Jack of the Wood shifts gears

While, as the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes, there are some constants in this crazy world. Such as that Jack of the Wood (being based on Ireland's wood-and-peat-smoke pubs) will serve a Guinness and host a weekly Irish session. But even Jack of the Wood is not immune to change. The local bar — long favored by dudes in flannel downing pints in time to roots and Americana-oriented bands — is changing up its concert calendar.

First, there are more shows. Monday shows (following popular weekly trivia game Quizzo), Tuesday shows and both early and late shows on Fridays and Saturdays. And then there are the unexpected acts. Indie-experimental trIo Alligator Indian joins the Friday, Feb. 24 lineup, there's a screening of the Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something on Tuesday, Feb. 28 and, recently, DJ Quinto spun records during "Advanced Soul Night."

Richard McSherry, in charge of booking music for Jack of the Wood in downtown Asheville and Jack of Hearts in Weaverville, says he’s really excited about Cedric Burnside (blues) and Reverend Deadeye (garage gospel). “We’re bringing in bigger acts and two or three bands on the weekends,” he tells Xpress. “We’ve got such a great staff that we’re able to pull it off.” The early Friday and Saturday night shows are free, by the way.

But the changes don’t mean that Jack of the Wood is turning its back on roots music. “We’re keeping our core of Celtic and bluegrass,” says McSherry. “We’re trying to step it up and bring the best.”

And, while the calendar may include some wild cards (like a DJ late-night following Quizzo or a singer-songwriter showcase), McSherry says the emphasis remains on live music both for Jack of the Wood and Jack of Hearts.
— A.M.

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