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.
The musical thread that weaves this diverse collection of live acts is simple: fun. Different kinds of fun, to be sure — funk, noir-pop, early rock ‘n’ roll and something delightfully unclassifiable — but all provide a bang for the buck (and some shows are free!).
Artist: Rev. Payton’s Big Damn Band
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Look at ’em and you’re sure to think, “that there’s an Americana group.” But listen to Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band — who, as a three-piece, aren’t all that big when you get right down to it — and you’ll hear a hard rockin’ power trio. Stinging, distorted electric guitar and stomping percussion. With a lineup that features only guitar, drums and washboard plus harmony vocals led by Peyton’s growling roar, RPBDB is like most nothing else you’ve heard. They make a big sound for such a small band. There actually is a strong Americana undercurrent to the trio’s music, which draws from the wide array of uniquely American musical forms. Intelligent, powerful and — most of all — a helluva lot of fun. Instrumental prowess meets gutbucket holler. Go see ’em. The Low Counts open.
Artist: stephaniesid Excavator Album Release Show
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Saturday, May 2, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Even among the diverse community that is the Asheville music scene, stephaniesid stand out. As I’ve written before, they can sometimes remind listeners of a female-fronted Steely Dan, or jazz players deciding to rock instead. But neither of those word pictures quite gets to the heart of the group’s appeal: their noir-pop is as sophisticated as it is alluring, and with Stephanie Morgan‘s stunning pipes leading the way, the group takes listeners on sonic excursions. Music from their brand new album Excavator will be unveiled at this special show.
Artist: The Funky Meters
Venue: Pisgah Brewing‘s Outdoor Stage
Date: Saturday, May 16, 5:30 p.m.
Door: $27 advance / $32 day of show
A legend among legends, The Funky Meters are an outgrowth/offshoot of the even-more-legendary Original Meters, the New Orleans group responsible for introducing so-called “second line” rhythms to popular music. Active since the late 1980s, The Funky Meters actually share some members with the (other) Meters. Confused? Forget the lineup details and enjoy the music from this group that earns the right to use the word — and to some extent helped invent the genre — funk. A very well-chosen pair of acts — Earphunk and George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners — open this afternoon-into-night show.
Artist: Three Cool Cats
Venue: Sunday Music in the Park
Date: Sunday, May 17, 4 p.m.
Local trio Three Cool Cats play rock ‘n’ roll like your daddy (or his daddy) remembers it: hard-driving yet swinging stuff, made for dancing. This isn’t teen-idol pop; it’s the real deal, the kind of thing you’d find on the great box set Loud, Fast & Out of Control: The Wild Sounds of the ’50s. Renowned man-about-town Russ Wilson — man of a thousand musical talents — on drums is joined by Mikie Filippone on upright bass and guitarist Hank Bones. I’ve mentioned them before, but this afternoon gig is free and outdoors, so dancing — dirty and otherwise — is encouraged.
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