30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

You are what you is: Asheville's own André Cholmondeley founded Zappa tribute Project Object in 2009; the group makes a rare hometown appearance December 19 at the Grey Eagle. Photo credit: Bill Kopp

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.

In this edition, I preview Asheville concert dates by two very different bands, each paying tribute to their musical heroes, and two acts that rose out of the ashes of that age-old scourge of the creative musician, “artistic differences.”

Artist: Project Object
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
Guitarist André Cholmondeley started his Frank Zappa tribute band Project Object long before he made Asheville his home. Not at all unlike Zappa’s bands, P/O is a regularly rotating group of players bound together by their deep appreciation for the work of one of the 20th century’s most important musicians. And what they also share is the proven ability to play his technically demanding (and mischievously playful) music. As with many previous tours, the current aggregation includes Zappa alumni — in this case, guitarist Denny Walley joins Cholmondeley and his cohorts.


Artist: The Black Lillies
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
The fact that Knoxville’s Black Lillies are even still together — much less touring in support of a new album — is a testament to leader Cruz Contreras‘ creative persistence. When sessions began for what would eventually be known as Hard to Please, the group found itself fractured: Two members left (though on good terms, we’re told). But Contreras replaced them with guest players (including pedal steel guitarist Matt Smith of Asheville’s own Honeycutters) and soldiered on, and the band’s newest (and fourth) album is its most varied yet, full of soul-informed rocking Americana. Annabelle’s Curse opens.


Artist: Ron Gallo Band
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Friday, Dec. 11, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
Across three albums and two-and-a-half EPs (one is split with another group), Philadelphia’s Toy Soldiers blazed an uptempo trail of rock ‘n’ roll that felt fresh and new, yet remained rooted in earlier styles (’50s rock, punk, a bit of Memphis soul). Frontman and primary songwriter Ron Gallo (guitar, vocals, harmonica) left/dissolved the group after its 2013 album The Maybe Boys, and released his understated solo album Ronny shortly thereafter. Old-school country flavors his solo work, but there’s a timeless pop sensibility to his songwriting that transcends genre.


Artist: Cosmic Charlie plays Europe ’72
Venue: New Mountain
Date: Friday, Dec. 11, 9 p.m.
Door: $10
Whether you think of the group to be one of the most important to come out of the psychedelic era, or if you consider it the Band That Just Won’t Go Away, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of The Grateful Dead. And even those who easily tire of that group’s seemingly endless jams will concede the greatness of Europe ’72, the three-LP set documenting some of the best performances from one of The Grateful Dead’s strongest tours. And since the dawning of this new century, Athens, Ga.-based Cosmic Charlie has presented its own upbeat take on The Grateful Dead’s music and experience. Started as a one-off, it’s been going strong ever since. And with ticket prices a mere fraction of what you’d pay to hear John Mayer and company, the start-to-finish Europe ’72 experience can be yours for one evening.

You may also enjoy: With over 2000 entries, my new and improved Musoscribe blog features new content — interviews, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009.

About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

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2 thoughts on “30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

  1. ronna

    Hey….we will be visiting Asheville on 12/24 – 12/25 and would LOVE to hear some live music. I’m having trouble finding information on who/what/where might be happening on those dates. Can you provide a link or information? Thanks a bunch.

    • Ronna, the “Clubland” section of Mountain Xpress’ site (and in print) has a pretty good rundown. See http://mountainx.com/clubland/

      Also, the next edition of “30 Days out” will be online Saturday 12/19 and might — might — feature a 12/24 or 12/25 performance. But with those days being Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I don’t know how much will be going on. Even musicians like to spend holidays with their families! :D

      Thanks for reading.

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