Live Music Fans,
Here comes a full week of musical options randomly selected just to fit your busy schedule. It starts on Wednesday Night with a local duo of talented brothers matched up with a cool five piece indie rock band from Ohio. Then on Thursday Night, we get to present, once again, a major league touring talent who played at the Wheeler Opera House and puts on a fantastic live performance. On Friday Night, we host another cool acoustic string band from the Front Range who should sound amazing in our little byob music room. That would usually be enough for any normal music week but wait, there’s still much more.
And, that’s because we are celebrating 25 years of making live music happen in the old, historic, funky Dinkel Building. Way back in December of 1993, I bought Wallys Music and we started upstairs for the first few years. We even had a second space on Main Street across from the Village Smithy for a year. Then, our current space opened up and I joined forces with local luthier, Louie Hayes, and local musician/artist Pat Winger to make the rent and start making live music happen mainly for our local musician friends and their fans and some random tourists.
Our first live music event in the “huge” new space was in the early summer of 1998, at our Grand Opening. We had local live music for hours until I had to cut it off after midnight. That’s when I knew we had a very unique room that was just perfect to hear and enjoy great live music. Something to celebrate this weekend, for sure, don’t you think? Come on out and hear some wonderful live music from some of our favorite local musicians who had a big role in helping keep the crazy biz alive and growing all these years.
See you at the shows!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT – NOVEMBER 14TH – DOC ROBINSON WITH OPENING ACT THE ENGSTROM BROTHERS – 8:30PM
From the very start of paying rent, one of our most important goals was to always provide a room where musicians could play their original music. Especially local singer/songwriters who often would grow weary of playing cover songs in a noisy bar. No, we wanted a room where the audience would actually listen to the songs and have a serious connection to the music and the players. It’s a formula that continues to work and the reason for this special weeknight show.
We always enjoy seeing a local songwriter grow in his craft and that’s a perfect us of the shop. Wes Engstrom and his older brother Jay are writing some cool original songs and have been playing around town like at the recent event at The Way Home. Come and check out their original sound and gorgeous harmonies. And, they helped book Doc Robinson who should be a very cool act, as well. Some excellent live music for any night, especially a sleepy weeknight. Take advantage of these rare shows; they can be some of the best.
Here’s a few words from the Doc Robinson website. Looks like a cool touring act.
“we are a rock and roll band from Columbus Ohio – our names are nick & jon – we make backyard bbq breakup music”
“the first song we wrote was its over. we were trying to write our own version of macy grays i try. in a few hours the song was done, and later that night in a text message we decided to start a band called DOC ROBINSON combining the two musical bookends of our influences dr dog and smokey robinson. we would later find out through you tube search results that DOC ROBINSON is also a world renowned fighting rooster, who has since squired several generations of fighting roosters.
“we made our first ep GOLDEN DAZE with mike landolt, who is canadian, at vital studios in columbus ohio. It took 6 months, 237 cups of strong coffee, 74 pieces of uncle nick’s greek fried chicken, 26 separate viewings of the music video ‘out for a rip’ by canadian artist shark tank, and 1 bottle of moonshine.
THURSDAY NIGHT – NOVEMBER 15TH – RYAN MONTBLEAU – 8:30PM – www.ryanmontbleau.com
We are really getting lucky on Thursday Night with booking some major league musicians. Like last week with Richard Shindell who put on a masterful live performance. And I expect the same with this show. So, check out his website and then come out and be impressed. I’m telling you, this is a good one!
“In 2005, Ryan Montbleau and his band headed into Applehead Recording in Saugerties, New York, to cut their debut album. With nothing more than ambition and a relentless work ethic to their names, they bootstrapped the whole thing, maxing out credit cards to fund it themselves and launch their careers from the ground up. Twelve years, eleven records, thousands of shows, and 60 million Spotify streams later, Montbleau returned to the studio for a special one-night-only concert that would become the latest entry in his venerable catalog: ‘Woodstock Sessions.’
“There was something special about performing there again after going into that same studio as a young buck trying to figure out how to make my first records,” reflects Montbleau. “Coming back, I was a decade more confident, a decade stronger in my craft. It felt like coming full circle.”
“For his performance that night, Montbleau was backed not by his usual touring band, but by the acclaimed Boston duo Tall Heights (cellist Paul Wright and guitarist Tim Harrington). The collaboration yielded fresh perspective on Montbleau’s catalog, fleshing out his stripped-down acoustic performances with gorgeous vocal blends and elegant instrumental arrangements. Soulful and spontaneous, the set showcased the magic that can happen when three consummate musicians surrender themselves to the songs, when a trio of gifted artists follow their instincts to craft a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
“Tall Heights’ sound just naturally wraps around mine in a way that’s really unique,” says Montbleau. “Their harmonies and tones are so dialed in with each other, and their voices gel around mine perfectly. When we get together, something special tends to happen.”
“Recorded in front of an intimate audience, the resulting collection combines the pristine audio quality of a studio record with the contagious energy of a live album, an ideal fit for Montbleau’s intimate, honest lyrics and spirited, dynamic delivery. The unusual setting pushed him to step outside his comfort zone and take bold artistic risks, assembling a setlist that was equal parts reimagined retrospective and trial-by-fire as he mixed stripped-down versions of songs from throughout his career with brand new tracks recorded for the first time that night. “Less is more” was the mantra, and while Montbleau may be best known for his barn-burning full-band shows, he’s no stranger to the raw acoustic setting.
“I’ve been touring solo about half the year lately, and my last release was a solo record where I really stripped the songs down to their bare bones,” says Montbleau. “I felt like those were some of the best songs I’ve written in my entire life, and this record is a perfect continuation of that. The music’s fleshed out a little bit more, but at its essence, it’s still me just pouring my heart out.”
“Montbleau’s been pouring his heart out in song since the early 2000’s, when he first began performing around his native Massachusetts. He’d go on to collaborate with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic among others, and share bills and stages with artists as diverse as Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ani DiFranco, The Wood Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Mavis Staples, but it was Montbleau’s ecstatic headline shows—often more than 200 of them a year—that solidified his reputation as a live powerhouse and an inexorable road warrior. NPR’s Mountain Stage compared his “eloquent, soulful songwriting” to Bill Withers and James Taylor, while Relix hailed his “poetic Americana,” and The Boston Herald raved that “he’s made a career of confident, danceable positivity.”
“Montbleau’s never been one to rest on his laurels, though, and ‘Woodstock Sessions’ opens with a brand new song called “Looking Glass,” a gentle, pensive track that proves his lyrical prowess and melodic gifts are sharper now than ever before. “Busy people in the burning sand / Take a look up from your looking glass when you can,” he sings, his raspy voice ensconced in velvet harmony over top of intricate fingerpicking.
“That song was written just in time for the session and it was buzzing to get out,” explains Montbleau. “It’s about the modern day-to-day, the ways we connect and the isolation we experience from staring at our screens all day and all night.”
The desire for connection, for a true human bond, is a recurring theme in Montbleau’s writing. The bittersweet “Our Own Place” searches for a home that’s perpetually just out of reach, while the brooding “Ships In The Night” ruminates on our polarized political climate, and the heartfelt “The Country and The Town” (a song commissioned by PBS in Montbleau’s newly-adopted home of Vermont) celebrates the power of community. Montbleau’s live shows are nothing if not communal affairs, and the confessional “Help Me” reaches out a helping hand out for anyone struggling through hard times.
“There’s still this shame tied up in mental illness or mental struggles,” says Montbleau. “So many people experience dark, even suicidal thoughts, and we need to talk about that more, collectively as a society and individually as friends and families. I wrote this song when I was going through those feelings myself, and I share it in the hopes that it can help other folks dealing with the same thing.”
“Montbleau’s songs have a way of weaving themselves into the fabric of his listeners’ lives that way, offering up hope and light in moments of darkness and doubt. The tender “Carry” pledges to always be there to pick up a lover’s slack, while the striving “Chariot (I Know)” insists upon love and faith in the face of uncertainty, and the lilting “All Or Nothing” (which was originally recorded and released as a single with Tall Heights) promises better days to come. Selecting which ten tracks to include on the album from the nearly three-and-a-half-hour concert wasn’t easy—there’s no way to include every fan favorite—but Montbleau ultimately let the spirit of the songs guide him.
“I’m not trying to put out my greatest hits,” he concludes. “I’m just trying to create the best and most timely art I can.”
FRIDAY NIGHT – NOVEMBER 16TH – MEADOW MOUNTAIN – 8:30PM – www.meadowmountainmusic.com
Our room is just about perfect for hearing good acoustic string bands. Like when the Infamous Stringdusters came and played the room unplugged. A fantastic show. Now, flash forward a few years and Chris Pandolfi of that amazing band liked Meadow Mountain and produced their debut album at Mighty Fine Productions. The record was scheduled to be released this month so we will be treated to a bunch of fresh original songs. This five piece band is “deeply rooted in Colorado soil” and they are one of the best that our state has to offer in cool bluegrass. There’s a reason they won Rockygrass and were a finalist at Telluride, right? They should sound amazing in the little byob room. Here’s another guaranteed good one for the week. Here’s a few words from a link.
“How do you build a bluegrass band to be competitive in the teeming Colorado ‘grass scene?
You fill it with the most technically proficient players you can find, you whip them into shape and then you get ready to whip all comers in well-established area festival competitions.
After that, you stoke your fan base, ask them to help you fund a record, and then you hook up with (and hopefully earn validation from) a well-established band in the genre.
If that’s not a recipe for success, I’ll never see one. But see, I didn’t lift that from a coffee table book or magazine clipping. The Denver chefs that cooked up that hot meal are none other than Meadow Mountain, the winners of the 2017 Rockygrass band competition.” – Colorado Daily
SATURDAY NIGHT – NOVEMBER 17TH – 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – 7PM – WHO KNOWS WHEN? – RIGHT? I SURE DON’T AS THIS POINT
Live music has always sounded wonderful in this ancient space that used to house the Bank of Carbondale and we continue to love hearing it every week. I have found that there is nothing quite like hearing fantastic live music in a packed room with your friends and neighbors. This room can transcend time and space when motivated by capable musicians and fans. A sight to behold and enjoy.
So, that’s why we are making a special show happen with some of our favorite players who could make it. As always, I would expect some special guests to join in on the fun. At this time, we are looking forward to hearing Matt Johnson at 7pm followed by Dan Sheridan. Then, about 8pm, the Curry Leonard trio will revisit the stage. Closing down the night will be Let Them Roar and Friends, our house band.
More details later on the lineup. Shannon and I might even work up a tune or two. You just never quite know what will happen. That’s why you just need to be here to enjoy it. Come out and give us a high five and wish us good bookings in the future. This crazy little biz only happens because of the love and support from our friends and fans. And all the talented musicians. It’s a bit of a miracle that it has lasted a quarter of a century. Who knew?! I sure couldn’t guess at the start. Here’s to another great week of live music!
Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon