Rebecca Thoreson TELLURIDE – The Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the jam-packed summer festival season in Telluride, and what a season it will be, with a dazzling parade of revelries on the way for music lovers of all tastes.
The weekend sees many venues re-opening for the busy season, and bashes abound around town, which should be hopping, starting tonight.
Cruise to the Bubble Lounge to catch the phenomenal band Meniskus, who are rolling in for a two-night stand at the O2 bar. The Denver alt-rockers have recently been nominated in the Modern Rock category of Westword’s “Best of Denver” competition, and drummer Chris Wright says the band is stoked.
"One of the coolest things about this nomination is the category we're in: Modern Rock. At first I thought, 'Modern Rock? Hmmm. Not so sure about that.’ So, I went and looked at this week's Modern Rock charts: Nine Inch Nails, Death Cab, Raconteurs, and Flobots – and I was like, 'OK. That's pretty good company to be in. We'll take that!’”
The new CD Foreign Beyond is gaining national attention, and was recorded at Boulder’s Coupe Studios, where other notable Colorado artists have recorded, including The Fray, Flobots and Rose Hill Drive.
Meniskus is out on the road in support of the new disc, and Wright says the band is excited to return to rock the O2 bar. "It's great to be coming back to Telluride – we made a lot of new fans last time we were here, and the Bubble Lounge is just a great place to play. Everybody had a blast last time, and I think with Mountainfilm going on, there should be a really good mix of locals and visitors getting down on the dance floor."
Meniskus’s unique instrumentation and barrage of effects makes this band cook, with the classically trained Eric Ostberg on violin and vocals complementing Bryan Bardusco’s fabulous guitar licks and Wright’s tight kit work. Check them out, tonight and tomorrow at the Bubble Lounge.
The O2 bar is packing in a ton of great music for the holiday weekend, including Dova Grove out of Memphis on Sunday night. The hot, funky jam band is rolling through the Western Slope with a bunch of gigs on tap, including a Memorial Day bash at the Sherbino in Ridgway, and a romp at Smugglers in Montrose on Tuesday. “We do a mix of stuff, because a couple of the guys grew up in Mississippi, so they have the blues and Southern rock influence,” explains guitarist Joe Eglis. “Our drummer listened to alt-pop and even metal, and I listened to a lot of acoustic rock growing up, so it’s a blend of all those influences.”
Egli notes that while Dova Grove likes to jam, they keep it tasty. “It’s Memphis rock and jam, but not extended jams. We try to hold on to what we feel is good about the jam, but not let it go too long.”
Funky, bluesy fun, groove with Dova Grove Sunday night.
Monday night at the Bubble Lounge, it’s James & the Devil, Denver’s rootsy Americana rockers who are also out in support of their new CD. Sinfully fun, the show starts at 9 p.m. on Monday evening. By the way, you can also catch James & the Devil at O’Brien’s Pub in Ouray Sunday night. “Rocky Mountain roll with a fiddle!” Yee-hah!
The jams continue at the O2 bar on Tuesday night, with the remarkable Mystic Roots Band, who successfully fuse reggae, rock and hip-hop. MRB has been on a roll after joining forces with U.K. reggae legend Pato Banton a couple of years ago. Tight, hot and totally funky, say hey to Cootdog and the boys, and get down with MRB on Tuesday night.
Down the street, reggae is the word at The Fly me to the Moon Saloon this weekend. The legendary club will rock Saturday night with the grand re-opening bash, featuring the marvelous Joseph Israel. Big-time reggae man Israel has performed with Ziggy Marley among others, and is hitting the road with Erica Newell, a member of Ziggy’s Melody Makers for some 20 years. Look for this to be a reggae rager at the Moon on Saturday night, and expect loads of great entertainment this summer at the Moon.
Another favorite solo artist returns to Telluride this week, with Drew De Four rolling into town for a couple of gigs, including tonight and tomorrow evening at the Brown Dog Pizza Company. The amazing De Four is a phenomenal pianist and entertainer, with a seemingly endless song list of originals and classic covers. You know him, you love him, and whatever you do, don’t miss the soulful De Four before he heads out on his world tour this summer to the U.K. and Ireland.
By the way, De Four will be at the Blue Sage in Paonia next week for a benefit on Wednesday night, and look for him out on the street in Telluride this weekend. At 6-foot, 7-inches, you can’t miss him!
De Four rocked Tommy’s last night, and there’s more on tap this weekend with the marvelous Michael Tobin hitting the stage on Saturday night. Tobin is a smokin’ hot singer-songwriter who’s been recording a new CD on the West Coast lately. Check him out Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. at Tommy’s, and don’t forget Karaoke night on Sundays and open mic on Wednesday nights.
Las Montañas is back for the summer, with a luscious line-up of goodies in the near future, including Salem, featuring Todd Anders Johnson next weekend. Expect Las Montañas to turn up the heat during the Jazz Celebration, with Son Como Son returning to town on June 6.
The Sheridan Opera House awakens for the season with the Telluride Rock & Roll Academy’s Spring Rock Concert next Saturday night. These kids can rock, and the Opera House will rock it in June, with a heap of great concerts set to roll through the historic venue in the coming weeks, including Jesse Colin Young on June 5, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband on June 13, and all of the shows surrounding the Bluegrass festival, like the sold-out Yonder Mountain and Emmitt Nershi Band shows.
At the revived Rico Theater this weekend, celebrate with Bongo Love on Saturday night. The amazing Afro-coustics group will wow you with their eclectic Zambabwean style, fabulous vocals, and unusual usage of traditional instruments. Catch them before they head off to Santa Fe and across the country.
The Sherbino Theater in Ridgway is also back in action, and this weekend, dance to the classic sounds of The Rockodiles. The guys always tear it up, and encourage you to “dance your pants off!” Show time is 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Coming up, it’s time to get ready for Jazz in June, with the Festival now just two weeks away. Get your tickets, as the new time slot and super hot lineup has passes selling at a brisk pace. Also, as noted, shows are beginning to sell out for Nightgrass during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Secure a pass, it’s only a month away!
The Silverton Jamboree is sneaking up on us, with the annual fest kicking off June 14. The Motet, Reverend Horton Heat, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Papa Grows Funk are all on the stellar line-up this year. Get more at silvertonjamboree.com In the meantime, celebrate the season with Mountainfilm in Telluride this weekend, and have a rockin’ Memorial Day Weekend!