The Suspect: Michael McDonald
McDonald’s musical career has spanned more than 35 years, first as a back-up vocalist for Steely Dan, then as the lead vocalist of the Doobie Brothers and, finally, as a solo artist. Recently, he’s been covering Motown Classics, providing vocals for tracks by indie bands Grizzly Bear and Holy Ghost!, and he even made time for appearances on 30 Rock and American Idol.
Can Be Found: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Friday, May 27.
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): blue-eyed soul, Doobie Brothers.
You Should Go If: Your idea of Takin’ it to the Streets is watching Sesame Street with your grandkids; the prospect of Dancing with Your Daddy All Night Long doesn’t completely creep you out; Forgetting that You’re Not in Love Anymore was just the first of many troubling memory lapses; when you say, “Ya Mo Be There,” what you really mean is, “I wouldn’t miss Oprah’s last show for the world!”
The Suspect: Ironside
This metal outfit hails from right here in Asheville, and this Orange Peel gig celebrates the release of the band’s first full-length CD. Self-described as “Metal for the Average Joe,” the band sites Shadows Fall, Iron Maiden and Lamb of God as main influences.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Saturday, May 28.
RIYD: Slipknot, Korn.
You Should Go If: Your girlfriend has to constantly remind you to stop using your caps-lock voice; you are a disciple of extreme offensive driving: Don’t Hesitate, Accelerate!; you’re on the Caveman Diet minus the fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds; when you say, “My dog can be a little assertive around other dogs,” what you really mean is, “He likes to eat them.”
The Suspect: Liz Carroll and Daithi Sproule
At the age of 18, Caroll won the Senior All-Ireland Fiddle Championship. She’s been awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the NEA (presented by Hillary Clinton), performed for Barack Obama and was nominated for a Grammy last year in the Best Traditional World Music Category. She’s joined by traditional Irish guitarist and vocalist, Sproule.
Can Be Found: Diana Wortham Theatre, Friday, May 27.
RIYD: Irish music, Teada.
You Should Go If: To prepare for the Highland Games you’ve been doing your kettlebell routine in a skirt; you were born within 11 to 14 months of at least one of your siblings; you wear a heart-rate monitor when you go out dancing; when you say, “This mead is flavor forward,” what you really mean is, “This tastes like someone peed in a jar of honey and left it in their locker all summer.”
The Suspect: Izzy and the Kesstronics
Izzy Zaidman, former lead guitarist for Wayne “The Train” Hancock, fronts this exciting psychobilly swing band. The group performs raunchy and campy original tunes along with classics from ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, classic country and ‘30s Swing. Saving Country Music blog praises, “…an amazing, mind-blowing, high-energy intense band that didn’t let up for one second.”
Can Be Found: Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues, Saturday, May 28.
RIYD: Reverend Horton Heat, the Stray Cats.
You Should Go If: You’ve become pigeonholed as a “lesbro”; the transition from Fonzie to Chachi was particularly difficult for you; you’ve spent hours debating what scenario qualifies as a perfect porn moment; when you say, “This town is too small,” what you really mean is, “I probably shouldn’t have hooked up with her mother, her sister and her roommate.”