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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

University of North Carolina at Asheville alum takes stage with indie-folk band as they embark on tour.

Justin Morris, vocalist and guitarist plays during Sluice’s set at Eulogy.

Durham, N.C. based indie-folk band Sluice performed on Jan. 18 at the Asheville venue Eulogy to kick off the start of their upcoming spring tour.

Sluice is a four piece band consisting of vocalist Justin Morris, drummer Avery Sullivan, bassist Oliver Child-Lanning and fiddler, vocalist and guitarist Libby Rodenbough. 

Morris graduated from UNCA in 2016, receiving his bachelor’s degree in music technology. 

“I started playing a lot in college in Asheville with a band called Aunt Sis and we recorded almost all that music in Lipinsky,” said Morris.

As an alum to UNCA, Morris is familiar with being a student with a passion for music.  He advises other students with a passion for music to not let the fear of financial stability cloud their decisions, but instead be aware and prepared for what it means to have a music centered career. 

“Be prepared to be flexible and try to not let your interest in making money determine what you’re striving for,” said Morris. “It’s a hard industry. But it’s also a really beautiful art form and community.”

Sluice became the center of Morris’s attention several years after his college graduation. What can be described best as an indie-folk genre, Sluice’s music is remnant to popular indie folk artists such as Asheville based artist Indigo De Souza, Hozier, Noah Kahan and more. 

“Sluice started in 2019,” said Morris. “We started playing some shows around then, but I’ve been performing since I was a kid.”

Although not their first tour, this is Sluice’s first headlining tour, performing as the main act alongside a variety of opening acts and traveling across the east coast for the entirety of January. 

This upcoming tour has songs from Sluice’s most recent album, “Radial Gate,” which was released in March of 2023, as well as their self-titled debut album, “Sluice”, which was released in November of 2019. 

The band played some of their beloved singles from Radial Gate,  such as “Centurion” and “Fourth of July.” With Morris’s deep and soothing vocals, paired with Child-Lanning’s expertise on the fiddle, Rodenbough’s stunning vocal harmonies and guitar and Sullivan’s talent on the drums, Sluice’s musical talent as a whole is beautifully put together. 

Sluice is excited to get back on the road and continue the rest of their tour. They plan to perform alongside other artists, 

“There’s a lot of interesting shows, we’ve got a lot of friends in New York and towards the end tour we’re hoping to see familiar faces from Durham,” Morris said.

Sluice performs again in North Carolina for their final show of their spring tour at the Pinbook in Durham on Jan. 27. 

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