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 around I take quick looks at two nationally-touring acts, and two local groups. We’ve got folk-jazz, folk-blues, electronica-jazz and straight-up New Orleans funk on tap.
Artist: George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Friday, Feb. 24, 10 p.m.
Each of America’s great cities has its musical giants. Los Angeles had the Wrecking Crew. Detroit had the Funk Brothers. New York City had the Brill Building full of songwriters. And though it’s much smaller than those cities, New Orleans boasts more than its share of legendary music figures. When it comes to N’awlins funk, the name George Porter comes to mind immediately. Bassist for the Meters (and its successor the Funky Meters), Porter has also been involved in countless other projects. There’s long been a musical connection between Asheville and New Orleans, and that grew ever-stronger after Katrina, so local audiences always bring the love for Porter when he plays here.
Artist: Triptych Soul
Venue: UpCountry Brewing
Date: Saturday, Feb. 18, 8:30 p.m.
This Asheville trio makes a kind of electronica-jazz hybrid that owes as much to Kid A-era Radiohead as anything else. Moody textures, skittering beats and throbbing synths all converge into a fusion that somehow reconciles kinetic dance music and romantic downtempo. The UpCountry gig will celebrate the release of the group’s so-called “albumita.” My best guess is that’s an exotic name for an EP. Armadilla opens.
Artist: Sparrow & Her Wingmen
Venue: The Crow and Quill
Date: Wednesday, March 1, 9 p.m.
Door: $5-10 suggested donation
Asheville has more than its share of perpetually smilin’, arm-garter wearin’ vintage jazz groups. And they’re all pretty good at what they do. But Sparrow and Her Wingmen are just a bit extra-special. There’s a stronger folk element to their music, and Sparrow Pants’ accordion gives the tunes a lovely Parisian vibe. The dance-oriented group’s arrangements allow plenty of room for instrumental improvisation, while remaining structured enough to keep the dance floor filled.
Artist: David Bromberg Quintet
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Saturday, March 11, 9 p.m.
Door: $35 advance / $40 day of show
David Bromberg has been making records since 1972. He’s never become a household name; that fact has to do with his unassuming approach to music. But those in the know have long sought him as a collaborator and/or sideman. Bromberg has lent his talents to music by artists from Richie Havens to Ringo Starr, Eagles to Sha Na Na, Bob Dylan to Edie Brickell. He’s cowritten songs with George Harrison, and was mentored in his early days by gospel-blues legend Reverend Gary Davis. Released in October, Bromberg’s latest album, The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, is a veritable travelog through that genre’s many sub-styles. Austin Shaw opens.
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