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 internationally-famous touring artists (one in rock and pop, the other a towering figure in reggae) and two intriguing regional acts are among the highlights of the next 30 days in Asheville’s live music offerings.
Artist: Denny Laine
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m.
From both commercial and critical perspectives, Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriter in popular music. And there’s a strong argument that he’s done much of his best work when he had a creative foil. For the 1960s it was John Lennon. Through most of the 1970s, wife Linda McCartney filled that role to some degree, but Denny Laine was McCartney’s primary musical accomplice as he created his best work of that decade. Originally the lead singer for the pre-psychedelic Moody Blues (“Go Now” was a worldwide hit), Laine had an interesting solo career well underway when he joined McCartney’s group Wings in 1971. Though the lineup would change over the years, at its core Wings was the McCartneys and Laine. He co-wrote one of Band on the Run‘s best deep cuts (“No Words”), and a cover of his “Say You Don’t Mind” was a hit in ’72 for Zombies vocalist Colin Blunstone. It wasn’t until 1976’s Wings at the Speed of Sound that Laine got more than one song on a Wings LP, though the ones he wrote were arguably as good as anything McCartney came up with (he co-wrote the smash hit “Silly Love Songs”). Laine also co-wrote the 1977 hit single “Mull of Kintyre.” Wings folded during the tour in support of the underrated Back to the Egg LP (McCartney was briefly jailed in Japan for pot possession). Post-Wings, Laine continued to tour and record; from 1997 to 2002 he was part of World Class Rockers, a rotating-cast group in the mold of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s current one-man tour features songs and stories from across his 50-plus-year recording career.
Venue: Pisgah Brewing Company
Date: Saturday, June 1, 6 p.m.
Door: $27.50 advance / $33 day of show
Combining elements from progressive and psychedelic rock with a jam band aesthetic, Papadosio has carved out its own niche in the music world. Launched in Ohio, the quintet relocated to Asheville and has released eight albums and an EP to date; the band’s latest is 2018’s Content Coma. The band’s instrumental prowess is showcased in its longer pieces, but the shorter cuts have an economy of purpose that works as well. The band tops this all-locals extravaganza bill that also features Toubab Krewe, Natural Born Leaders, Pink Mercury and The Snozzberries.
Artist: Toots and the Maytals
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Sunday, June 2, 7 p.m.
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert launched his group The Maytals in Jamaica in 1962; alongside Bob Marley and the Wailers, the band would establish itself as one of the foremost acts in the reggae idiom. In the band’s home country, Toots and the Maytals racked up a staggering 31 No. 1 singles. Rolling Stone named Hibbert one of the 100 Greatest Singers. The band has gone through countless lineup changes over the years, breaking up and reforming several times; in addition to Toots, drummer Paul Douglas and guitarist Carl Harvey have been mainstays for decades.
Artist: Phat Lip
Venue: Highland Brewing Co.
Date: Friday, June 21, 7 p.m.
Though her roots are Colombian, Kelly Jo Ramirez is based in Greenville, S.C. Her music is equally eclectic, drawing from pop, grunge, blues, funk, soul and a healthy dose of Latin rhythm. Phat Lip showcases Ramirez’s straightforward, heartfelt songwriting, and the Afro-Caribbean polyrhythms add a musical complexity that is nonetheless grounded in danceability. NPR picked Phat Lip’s “Stranger’s Love” for its Songs We Love playlist, and the band’s latest single, “Coyote,” was submitted for the radio network’s Tiny Desk Contest.
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.