30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

STILL BURNING: The acoustic configuration of the legendary Hot Tuna (Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen) returns to Asheville for an April 19 performance at the Orange Peel. Photo credit: Barry Berenson

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.

Electric blues. Acoustic folk-blues. Funk/soul. Jazz in a chamber music setting. Those are the far-reaching musical corners to which this edition of 30 Days Out travels. Come on along for the ride.

Artist: Hot Tuna (Acoustic)
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 8 p.m.
Door: $35 advance / $40 day of show
Lifetime best friends Jorma Kaukonen (guitar) and Jack Casady (bass) started Hot Tuna in 1969 as a spinoff from their main band, Jefferson Airplane, but Hot Tuna quickly became a sensation in its own right. With countless successful albums and tours, Hot Tuna has endured for nearly half a century . Along the way, the lineups have changed but the constant has always been the engaging musical interplay between the duo. These days — when not running musical workshops at Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch — Hot Tuna alternates between tours as an electric trio (as showcased at last December’s Christmas Jam) and an acoustic duo. The latter, with a more understated musical approach, is the one Hot Tuna brings to The Orange Peel. These guys are legends, and for very good reason.

orgone

Artist: Orgone
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Wednesday, April 20, 9 p.m.
Door: $15
The sounds and textures of late 1960s and early 70s soul and funk provide endless inspiration to musicians even today, some forty years after pop music moved on to other things. There’s something both durable and timeless about that style of music. And one of the current scene’s most effective practitioners of the style is Los Angeles-based Orgone. The seven-piece outfit is primarily instrumental, and they bring a hip-hop sensibility that updates the retro-funk for the 21st century. Beyond the Sun, from 2015, is the band’s seventh album; it does a fine job of capturing the group’s live vibe. But you have a chance to experience the real deal. Dynamo opens.

jazz_is_chamber

Artist: Jazz is Chamber Music!
Venue: All Souls Cathedral
Date: Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show / $5 students
Jazz is a dynamic art form full of power, passion and emotion. But it’s also some pretty heady stuff, with classical leanings worked into the improvisational whole (The Modern Jazz Quartet is an exemplar of the successful combination of the two seemingly disparate qualities). For this special performance at the All Souls Cathedral in historic Biltmore Village, a trio of Byron Hedgepeth (vibraphone), Mike Holstein (bass) and percussionist Justin Watt will deliver both original works and favorites from the likes of Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. The concert will — like the MJQ — reconcile the classical approach with the decidedly more exuberant feel of jazz, thus the project’s title: Jazz is Chamber Music!

karen_lovely

Artist: Karen Lovely
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m.
Door: $20
There’s perhaps no genre so populated with mediocrity as the blues. And that’s a shame, because blues is truly American music. Far too many play it without understanding what makes it special; too often the result seems best suited for the lounge of an airport hotel. But that reality makes the ones who truly get it all the more special. Portland, Oregon’s Karen Lovely definitely gets it, and has been widely recognized for her skills. She placed second at the 2010 International Blues Challenge, and went on to earn three nominations for Blues Music Awards. The vocal powerhouse is every bit as intense onstage as her recordings (Ten Miles of Bad Road being the latest) attest. And opening for Lovely is Asheville’s own Bygone Blues Duo (Peggy Ratusz and Aaron Price); they recently returned from Memphis where they competed in the 2016 IBC.

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.

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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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