Folk revival, Roots (American and European), Jam and Americana and progressive jazz-rock are some of the sounds that will entertain crowds at Isis Music Hall in March. In addition, later this month, Isis will host a benefit concert for the Lloyd Johnson Foundation.
Guitarist Jim Kweskin, singer and bandleader, appears on stage Saturday, March 3, at 8:30 p.m. Kweskin’s picking style combines ragtime-blues fingerpicking and more complex chords of pop and jazz to his exploration of traditional folk, blues and jazz. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show.
On Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m., it’s An Evening with Beppe Gambetta, guitarist, vocalist, researcher and composer born in Genova, Italy. “I’m known as an ‘ambassador’ of American Roots music in Europe and Mediterranean music in America,” Gambetta says. Stories from life on the road inform the music on his new CD, Short Stories.
He taught a workshop on “Flatpicking and Roots Guitar” at the annual Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and has played at Isis Music Hall once before. He likens Asheville’s cultural offerings to Freiburg in Germany and Urbino in Italy. “In such a place,” he says, “musicians love to find their home. I’m happy to know some of them— like Steep Canyon Rangers, David Holt and Al Petteway.” The trip to Asheville offers another diversion. “On my way to Asheville, the road will bring me to a pilgrimage to Deep Gap in order to visit Doc Watson’s grave.” He calls Watson “the greatest American acoustic guitarist, who has been a precious mentor in all of my music career.” Tickets are $15 in advance and $29 the day of the show.
Sol Driven Train visits Isis on Saturday, March 24, at 9 p.m. for a Main Stage Standing Show. The popular Charleston (SC)-based group combines American pop and folk with their own brand of roots rock. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show.
The progressive jazz-rock band, Marbin, takes the stage Wednesday, March 28, at 8:30 p.m. Based out of Chicago, the band began touring all over the country in 2011, gaining legions of fans for their original instrumental music.
The Lloyd Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit, was established last year to honor the memory of Buncombe County music lover Lloyd Johnson. The foundation partnered with others to present the Bluegrass Ramble in Raleigh and, in April, will be the primary sponsor of the MerleFest 2018 Band Competition. The lineup for Lloyd’s Large Time: A Benefit for the Lloyd Johnson Foundation at Isis on Thursday, March 29, at 8 p.m. includes Jim Lauderdale, Sarah Burton, Si Kahn, Mark Bumgarner, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and other surprise special guests.
Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is located at 743 Haywood Road in West Asheville. For ticket information and reservations, call 828.575.2737 or visit isisasheville.com where a complete schedule of events and times may be found. Dinner reservations by phone are recommended.