Live Music Fans,
We had a fantastic show yesterday in the park with Pato Banton for the Second Sunday series. The weather was just about perfect, the park was full of music fans and my legs are a little sore from too much dancing. A wonderful thing to complain about on a Monday morning. We enjoyed some wonderful live music in the park and on KDNK and the turnout was more than any other previous free concert we have had in the past. A truly loving and heart warming performance by Pato Banton. Looking forward to a return visit next summer. Hope you got to enjoy some ot the show.
Now, it’s on to the next shows, right? And lucky for all of us, we have three very high quality and talented touring acts coming our way starting on Thursday with the return of one of our favorite acts. Seth will be appearing on Wednesday night at Two Rivers in Glenwood Springs for a free show. Go see him and become a fan. Then, you have the chance to hear him in a great, intimate little room. He’s worth the trips.
And then you have a chance to see a great touring band who were nominated for a Grammy. It’s another great week in the little old room so take advantage and come on out. Why not?
See you at the shows!!
THURSDAY NIGHT – JULY 18TH – THE SETH WALKER TRIO – 8PM – www.sethwalker.com
“Seth Walker (born 1972) is an American electric blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He has released nine albums to date, the most recent entitled Gotta Get Back. Walker’s musical genres include Americana, blues and jazz. Gotta Get Back was released on September 2, 2016, and debuted at number 6 in the US on the Billboard Top Blues Album. His 2009 album, Leap of Faith, also charted on the BillboardTop Blues Album chart, peaking at number 2 in the US.
Delbert McClinton remarked “the first time I heard Seth Walker at a small club in Nashville I was impressed like I haven’t been impressed in 30 years, with performance, presence, and great songs.”
Walker was born and grew up in Altamahaw Ossippee, North Carolina, United States, with classically trained musical parents. He learned to play the cello at the age of three, and gravitated towards the blues in his teenage years, finding inspiration in the work of B.B. King, Snooks Eaglin, Ray Charles and T-Bone Walker. Walker attended East Carolina University where he studied art. His first public performance occurred in Greenville, North Carolina.
In his early twenties Walker moved to Austin, Texas, and began to develop his skills as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. His first album, When It Pours It Rains was released in 1998. Meet Me in the Middle (2000) was similarly credited to the Seth Walker Band. His 2002 album release was entitled Restless. On the Outside (2005) followed with a credit to Seth Walker and the Differentials. Walker’s self-titled release, Seth Walker, appeared in 2006 and  received critical acclaim from periodicals including No Depression, Blues Revue and Maverick UK.
It was after that release that Walker met the Grammy Award-winning Gary Nicholson, with whom he developed a songwriting partnership. This alliance led to his most successful release to date, Leap of Faith (2009), which was produced by Nicholson. Walker stated “this album was made during a time in my life when I was caught up in some shadows. The idea of a leap of faith actually does reflect where I was at personally and making this record was the light for me.” The album contained tracks written by Walker alone, Walker and Nicholson, plus work by other songwriters including Nick Lowe and Percy Mayfield.
Walker performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in September 2011, and has toured supporting both Raul Malo and The Wood Brothers. The song “Back in Your Arms Again”, jointly penned by Malo, Nicholson, and Walker, was recorded for The Mavericks’ 2013 album, In Time, and released by them as a single.
Walker lived for fifteen years in Austin, before he relocated again in 2009 to Nashville, Tennessee, where he recorded Time Can Change (2012). After touring, Walker moved to New Orleans to record his 2014 album Sky Still Blue which was produced by Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers. His album released September 2016 entitled Gotta Get Back was produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers. Of Gotta Get Back AllMusic noted that “Walker explains in the liner notes that he looked back to his early childhood for what got him excited about music in the first place for the album, and that family played an important part”.
SATURDAY NIGHT – JULY 20TH – WOOD & WIRE – 8:30PM – www.woodandwiremusic.com
“The Texas songwriter tradition casts a long shadow today, and Austin-based Americana roots juggernauts Wood & Wire could easily rattle off a long list of songwriters that inspire them from Willie Nelson to James McMurtry, and everyone in between. But ask them about what it is about Texas that brought us so many great songwriters, and they stop cold. That’s because they don’t romanticize their culture or their past, they’re too busy working their asses off making new music, writing new songs. This isn’t a land made for quiet reflection, it’s a land made for hard work.
Respect for honest labor is a central theme in Wood & Wire’s 2018 GRAMMY Nominated album for “Best Bluegrass”, North of Despair ( Blue Corn Music), with songs populated by people like songwriter Tony Kamel’s own grandfather, who built the family’s hunting lodge in Llano, Texas with his own two hands. The characters on the album live large, and aren’t afraid to share their opinions about the modern world. This kind of vivid, haunting songwriting focused on lives spent deep in the countryside is a hallmark of Texas songwriting. But it’s the melding of this hard country songwriting with high-octane bluegrass instrumentation that makes for Wood & Wire’s signature sound.
Artists like John Hartford have trod this ground before, mixing up great songs, bluegrass virtuosity, and a strong sense of place, and Wood & Wire aim to pave the way for Austin’s roots scene, bursting out of the giant expanses of the state with a fully-fledged vision for a new Texan sound. On North of Despair, they bring the ferocity of their live shows to the studio, whipping through barn-burning anthems about hard people in hard times.
Wood & Wire could have returned to Nashville to record North of Despair, but the pull of home was strong, so they elected to work in Dripping Springs, just outside of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. Holing up at renowned studio The Zone, they cut the tracks mostly live to tape, with minimal editing. Touring hard for the past three years helped solidify the songs, and you can feel the impromptu joy in each track. Bassist Dom Fisher lends a buoyancy to the music that mixes racing bluegrass bass lines with the backbeat of a great country bass player. A highlight of the group is the interplay between mandolinist Billy Bright and banjo player Trevor Smith, both of whom seem to delight in pugilistic bouts that romp through the songs, as much country-funk as it is Monroe & Scruggs.
Though Kamel is the lead singer and songwriter, each band member contributes compositions and songwriting to the new album, a key feature of Wood & Wire’s democratic nature. Bright’s “Summertime Rolls” propels a fire-breathing mandolin line, but he takes a more philosophical stance on “As Good As It Gets.” Fisher’s co-write with Texas songwriter Robin Bernard, “Texas,” has all the balletic grace of a great Western that reminds one of Townes Van Zandt. Kamel taps not only into his family’s history in Texas, but also his love for the beautiful natural environments of the state and the raw power thereof; in “Awake in the Wake” he references the sound of cypress trees breaking apart during a thousand year flood.
Wood & Wire considers itself fortunate to exist “south of rich and north of despair”, buoyed by family and friends to keep them from the bottom. Never ones to shy away from hard work, Wood & Wire rely on their humble acoustic instruments and their own hands to make music meant to last. As Kamel sings “I ain’t trying to be the kingpin, I’m just trying to make a living.”
SUNDAY NIGHT – JULY 21ST – THE NEFESH MOUNTAIN BAND – 8PM – www.nefeshmountainmusic.com
Nefesh Mountain is the place where American Bluegrass and Old-time music meet with Jewish Heritage and tradition. Band leaders, genre-pioneers, and husband and wife Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg are the heart of this eclectic offering, and share their love for American music, their own cultural heritage, and each other with audiences throughout the world. The result of this unexpected and beautiful mix is staggering; and while complete with the kind of adept string virtuosity and through composed arrangements one would hope for from a newgrass band with influences from Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic, and Jazz, they also play and sing songs of the heart creating music with a sense of diversity, oneness, and purpose for our world today.
Their newest and most adventurous recording to date called “Beneath The Open Sky” was a tour de force for the band, featuring friends and bluegrass luminaries Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tony Trischka And David Grier, along with their own band members Alan Grubner and Tim Kiah. The album’s 11 songs collectively weave together a groundbreaking and beautiful patchwork of new American music, being called “refreshingly eclectic” by Rolling Stone, and “One of the finest, wholly bluegrass records one will hear in not only 2018 but as a touchstone moving forward” by No Depression magazine.
Currently the Nefesh Mountain touring band/quintet plays over 150 dates worldwide with performances all throughout the US, Canada, Israel, England, and Australia. Their mission whether at a concert hall, festival, workshop, school, camp, or synagogue, is to spread the joy and magic of American roots music and help to champion and reinforce the powerful messages of diversity, wholeness, and harmony for our ever changing times.
Both native New Yorkers, Lindberg and Zasloff have long and strong ties to bluegrass. “I grew up in Brooklyn,” says Lindberg, “but my dad’s side of the family, which was not Jewish—he converted when he married my mother—lived in rural Georgia. I would go down and hang out with my uncles, who were great guitar players. We’d hike the Appalachian Trail and listen to old-time music. Something in my soul responded to those feelings I had when I was down South. In my early teenage years, I started being exposed to guys like Bela Fleck and then taking that and going really deep into Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers.”
Zasloff says her musical preferences were the same. “I’ve always felt like a bit of a cowgirl. I’ve always been a free spirit—always musical and always drawn to country, bluegrass and folk. I feel it’s so pure and truthful and real. When I met Eric, it was like a match made in heaven.”
“When we sing in Hebrew,” Lindberg continues, “it’s us celebrating our heritage and history.” I’ve never felt a language barrier when I’m listening to West African or Celtic music. I was talking to Jerry Douglas about this, specifically about the “Transatlantic Sessions” that he leads over in Ireland and Scotland where many of the songs are sung in Irish or an ancient form of Gaelic. I felt so strongly connected to the music when listening to these beautiful songs and melodies, regardless of the language barrier, to the point where I myself felt a sense of closeness and belonging with these rich traditions of Scotland and Ireland.”
“We want to have a chance to share our story with everybody,” Zasloff adds. “There is this word ‘Americana’ that we all know well and is used a lot these days, bridging the gaps somewhere between Old-Time, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, and Jazz which all have deep roots in this country. For me, the beauty of all of these forms of music is that at their core they are about people, they are about this amazing world, and they are about life. That is where we are coming from with Nefesh Mountain; somewhere in the long chain of music and ideology that gives us the opportunity to open people’s minds and hearts to our culture and heritage. We’re all in the same boat here. We’re all trying to figure it out.”
There is three excellent choices for coming out for great live music this week. Now, all you have to do is leave the comfy couch and make your way to our beautiful, historic downtown venue. Sounds easy. You just can’t miss this week for good live music.
Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon