Having spent the last 18 years playing drums in the Roaring Fork Valley area, Chris Goplerud is still managing to find his way into music circles from his new home of Ridgway. This Saturday he will sit behind his kit on the stage of the revitalized Sherbino Theater and play a one-off reunion gig with his Carbondale-based Americana band, the Mile Markers. The well- polished quartet, filled out by Nelson Oldham on lead guitar, Hap Harriman on rhythm guitar, and Steve Vidamour on bass, has been writing tunes and playing their upbeat roots rock for over three years.
With Goplerud’s relocation to Ridgway came the harsh reality that his band would replace him, but for this one night the veteran stick man will push through two full sets of originals and covers with his old crew. Expect to hear credible renditions of everything from Band of Heathens to Delbert McClinton, as well as their catchy singles “Gone” and “Put Me Down” among many others.
The Mile Markers, Sat., Dec. 1, The Sherbino Theater, Ridgway, 7 p.m., $5, sherbinotheater.com
Cabinet at Cruiser’s Bar in Grand Junction
Coming forth from the dusty shelf of studio inactivity with their fourth album – the first in four years – is the Scranton-born Americana perfectionist, Cabinet. Their latest effort, Leap, is 11 tracks of auditory foreplay that apply resonating string strokes, on-point oral harmonies and just the right amount of intelligently deconstructed bluegrass movements. The appropriately named album finds moments to relax on old-timey fiddle strumming over bouncy basslines with “Two Timer,” only to switch to a more modern take on indie folk with “Eleanor” (the latter reflecting the likes of acclaimed bands in the vein of Blind Pilot and The Avett Brothers).
Matching these genre peers with their stout song structure and memorable lyrics makes them not only very listenable, and re-listenable, but leaves this music journalist wondering how we are being gifted with an intimate performance by the sextet at Cruiser’s Bar in Grand Junction. Far from one-dimensional in their approach, Cabinet’s members can also dig deep into their picking skill set. On “Susquehanna Breakdown” and “Wine and Shine” off Leap, the energy of recording the entire album with a live audience present over the course of four days translates chillingly well as they rip through fast dance cuts. A series of official live releases from the band and hitting countless music festivals prove they pride themselves on performing and should not be missed.
Cabinet, Thurs., Nov. 29, Cruiser’s Bar, Grand Junction, 10:30 p.m., $10, cruisersgj.com
Bob Milne at Montrose Methodist Church in Montrose
Not many musicians can say they started their career as a French horn virtuoso, and then fatalistically ended up as a preeminent ragtime pianist. Less can say that after symphony practice they would shed their awkward brass instrument, leave the concert hall and head to local saloons and pool halls to tickle the ivory for fortunate patrons. And almost none can boast that their chance dedication to the enjoyment of playing niche music would land them in the Library of Congress with three interviews and an essay that have designated them as a national treasure.
One man who can say that is internationally renowned piano player Bob Milne. As if the narrative could become any more impressive, Milne is also self-taught, and learned entirely by ear.
Beyond the well deserved accolades, the prodigy-turned-iconic savant has been studied by Penn State neuroscientists who concluded Milne can hear four symphonies in his head – all at the same time. This incredibly impressive feat that defies science would typically lead to exploitable fame for most, but Milne uses it to crack jokes and relay monologues as he tackles technically challenging pieces during his performances in settings similar to where he started. The Montrose Arts Foundation aims to bring one of those unique live experiences to the Montrose Methodist Church next Wednesday, as part of the Montrose Arts Council’s December events. Catch him there first, and you might also see him roaming the downtown area looking to flex his equally impressive pool game.
Bob Milne, Wed., Dec. 5, Montrose Methodist Church, Montrose, 7 p.m., $15, montrosearts.org