Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out 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.
Funky soul? Check. Rip-snortin’ country rock? Got it. Classic rock with a blues foundation? Sure. Swirling, psychedelic garage? Right here. This edition of 30 Days Out features live music in all of those styles. It’s truly an embarrassment of riches. All four of these shows fall into the do-not-miss category, but since two of them are the same night, you’re faced with a tough choice. Such is life in Asheville. Note that this time around, all four spotlighted shows are on Saturday nights.
Artist: Cool Ghouls
Venue: Tiger Mountain
Date: Saturday, March 14, 9 p.m.
Rock’s psychedelic garage subgenre gets more respect today than it ever did back in the days of The Blues Magoos and The Electric Prunes. Today there are bands creating new music in the style, and the band members weren’t born until long after Lenny Kaye put together the immortal Nuggets compilation. One of the newest and most compelling bands turning out authentic-sounding garage-psych is The Cool Ghouls, a jangly four-piece straight outta San Francisco (of course). A Swirling Fire Through the Rye is their their fourth and newest long-player. With the event billed as “SXSW in Asheville,” no less than seven other bands share the bill; it should be a long and lively night.
Artist: “Slowhand Turns Seventy”
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Saturday, March 14, 8 p.m.
Door: $20 advance/$22 day of show
Admittedly, events like this are little more than an excuse for some of the Asheville music scene’s most popular musical acts to get together for a fun, one-off collaboration. And there’s not a thing wrong with that. Eric Clapton‘s deep catalog provides countless gems, from his time with The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie, and Derek and the Dominos. And while his work since the mid ’70s has been decidedly less compelling, in the hands of artists like B.J. Leiderman, Jake Wolf, ZuZu Welsh and others, it’s sure to be entertaining.
Artist: Charles Walker Band
Venue: One Stop
Date: Saturday, March 28, 10 p.m.
Maybe you picked up the 2001 Can You Dig It? The ’70s Soul Experience box set on Rhino. Packaged in a case made to look like a stack of 8-tracks, it brought together the best of that era’s soul music, with a strong emphasis on pop-leaning material. Even white middle-class kids from suburbia grew up hearing — and loving — many of those songs. If you want to hear original music in that style today, The Charles Walker Band is a sure bet. This Wisconsin-based quintet has what esteemed music journo/author Jeff Tamarkin calls “a certifiable command of the genre.” Bonus points for modeling the cover art of eighth album Ghetto Prophet after Shuggie Otis‘ classic Inspiration Information. Cleverly-named group The Isaac Haze opens.
Artist: Dash Rip Rock
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Saturday, April 4, 9 p.m.
If some musical mad scientist set out to combine authentic and heartfelt country and western, sneering punk, and a bratty sense of humor, and applied ace instrumental skills to the result, he or she might name the result Dash Rip Rock. The trio set themselves apart from nominally like-minded fellow ’80s alt-country acts like Jason & the Scorchers by folding in influences of groups like The Minutemen to their sound. With more than a dozen albums to their credit — pick any one, ’cause they’re all fun — they’re a force to be reckoned with. Expect them to blow the doors off of Jack of the Wood. No opener noted.
You may also enjoy: With over 1700 entries, my Musoscribe blog features new content — interviews, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009.