A Blues Moon Rising
Tonight, Dave Andersen heads up Skip Daddy & The Dirt Dogs at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. Andersen is a seemingly tireless troubadour well known for his solo après ski work, and the Dirt Dogs ripped it up at a couple of “Pirate parties” over the winter, which were huge fun, and hugely attended.
Andersen grew up in Chicago, where the “Skipper” honed his skills on the city streets. Armed with his mandolin and guitar, the performer developed a monster repertoire, playing everything from reggae, funk and blues, to rock, calypso and, well, pirate music.
Andersen’s blues style is a fun and funky ride, with bouncy originals and new twists on familiar covers. His versatile vocals and excellent work on the mando and guitar are enhanced by the fat bass grooves of Durango’s Robert Ernest and the jazz-flavored drum work of the talented Kevin Vernon.
Prepare for some low-down funky fun with the highly danceable Skip Daddy & The Dirt Dogs, who will have you boogying all night tonight at the Moon.
Latino night returns to the Moon on Saturday, and coming up next week get ready for one of the hottest blues players on the scene with Alex Maryol rolling in for a rockin’ Fourth of July bash on Wednesday.
The young gun out of Santa Fe is a gifted musician and songwriter who produced his own debut, They Call Me Lefty, when he was still a teenager. His second CD, Make Everything Alright, came out in 2003, and while the album is bursting with youthful energy, it also proves Maryol has depth and maturity.
“I’ve been writing a lot of new songs, working on a new album,” said the Santa Fe native. “My real focus right now is to try to write some new stuff, and get the CD out by Blues and Brews.”
Maryol has been a regular at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, going back to the year 2000, when he placed second in the festival’s Acoustic Blues Competition. The young player is now a seasoned veteran at the September event, having played the Main Stage multiple times, along with numerous appearances at various “Juke Joint” showcases over the past few years.
“Santa Fe is good, but I’ve been really itching to tour the world, and really want to put a European Tour together,” said Maryol. “The trip to Telluride is gonna have to hold me over until all of that happens.
“I love Telluride, and it’s so great to go up to the mountains. It’s so beautiful and I get to see friends I’ve made through the years, and meet some new ones,” he added. “It seems like everybody just loves live music there, which makes our job a whole lot easier.”
Telluride loves him, too, with his high-octane blues guitar work, driving grooves and smokin’ hot band. In the meantime, there’s lots of other great music to hear this weekend, the perfect complement to The Telluride Wine Festival.
Booker Rocks the (Opera) House
The Opera House welcomes one of the world’s most beloved soul men ready to make his Telluride debut when The Sheridan Arts Foundation and the Telluride Plein Air Celebration present Booker T. Jones in concert on Wednesday.
The legendary performer, songwriter and producer headed up the phenomenal Booker T. and the MGs back in the 60s, and hit it big with his first number one single, “Green Onions,” which he penned while still in high school.
“I love the MGs tunes, and I play ‘Green Onions’ for every show,” said Jones. “It’s still my favorite.”
The R&B legend says his current group, which includes Ray Charles’s bass player Curtis Olson, likes to mix it up. “I love doing some of the songs from the 60s, like ‘Born Under a Bad Sign.’” Jones co-wrote that tune, which Cream and Eric Clapton turned into a mega-hit.
“Most of the material we do I’ve been involved with in some way, either producing, writing or performing,” said Jones. “And sometimes we’ll just do something totally new.”
Booker’s repertoire and discography is vast, as the multi-instrumentalist has played on such enduring hits as “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding, and “Try a Little Tenderness” with Joe Cocker.
Jones has appeared with such diverse artists as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Boz Scaggs, Soul Asylum, John Lee Hooker, and Kris Kristofferson, to name a few.
He is playing a date with Leon Russell before the Telluride show. “When I left Memphis in 1969, Leon’s was the first house I went to and stayed at in L.A.,” said Jones. “That’s when he was being so weird out there! Yeah, I’ve known Leon a long time.”
Jones is a seriously sought-after record producer who has put together such classics as Bill Wither’s Ain’t No Sunshine album and Willie Nelson’s multi-platinum Stardust LP.
Jones is also highly regarded in Europe, where he’ll soon play in such venerable venues as the Montreux and Nice Jazz Festivals.
“When we first started playing Montreux, it was just a single stage thing. Now it’s this huge festival,” he said. “The people are so wonderful, and the reception is just great.”
In 1992, Booker T. and the MGs were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band later received a Grammy for their single “Cruisin’.” Check out the video of this tune and the wonderful tribute to Booker T. and the MGs on Youtube to get a taste of the amazing scope of Jones’s career.
Most recently, Booker was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, at the awards last February. “That just made me feel wonderful!” he exclaimed.
You’ll feel wonderful too when you hear this extraordinary American legend in the intimate setting of the Sheridan Opera House on Monday night. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. Jones is a musical marvel, and not to be missed.
All Around the Town
Stop by Telluride’s newest hot spot, the Bubble Lounge, tonight, where Mike Pale’s Funky Jazz Quartet will be getting down. Pale’s group includes a number of seriously talented locals, with Pale’s masterful guitar work enhanced by the delightful Michael Scherr of Fractalia fame on keys. The quartet also features the gifted multi-instrumentalist from the Rico Blues Project, Mike Enriques on bass, with Pete Closson laying it down on the drums.
Pale will also be found at Town Park this weekend in conjunction with the wine festival, when his trio is featured at the Gourmet Brunch al Fresco. The Mike Pale Jazz Trio features the “three Mikes,” with Pale joined by Scherr and Enriques for this wonderful wrap to the wine fest, 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the park on Sunday.
For something refreshingly different, head to the Historic Sheridan Opera House, where Telluride’s lovely a cappella female ensemble Heartbeat takes the stage on Saturday night. Showtime is 8 p.m.
While you’re out and about this weekend, burn off a little wine, and get down and boogie with DJ Ryan Smith at the Noir Bar, who has his own brand of house. “I use a lot of Brazlian and African rhythms, with keys and horns,” noted the popular DJ. “I like to get tribal with a tinge of Stevie Wonder, you know, funky stuff.” Dance the night away at the Noir Bar, starting at 10 p.m. tonight.
In Mountain Village, don’t miss the Red, White and Blue Concert with the Blind Boys of Alabama next week. The show starts at 4 p.m. at town square on Wednesday.
Coming up, Leo Nocentelli returns to Telluride for the Sunset Concert Series on July 11 in Mountain Village. More funk for a better world!
Also on tap this weekend, check out Karaoke night at Tommy’s on Sunday with DJ Daryll Dade. Hilarious fun. There’s also the popular open mic at Tommy’s on Wednesday night, which should be raging for the Fourth of July.
On the Road…
In Ridgway, open mics are blooming like crazy, with the latest to pop up at the True Grit on Wednesday evenings. Check in at Siam, too, where open mic nights are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
The Sherbino Theatre is also back in action for the summer in Ridgway. Check out Busito Boogie on Thursday nights, featuring an open mic and stage.
Look for Fractalia to tear it up next weekend when they roll in for a fractal-fest at The Sherbino. No doubt this show will be a rager. There’s hot stuff brewing in Durango as well, with Rusty Evans & Ring of Fire at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College tonight. Strongly influenced by Johnny Cash, Evans offers his tribute to the “man in black” with this unique musical show, which begins at 8 p.m. tonight. If you’re in Durango for the Fourth, swing by The Summit, where Formula 151 will kick it down hard at the downtown club.
A note on the Second Stage Musician’s Showcase at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, which is designed to allow aspiring players a chance to strut their stuff. The showcase will resume after the Fourth of July, and now be held on Sunday evenings. Many local musicians expressed a desire to have the event start earlier, so things will kick off around 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, with yours truly hosting the event.
I hope to see you then, and best wishes for a sizzling Fourth of July.