A Big Week For Rocky Mountain Highway
Whew! The past week was an epic one for Rocky Mountain Highway! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us at the Commonwheel Artists Festival in Manitou Springs. Fun was had by all – great music from the top local bands, tasty libations from our friends at Bristol Brewing and Sovereignty Wines, and beautiful weather added up to a great weekend.

No less amazing was the opening show of our fall concert series at The Gold Room. As expected, Warner Brothers recording artists Baskery totally killed it following an outstanding set from Here’s to Fightin’. And finally, our deepest thanks go out to those of you who voted for us in the Indy Music Awards, where the MeadowGrass Music Festival earned the nod for Best Music Festival and The Mother Hips scored second place honors for Best Performance by a National Touring Act for their festival-closing set at MeadowGrass.

Speaking of the Indy Music Awards, read on for our weekly picks for the Top 10 concerts in the Pikes Peak region.

1. Trout Steak Revival, Raven Nest House Concert at Aspen Valley Ranch, Sat Sept 6 (7 p.m., $8 adv, $10 at the door). Rocky Mountain Highway is absolutely thrilled to present the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition winner to close the 2014 Raven Nest Concert Series. And we booked ’em before they won! If you haven’t been to a Raven Nest concert, this is one not to miss – an intimate setting (capacity of 80) with a community potluck starting at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are available on-line or in person at the Whole in the Wall Herb Shoppe and Mountain Naturals Community Market.

2. Indy Music Awards, Downtown Colorado Springs, Thurs Sept 4 (6 p.m., free). Back for a fourth year, the Indy Music Awards this year feature not one, but TWO, outdoor stages, two beer gardens, a rooftop stage at Gasoline Alley, and an indoor stage at Cowboys. Throughout the evening you can catch sets from twenty award-winning local bands, including MeadowGrass alumni Joe Johnson, Grass It Up, Grant Sabin, Andy Clifton, Chuck Snow, Chauncy Crandall, Charlie Milo, and Edith Makes a Paper Chain. And it’s all free, thanks to donated performances from the artists and support from local businesses.

3. EDJ with Dragondeer, Ivywild School, Sun Sept 7 (7:30 pm, $10). EDJ stands for Eric D. Johnson, the frontman for Fruit Bats, who brings his new solo project to the stage at Ivywild for the first time on Sunday. EDJ is touring in support of his new album, appropriately titled EDJ. Eric Halborg and Cole Rudy from Demver psych-blues band Dragondeer open ahead of a prime gig at the Telluride Blues n’ Brews Festival.

4. Steep Ravine, Colorado College, Fri Sept 5 (5 pm). Unfortunately we think that this show is probably closed to the general public because we couldn’t find details on-line, but Steep Ravine is a rising bluegrass quartet from San Francisco with a killer new CD, Trampin’ On. They return to somewhere on the CC campus tomorrow night. Just sayin’.

5. What If Festival, Downtown Colorado Springs, Sat Sept 6 (10 am – 4 pm, free). The busy folks at Imagination Celebration have devoted countless hours to putting together one of the most unique festivals in Colorado, an annual tradition that encourages everyone to ask “What If?” In addition to all kinds of hands-on participatory activities, you can enjoy music performances on three outdoor stages featuring a diverse seleciton of local talent such as Ryan Flores. Xanthe Alexis, We Are Not A Glum Lot, Alicia Archibald, Surfin’ Djangos and much more.

6. Blue Ribbon Healers, Front Range Barbeque (Old Colorado City), Sat Sept 6 (8 pm, free). A band that splits its time between Florida Panhandle and the West Coast, traveling cross-country each summer, the Healers are back for a foot stompin’ good time at the west side’s favorite BBQ & Bluegrass joint.

7. Steve Barta Jazz Trio, Ute Pass Cultural Center (Woodland Park), Sat Sept 6 (7:30 pm, $45). The Woodland Park Arts Alliance presents the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist who has recorded with the likes of Herbie Mann and Hubert Laws. And it’s for a good cause – the Woodland Park Arts Alliance Scholarship Program. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided and a cash bar will be available – contact Ralph Holloway at 719-761-1676 for details.

8. Richard Buckner with The Changing Colors, Ivywild School, Tues Sept 9 (8 pm, $10). Brooklyn-based songwriter Richard Buckner may be associated with the alt-country movement, but Bon Iver considers him to be an influence. The hipsters will be out in force as this Merge Records recording artist plays a show alongside Manitoid Conor Bourgal’s alter-ego, The Changing Colors.

9. Wishbone Ash, Stargazers Theatre, Fri Sept 5 (8 pm, $25 adv, $30 DOS, $50 VIP). Stargazers notes that Wishbone Ash is “one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock.” What, you haven’t heard of them? Me neither. Forty-five years after they formed, the band is touring in support of a new album, Blue Horizon.

10. Gipsy Moon, Songbird Cellars (Beulah), Fri Sept 5 (7:30 pm, $7). This five-piece from Nederland is following in the footsteps of the Boulder area jam giants like Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, and Yonder Mountain String Band (newly reconstituted without founding member Jeff Austin). The quintet’s first full length CD, Eventide, was produced by fellow Nederland denizen Dan Rodriguez of Elephant Revival.

Keep up to date with upcoming roots music shows at the Rocky Mountain Highway Concert Calendar, but don’t forget to confirm the details with the venues before heading out, because everything is subject to change!

And if the spirit moves you, dance like no one’s watching! Shirts and shoes required. Pants optional.

Steve Harris, Executive Director