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.
As is often the case, there’s a wonderfully wide variety of music on offer in Asheville during the next 30 days. In this issue, I take quick looks at performances featuring a musician at the forefront of jazz, a beloved singer-songwriter embarking on a solo project, a local favorite hosting a holiday show and a high-concept tribute act that ends up being truly original. See you at the shows.
Artist: Kamasi Washington
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Sunday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.
Door: $25 advance, $30 day of show
Saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington made an indelible impression as arranger and sideman for projects by Kendrick Lamarr and Thundercat, but he’s long had more than enough superb ideas of his own. His aptly titled 2015 album The Epic is a sprawlng, three-disc work that was a massive success critically and commercially. His latest release, Harmony of Difference, is nominally an EP but contains at least an album’s worth of great musical ideas. Technically he’s a jazz musician, but Washington’s music effortlessly transcends genre. Moonchild opens.
Artist: Emily Saliers
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 p.m.
Door: $17 advance, $25 day of show
Emily Saliers came to prominence as half of the duo leading Indigo Girls, but she, too, enjoys a surfeit of musical ideas. With a new solo album and a tour in support of it, Saliers is flexing her musical muscles and moving beyond the (already broad) territory explored by Indigo Girls, with whom she remains active. This is a rescheduling of a postponed show; my Mountain Xpress feature/interview written to preview the originally scheduled date is here. Lucy Wainwright Roche opens.
Artist: Brown Sabbath
Venue: Ellington Underground
Date: Saturday, Dec. 16, 10 p.m.
When Dread Zeppelin combined Elvis impersonation, Led Zeppelin and reggae, it was silly and fun. When Hayseed Dixie recasted AC/DC’s music into the bluegrass idiom, it was … silly and fun. But when Austin, Tex.-based horn-focused outfit Brownout recasts the work of British metal masters Black Sabbath into Latin soul, it’s nothing short of amazing. Not silly at all, Brown Sabbath serves as a reminder of the underrated songwriting prowess of the dark 1970s foursome. This show is very likely to sell out.
Artist: Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas show
Venue: Asheville Community Theatre
Date: Friday, Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Though FOX News talking heads wold have you believe otherwise, there is no “war on Christmas.” The holiday’s origins extend far into the part of history we now call B.C.E., and, today, there’s room for celebrating all kinds of cultural traditions as we approach winter. Jamie Laval of Tryon does that year after year with his holiday shows; every year is different from the last, too.
You may also enjoy: With more than 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.