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.
The next 30 days of music in Asheville are characteristically eclectic. You can enjoy an all-(local)-star tribute to a country legend, an excellent local singer-songwriter, a touring female-led indie band and a fiery British songwriter whose best work ranks up there with Springsteen and Dylan.
Artist: Graham Parker
Venue: Diana Wortham Theatre
Date: Sunday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
Graham Parker’s studio albums are highly revered; that’s especially true of his late 1970s output and his releases of this decade, many made with The Rumour backing him up. But it’s worth noting that the British songwriter, who came to prominence in the pub rock/new wave era, has released more than 20 live albums. That fact says something about the power of the man’s onstage performance. His local date is one show you shouldn’t miss. Adam Ezra opens.
Artist: Sing Me Back Home: The Songs of Merle Haggard
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, April 6, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Merle Haggard was a giant of country music, helping define two subgenres: the Bakersfield sound and outlaw country. Even though he rarely played by the rules of the commercial country music machine, he’s rightly been lionized as one of the form’s most important figures. A who’s who of locally-based musicians — most of whom are female — pay tribute to the man’s music in this special performance. Acts include Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters, Cyndi Lou & The Want To, The Old Chevrolette Set, Hearts Gone South, Vaden Landers and Brody Hunt & The Handfulls. Proceeds benefit the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture.
Artist: Taylor Martin
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.
This Asheville singer-songwriting-guitarist recently released Song Dogs, an eclectic set of originals with a few interestingly chosen covers. The album doesn’t neatly fit into any one genre, but Taylor’s raspy vocals and sterling guitar work are the glue that holds the collection of songs together. The Melody Trucks Band opens.
Artist: The Wild Reeds
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Saturday, April 20, 9 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
A group that rocks, comes up with catchy songs and features heartfelt, grown-up subject matter is rare indeed. The Wild Reeds are remarkable because the group has three songwriting lead singers. It just so happens that all three are women. The L.A.-based band is sometimes classified as indie-folk. I’d say that’s only half right; they’re indie, but any folk textures that remain on Cheers, the band’s third and latest full-length, manifest themselves in the close harmony vocals. Definitely worth watching and hearing. Valley Queen opens.
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