The heat index will be off the hook at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon this weekend, starting tonight with Big Wooly Mammoth: A Tribute to Widespread Panic.
At the historic Sheridan Opera House, it’s Beatlemania with Imagine, The Beatles Tribute Band. Totally fab, the concert follows the Plein Air Gala on Thursday night.
Friday, July 3
The Fourth of July holiday brings an explosion of musical delights across the Western Slope, with a dazzling array of artists poised to ignite area venues.
One of the darlings of the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals return to rock the Red, White and Blues Concert in Mountain Village on Friday, July 3.
The phenomenal Potter is on the fast track to the big leagues, having released the sensational This Is Somewhere CD in 2007. The effort produced a couple of singles, including the terrific Apologies, which appeared on such TV shows as Kyle XY and All My Children.
The band soon was appearing on late-night talk shows, and out on the road with the likes of Gov’t Mule, Dave Matthews and the Black Crowes.
Now, the Nocturnals are headlining their own shows across the nation, and the perky Potter has drawn comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin with her raw, emotive style.
The young singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist could let all of the attention go to her head, but the remarkable musician remains humble.
“It feels like we’ve worked hard to get to this point, and I’m really enjoying being in this place. Not everyone gets here, so we feel really lucky and blessed. There are artists that have overnight success, and then there’s the way we did it. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Potter relays that the band has been back in the studio working on the next CD with legendary producer T-Bone Burnett. “Oh, man, it was wonderful. We’re mixing it right now, and it’s really fun to hear the full songs. We have two new members, so that lends a fresh energy to the band. Catherine Popper is this unbelievable bass player who toured with Ryan Adams, so this is stylistically different for her. We also have Benny Yurco playing with guitar for us, and he’s just great. He’s with the band Blues and Lasers who have played with the Nocturnals over the years, so it’s sort of a natural progression.”
Potter has kept her good buddies drummer Matt Burr and guitarist Scott Tournet with her, and she says fans may get a taste of the new material this weekend. “We have a title track which was cowritten by the Nocturnals called Medicine. Scott and Matt wrote the tune, and then I wrote lyrics and melody line. T-Bone came on and it all came together. We’ve been playing at the live shows, and the crowd seems to love it.”
Telluride fell in love with Potter and the Nocturnals at the Blues Fest, and, she says, the feeling is mutual.
“We’re super jazzed to be coming to Telluride. Colorado is like a second home state for us,” muses the Vermont-based Potter. “The crowds keep coming, and the love keeps coming, so we love coming back! In Telluride, the town is like a natural coliseum, so everyone will hear us, whether they like it or not!”
Pretty sure everyone will like it, as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are fantastic, and will rock the Red, White and Blues Concert in Mountain Village on Friday afternoon. The show is free, and starts at 3 o’clock. Turn it up!
The temperature will continue to soar with Absylom Rising, the cooking indie-rockers who throw it all in the blender, with a tasty mix of funk, jam, rock and Delta blues.
Some of the Western Slope’s homeboys will be returning this weekend, too, with Sons of the Addicted rolling in for two shows.
Formerly Fractalia, the Sons made the jump to the Front Range a few months ago, and keyboardist Michael Scherr says the band is stoked to reunite with fans this weekend. “We’re playing at Las Montanas on Thursday, and at the Switchback Tavern in Ridgway on Friday night. We hope we have a good turnout, and see some friends that we haven’t seen in awhile.”
Scherr adds that the band is making waves along the Front Range. “We already played the Gothic Theatre, which holds like 1200 people, and the place was packed. We had a great set, so things are starting to happen.”
The hard-edged Sons of the Addicted released their debut Fractal World earlier this year, and Scherr notes that the album is available online, plus the band will have copies on hand at the shows. Get a signed copy, and prepare to rock with Sons of the Addicted this weekend!
The Cantina at Las Montanas will be sizzling, with former Telluride local Liza Oxnard rolling in for a set with Mike Pale’s BluOrbit on Friday night. Pale says it’s bound to be a blast.
“Liza will be collaborating with BluOrbit and we’ll be diving back into her rock and funk style that we have all come to know and love, with an added flavor of jazz and soul. The project is called Sugar Shack,” he explains.
Oxnard busted onto the Telluride scene back in the early 90s when she teamed up with Billy Nershi. She then hit the road with the tremendous band, Zuba for many years, and has collaborated with JJ Grey and Mofro and Kyle Hollingsworth, among others.
Super-funky; look for Oxnard and Sugar Shack to bring down the house Friday night at Las Montanas.
As usual, Pale will be bopping around town, and you can catch him with Amy Taylor, Friday evening at the Bubble Lounge.
Later at the O2 Bar, get with the grooving sounds of The Rowdy Shade House Funk Band who are in for a two-night stand this weekend. Tommy’s will be jumping for the holiday weekend, too, with rockers Lane Rider and Carrie Lynn of High Plains on Friday night.
Saturday, July 4
Saturday night sees the return of the Atlanta-based EntropyFunk, who overheated the Moon in June with their incredible command of heavy funk, soul, RandB, and hip-hop.
I caught up with drummer Rob Robinson on the road. “I think we’re somewhere in Kansas, Dorothy,” he said. adding that the band was slated to hit Denver on their way to Telluride. “We’re driving a long way to get there, so we refuse to not have a party. We’re gonna make everybody dance!”
No doubt about that, as Entropy gets the crowd grooving from the first downbeat. Robinson adds that the band has been out on the road in support of their 2007 release Crawl, and are now looking to put out some fresh tracks. “We’ve got a few singles that we’re working on at the present, and are playing quite a few of the new songs live. Practice makes perfect – and I want some perfection! We hope to be finishing the new CD this fall.”
He notes that playing before a live crowd helps the band refine the new tunes and Entropy is looking forward to laying them on the Telluride audience.
“We really like the Moon; that place is cool.”
Look for Entropy Funk to pack the place, and prepare to be funkified. “I’m gonna be chasing my funk all over the place, so watch where you step!”
Funky is as funky does, don’t miss the fantastic EntropyFunk after the fireworks, Saturday night at the Moon.
By the way, the Bubble will be the place to party after the Fourth of July Parade, with Sean Deland performing a set on Saturday afternoon.
Coming up, the Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series continues with John Lee Hooker, Jr. at the free show next Wednesday.
And, it’s going to get downright steamy around here, with the KOTO Doo-Dah featuring George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic on July 11. Get the skinny on the concert, camping and more at koto.org.
Have a fantastic Fourth of July!