Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some 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.
This go-round, I take a look at two shows that bridge genres — one, classical and rock; the other, classical and jazz. And I sift through the deep bench of alt-whatever groups to find a duo that serves up folk with a rock style, without becoming folk-rock in the process. And finally, I look at a local sensation that revives the sounds of pre-WWII France’s famed Hot Club.
Artist: Chappell Kingsland
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Wednesday, July 2, 7:30 p.m.
When one hears that a concert is titled “Impressionism and Rock Piano,” it might be difficult to know what to expect: A stuffy treatise on musical theory? Or a tuxedoed version of what Ben Folds calls “punk rock for sissies?” No, what the young Dr. Kingsland (pictured above) does is take his audience on a musical journey that draws heretofore unseen lines between Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Pearl Jam, Maurice Ravel, Fleet Foxes, U2 and Genesis. This promises to be an intriguing, thought-provoking evening. And it’ll rock, too, which is always a good thing.
Artist: Lenoir Saxaphone Ensemble
Venue: St. Matthias Episcopal Church
Date: Sunday, July 20, 3 p.m.
Door: Free (donation encouraged)
The saxophone (or saxaphone) is not a prominent part of most orchestra/classical lineups; its pedigree is more often on the jazz, soul, r&b and rock side of things. But this quartet from just-down-the-hill in Marion seeks to bridge that gap somewhat, by performing arrangements that “strive to bring the qualities of fine chamber music to the sax quartet.” They do this without being stuffy; an LSE performance has a feel not unlike big band/swing, albeit in a much more stripped-down format. They play both standards and more classical-leaning material, all with verve and panache.
Artist: Dead Fingers
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 9 p.m.
Door: Free (donations encouraged)
From Birmingham, Ala. comes this duo who describe their music as a “broke beat folk/country/blue hybrid.” They’ve been compared to another duo, Civil Wars, but they’re too slippery to be pinned down to any one genre. Dead fingers bring a welcome rock sensibility that keeps the folkiness from getting precious or faux-old-timey. They draw as much from, say, The Allman Brothers Band as from the wry storytelling styles of John Prine. The intimate setting of Jack of the Wood seems like the perfect place to check them out.
Artist: Drayton and the Dreamboats
Venue: Altamont Brewing
Date: Thursday, July 31, 9 p.m.
Door: Free, but it’s an ALE-mandated “member club,” so… $1
Speaking of jazz, the idiom is truly a “big tent.” There’s room for everything from avant-garde, exploratory stuff to soul jazz to chamber music that skirts the edges of classical. But one of the older forms that continues to enjoy popularity is what’s sometimes called “hot jazz.” The kind of music that guitarist Django Reinhardt, violinist Stéphane Grappelli and others made so popular, especially in Europe in the late 1930s. WNC’s own local exponent of this style is this trio, formerly known as Drayton and the Dragons. They gig around town locally, but the laid-back atmosphere of West Asheville’s Altamont Brewing provides a chance to enjoy their music without being jammed into the tiny space of the other venues they frequent.
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