This issue takes a quick look at two locally-based acts and two nationally-touring ones. What these disparate acts have in common is a love of mixing genres; each has a style that keeps a simple label — say, jam-band, Americana, indie, etc. — from describing what they do.
Artist: The Alarm Clock Conspiracy (pictured, above)
Venue: The LAB
Date: Friday, Jan. 17, 9:30 p.m.
A few years back, a friend invited me out to Black Mountain one evening to check out the debut of a new, hard-to-classify band featuring an ex-member of MarsupiaL. While their unique mix of country-rock, progressive and powerpop made for some fascinating originals, they won me over completely with a heartfelt, note-perfect cover of Big Star's "The Ballad of El Goodo." Their 2012 self-titled album was filled with winning originals. Though they often do semi-acoustic gigs as well, the electric configuration is the one to see and hear. This night at LAB, they're sharing the bill with East Coat Dirt.
Artist: Delta Moon
Venue: Highland Brewing Co.
Date: Friday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m.
Fronting this semi-acoustic blues outfit is Tom Gray, who — in what now seems like a previous life — led, sang and plays synthesizers(!) in The Brains, an Atlanta-based early '80s new wave group that cut the original version of "Money Changes Everything," later a hit for Cyndi Lauper. None of which has any discernible sonic connection to Delta Moon, an aggregation that's equal parts swampy Delta blues and swaggering Appalachian twang. The husky-voiced Gray was named Blues Songwriter of the Year for 2008 by the American Roots Music Association. With seven albums to their credit, Delta Moon are a big international draw; catch them at Highland for one of their last Stateside gigs prior to their heading out on an extensive European tour.
Artist: Willie Sugarcapps
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Friday, Jan. 31, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance
The word "supergroup" is oft-abused. But this five-piece featuring well-known names (Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford of Sugarcane Jane and Corky Hughes) deserves the sobriquet. A favorite on No Depression's readers' poll, the group rose out of an informal weekly music gathering in deepest Alabama. The collective's self-titled debut was released in fall 2012; they describe their music as "deep southern Gulf Coast country blues, folk rock, stomp-n-roll."
Artist: Everyone Orchestra
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 10 p.m.
Door: $15 advance
Speaking of supergroups, Everyone Orchestra earns the title as well. Leeds, England-based The New Mastersounds' ace guitarist Eddie Roberts is merely one of many stellar instrumentalists who will be onstage this go-round with the EO. Conducted by Matt Butler, Everyone Orchestra combine the jam aesthetic with the power and versatility of a large group; unlike a typical orchestra, spontaneity and surprise are hallmarks of this group. EO is never the same twice: big names float in and out, and do their thing alongside painters., dancers, jugglers and who-knows-what-else. Expect the unexpected. This night includes a set from DJ Logic as well.
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