30 Days Out, February 2024 #1: Nirvani, John McCutcheon, Andrew Thelston Band, Stick Men

The quiet season continued herei n Asheville, with tourist traffic slightly diminished. But there’s plenty of great live music, and locals can enjoy it without being (as) overrun by outta-towners. In the coming 30 days, highlights include a couple of locally-based artists of note, a better-than-standard tribute band, and a giant in the folk world. Bundle up and go see a show!

Artist: Nirvani
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Saturday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.
Door: $12
Nirvana’s time in the spotlight was comparatively brief, but their influence most surely endures. In general, I tend to steer away form promoting tribute act shows (though I myself have nothing against them). But this one deserves mention because the band does what they do so well. And they look like ‘em, without a bunch of makeup or whatnot. And amusingly, the opening act (Foo4You) is a Foo Fighters tribute band. No word if the opener’s guitarist plays drums in the headlining band.

Artist: John McCutcheon
Venue: AyurPrana Listening Room
Date: Friday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.
Door: $30
A modern-day folk giant, McCutcheon draws upon a substantial body of original work in the American music tradition. And underscoring the point that he’s both (a) a veteran of that scene and (b) a forward-thinking and canny artist, his website is folkmusic.com. Clearly he had the good sense to get there first!

Artist: Andrew Thelston Band
Venue: Shiloh & Gaines
Date: Saturday, Feb. 24, 9 p.m.
Door: $free (but c’mon: tip the band!)
In the thriving and vibrant musical community that is Asheville, the name Andrew Thelston shows up all over the place. This supremely talented and versatile musician applies his skills to a panoply of projects. But one suspect that the one to which he lends his on name is nearest and dearest to his heart. Elements of psychedelia inform his approach, but his artistry is of the wide-screen variety.

Artist: Stick Men
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 8 p.m.
Door: $30
Google “Stick Men” and the top result that comes up is a brief profile of the band. “Super group,” it says. Damn straight. Featuring the weighty talent of Markus Reuter, Pat Mastelotto and Tony Levin, Stick Men is an instrumental prog powerhouse par excellence. If you’re into prog, you’ll know their pedigree. But while what they do as Stick Men has a connection to two of its members’ work for and in King Crimson, Stick Men are very much their own thing. Must see. Read more about this amazing group here.

See you at the show!