Isis Music Hall gets off to a great start in March with singers and songwriters Tom Rush & Matt Nakoa on Thursday, March 4, at 8:30 p.m. Rush, a 57-year veteran of the stage, celebrated his birthday last month in his hometown of Portsmouth, NH, and launched what he calls his First Annual Farewell Tour. Nakoa has toured with Rush for the last five years, contributing his blend of rock, folk and classical music influences. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the show.
Founded by fiddler and North Carolinian Joe Troop, Che Apalache brings its fusion bluegrass with Latin and American flavors to the stage Saturday, March 7, at 8:30 p.m. The other members of the four-man string band based in Buenos Aires are Franco Martino (guitar) and Martin Bobrik (mandolin), both from Argentina, and Pau Barjau (banjo) from Mexico. Their most recent album, Rearrange My Heart, is nominated for a Best Folk Album Grammy and was produced by banjo legend Béla Fleck. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 the day of the show.
On Sunday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m., catch The Jeremiahs on Isis’ main stage. Their unique Irish Urban Folk repertoire derives from traditional and contemporary sounds by Irishmen Joe Gibney (vocals) and James Ryan (guitar) and Frenchmen Jean-Christophe Morel (fiddle) and Julien Bruneteau (flutes). “Although we’ve heard Asheville has deep-seated bluegrass roots, it is also well renowned for its diverse music scene and its ‘open-arms’ attitude to all genres,” Gibney says. “This is really exciting for us as we love to bring our folk music to new audiences, and to play to such a receptive gathering of people in an amazing venue like Isis Music Hall is just perfect.” Tickets are $20.
Celebrated guitarist Pierre Bensusan returns to Asheville for a first-ever appearance at Isis on Sunday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. The five-month tour will introduce to audiences his just released solo album AZWAN and a new instructive book, The Guitar Collection. Asheville’s “creativity, open-minded spirit and quest for freedom in all aspects,” as well as its beauty put it high on his list, Bensusan says, for places to live should he ever leave France. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the show.
The Alash Ensemble, a trio of master throat singers from Tuva in central Asia, appear on Thursday, March 19, at 8:30 p.m. All were trained in this traditional music since childhood, and have introduced the sounds of guitar and accordion into their arrangements alongside their Tuvan instruments. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 the day of the show.
On Friday, March 27, at 8:30 p.m. American blues trio Scrapomatic presents their “shambolic, uplifting blues songcraft” for Isis audiences. Band members Mike Mattison and Paul Olsen invented Scrapomatic in 1999 in “an effort to separate the blues from anything edifying and preserve its impurities.” Alabaman Dave Yoke joined the two in 2005. Tickets are $20.
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.