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.
Hip-hop, blues, experimental/improvisational and jazz-pop: there’s something for nearly all musical tastes in this roundup. Two of the headliners are local acts, and two are nationally-touring artists making a stop in Asheville.
Artist: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Monday, May 27, 8 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
Anyone who thinks the blues is past its prime, that today’s artists have little or nothing to contribute to the form, needs to know about Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Here’s barely 20 years old, and already signed to the venerable and taste-making Alligator label. Steeped in the blues, he was born and raised in Clarksdale, Miss., the small city often cited as ground zero for the blues. Ingram’s star has been in ascension: Rolling Stone calls him a “blues savior.” Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins and The Game are among his most well-known fans, and he had a role on Netflix’s Luke Cage. He guested on Eric Gales’ 2017 album Middle of the Road, but he comes into his own on his debut album, Kingfish, released May 17. The Cerny Brothers open.
Artist: Slum Village
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $25 day of show
Detroit hip-hop group Slum Village got its start over a decade ago; even in its earliest days the well-regarded outfit was able to call on names like Busta Rhymes and Common to guest on its recordings. Rapper J Dilla passed away in 2006, and Titus “Baatin” Glover left in 2003, dying six years later. But founding member T3 has kept the Slum Village name alive, working with Young RJ. Slum Village’s most recent release is 2016’s Vol. 0, a collection of demo recordings from the late 1990s featuring the original lineup. Local acts C. Shreve the Professor and DJ Jet are also on the bill.
Artist: In Flight
Venue: One World Brewing
Date: Friday, May 24, 9 p.m.
As is the approach of a number of local bands, In Flight performs in more than one configuration. As a trio, it offers eclectic electric music that draws from the progressive and experimental side. Other times — like this gig — Ian Taylor (keyboards) and guitarist Bryce Robertson perform as a duo that’s every bit as experimental in nature. The open-ended character of the music means it’s hit or miss, and that’s a big part of its appeal. If musical spontaneity intrigues you, In Flight is here to bring it.
Artist: Dirty Logic
Venue: Ambrose West
Date: Friday, June 14, 8 p.m.
Door: $18 advance / $20 day of show
Tribute bands are all the rage these days; music lovers who aren’t inclined (or able) to spend literally hundreds of dollars a ticket to see so-called legacy acts still love the music. And tribute acts are here to meet that need. Perhaps not the likeliest subject of a tribute is Steely Dan, a band that for much of its heyday didn’t really perform as a live act. Steely Dan’s music was jazz-influenced sophisticated pop of the highest order, but the “group” was mostly Walter Becker and Donald Fagen plus the best studio cats they could book for sessions. This large Asheville-based tribute band features quite a few prominent players and vocalists (Debrissa McKinney and Blake Ellege, to name but two); they bring the high level of talent necessary to execute the extremely demanding music of Steely Dan.
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