Once again there is just so many great options for entertainment this New Year’s Eve that it can leave a jam band fan not knowing which way to turn. First to kick off was Yonder Mountain String Band at the Boulder Theater. They started their new year’s run on Friday with performances at the theater through New Year’s Eve. It should be noted that their performance at the Theater on Dec. 30th is a benefit for the Colorado Flood victims, good luck getting a ticket, the show has been sold out for weeks.
Here is a video of Kyle Hollingsworth prepping for the Broomfield shows:
Just take a look at all of the other options for NYE entertainment and see if it does not make your head spin:
December 31, 2013 Umphrey’s McGee, Fillmore, Denver Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Paramount, Denver The Sword, Bluebird, Denver Reverend Horton Heat, Reno Divorce, Old Man Markley, Gothic, Englewood Yonder Mountain String Band, Sam Bush, Boulder Theater, Boulder String Cheese Incident, 1stBank Center, Broomfield The Oh Hellos, Ogden, Denver Flobots, Marquis Theater, Denver Hot Soup, Connor O’neills, Boulder New Orleans Suspects, Quixote’s True Blue, Denver Jefferson Starship, Sheridan Opera House, Telluride The Flaming Lips, Belly Up, Aspen Nina Storey, Soiled Dove Underground, Denver Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver Tea Leaf Green, Cervantes Other Side, Denver The Magic Beans, Stage Stop, Rollinsville Brother Ali, The Reminders, Fox Theatre, Boulder Head for the Hills, Aggie Theatre, Fort Collins West Water Outlaws, Durango Mountain Resort, Durango Euforequestra, 3PAC, Carbondale Wendy Woo, Next Door, Loveland
So whatever you do, where ever you end up celebrating, have fun and stay safe and remember that the law enforcement will be out in force to help keep everyone safe. Enjoy.
Grammy award winning Steep Canyon Rangers performed to a packed Boulder Theater, March 9, 2013. From the bands website: ” The past year has taken the Steep Canyon Rangers to new heights. In March 2011, the band released its first collaborative record with Steve Martin, ”Rare Bird Alert” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200. In 2010, the latest solo record from Steep Canyon Rangers, ”Deep In The Shade”, remained in the Bluegrass Top 10 on Billboard for 18 weeks. While headlining festivals like MerleFest and Bonnaroo alongside Steve Martin for part each year, the Rangers continue to perform alone as a quintet on stages such as Telluride, RockyGrass, and ”A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Recent television appearances by Steve Martin with Steep Canyon Rangers include ”Late Night With David Letterman”, ”The Colbert Report” & ”Austin CityLimits.” With smooth vocals, smart songwriting, ferocious instrumentals and jaw-dropping harmony, the Rangers are bringing Bluegrass to music lovers across the USA and around the world.”
Fresh off of a Grammy win for “Nobody Knows You” the band is celebrating a well deserved place at the top of the bluegrass world. I know for one I plan to see them again and again. Check out his video by GratefulWeb.com of “Lovin Pretty Women.”
Bloggers note: Mountain Standard Time’s Mardi Grass shows culminate in Saturday’s concert at the Fox Theatre. A limited number of the new EP “Sunny” will be available for purchase at the shows. A special thanks to Vegan Patty for this review. By Vegan Patty Mountain Standard Time’s new EP “Sunny” is dangerously close to being just another easy listening coffee table album of blue(s)grass. It’s more Ansel Adams then Robert Mapplethorpe. That’s not bad, mind you. (Who would ever shun Adams in good conscience?) And like him, they’ve captured a classic sound, fiddled with their filters until just the right level of light shines through, and layered their work for the discerning ear. But, these days, I keep my Adams on the shelf, preferring to offer my guests something more modern to disrupt the day. The more I listen to “Sunny,” though, the more it has me thinking that some evenings, some moments, some people aren’t served by disruption. (Mapplethorpe did nearly kill the National Endowment for the Arts.) There’s comfort in classic. And that’s what makes “Sunny” worth a listen. Or a hundred.
This collection of new tracks is tightly produced and talent heavy. While the vibe of this EP borders on being familiar to the point of boredom—and the track order is a bit awkward—it shimmies along that edge with grace and playfulness. Like so many Colorado bands that honor Jerry and crew, MST runs their guitar like a lazy river, flush with a rush of spring snow thaw, tannin-rich and ticklish. They work their organ like, well, their organ. And their harmonies and lyrical contributions are as expected.
What wasn’t expected was the jazz house piano riffs that pepper the EP and push the genre and their audience in the process. “Katy Anne” is complicated. For a moment there, I forgot myself in 1974 in the shadows of Mitchell’s folky jazz classic “Court and Spark.” Jazz isn’t always the easiest companion to Jam; their on again, off again relationship has been long and rocky. Knowing this, MST is a skilled mediator and by the middle of the EP, they have these two genres cuddling much more than cursing as they negotiate their differences. Naked. The masterpiece of the set, without doubt, is “Guitar Playin’ Man.” Placed inconspicuously on the disc as track 6 of 7, it’s the song that I’m truly Grateful for. I won’t be the only one. And then there’s the sweet finish. “Forgotten For Rotten,” a lengthy rock operatic anthem, pulls this collection through jam-jazz and stitches it up precisely into the techno-colored ski jacket that is Prog. Rock. As a collection, “Sunny” feels like a best of. Better yet, Mountain Standard Time is kindly offering up some of their finest tracks to listeners as “pay what you want” downloads from their website. Trust me. You want.
San Fransisco’s Hot Buttered Rum took the opportunity for some guerrilla bluegrass in front of the Fox Theatre last Thursday. Their last song of the set was Nine to Five. For more information visit www.HotButteredRum.net.
Hot Buttered Rum:
Aaron Redner – fiddle, mandolin, vocals
Bryan Horne – bass, vocals
Erik Yates – banjo, Dobro, flute, vocals
Nat Keefe – guitar, vocals
Lucas Carlton – percussion
Leftover Salmon’s newest addition, electric banjo player Andy Thorn, has come a long way from his home in North Carolina in more ways than just distance. Thorn’s energy, good nature and fast picking have landed him firmly at the top of his field of banjo players. Not only did he write the title track instrumental to the new Leftover Salmon album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, he also co-wrote and collaborated on a couple additional tracks on the work, due to officially release May 22. This will be Leftover Salmon’s first full-length album release in over eight years. And although the official release is on the 22nd, Leftover Salmon plans an album release free concert this Sunday in the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver. This will be the band’s first block party and the first time a Leftover Salmon album has been pressed in vinyl and CD. They plan to have the both versions at the event, which runs from 1-6 p.m. Sunday, May 13.
Thorn is riding high on the bluegrass scene in many ways. Aside from his Leftover Salmon work, Thorn has been the banjo player for the Emmitt-Nershi Band for over four years now and has played with the likes of Jim Lauderdale, Larry Keel, Frank Wakefield, Tony Rice, Darol Anger, Jeff Austin, Chris Thile, Tony Trishcka, Anders Beck, Travis Book and many more. Thorn also played with the Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band, winning the RockyGrass banjo and band contests in 2003 and 2005.
Leftover Salmon’s co-founder, Vince Herman said by text message that, “Andy Thorn is a really powerful, driving banjo slinger who just happens to be the nicest guy in the world, which makes him a really good guy to have in your band!”
So how does a musician make such strides in the field of bluegrass by the age of 29? The only family picker in Thorn’s past was his great uncle, who also played the banjo and was a song catcher and who spent his time documenting folklore songs. When Thorn was a young boy, his mother played piano and his folks took him to music festivals. “Merlefest was one of the first festivals they took us to, and you see everybody there, a million bands playing in Wilkesboro, N.C., two hours from where I grew up,” said Thorn at Minglewood restaurant on Tuesday.
After that he started to play guitar and at the age of 12, Thorn picked up his first banjo from his next door
neighbor’s garage sale. “I bought it for 50 bucks and my neighbor threw in the Earl Scruggs book too,” said Thorn.
Scoring a newer and better banjo, at age 15, Thorn started his own bluegrass band that he played in all through high school. He also played jazz guitar in the school band which he continued through college at that time only giving a slight preference to the grassy sound. “I was having more fun with my bluegrass band on the side because that is what we wrote songs in and just messed around but the jazz band I loved, too.”
“My Banjo heroes were definitely Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka, I got to go to some workshops with them when I was younger. I listened to Mark Vann a ton with Leftover Salmon. My biggest influence were progressive local guys in N.C. like Rex McGee and Ryan Cavanaugh, who I got to pick with and learn a lot from when I was at UNC,” said Thorn.
It was during college at The University of North Carolina when Thorn first came out to Colorado to ski. While in Durango, he met Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass and Travis Book from The Infamous Stringdusters. They talked Thorn into jamming in Colorado during his summer breaks at UNC.
After college Thorn spent a couple of years on the road with Larry Keel. It was during this time that Thorn put out his album Bolin Creek. “That was really fun, I had this big empty house and we set up a recording studio there. I had so many originals I wanted to record with all of my buddies and it was a lot of fun.”
After getting a little burnt out from touring, Thorn stayed home in North Carolina playing with the Big Fat Gap, his local bluegrass band. “I had a blast doing that, it was in town, hanging out with my friends good gigs, playing stuff around town and sleeping in my own bed.”
Thorn didn’t fully move to Colorado until he started playing with the Emmitt-Nershi Band. Some friends had tipped him off that Chris Pandolfi was due to step down from Emmitt-Nershi to focus on getting the Infamous Stringdusters going. “When I heard that Drew and Billy needed a banjo player I was really into that because I love those guys. There were other gigs that came along that I was not as into,” he said. “It’s good to keep several projects going so you don’t burn anything out.”
In addition to touring and recording with Leftover Salmon, Thorn has a number of Emmitt-Nershi shows on the books including DelFest, Wakarusa and RockyGrass. “We are doing Sunday afternoon at RockyGrass, which is my favorite festival. I love it. It’s all bluegrass, really good bluegrass,” said Thorn. “They get the best of the best at (the festival) every year.”
While working hard with both Leftover Salmon and Emmitt-Nershi, Thorn lives on bluegrass time. “It’s pretty
crazy but I still don’t need a calendar because Drew keeps track and we are usually doing the same thing,” said Thorn. “They don’t even ask me if I can do a gig anymore because they know I will do anything. They just ask Drew, ‘Can you do it?’ and if he can do it, I can do it too, so I really don’t have to be in the loop. I literally don’t have a calendar.”
When not touring Thorn can mostly be found outdoors, “I love to be outside skiing, biking, camping and pickin’, that’s how I recharge the battery and stay sane after all the time on the road.” For more information on this Sunday’s free concert visit www.leftoversalmon.com.
If You Go: Who: Leftover Salmon When: 1-6 p.m., Sunday, May 13 Where: 700 block of Santa Fe Dr., Denver Admission: Free