Friday Night with Ben & Joe Duo – Second Sunday in Sopris Park

Live Music Fans,

Last week, we enjoyed two excellent bands in the room with Let Them Roar and J Calvin Funk Express making some sweet original music.  My favorite kind.  And this week, we get to present four more groups that are sure to bring some smiles as summer rapidly approaches.  A very cool duo on Friday Night and three acts in Sopris Park this Sunday from 4pm to 8pm.  Come on out!

And be sure to tune into KDNK on Sunday at 4pm to enjoy the live broadcast from Sopris Park; if you can’t make it in person.  A great way to share some sweet live music with the community.  Thanks to the station!

See you at the shows!


We have heard great things about this talented duo who are coming to the room for the first time.  They come highly recommended from our old Sweet Sunny South friend, Rob Miller, who has impeccable taste in booking musicians from all over the country out of his comfy base in the North Fork just over the pass.  So, you can bet this will be a major league professional act who will take the room to a sweet spot.  Here’s a few words from their website.  Check em out.

“Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are songster revivalists who perform acoustic blues, field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and early jazz that delights audiences in concerts and workshops nationwide. For seven years, their tours have extended their work as teachers and community organizers in their home of Seattle, Washington. With their unique integration of performance, education and modern-day folklore, this duo redefines the role of a songster in the 21st century. In 2016, they earned 1st place in the International Blues Challenge’s solo/duo category. In July, they released a new album with harmonica master Phil Wiggins entitled “Black & Tan Ball.”

“Ben and Joe have been playing together for almost 7 years, the last 5 of which sent them to the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, learning at the feet of the elders of the acoustic blues tradition.  They found an affinity in the many branches that tied into the blues and created this duo as a way to explore these branches.  Their musical kinship and sense of joy in interpreting this music is evident and was the basis of an invitation from Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) to tour and record for his album Prospect Hill. Rather than thinking of their music as blues, it’s best to situate Ben and Joe as American songsters. A songster traditionally refers to an artist whose repertoire is much broader than the old blues, and spans many of the genres that Ben and Joe inhabit. Uncle Dave Macon, Robert Johnson, and Charlie Patton are classic examples of songsters. Their music hews to the rough-and-tumble collisions of musical inspirations from the early 20th century; music that paved the way for everything we enjoy today.”

“In January of 2016, the Washington Blues Society sent Ben and Joe to the 26th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. There, they were awarded 1st place—out of 94 solo/duo acts representing 16 countries—for their unique blend of  a cappella field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and duet distillations of early jazz.  In 2017, they toured Europe with Phil Wiggins, released a new album with Phil, “Black & Tan Ball,” and began to put the finishing touches on the new community venue where the trio recorded together, South Seattle’s Black & Tan Hall.”


THE CANARY FEATHERS – Opening the first concert will be the multi talented Shanti Gruber who has some talented musician friends joining her for the show.  This will include Shanti, Phil Williams and special guests TBA – hopefully Meagan and Marilyn plus Sheena 😉 ).  Last year, we featured two music acts at every Second Sunday and this year I decided that three would be even better.  Why not, right?  A musical bonus!


I had been trying to book Caleb Dean and his band but the timing never worked out.  And the Caleb left the band and that was that, right?  Well,  his band just decided that they were having to much fun to quit so they got a new name and continued on in the tradition that Caleb would be proud of.  I hope he stops by for a little musical cameo if he’s in the area.  That would be frosting on this musical cake.  All of these players have made fantastic live music in the shop with a number of local bands so I’m really looking forward to working with my old musical friends again in the park.  Our first country band in the series, too.  This should sound so twangy.

“Citizen Twang is the continuation of the Caleb Dean Band. When Caleb decided to retire, the band members wanted to continue on with the great music they have be playing for years. Under the new name of Citizen Twang, Larry Gottlieb on steel guitar, Brian Lemke on lead guitar, Gordon Wilder on drums, JD Martin on piano, Dave Johnson on bass and Ross Kribbs on fiddle, will resume the tradition of country music for all of the country music fans and dancers in western Colorado. Please contact us for booking information.


This band put on an impressive show in the shop for their first visit and inspired us to book them to headline the first Second Sunday.  They have local ties with Shanti Gruber’s sister being in the band, too.  If you can’t make it be sure to check it out on the live broadcast with KDNK.

“Holy friggin’ harmonies! It’s almost distracting how good the vocals are on the Ginny Mules debut release” (Marquee Magazine, 2016).  Recognized as finalists in the renowned Rockygrass Festival band competition in 2017, Ginny Mules are setting sail, and charting a course that is all their own. Drawing from varied elements of American music and heritage, each member brings their own blend of Appalachian music, Blues, Folk & Bluegrass to the table. The end result sounds a lot like BLUESGRASS, with a focus on tight vocal harmonies and the raw, bluesier elements that give Ginny Mules their distinctive sound. According to Copple, “it’s like Bluegrass with a little extra stank on it.”

With their debut, self-titled album from 2016 garnering weekly spins on Bluegrass radio programs near and far, The Mules are setting their sights  on a sophomore release full of original songs, scheduled for 2018! It’s sure to follow the same roadmap as their debut, which includes signature instrumental work and unique original songs that carry the “high lonesome sound” into a new era.

The band first began to coalesce when, Liz Forster (guitar and vocals) met Keenan Copple, the band’s banjo and slide guitar player at a Denver music store in 2013.  The pair began playing music together almost immediately. Weekly jam nights with Keenan, Liz and Phil Hanceford (mandolin and vocals) materialized, and the trio began the epic quest for a bass player. On a friend’s recommendation, they called on Carbondale native, Sheena Gruber. Forster says, “We caught a lucky break with Sheena. She plays terrific bass, looks and sings like Bonnie Raitt, and is a great fit for us vibe-wise.”  Rebekah Durham (Juilliard grad and former member of San Fermin), joined the band in 2016 and rounded out the official lineup of Ginny Mules with her incredible 5-string fiddling and original songwriting.

With 4 out of 5 Mules writing songs for the band, and 5 out of 5 Mules working collaboratively on arrangements, their sound really is unique  – though they do draw frequent (and flattering) comparisons to The Steeldrivers for their hard driving, bluesy and fiddle-forward stylings. Ginny Mules have shared the stage (or festival lineup) with many of their friends and heroes alike – including: The Steeldrivers, Wood and Wire, The Traveling McCoury’s, Rapidgrass, Della Mae and Mipso (to name a few). Keep an eye out for these Mules as they venture out of Colorado and make their way to your town. As they like to say…Giddy up! #mule2ride”

Summer of Music

Musically Yours,

Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon