upcoming shows you should check out
STEEP CANYON RANGERS AT THE BLIND TIGER
Take a look at Steve Martin’s filmography for the past few years. It’s safe to say he has developed a reputation for taking the easy route in his twilight. Bringing Down the House, Cheaper By the Dozen and its sequel, and The Pink Panther reboot: They’re all terrible, with half-assed performances by Martin. But the man’s got a massive art collection that needs growing, and the path of least resistance has been kind in that regard. He applied that ethos to selecting a backing group for his second career as a banjo man, because the Steep Canyon Rangers are quite possibly the best young group of pickers in string music. They’re immense talent is reigned in a tad as the backing group for Martin, but they offer plenty of options to see them in all their glory via relentless touring. The Asheville quintet will play the Blind Tiger on Friday, so while Martin is on the “How to Get a Million Dollars and Never Pay Taxes” lecture circuit, enjoy them whilst one can. Porch Dog Revival will open and tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. The music starts at 9 p.m.
THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF THE BLUES
Even desert people get the blues, and it’s the blues that’s been the conduit for one of the most iconic political voices in Middle Eastern music for the past three decades. The word tinariwen means “the deserts” in the Tamashek language of the Sahara, but it’s also the name from the ever-revolving, ethnic Tuareg band coming to the Cat’s Cradle this Sunday. Formed in 1979, they rose to prominence in the 1980s as the pied pipers of a new political and social conscience in the southern Sahara, and the icons of a whole generation of young Tuareg living in exile in Algeria and Libya. Their raw, bluesy style is reminiscent of that of Ali Farka Toure and fused with the tribal rhythms of their native nomadic ethnicity. The band is actually a collective of musicians who come together at various intervals to perform, rarely containing the same lineup as the previous. That dynamic is entirely a result of their peripatetic nature, but also ensures the band’s longevity. Swiss blues-pop singer Sophie Hunger will open the show at 8 p.m., and tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door.
PHANTOMS OF THE SOUTHERN-ROCK OPERA
Practically all of the Southern rock stereotypes apply to the Drive-By Truckers. They’re greasier than a 3 a.m. triple order of Waffle House hash browns, twangier than Billy Redden’s eyes and kick more ass than Pat Swayze in Roadhouse. But the Drive-By Truckers don’t deserve the stigma of the Southern-rock label. Collaborations with Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones, an homage to classic Southern soul in the form of their 2011 album Go-Go Boots, and a discography that will make you cry in your whiskey as quickly as it would punch the next person who looks at you funny has transcended being listed alongside .38 Special. The Athens rockers come to Ziggy’s this Sunday as their endless tour marches on. Tickets for the show are $25 and Alabama Shakes will open at 8 p.m.