm this Thursday Feb. 9th features compositions by Horace Silver! song for my father - nica's dream - sister sadie - peace - senor blues - opus de funk - mexican hip dance - Hope to see you there!

The AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's, 9pm this Thursday Feb. 2nd features compositions by Wayne Shorter! adam's apple - armageddon - black nile - fee fi fo fum - footprints - witch hunt - yes and no - FREE & FUN, as always!

The AMC Jazz Jam features Thelonius Monk this Thursday at Barley's 9pm! These are some of the more challenging Monk tunes!: bemsha swing - off minor - green chimneys - brilliant corners - ruby my dear - criss cross - epistrophy (latin)

I'm very excited about the new material we are working on for the next CD! It's definitely a departure from anything that's gone before! At the same time, it's drawing FROM everything that has gone before. No release date as yet, but I will keep you informed, right here! Happy New Year to all!

The AMC Jazz Jam really rocked last week! This Thursday, December 22nd, we will be covering tunes by Thelonius Monk: i mean u - blue monk - in walked bud - round midnite - rhythm a ning - well u needn't - straight no chaser - No Cover, All Ages Welcome, 9:00-12 midnight!

The AMC Jazz Jam Thursday night 12/15 @ Barley's will feature tunes by Herbie Hancock! maiden voyage - one finger snap - dolphin dance - eye of the hurricane - oliloquai valley - chameleon - watermelon man (headhunters)---- The jam goes from 9 to midnight! This one's gonna rock, so come join us!

Here are the artists whose music we are featuring this month at the AMC Jazz Jam: Dec. 1st-John Coltrane; Dec. 8th-Chick Corea; Dec. 15th-Herbie Hancock; Dec. 22nd-Thelonius Monk; Dec. 29th-HOLIDAY(no jam)

AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's 9pm this Thursday featuring Coltrane's Favorites: body and soul -- my favorite things -- night has 1000 eyes -- but not for me -- inchworm -- dear old stockholm -- afro blue -- Hope to see you there!

No Jazz Jam this week due to Thanksgiving! We'll be back next Thursday though, 9pm at Barley's Taproom in Asheville!

It's John Coltrane Night at the AMC Jazz Jam next Thursday @ 9pm! Special Guest piano master: Pavel Wlosok! Setlist: blue train moment's notice syeeda's song flute spiral (latin) impressions naima giant steps

Thursday 9pm at Barley's, the AMC Jazz jam features tunes made famous by icon Miles Davis: walkin'-- joshua -- someday my prince will come -- blackbird -- you don't know what love is -- if i were a bell -- freedom jazz dance

It's Miles Davis Night #1 at the AMC Jazz Jam at Barley's 9pm Thursday! Come join us on these tunes or any others you care to play: So what -- Four -- Tune up -- Nardis -- Solar(latin) -- 7 steps to heaven -- Milestones -- All ages welcome and No Cover!

The AMC Jazz Jam this Thursday 9pm at Barley's will feature tunes by Joe Henderson: isotope -- jinrikisha -- black narcissus -- home stretch -- inner urge -- mamacita -- recordame.

This week's AMC Jazz Jam, Thursday 9pm at Barley's features tunes by the incomparable Cole Porter: Night and Day (Latin A section) (Key of C) -- I Love You (Fast) (Key of F) -- What Is This Thing Called Love (New Orleans Style) (Key of C) -- I've Got You Under My Skin (Latin-Bb) -- Just One of Those Things (C) -- All of You (Eb) -- I Love Paris (Latin A section-Swing B section) (Key of C) -- Come on out & enjoy this beautiful Fall weather with some seriously hot jazz!

The AMC Jazz Jam Thursday at Barley's features Charlie Parker! Setlist: cool blues, donna lee, little suede shoes, ornithology, segment, anthropology(latin), confirmation. As usual, we start at 9pm. No Cover, all ages!

We're going to start posting the AMC Jazz Jam setlist here each week for those who want to get a head start on learning the tunes. This Thursday is Bill Evans night. Here's the setlist: Minority, Stella By Starlight, Alice in Wonderland, Green Dolphin Street, Israel, Gloria's Step, Beautiful Love


The new greatest hits CD, "Flashback" is now available at CD Baby! You can link to it from the music page on this website. It's 12 of carefully chosen tunes spanning a period of about 10 years and many musical styles/genres! A great overview of what we do.

The Alien Music Club Jazz Jam is going like gangbusters at Barley's Taproom here in Asheville, every Thursday night at 9pm. It's becoming a gathering place for the best musicians and jazz fans, just as we'd hoped! Friend us on our Facebook page to get details each week as we spotlight a different jazz composer...Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and many more!


Outstanding show at Mo' Daddy's last Friday! The first ever Alien Music Club live performance was a great success! Thanks to The Archrivals for opening/closing the show, and everybody who came out to celebrate with us!

The first EVER Alien Music Club LIVE SHOW will be happening on June 17th at Mo' Daddy's in Asheville and will coincide with a "Best of" CD release. The new CD is called "Flashback" and will be available here and on CD Baby. We're really looking forward to this event! If you live in this area or plan to visit, we'd love to see you there!

The AMC Jazz Jam is going on NOW, every Thursday at 9pm at Barley's Taproom in Asheville, 42 Biltmore Avenue! The quality and number of musicians joining us has been stellar! It seems to get better each week. If you live in the Asheville area or plan to visit, and if you're a jazz fan, come join us at Barley's. If you want to know who the featured artist is this week, go to our Facebook page at!/pages/Alien-Music-Club/159691987395778

The Alien Music Club weekly jazz jam begins this month at Barley's Taproom here in Asheville, NC! Each Thursday night, we will feature a different composer for the first set, like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Horace Silver, and many others. Musicians are welcome to sit in with the band! During the second set, you can choose the tunes you want to perform with us! We hope this event will become a fixture in the ever-expanding Asheville Musical Universe!!

We've been extremely busy recording and playing live with Stephaniesid, The Archrivals, Crybaby, and Peggy Ratusz Daddy Longlegs band. The new material is sounding fantastic...sort of John Scofield meets Donald Fagan. I'm attempting to get all my gig information updated on Facebook where you can friend me to keep up with what's happening. Cheers, JP!


Stephaniesid, a band I am very proud to be part of, was just voted Asheville's Favorite Rock Band in the Mountain Express Poll! For more information, go to


Played a wonderful gig with Stephanies ID at Downtown After 5 last Friday! HUGE crowd, thousands of adoring fans! The band played very well. It was quite an experience. Video clips can be found at and

Very excited about new tunes taking shape! Hopefully, a new CD will be forthcoming in the not too distant future! If you live in the Asheville, NC area, you can catch some of my gigs by going to April and May are turning out to be busy months. Cheers! JP

Great weekend playing with Stephanie's ID on Saturday and Peggy Ratusz on Sunday. Lots of money raised for Haiti! What a pleasure to be in the company of so many fine musicians. Link up with me on Facebook at


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