Dueling Pianos in action at Asheville’s own Off the Wagon
If your musical tastes run anywhere from Sweet Caroline to Piano Man to Baby Got Back, you’re going to love dueling pianos. In this musical feast for the senses, two piano players face each other and take turns singing. It’s a battle to the… well, to the entertainment of the crowd.
The show can be all- or partial-request, and songs are masterfully executed by professional musicians. And if the pianists don’t know it, you can hum a few bars and they’ll fake it. But they’ll probably know it.
Dueling piano shows hit the scene in the late 1890s. Ragtime musicians “dueled” to see who could play better and faster to get the feet pumping. One of the first clubs to feature this type of show was Pat O’Brien’s Bar in New Orleans, opened in 1933. Two players entertained on copper-top baby grands, taking turns singing tunes the audience requested on cocktail napkins.
The format caught on again in the 1980s, and new sounds were introduced. Heavy on contemporary rock and roll, musicians also ad-libbed, made lyric substitutions, injected humorous bits, and involved the audience. It’s more than music; it’s an experience.
Today, the pianists work together to wow the crowd and get them to sing along and enjoy. Genres have expanded to include country, hard rock, and rap. The range of possibilities is endless!
The musicians come from all walks of life, but one thing they have in common is the ability to think on their feet (even while sitting on at the piano).
We Challenge You to a Duel
Off the Wagon, located in the heart of Asheville, North Carolina, is proud to carry the dueling piano tradition into the 21st century. Come join us for an unforgettable time. No matter what you’re celebrating (a birthday, a marriage, Friday night), you’ll find a convivial atmosphere, great people, tasty drinks, and some of the best music in town.