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.
There’s a wide variety of music on offer this go-round, from folk rock to experimental jazz to hotshot guitar-slinging. And there’s a local tribute to a beloved band of yesteryear.
Artist: The Lost Chord
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Saturday, July 22, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
This November will mark 50 years since the Moody Blues reinvented themselves and released the landmark album Days of Future Passed. That record — with its rock-orchestral hybrid approach and innovative use of the then-new Mellotron keyboard — helped usher in the progressive era in rock. And the Moody Blues did so with more melody than many of their supposedly more adventurous prog contemporaries. The group-as-such folded in the late 1970s, with a second wind in the MTV era, and these days plays the nostalgia circuit (other than a Christmas album, there’s been no new music in this century). An Asheville-based aggregation of veteran musicians, The Lost Chord takes the time and effort to reproduce the Moodies’ early sound in a faithful manner.
Artist: Strand of Oaks
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Saturday, July 15, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $11 advance / $13 day of show
Strand of Oaks is the nom de rock of Timothy Showalter. And though he’s often classified as a folk-rocker, as often as not he cranks out high-octane rock that sounds a bit like a heavily-distorted Pete Yorn. Across five albums, Showalter has shown himself to be a songwriter and performer of some great intensity. His 2014 record, HEAL earned near-unanimous critical praise, a long string of awards and best-of-the-year nods. Fans of that disc will find much to enjoy on 2017’s Hard Love as well. Jason Anderson opens.
Artist: Jonah Parzen-Johnson
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Monday, July 17, 9 p.m.
Jazz saxophone players know about “circular breathing,” the technique used so well by Rashaan Roland Kirk (and by elevator-jazz sensation and Guinness record-holder Kenny G). Circular breathing allows a musician to play notes continuously without stopping. On its own — and when used in service of good music — it’s nothing short of astounding. But Brooklyn-based Parzen-Johnson decided that alone wasn’t enough, so he learned how to manipulate analog synthesizers using his feet, and his one-man-performances feature exploratory music created in that manner. Just seeing it is amazing enough; hearing what he does — and realizing that it works — is all the more fascinating. Oariana and Omnicaster open.
Artist: Jimmy Herring & the Invisible Whip
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, 9 p.m.
Door: $25 advance / $30 day of show
One of the most accomplished and melodic guitarists associated with the jam circuit, Jimmy Herring co-founded Aquarium Rescue Unit with the recently departed Col. Bruce Hampton. He also lends his considerable talents to popular jam outfit Widespread Panic. And this fall, he’ll spar onstage with the legendary John McLaughlin as the latter embarks upon his farewell-to-North-America tour. For this current tour, however, Herring enjoys a well-deserved top billing. In his long career — he’s been on recordings since at least 1992 — Herring has released only two solo albums. But he has a deep and expansive repertoire from which to draw, so concertgoers can expect musical fireworks.
You may also enjoy: With nearly 2500 entries and nearly 500 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009, now in its ninth year. My first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018.