Friday Night with the Way Down Wanderers – Saturday Night with Eldergrown from Durango

Live Music Fans,

This week, we have two excellent 5-piece bands coming our way.  All kinds of good noise coming into the shop.  Check out their websites for good reason to come out and enjoy talented musicians who have gone way out of their way to entertain us in the cold, high country.  One is coming all the way from Illinois and the other has to brave the frightening Red Mountain Pass in the Winter.  Neither journey to the old town sounds easy, right?  So, the least we can do is come out to our cozy, intimate byob music room and keep warm with friends and neighbors while hearing their sweet original live music. Hard to beat on a cabin fever Winter night, don’t you think? Try it out.

And, for those of you lucky enough to get a space in the little room last Saturday night, thanks so much for making our latest Pearl & Wood concert a huge success.  Natalie and Ellie put on a wonderful performance while celebrating the release of their album.  The room was more than packed and it was another sweet night in the old room.  Full of community love and great live music.  Two of my favorite things.

See you at the shows!


 “We don’t consider ourselves folk artists or bluegrass players so much as we consider ourselves song-writers. We try to convey ideas and experiences that are universally meaningful to people. To us, the music and instrumentation exists to move those ideas forward and lift them up; we try not to limit ourselves to one genre of music or any specific type of instrumentation because certain songs might call for something else … keys or an electric guitar, for instance.”  The band’s forthcoming sophomore album, produced and engineered by Grammy winning industry pro, David Schiffman, underscores that sentiment with songs that address love, loss and personal evolution. Framed by instrumentation that ranges cohesively from pop to americana to bluegrass to spoken word, the lyrics find a familiar place in a listeners’ heart and mind and the melodies, often powerfully framed by 3 part harmonies, hold them firmly in place. The result is 12 stirring songs that listeners will be drawn to again and again, as relatable and inspiring as they are catchy and uplifting.

Often referred to by fans as one of the hardest-working, hardest-touring bands on the circuit today, the 5-piece Illinois-based act not only proves that classification with their jam-packed tour schedule but also on stage every night, with youthful exuberance and a lively stage show, as reliable as it is infectious. High energy percussion, mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo and fiddle weave seamlessly together to create an experience for fans that has sold out shows across the UK and the United States, filling the front rows with fans not just singing along to one tune, but singing along to all of them. “Everybody says it. We’d be nothing without our supporters. Yeah, they buy tickets and of course we love that, but when we’ve been on the road for 10 hours and walk onto a stage road weary and we see familiar faces singing along, it’s hard to describe. It’s everything, really. There’s a whole lot of love there.”

Music enthusiasts are not the only ones taking note. Critics and tastemakers alike have awarded the young artists an impressive number of accolades ranging from official showcases at Folk Alliance International Montreal (2019) AmericanaFest (2018) and International Bluegrass Music Association (2016) to Whitstable UK Session of the Year (2017), a BBC Scotland Session (2017) as well as Finalist, International Song Writing Competition (2015 & 2016), Chicago’s Best Emerging Artist, Deli Magazine (2014) and Songpickr’s Best Songs Spotify Playlist (2016) among others. The young men are no strangers to the festival circuit either, having played major National and Regional Festivals such as Merlefest, Summer Camp, Red Wing Roots Music Festival and Saskatchewan Jazz Fest all across the United States, Canada and the UK. The band has also graced the stage of coveted venues such as Bluegrass Underground (TN), The Fox Theater (CO), Park West (IL), The Vogue (IN) The Station Inn (TN) The Ark (MI), and countless others.

Lead singer song-writers, Collin (mandolin and fiddle) and Austin (guitar and keys) met in their hometown of Peoria, IL in 2012, when the two were just 14 and 17 years old respectively. From there, a brotherly friendship formed that evolved through various other projects and into a collaborative, song-writing partnership that would ultimately form The Way Down Wanderers in 2014. The pair will sealed the deal with a legal brotherhood in August of 2019 when Austin wed Collin’s older sister at a ceremony in Chicago, IL. Illinois natives, John Williams (bass and vocals) and John Merikoski (drums) would join the group later that year, earning a reputation as one of the most dynamic rhythm duos on the circuit today by contributing their own unique brand of high-energy charisma to the band’s stage show. Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Travis Kowalsky (guitar and banjo) of Northern Michigan, the 5th member to join the Wanderers, exhibits a humble low key stage presence that contrasts sharply with his bold and masterful solos.

“There’s really nothing more humbling than discovering that one of our songs meant something in somebody’s life – that it helped them through a tough time, or inspired them to do something meaningful that they may have been holding back on. So the goal for us really, is to put more songs out there that inspire people and to play them for a growing and diverse audience.” Growth has most certainly been an ongoing theme for anybody who has followed the Wanderers’ impressive trajectory. And this next album release promises to push that growth into high gear; The continuation of a relatable and heartfelt Midwestern openness Wanderers fans have grown to know and love, together with a fresh new approach, is sure to rally their base of dedicated fans as well as attract the attention of new listeners, festival promoters and venue managers alike. Stay tuned!”


We first came across this very talented rockin band when Shannon was going to the Fort in Durango.  I trust her good taste in live music (must be genes right?) and it wasn’t long before they came and played the shop. They have gotten better and better each visit and they are one of Durango’s most popular bands for good reason.  I love their vocals and the high energy they put into their shows.  And, not many bands have players that can switch instruments between songs.  These friends and brothers have played and lived together for years and their original music is tight from skill and practice.  This is one fantastic band.  Come on out and feel the funk and love.

“Funkalicious Rockin-Roots.  Funk meets Rock,   Pop meets Hip Hop.   Elder Grown combines the freedom of improvisational Jams with their Captivating, Original songs.  From the First Song to the Fourth Hour, Elder Grown encourages you to break down your idea of genre and tempo with your hips and heartbeat.  A personal Pandora station, Elder Grown rollercoasters listeners through seamless, rule-breaking sound.   Switching instruments mid-song, you never know who is going to sing or play what next.  Join Elder Grown and journey into the unrecognizable familiar.”

Josh “Brew” Hoffman- Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Bass // John “Cheeks” Hoffman- Bass, Vocals, Guitar, Keys Paul “Pabs” Hoffman- Drums, Vocals // Sam Kelly- Saxophone, Vocals  Brandon “Branch” Clark- Keys, Vocals, Guitar, Bass

So, now there’s two good reasons to leave the cave this weekend.  The rest is up to you.  I’ll just trust that the bands can make it to town through the snow and I’m able to get the sound board running.  It doesn’t happen by itself that’s for sure.  And, your important job is to show up when you can.  It’s a team thing to make each show happen.  And, all players are needed to make a great show happen.  Like with Pearl & Wood.  Special nights. Looking forward to making the next one happen with you.

Musically Yours,

Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon