30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

BABIES STRANGE: T-Rextasy combines catchy funk-punk with folk ensemble vocals; the result sounds like none of those things. But it's a heck of a lot of fun. The NYC group's Mothlight date (Jan. 14) looks certain to be a high energy delight. Photo courtesy the artists

Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column 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 to the show.

This installment marks the five-year anniversary of the column. The next 30 days of live music in and around Asheville include a hotshot acoustic guitarist, some tasty instrumental funk/soul/jazz, a rocking all-female group and the return of an Asheville favorite delivering high-energy music that spans genres. Two of these shows are nominally free, but please show your love for these hard-working musicians by tipping/donating accordingly.

Artist: T-Rextasy
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Monday, Jan. 14, 9 p.m.
Door: free
Despite the clever band name, this all-female New York City band’s sound has little to do with Marc Bolan and his early ’70s glam rock group. Lyris Faron’s kittenish vocals are out front of an ensemble that features funky, Gang of Four-like bass, tight vocal harmonies that remind one of the Roches and a playful, punky sensibility. They make me think a bit of The Go! Team, too, though T-Rextasy uses all real instruments. If they’re half as fun live as they are on disc, they’ll be great. Mouthbreathers and Brown Widow are also on the bill.

Artist: Willy Porter
Venue: Ambrose West
Date: Thursday, Jan. 17, 8 p.m.
Door: $17 advance, $20 day of show
Part of a solid American musical tradition that includes Bruce Springsteen, John Hiatt and other modern-day troubadours, Willy Porter is one of those artists who you might’ve seen opening for a headlining stadium act (Sting, Tori Amos, Jeff Beck, etc.). But everybody knows how opening acts are received. Porter deserves better. His dazzling-yet-melodic and accessible fretwork and catchy songs will draw in the willing listener. And this tour date represents an opportunity to witness him up close.

Artist: Lemon City Trio
Venue: The One Stop
Date: Thursday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m.
Door: donations
From Miami comes this instrumental funk-jazz outfit. Their songs have no vocals, so perhaps it’s a sort of consistency that their online presence is minimal, and provides very little information about the group. But their music does the talking. Boogaloo in the style of the New Mastersounds is the trio’s chosen approach: Funky and soulful with jaw-dropping chops, the band features only guitar, drums and keyboard. But their tight, Meters-influenced sound doesn’t need additional filigree.

Artist: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Saturday, Jan. 26, 9 p.m.
Door: $20
Karl Denson needs little or no introduction to Asheville audiences; he’s played here many times. The fans love his brand of funk and soul; it appeals equally to those raised on old-school jams of Isaac Hayes as it does to concertgoers who are more into the jam-band scene. Denson is a longtime auxiliary member of The Rolling Stones, who are reportedly gearing up for yet another tour, so see him with his own band while you can.

You may also enjoy: With way more than 2750 entries and nearly 650 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every single day. A proud tradition, now in its 10th year. My book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.

About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

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