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.
A blues legend, an unpredictable force of nature, and two local acts — one long established, the other part of the current hard-rock resurgence — are spotlighted in this roundup of local, live music happening in and around Asheville in the next 30 days.
Artist: Coco Montoya
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 8 p.m.
British bandleader John Mayall is known as the Godfather of British Blues. He’s in his 80s now, but he’s been leading bands since the very early 1960s. He has a knack for getting the best musicians: early in their careers, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood played with him. For a decade, starting in the early ’80s, Coco Montoya was Mayall’s lead guitarist. That’s enough to let you know that this American blues guitar master is well worth seeing and hearing. His solo albums — including his most recent, Hard Truth from 2017 — provide 10 more reasons.
Artist: Free Flow Band
Date: Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 p.m.
This old-school funk band has been an enduring part of the Asheville music scene since forming in 2005. The group’s primary — singular, even — emphasis is to get bodies on the dance floor and then keep ’em there. The Asheville natives’ musical history extends back to the late 1960s and early ’70s, when they were in the audience at The Orange Peel, then a funk and soul club catering primarily to the African American community. There, they absorbed important lessons about how to give an audience what it wants, and they put those lessons into practice in every performance.
Artist: Egg Eaters
Venue: Pisgah Brewing Co.
Date: Thursday, Sept. 27, 8 p.m.
Part of the current vanguard of Asheville-based hard rock acts, Egg Eaters describe their aesthetic as “a classic Blondie/New York Dolls sound with a stage show like The Flaming Lips.” In other words, they play a direct, hard-edged, stripped-down style of rock influenced by the New York City protopunk movement of the late 1970s, and their live show is intentionally and self-consciously weird. That sounds like a great night.
Artist: King Khan & the Shrines
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Sunday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m.
At their best, King Khan & the Shrines channel the raw energy and aggression of early rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues. The band takes that energy and bends it in the direction of punk, but delivers the music in a fashion that has both finesse and abandon. Khan is a weirdly appealing front man, a sort of rocking shaman. At its best, the band is one of the finest live acts you’ll ever see. At its worst, however, it’s just another group. What version will the audience witness at this show? It’s impossible to tell, but it’s worth the risk. Gabriella Cohen opens.
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