The end of the year and the cold of winter represent something of a return to form for Asheville; most of the tourists are gone, and locally-based artists who tour are home for the holidays. So this period represents an opportunity to take in some top-notch local/regional talent. All three of those on this roundup are staging holiday-themed shows in December. And right after the New Year, one of the most unique touring acts out there returns to town.
Artist: Russ Wilson
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Sunday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Musical man-about-town Wilson is renowned for his holiday shows. Bringing out the big band and serving up an evening of classic, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. *That said, do be warned of the venue’s usurious minimum purchase policy. You’ll think you died and went to Las Vegas. (Late-breaking news: the venue is up for sale.)
Artist: Datrian Johnson
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m.
Johnson is an Asheville-based vocal powerhouse with a wide stylistic range. He fronts The Fritz (funk), the innovative Saint Disruption and hip hop outfit Free Radio, but for this show he’s focusing on holiday-themed material. Could be anything, and for sure it’ll be good.
Artist: Asheville Jazz Orchestra
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Friday, Dec. 23, 2 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $22 day of show
The pandemic put a stop to performances by this big band, so seeing their name on the calendar is welcome indeed. They, too, will be playing holiday faves for their December date.
Artist: Moon Hooch
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Friday, Jan. 13, 9 p.m.
Door: $18 advance / $20 day of show
Two saxes and a drummer? Could be weird, you say? Indeed it is, but it’s also fantastic, and more accessible than you might guess. I first saw Moon Hooch years ago (2013). Interviewed ‘em too. They visit Asheville a lot – last here in April – and the audiences here love ‘em for good reason.