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 Nut Zippers, you’re in for a treat. Jimbo’s work extends in many directions beyond that, and they’re fascinating, every one of ‘em. Nominally an Americana artist, in truth he’s a musical polymath whose pursuits are varied and worthy of deep investigation. He’s a noted producer and session player as well. I first saw him onstage some years back at the Americana Fest in Nashville. He’s scheduled for induction into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in November. You can learn more about him here, but your best bet is to listen.

Artist: The Rocky Horror Music Show
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Friday, Oct. 22, 10 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show
You know the story, of course. But now you can see and hear it live, performed by a collective of some of Asheville’s best musicians. The cast includes members of Dr. Bacon, Natural Born Leaders, Modern Strangers (who played their farewell show a few days ago), Andrew Thelston Band, Carpal Tullar, The Deathbots, Jesse Barry and the Jam, The Beekeepers, Pronounced Heroes, The Pitching Fits and more. Costumes strongly encouraged.

Artist: Buddy Guy
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Sunday, Oct. 24, 6:45 p.m.
Door: $40 advance / $45 day of show
Buddy Guy needs no introduction. Heck, when he played on a session using the alias “Friendly Chap” to fly under the radar (he was contracted to a rival label), even then he needed no introduction. The blues master is one of very few from electric blues’ classic era who’s still treading the board (he’s in his 80s). Buddy’s work is some of the rocking-est blues around; he’s one of few who can play with a rock sensibility and yet remain true to the spirit of the blues. Go see him; he’s the real deal. Young blues guitar star Ally Venable opens the show.

Artist: Tennis
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.
Door: $18
This wife-and-husband duo reminds me of Captain & Tennille, and that’s meant as a compliment. If you’re at all like me, you’ll hear hints of Brill building pop and ‘70s “AM gold” in their original material. I interviewed them back in 2018. Molly Burch opens.