Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column 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 roundup features touring acts from Montréal, rural Texas, South Carolina and Brooklyn. Their styles don’t necessarily conform to the reputations of their places of origin, but all four offer a unique musical perspective.
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 9 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $17 day of show
Unlikely as it may seem, Khruangbin is based in the tiny town of Burton, Tex., a good hour’s drive outside of Houston. In a refitted barn far from the city, the band creates its updated, distinctly American take on Thai funk. The result doesn’t sound like Southeast Asia at all (for that, you are directed to Dengue Fever), nor is it especially dripping in funk. But the group’s sound is quite compelling, and, although vocals came as a sort of afterthought to the trio, dig deep and the lyrics are meaningful. The Mattson 2 opens.
Artist: Doc McKenzie and the Gospel Hi-Lites
Venue: The Double Crown
Date: Thursday, March 29, 10 p.m.
It’s something of a coup to have booked South Carolina gospel sensation Doc McKenzie and the Gospel Hi-Lites for an Asheville performance. The ensemble has been singing fervent songs of praise for more than a half century. Even if gospel isn’t to your taste, the uptempo music of this group is soul-stirring, and you’ll hear some of the roots of rock, soul, country and blues in the delivery. Seeing and hearing the group in the intimate setting of West Asheville’s Double Crown should be a real treat.
Venue: Ambrose West
Date: Saturday, April 7, 8 p.m.
Time was, if you played country music, it seemed like you had to be from Nashville or Bakersfield (or at least pretend you were). Today the popularity of Americana — the rootsy, genuine answer to bro-country radio fodder — is widespread, and its heartfelt practitioners can come from most anywhere in the USA (or the world, for that matter). So it is that we have Grammy-nominated Yarn, from the New York City borough of Brooklyn. They may live in the big city, but the musicians in Yarn get their inspiration from all the right places. And they’ll deliver it locally in a nice, listening-room setting.
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Saturday, April 14, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $14 day of show
From Montréal, She-Devils is Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka. The duo’s sound draws from a wide array of somewhat left-field influences: French yé-yé (most notably pop chanteuse Françoise Hardy), krautrock (Can, Faust) and American proto-punk (Iggy and the Stooges). She-Devils combine a pop sensibility with the stripped-down primitive aesthetic of punk, and the result is a heady mash-up of girl-group and dark psychedelia. Sounds like fun, right? Nap Eyes are also on the bill.
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