Carolina Chocolate DropsSunday, Dec. 4 at the Orange Peel. Show starts at 8 p.m. Frazey Ford, of the Be Good Tanyas, opens.
The Pitch: Sons of Ralph teams up with the Fugees.
The Buzz: Recipe for Carolina Chocolate Drops: Mix together equal parts old-time music, grad school hipster and major musical talent. Add heaping teaspoon of earnestness (and a pinch of goofy fun).
Bonus Points: CCD’s first Asheville show since the band won its Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album, and a chance for fans to see their new lineup: earlier this year, Justin Robinson left the group, and beatboxer Adam Matta and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins joined.
John GorkaThursday, Dec. 1 at The Grey Eagle. Show starts at 8 p.m.
The Pitch: David Wilcox meets an Into the Wild Eddie Vedder.
The Buzz: This New Jersey singer/songwriter has been wowing the folk circuit with his manly baritone since the 1980s. Sensitive-guy street cred earned by sharing the stage with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith and Kathy Mattea.
Bonus Points: A fully seated show with an 8 p.m. start; you could be home snuggling with your cat and watching Private Practice by 10.
Friday, Dec. 2 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Show starts at 9 p.m.
The Pitch: A badass Buck Owens.
The Buzz: He’s sold more than 25 million albums since his 1986 debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, etc. etc. He’s been recording tracks with Beck of late, and is set to release a new album next year co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket).
Bonus Points: Ex-girlfriend Sharon Stone likened him to eating a dirt sandwich. He personified pure evil in Sling Blade. He was recently mistaken for Neil Young by TMZ. What’s not to love?