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 preview soul, blues rock, EDM and classical music performances. The Asheville music scene is as eclectic as ever. There’s truly something for everyone, even those on a tight budget.
Artist: Martin Barre
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $22 day of show
Ask most people who the leader of Jethro Tull was, and they say, “Why, Mr. Tull, of course!” No, that’s Ian Anderson you’re thinking of. But the mainstay of that group alongside the flutist/singer was ace guitarist Martin Barre. On all but the first of the band’s 20-plus albums, it’s Barre’s fretwork that you’ll hear. With the disbanding of Jethro Tull in 2013, Barre has focused more intently on his solo career. But a Martin Barre solo tour isn’t one of those “older guy with an acoustic” shows where you get quiet readings of the back catalog. No, Barre is a fiery guitarist in a blues-rock mode, and he’s touring with a full band. Expect tunes from his new album, Back in Steel, alongside select re-imagined classics from the Jethro Tull songbook. Look for my interview with Martin Barre, a special Thanksgiving Day feature on my Musoscribe blog. The Get Right Band opens.
Artist: AmiciMusic presents “Flute Fandango”
Venue: Isis Restaurant & Music Hall
Date: Friday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
The stated aim of the Asheville-based AmiciMusic organization is dedication to “performing the highest quality chamber music in intimate venues and non-traditional spaces.” The group’s website also states, “We are committed to breaking down barriers between performers and audiences by setting up a more relaxed and informal atmosphere at concerts and through informative talks about each composer’s life before each piece is played.” That tells you most of what you need to know about this special concert in the warm and cozy upstairs room at Isis. The night will feature an original piece performed by flutist Lea Kibler and pianist Daniel Weiser; the latter is AmiciMusic’s artistic director. (Note that while the event is billed as “Classical Dinner and a Concert,” the admission price covers only the music.)
Artist: Space Jesus
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 p.m.
Door: $5 advance / $10 day of show
Space Jesus is the nom-de-EDM of Jasha Tull, the long-tressed producer from Brooklyn. His music has more variety and nuance than the EDM tag might suggest. His Bandcamp page features a reconstruction of “Arabian Nights” from the Disney animated feature Aladdin. (It’s unauthorized, of course, and considering Disney’s oft-litigious nature, check it out sooner than later if you’re interested.) Space Jesus’ music is as bass-centric as you could possibly want (beware the dread “brown note”), and the emphasis is squarely on the beats. Material from his latest Close Encounters is being premiered on this tour. Esseks — who’s collaborated with Space Jesus — opens the show.
Artist: A Muscle Shoals Revue
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 8 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
A term used more by European music fans, loosely defined “Northern soul” is what Americans call Motown. Southern soul, however, is the often gritter — and thus arguably more “soulful” — style of music that came out of Memphis, Tennessee (Stax, Hi and Ardent Studios) and Muscle Shoals, Alabama (Fame Studios). The recent Muscle Shoals documentary brought well-deserved attention to the historical/musical importance of Southern soul. In 2015, a tribute to the style takes the form of a traveling revue, an approach very much in keeping with the way it was spread back in the day. This show — featuring vocalists Amy Black and Sarah Borges backed by a full band — will feature classics originally cut in studios in the small Alabama town, including songs by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and a host of others.
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