30 Days Out, May 2021 #2: Asheville Jazz Orchestra, Drivin N Cryin, Hit Dogs, Ana Popović

While it remains to be seen what exactly the “new normal” is, it indeed looks like we’re there. Mask mandates are lifted, responsible people have been getting vaccinated, and venues are feverishly booking live music. Go see and hear some! Here are four live shows happening in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. There’s jazz, rock, blues and more rock.

Artist: Asheville Jazz Orchestra
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Friay, May 21, 8 p.m.
Door: $12
The AJO holds a special place in my heart, as one of my first dates with my lovely wife (we’re married seven years this week!) was at an AJO concert. This stellar big band has an impressive and varied repertoire; the combine top-notch musicianship with a laid back, fun-loving attitude.

Artist: Drivin N Cryin
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, June 3, 9 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
Atlanta-based Kevn Kinney is one of rock’s finest songwriters, and his band – which has been around forever – is always rocking. I interviewed Kinney back in 2015, and the conversation yielded several features. The Silks open; remember opening bands? Read on…

Artist: Father Son Picnic (w/ headlining act Hit Dogs)
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Friday, June 11, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
This is my page, so I’m taking something of a liberty with this one. Hit Dogs are an excellent rock band from Asheville, North Carolina, and they’re headlining the prestigious Orange Peel. I did a feature/interivew with the band in late 2019, not long before the pandemic put a stop to live music. As it happens, the opening act for Hit Dogs is a rocking combo called Father Son Picnic. The band plays “college rock” of the ‘80s, and their keyboardist is, well… me. And yes, that’s a keytar I’m holding. One of our first gigs in a long, long time.

Artist: Ana Popović
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Saturday, June 12, 7 p.m.
Door: $30
Is it possible to be pinup-attractive and an accomplished musician? Ana Popović is Exhibit A in favor of a resounding yes. No, she’s not from the Mississippi Delta; neither are most of the currently-living blues guitarists you’d care to name. Popović is serious about her music, so don’t let the cheesecake photography distract you. Well, okay, it can distract you a little. I interviewed Ana in 2017. The opener is guitarist Mike Zito!

More music soon!