By Gina Malone
On the Main Stage at Isis Music Hall in March are iconic figures in folk music along with some Celtic, jazz, bluegrass and Americana thrown in the mix for the usual universally pleasing lineup. And brightening up the Isis Lounge will be a selection of acoustic shows featuring guitar, piano and vocals.
An Evening with John Gorka on Sunday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., brings an Asheville favorite to the stage. Gorka’s influences span American music genres from gospel to rock. “I consider myself a folk singer,” he says, “but I don’t mind being referred to as an acoustic singer-songwriter.” His brother’s lending him Woody Guthrie’s album, Bound for Glory and seeing Pete Seeger play in 1975 made him want to be a folk singer. “Playing my songs for people continues to be a dream come true.” (Tickets: $20 advance; $23 day of show).
The David Bromberg Quintet will bring what has become a legendary sound to the Main Stage on Saturday, March 11, at 9 p.m. David Bromberg—a godfather of Americana, decorated multi-instrumentalist and singer songwriter, gifted song interpreter and lauded bandmate to the stars—will release The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues (Red House Records). Produced by Levon Helm and Bob Dylan’s longtime collaborator, Larry Campbell, Bromberg’s first album since 2013 is a wonderfully curated selection of deep cuts from the blues genre, in addition to original compositions. (Tickets: $35 advance; $40 day of show).
Renowned Celtic performers, Lúnasa, will play two concerts on Sunday, March 12, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Their fundamental style, says flute player Kevin Crawford, is “traditional Irish dance tunes played with uilleann pipes, flute and fiddle, accompanied by a pulsating and driving back line of guitar and double bass.”
The group makes an annual pilgrimage to the Swannanoa Gathering in July. “We especially love coming to Asheville,” Crawford says, “as it’s such a vibrant and happening spot for music and the arts in general.” (Tickets: $25).
The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio takes the stage in the lounge on Sunday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m. “The trio performs a variety of genres, from folk to blues to New Orleans traditional jazz,” Pierson says. “We’ve played in Asheville a few times now and we always love coming back. It’s beautiful and rich with culture.” (Tickets: $15).
Using Quebec’s vibrant living music tradition as a springboard for musical innovation, De Temps Antan forms a power trio catapulting audiences headlong into the future French-Canadian music and culture on March 29, at 9 p.m. (Tickets: $15 advance/$18 day of show).
Dangermuffin kicks off a new month of music on Saturday, April 1, at 9 p.m. The appearance will be part of the band’s album release party. Heritage will showcase “the band’s signature coastal-influenced grooves melded with Americana sensibilities and Appalachian finger picking.” (Tickets: $12 advance/$15 day of show).
Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is located at 743 Haywood Road in West Asheville. For ticket information and dinner reservations, call 828.575.2737 or visit isisasheville.com.