In my twice-monthly blog 30 Days Out, I spotlight upcoming music shows and events of note. While the most well-known venues in town (The Orange Peel, The Grey Eagle, and whatever they’re calling the Civic Center) consistently book popular and worthwhile acts, I’ll shine a light into some less well-lit corners, where some equally fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get you to the show.
In this installment, I’ll tell you about three local acts deserve your time, and a pop legend who we’re lucky to still have around. Two of the shows are free, and the other two are well worth the modest price of admission.
Artist: Gutterhound (Album Release Party)
Venue: The Millroom
Date: Saturday, May 10, 10 p.m.
Yes, they’re a local band, but no, they don’t play Americana or jam-band music. The five-piece Gutterhound gets inspiration form the likes of AC/DC (especially in the form of Joel Schaffer‘s delightfully snarling, gritty vocals) and Thin Lizzy (thanks to the twin lead guitar attack of Scott Calloway and Joey Cain. When they claim “It’s all about the rock,” believe ’em. This gig will celebrate the release of their new album Southpaw Shot to the Gut. Modern glamsters The Damn Angels open.
Artist: The Northside Gentlemen
Date: Sunday, May 25, 5 p.m.
I can personally vouch for these guys as the real deal. This Asheville-based five piece plays Southern and Northern soul of the kind that will bring to mind The Meters, Booker T & the MGs and The Funk Brothers. Over the last decade, I’ve played with two of the guys – David Vandegrift on lead guitar and Jake King on keys and vocals – in different bands, doing different kind of music (’60s garage-punk and psych) so believe me when I tell you that their dedication to their craft is impressive. A fun time guaranteed, especially at this unassuming yet energetic venue.
Artist: Jeff Santiago y Los Gatos Negros
Venue: Highland Brewing
Date: Saturday, May 31, 6:30 p.m.
Jeff Santiago hasn’t rested a bit since moving to Asheville several years ago. He has his hand in all manner of musical endeavors, but Los Gatos Negros is his primary focus these days. He’s joined by peerless vocalist Debrissa McKinney (who you may have seen with Project/Object or countless other bands with jawdropping chops), guitarist Jason Daniello (part of the Moog Music team and also one half of the synthpop duo Orgatroid), drummer Clayton Jones, and Jared White on bass. The band’s latest album Rolling Towards the Moon was released last month.
Artist: World Party
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Tuesday, June 3, 8 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
Back when MTV still played music, a popular video was “Ship of Fools,” a Beatlesque (but not slavishly so) tune with a memorable video. In those days World Party was pretty much Welshman Karl Wallinger and whomever he enlisted at the moment. They later became a “real” band and released a string of excellent – if underrated – albums. In 2001 Wallinger suffered a debilitating aneurysm, but he fought his way back to health. After a triumphant return at Bonnaroo in 2006, he got fully active again, and brings his band to Asheville for the first time ever. I’ve been to hundreds of shows, but World Party’s 1997 show in Atlanta ranks among the very best. Don’t miss them. Gabriel Kelly opens.
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