Reggae With Passafire at Las Montañas
TELLURIDE – Hot on the heels of the fabulous Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the summer music scene continues to sizzle, with both the Wine and Plein Air festivals getting underway this weekend.
In the midst of all of the bluegrass madness during the last couple of weeks, several major musical additions to the calendar were announced, including the return of Steve Earle, who will appear with Allison Moorer at the Sheridan Opera House on July 2 and 3.
The Grammy Award winning Earle released his tremendous Washington Square Serenade last fall, which includes the beautiful duet with Moorer, “Days Aren’t Long Enough,” plus a number of other Earle-esque gems.
In fact, the husband and wife team have been collaborating quite a bit as of late.
The marvelous Moorer’s latest CD, Getting Somewhere, was produced by her famous hubby, and showcases Moorer’s sultry voice and stunning songwriting. The pair will roll in for a two-night stand next week, and these shows may well sell out heading into the Fourth of July weekend, so grab your tickets soon!
In the meantime, the historic Sheridan Opera House will transform in to a Billie Jean bad-ass machine tonight, with Who's Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, which features a complete troupe, with costumes, dance routines and, of course, all of the moves and grooves of the 1980 hits by the gloved one himself. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. tonight, dig it!
Another recent announcement came from KOTO in the past week or so, with the unveiling of this year’s Yankee Doodle Doo-Dah performers, which includes the return of the lovely ladies of Lez Zeppelin, plus an appearance by The Meditations, the former members of Bob Marley’s Harmony. The Doo-Dah is coming right up, too, on July 12 in Telluride’s Town Park. Should be a doozie!
Dub is the word at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon this weekend, with Flagstaff’s hip-hop reggae phenoms Summit Dub Squad ready to rock the downtown club tonight. SDS blends funk, punk, hip-hop, reggae and more to create their fresh sound, which the band calls “High Elevation Sound Flavor.”
Tasty, indeed, the group evolved out of the Flagstaff hip-hop outfit GreenHouse Fresh Produce, where DJ Soe and B Dub combined beats, lyrics and grooves with bass wiz Dub Doctor Paul, and their very first gig found them opening for renowned super reggae group Culture. SDS has added Ben the Machine on real drums, who kicks the rhythm into high gear, plus there’s Hunter Redday on guitar, percussion and vocals, and sister Onion Grass on the viola.
The result is a tribal burst of sight and sound that will have you movin’ and groovin’, tonight with Summit Dub Squad at the Moon.
Reggae rolls into Las Montañas this weekend too, with Passafire set to rock the house on Saturday night.
Successfully fusing roots reggae, progressive rock and dub, the Savannah, Ga.-based rockers rip, and are on the fast track to success, with their 2006 self-titled debut and energetic live performances creating a nationwide buzz. The band followed up the debut disc with last year’s sensational release Submersible, and recently opened for Van Halen and Toots & The Maytals on their spring tour. Not bad for a band that formed only four years ago!
Of course, a couple of the band members have known each other all of their lives, as Passafire’s sound is driven by the versatile Nick Kubley on drums and his brother Will, who lays down the heavy dub bass work.
The two are joined by Ted Browne who shreds on guitar, and adds his soaring soul-tinged vocals. The group layers up the texture even further with Adam Willis’s vintage keyboard work, and Browne says the band is on fire following the release of their sophomore effort on California’s LAW label.
“We were looking to create something wholly fresh and unconstrained by the genre, and we ended up with an album that is progressive, but still accessible,” he notes on the band’s website.
The band plays more than 150 dates a year, and Browne says they haven’t forgotten the grassroots effort that launched them into the big leagues.
“We are thankful to have fans who love the music and have supported us wholeheartedly from the beginning,” he notes. “Passafire has a momentum that has been with us since day one. Slowing down is not in our scope.”
Got that right, the band cooks! Be sure to catch the phenomenal Passafire, Saturday night at Las Montañas.
At the Bubble Lounge, it’s time to get funky this weekend, with the return of Denver’s progressive funksters Kinetix. The band released their super CD Talking to Faces last year, and are hitting it hard on the road.
“We just got back from a ten week tour that started across the Midwest, including a great show in Chicago,” says Jack “Jacko” Gargan. “In April, we had a residency in Burlington, Vt. at Nectars, performing every Wednesday. We then would hop across the east coast, with Harper’s Ferry in Boston and The Knitting Factory in NYC some of the most memorable gigs,” adding that the band will continue to travel throughout the summer in the Midwest and Colorado, with still another tour in the works for the fall.
Gargan says all of the live gigs are helping the band to formulate some new plans. “While we were on tour, we began to refine some of our musical ideas that we have been working on and so we’re now in the process of pre-production of a new album. This is not going to be a hurried project, as we want to take our time with the new material we have been putting together. Some of the newer songs will be played this weekend up in Telluride.”
Kinetix rocked the Moon last time they were in town, and the band is tighter and funkier than ever. Get with them and get down at the Bubble Lounge, where they’ll appear Friday and Saturday nights this weekend.
Oh, and don’t forget the Lizard Head Jazz Club on Sunday nights, which is a great way to wrap up the weekend, starting at 7 p.m. at the Bubble Lounge.
The Telluride Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series got off to a rockin’ start this past week, with Great American Taxi, featuring Vince Hermann of Leftover Salmon, which wowed the crowd at last week’s Bluegrass festival. The free summer concert series continues next week, featuring the wonderful Junior Brown, who will jump on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
In Ridgway, it’s the River Festival this Saturday, which features music from a pile of local musicians, including Christina Callicott, members of Fall Baby, Fair Sickness and The Red Mountain String Band. The music starts at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Rollans Park.
The Sherbino Theatre is revving up for the summer, too, and this weekend goes retro, with Vintage Voltage appearing on Saturday night. The band plays 60s and 70s dance party music, so it’s a great opportunity for costumes. The show starts at 8 p.m. in Ridgway.
In Ouray, stop by O’Brien’s Pub on Saturday afternoon, where the tremendous Til Willis will be playing his bluesy originals on the deck, from 2 until 5 p.m.
Coming up next week, the Fourth of July is upon us, with an explosion of shows on the way, including The Red White and Blues Concert, featuring Jonny Lang on July 5.
Also, tickets go on sale July 1 for two upcoming shows at the Community Concert Hall at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, both of which feature Grammy Award winning artists. The Texas swingers, Asleep at the Wheel will roll in on Aug. 13, and legendary blues man Taj Mahal is slated to perform on Aug. 14. Get more at durangoconcerts.com.
Happy Wine Fest!