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.
This time, I’m sending some well-deserved love to local (Asheville-based) artists. Much as we get a staggering array of national acts coming through town, our local music scene is filled with superb talent. Two of these shows are free, one is way cheap and the other is quite reasonably priced (and cheaper still if you dance).
Artist: Zuzu Welsh Band
Venue: The Odditorium
Date: Saturday, April 25, 9 p.m.
Welsh and band are a musically multivariate lot. Their original music draws on classic rock and country, electric and acoustic. Though they throw in the occasional cover, The Zuzu Welsh Band‘s live set is primarily based on material found on its new CD, The Road Less Traveled. Best described as lyrics-centric rocking Americana, the music goes over best in the intimate yet well-worn setting of a place like The Odditorium. Aaron Price and George Terry MacDonald & The Zealots open.
Artist: Asheville Jazz Orchestra
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Friday, April 10, 8 p.m.
Door: $15 ($12 for dancers)
The big band era of the 1930s and 1940s didn’t just serve up some great and enduring music, it provided the ideal soundtrack for dancing. And not just any dancing: uptempo, athletic swing dancing. The AJO pays tribute to this era with an evening of music by the greats of the period, including Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington. White Horse Black Mountain is a listening room, yes, but if you come to dance, you’ll save three bucks. Or pay the full price and enjoy the visual spectacle of swing dancers accompanying the music.
Artist: Mike Rhodes Fellowship
Venue: Pisgah Brewing
Date: Friday, April 24, 8 p.m.
Mike Rhodes is a musician’s musician. Skilled at laying down the beat (and more) in any number of musical genres, he plays and has played everything from bluegrass to jazz-fusion, from classic rock to post/avant/whatever. And he’s one of those drummers who is so skilled that it’s easy to take him for granted, because he’s so spot-on about doing what he does that he doesn’t draw attention to himself. But the low-key Rhodes does much more than support what his fellow players are doing. And though the project bears his name, the Mike Rhodes Fellowship is by design a constantly-shifting collective of musicians dedicated to the “search for spontaneous creativity within the chemistry of each group.” Never the same thing twice and always fascinating, this time at Pisgah’s taproom it’s free.
Artist: Jason DeCristofaro
Venue: ABTech Ferguson Auditorium
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m.
An adjunct faculty member at A-B Tech, Jason DeCristofaro is also one of the most exciting vibraphone players in the region. As is customary of musicians working within the jazz idiom, DeCristofaro performs as part of many different lineups and configurations. But for this show — which will feature all original music from the vibes master — he’ll be joined by frequent collaborators Daniel Ianucci on bass and drummer Micah Thomas, plus pianist William Bares. Not only is this afternoon show free, but attendees will receive a free copy of not one but two of DeCristofaro’s most recent CD releases.
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