30 Days out: a look at upcoming concerts

FREEDOM IS STILL FREE: Los Angeles-based Chicano Batman plays an original and heady mix of styles that draws from soul, psychedelia, tropicalia and more. The group returns to Asheville for a May 9 show at Salvage Station. Photo by Josue Rivas

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.

Two celebrated local artists (one who’s bidding farewell to Asheville, the other a globetrotting artist who’s only occasionally home) and two psychedelic bands (one a relic from the ’70s, the other a new and soul-infused exponent of the style) are spotlighted in this roundup.

Artist: Chicano Batman
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Thursday, May 9, 9 p.m.
Door: $15
What do you get if you mix tropicalia (the style of music that blends Brazilian textures with space-age pop), psychedelic music and funky soul? One answer is Chicano Batman. The Los Angeles foursome formed in 2008 and began releasing albums in 2010. But it was 2017’s Freedom is Free that served as the national breakout release for the Latino band. A festival favorite, the group plays the club circuit as well and last visited Asheville in 2017 (my Mountain Xpress interview with the band is here). Chicano Batman’s lyrics are socially conscious, and the band’s sound is deeply textured, laid-back and thrilling all at once. Don’t miss this show. SadGirl opens.


Artist: Brie Capone
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Saturday, April 20, 9 p.m.
Door: $10
Brie Capone moved to Asheville as a teenager, left to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, settled in New York City to start her career as a musician, and eventually landed back in Asheville. Here she proffered regularly and used the city as a home base for gigs father afield. Last year, the introspective singer-songwriter released a well-regarded EP, If I Let You In. (My 2018 Mountain Xpress feature/interview with Capone is here.) Now she’s playing a farewell show ahead of her relocation to the West Coast where she’ll pursue even bigger goals. See her now so you can say you caught her right before her career really took off. Kismet opens.


Artist: Captain Beyond
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, May 2, 9 p.m.
Door: $17 advance / $20 day of show
Established jazz musicians have been teaming up in various configurations since the genre’s earliest days. When rock musicians do something similar, the tag “supergroup” is often applied. Cream is generally accepted to have been one of the first; many would follow. One of note was Captain Beyond, formed by musicians who had previously played with Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple and Johnny Winter. The group released a pair of hard-rocking albums on Capricorn, a label better known for Southern rock. Between the outfit’s 1971 start and today, Captain Beyond has disbanded and reformed no less than four times; today only founding member and drummer Bobby Caldwell remains from the original lineup. But the current quintet still tears it up and brings the heaviness. The Asound opens.


Artist: Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Venue: Diana Wortham Theatre
Date: Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m.
Door: $20 – $60
Jonathan Scales is something of an outlier in the music world. The Asheville-based musician plays a kind of progressive jazz fusion, but his instrument of choice is the steel pan, an instrument not often associated with that kind of music. The unique artist’s schedule is as ambitious as his music; he plays all over the globe, including places many other musicians wouldn’t even think of going. His approach remains a deft balance of exploration and accessibility. You may have seen him locally in a club; now you have the rare opportunity to see Scales and his band in a concert setting, right here in his hometown. My most recent Mountain Xpress interview with Scales is here.

Postscript: If you’re attending this spring’s LEAF festival — and considering the amazing lineup of artists, you really should — I urge you to check out the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The Seattle-based outfit plays thrilling, high energy soul-jazz in the tradition of Jimmy Smith, Grant Green and (to cite a more contemporary example) the New Mastersounds. With two performances — one Friday, May 10, at 7:15 p.m. on the Eden Hall stage and another Saturday, May 11, at 2:30 p.m. on the Lakeside stage — you have ample opportunity.

You may also enjoy: With 3000 entries and nearly 700 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every single day. A proud tradition, celebrating its 10 year anniversary this June. My first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.

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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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