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.
One of the great things about Asheville — and there are so many — is that when established, national touring acts come through town, those ticket prices are often much lower than they’d be if you were seeing the bands in, say, New York City. What that means right now is that you can attend three of these shows (three of which are on the weekend!) for a mere $13 total. That’s a great value at twice the price. And while the other spotlighted event has a larger price tag, the sheer volume and quality of the music on offer more than justifies the investment.
Artist: Sons of Hippies
Date: Wednesday, June 11, 9:30 p.m.
These Tampa, Florida neo-psychedelic rockers are popping up everywhere. Copies of their latest album (Griffons at the Gates of Heaven, their third release) were sent to reviewers on cassette(!) along with a big poster. So yes, its pretty much a backward-looking trio. Sons of Hippies‘ sound is reminiscent of Blue Cheer (famous for their speed and/or acid-freak reading of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues”) with some Black Sabbath thrown in. Signed to Cleopatra Records, they’ve also contributed to tribute/compilation albums featuring covers of tunes by The Zombies and The Doors. Gold Light and Ellipser are also on the bill.
Artist: Asheville Percussion Festival
Venue: Diana Wortham Theatre
Dates: Friday, June 20-Sunday, June 22
Led by Asheville treasure and world music ambassador River Guerguerian and Verve recording artist Lizz Wright, this three-day festival is in its third year now. With performances at two events (DWT and the OM Sancutary) and as many as 20 workshops, attendees will have ample opportunity to take in a veritable ethnomusicological smorgasbord. The West African djembe, Middle Eastern doumbek, Persian musical traditions, and drumming from India and Latin America are just some of the many topics explored. A number of the individual concerts are free, as well. Look for detailed coverage in an upcoming issue of Mountain Xpress.
Artist: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
Venue: Downtown After 5
Date: Friday, June 20, 5 p.m.
This regional favorite, led by Kevn Kinney, always gets a great reception when it comes up here from its hometown of Atlanta. Though the band never quite broke into the big or semi-big time like other Georgia-based acts (The Allman Brothers Band, The B-52’s, R.E.M., Outkast), it has been releasing consistently excellent albums since its start way back in 1985. Drivin’ N Cryin’s latest project has been a series of EPs (shorter-than-album-length CDs), each with its own theme. These show the broad stylistic range of the band — and of Kinney’s songwriting —and help explain why this group is difficult to describe with a single musical label. Raleigh-based American Aquarium opens.
Artist: Eddie Roberts, Ike Stubblefield, & Jermal Watson
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Saturday, June 21, 10 p.m.
Door: $8 advance / $10 day of show
Welsh guitarist Eddie Roberts came to fame as part of boogaloo sensation The New Mastersounds. Ike Stubblefield is an ace organist whose long list of credits includes work with nearly every important soul/r&b act of the 1960s and ’70s. These days he’s an in-demand sessioner and live player who regularly gets calls from the likes of Cee-Lo Green and The Derek Trucks Band. The two will be joined onstage by New Orleans-based drummer Jermal Watson for what’s sure to be a night of thrilling, intense, soulful jams.
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