30 Days Out August 2021 #2: Jason Ringenberg, Magic City Hippies, Bill Frisell, Steve Earle, Los Lobos

Ohhh…kayyyy… Here we go again. There are some great live music shows scheduled over the next 30 days in and around Asheville. But scheduled isn’t the same thing as “guaranteed to happen.” Your unvaccinated friends and neighbors may put the kibosh on things. Check with the venue as close as possible to show times. And if you go, bring that damn mask. Unlike some other things, it won’t kill ya.

Artist: Jason Ringenberg
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, August 18, 6 p.m.
Door: $15
You may remember Jason and the Scorchers, quite possibly the best “cowpunk” band from an era when there were several contenders to that title. Leader and guitarist Ringenberg went on to other styles and pursuits – including making music for kids – but the quality of his material has never faltered.

Artist: Magic City Hippies
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Friday, August 21, 9 p.m.
Door: $20
Laid-back vibe? Urbane style? Check. Stellar musicianship? Check. Catchy tunes that offer something interesting while appealing to listeners who actually like the current trends in pop music? Check. Check out Miami-based Magic City Hippies and see and hear for yourself. Cool Company opens.

Artist: Bill Frisell: Harmony
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Thursday, Sept. 2, 8:30 p.m.
Door: $30 advance / $35 day of show
Frisell is acclaimed far and wide for his guitar prowess. I will admit that his charms have so far largely eluded me; while I’m impressed with his technique, I find what I’ve heard a bit too subtle and understated for my tastes. I’m not expecting Steve Vai, here, y’understand, but I do like a bit of fire and passion. That said, the incomparable Petra Haden is part of this lineup, and that fact alone is enough to make it a worthwhile outing.

Artist: Steve Earle & the Dukes / Los Lobos
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Friday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Door: $35 advance / $40 day of show
Alt-country – or alt-anything, for that matter – is a shopworn term, but it still holds some use as a way to communicate that a given artist has twang coupled with a level of commitment and authenticity that keeps them off Today’s Modern Country™ stations. That’s Steve Earle in spades. And this double bill features a group that – in a perfect world – would be the ones known as America’s Band: Los Lobos.

Fingers crossed, right?