30 Days Out, October 2021 #1: Jimbo Mathus, Rocky Horror Show, Buddy Guy, Tennis

Americana that’s more than twang. Classic camp. A blues legend. Retro-pop. Those are four of the highlights on the Asheville music calendar these coming 30 days. Artist: Jimbo Mathus Venue: The Grey Eagle (patio) Date: Friday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m. Door: $15 If you only know Jimbo Mathus from his role as leader of Squirrel

Album Mini-review: Jimbo Mathus — Band of Storms

File next to: JD McPherson, Dr. John the Night Tripper, The Replacements Every so often, an artist comes along who displays a true understanding of what rock ‘n’ roll is really about. It’s a mongrel with clear ancestry in blues, country, gospel, and even hokum of the 19th century. Only the rarest of artists can

Album Review: Jimbo Mathus — Dark Night of the Soul

I can make no legitimate claim to an ability to define Americana. Like the former chief justice said about another art form, I know it when I, um, hear it. And for my money, Jimbo Mathus‘ Dark Night of the Soul fits that description in the best way. For those who haven’t been paying close

EP Review: Jimbo Mathus – Blue Light

Musically, the 1990s were an eclectic time. You had all sorts of strains of music showing up on the pop cultural landscape. One of the more outré ones (commercially speaking, at least) was the modern take on Martin Denny and Esquivel-styled space-age bachelor pad music and/or exotica, most notably in the form of Combustible Edison,

30 Days Out, November 2021 #1: The Record Company, Cloak, Carolina Waltz, Squirrel Nut Zippers

The warm weather has left us, taking with it the opportunity for outdoor shows. It remains to be seen how the remaining vestiges of the pandemic will affect the live music scene. Here in Asheville, we lost several music venue (and untold number of artists) over the last 20 months, so fingers are crossed that

Album Review: Alabama Slim — The Parlor

When key rock musicians acknowledged their debt to blues figures in the 1960s, many of those bluesmen found themselves with a new and younger audience. Their belated wider recognition came just in time, as many were well into their middle years or beyond. Now, a half century later, most all of the blues giants have

Album Review: Tyler Keith – The Last Drag

Do you like rock ‘n’ roll? I mean the sweaty, greasy, sloppy, noisy stuff, the kind of music that gets your heart pumping and makes you want to get involved somehow – air guitar, head-nodding, first pumping – to more fully experience it? Then I’d very much like to direct your attention to The Last

Album Review: Phil Alvin – Un “Sung Stories”

With the departure of Dave Alvin in 1986, it looked the Blasters were finished. So it was no surprise that guitarist Phil Alvin took the opportunity to record and release his first solo album, Un “Sung Stories”. But Alvin’s solo debut found him traveling far from the straight-ahead rockabilly sounds of the Blasters. On three

The Squirrel Nut Zippers: Hot for the Holidays

Founded in Chapel Hill, N.C., the Squirrel Nut Zippers were more a summer art project than a serious band. But with the 1996 smash success of “Hell” from the group’s second album, the Zippers were catapulted into mainstream success. The group folded after releasing a holiday-themed album and 2000’s Bedlam Ballroom, but founder Jimbo Mathus

Vinyl Roundup Part One

Here’s a look at four new releases, all on my format of choice: vinyl. The Toadies – The Lower Side of Uptown (Kirtland Records) In an era populated by sensitive, navel-gazing neo-alt-folk-Americana acts, it’s refreshing to stumble upon a new release from a band that rocks like in the Old Days™. The Lower Side of