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.
For this — the final 30 Days Out of 2015 — I take a look at one show featuring a local act performing just before Christmas, plus three other acts with January concerts to help sweep away those inevitable deep-winter, post-holiday doldrums.
Artist: Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Sunday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m.
Door: $18 advance / $22 day of show / $30 VIP
There are many bands active today making music informed by the immeasurably influential Hot Club of France. In the 1930s, that group — featuring guitar legend Django Reinhardt and virtuoso violinist Stéphane Grappelli — established the template for what is now known as Gypsy-jazz. Though its members describe themselves as playing a modern variant of the style, the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet eschews electrical instrumentation. The four-piece group — Bergara on lead guitar, Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar, upright bassist Brian Netzley and Leah Zeger on violin — combines those European influences with the musical flavor of Bergara’s native Argentina.
Artist: Screaming J’s
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Saturday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
This Asheville-based trio makes supremely uptempo music in the piano boogie style. Nominally a folk/Americana act, The Screaming J’s draw from the New Orleans boogie-woogie style of prewar jazz and blues. A sly, playful sense of humor pervades the band’s music: the song “Tressa” (presumably about a local club owner who shall remain nameless) rhymes the title character with the line, “I wanna undress her.” Loose-limbed playing (the musicians claim The Grateful Dead as an influence) supports close vocal harmonies.
Artist: Andrew Scotchie’s B-Day Bash
Venue: Isis Restaurant and Music Hall
Date: Saturday, Jan. 16, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
At a mere 23 years of age, Andrew Scotchie has already made a name for himself — both locally and well beyond — thanks to his band Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats. They released their latest album, Stay Hungry, earlier this year (here’s my Xpress feature on the band and that new album). To celebrate his birthday (which is actually the 17th), a bunch of his friends have come together for a night of fun music. It helps that theses are all well-known and high-quality acts: the aforementioned River Rats, Porch 40 and Danielle Howle are on the bill.
Artist: The Midnight Riders
Venue: Highland Brewing
Date: Saturday, Jan. 16, 10 p.m.
After a very long and fruitful career (the late 1960s until last year, allowing for a hiatus in the early 1980s), The Allman Brothers Band established its as one of the foremost live improvisational acts in the rock idiom. When you get right down to it, that group’s music owes as much to John Coltrane as it does to T-Bone Walker. With the ABB having officially disbanded, it’s now left to others to carry on. Athens-based The Midnight Riders are doing their part by presenting a tribute, one in which they adhere to the spirit of spontaneity that made the Allmans great. Note than unlike most shows at Highland, this performance is later in the evening and does have a cover charge.
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