Weekly Top Ten Week of September 11

Chris Smither Comes To Town Sunday

Before we count down the Top 10 concerts for the coming week, we here at Rocky Mountain Highway would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to Julie Snyder and Joe McGarry (from Aspen Valley Ranch) and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation for allowing us to help present an amazing summer of Raven Nest Concerts in Woodland Park.  Trout Steak Revival proved to be a huge draw as we recorded the highest attendance yet.  The band delighted the crowd with two outstanding sets of bluegrass flavored tunes, and it was great to see so many friends, new and old, enjoying great original music in this beautiful setting.  Stay tuned for details about next year’s musical offerings at the ranch.

Sunday night marks the second of six concerts that Rocky Mountain Highway is producing at The Gold Room in collaboration with The Mining Exchange, A Wyndam Grand Hotel, and it’s a huge one.   We are beyond-words excited to welcome legendary acoustic/blues singer-songwriter Chris Smither to this incredible new venue.  Read on for the details.

1.  Chris Smither, The Gold Room, Sunday Sept 14 (7 pm, $25 adv, $30 day of show, $60 VIP).  New Orleans native Chris Smither has been making music for fifty years now, penning the song “Love You Like A Man” (which Bonnie Raitt turned into her singular anthem “Love Me Like a Man”).  2014 is turning out to be a busy year for Smither with the release of the two-disk career retrospective Still on the Levee, featuring guest appearances by Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III, and Kris Delmhorst, among others.  This fall Signature Sounds will also release a tribute CD, Link of Chain, that features covers of Smither’s songs performed by artists including Josh Ritter, Tim O’Brien, and Jorma Kaukonen.

2.  Butch Hancock with The Prairie Scholars, Stargazers Theatre, Sat Sept 13 (8 pm, $15).  Speaking of legendary songwriters, on Saturday night the Terlingua, TX troubadour Butch Hancock comes to town for a solo show.  When not recording and touring with Fellow Texans Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore as The Flatlanders, Hancock has managed to find time to release fifteen or so albums of his own original material.  The Longmont-based duo The Prairie Scholars open.

3.  Davina & the Vagabonds, Gold Hill Mesa, Sat Sept 13 (4 pm, free).  Bandleader Davina Sowers brings her high energy five-piece blues band to the natural amphitheater lawn at the Gold Hill Mesa subdivision.  Amy Whitesell of A Music Company Inc., perennial favorite in the Best Music Promoter category in the Indy Music Awards, absolutely raves about this band, so you know they must be great!

4.   Eef Barzelay with Desirae Garcia, Fuel/Friends House Concert, Sun Sept 14 (8 pm, $20).  Now that Heather Browne is focused on securing national talent for the Ivywild School, her amazing house concerts at Casa Verde Commons are becoming rarer and rarer.  But this week’s show is a sure winner, with the genius behind the alt-country band Clem Snide (named after a William S. Burroughs character) sharing the stage with local songstress Desi Garcia from The Haunted Windchimes.  And everyone who purchases a ticket gets a download copy of the new Clem Snide release, Girls Come First.

5.   Ronny Cox, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Sun Sept 14 (7:30 pm, $30 ($27 for FAC members).  That’s right – there are three concerts in the Top 10 on Sunday night – the local music scene is truly hitting the big time.  Although Ronny Cox may be better recognized for his distinguished acting credits (among other roles, he was the guitarist in the “Dueling Banjos” sequence from the film Deliverance), he’s no slouch when it comes to music either.  You can bet he’ll have some great stories to tell during his folk-Americana-bluegrass set this weekend.

6.  Greg Blake & KC Groves, Black Forest Community Center, Fri Sept 12 (7 pm, $5 BRAS members and students, $10 everyone else).  This edition of the Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage series features two members of the rising bluegrass collective Jeff Scroggins & Colorado.  Multi-instrumentalist KC Groves originally made her name in bluegrass as the founder of the all-female bluegrass band Uncle Earl (which also included Abigail Washburn), while the Flatpickin’ Preacher Greg Blake served a stint in the Blue Canyon Boys.

7.   Joscho Stephan, Ivywild School, Tues Sept 16 (7:30 pm, $15 advance, $20 day of show).  This German guitar phenom plays in the style of Django Reinhardt – think Gypsy jazz.  His debut CD – released when Stephan was just 20 years old – was named the Best CD of the Month by Guitar Player magazine (July 2000).  The kind folks at the Black Rose Acoustic Society teamed up with the Ivywild School to present this special concert.

8.   Acoustic Eidolon, Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (Palmer Lake), Fri Sept 12 (7 pm, ADV: $12 TLCA members, $15 non-members; DOS: $15/$18).  The acclaimed folk duo of Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire had to invent a new musical instrument to express their sound – the guitjo.  Joe plays a double-necked version of this combination of the guitar and the banjo accompanied by cellist Hannah.  With eleven CDs to their credit, including the 2013 album Lucky Man, Acoustic Eidolon has long been a staple of the live music circuit in Colorado.

9.  Out of Nowhere with String Time and John Swayne, Four Mile Community Club (Canon City), Sat Sept 13 (7 pm, $5 CRAS members, $7 non-members, kids & students free).  The bi-monthly gatherings of the Canon Rose Acoustic Society are back, and this triple bill features a headlining set from the Springs’ own traditional bluegrass band Out of Nowhere along with a performance by singer-songwriter John Swayne.

10.  Hall of Fame Concert, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Fri Sept 12 (7 pm, $18).  Performing at this show will be the trio of Country Music Hall of Fame mouth harpist Charlie McCoy (former music director for Hee Haw), Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame guitarist Richard Kiser, and young pianist Jason Coleman (grandson of Floyd Cramer, who was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame AND the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and played on the Elvis Presley hit “Heartbreak Hotel”).

There are even more good options for your concert-going experience listed on the Rocky Mountain Highway Concert Calendar, and remember that it’s always wise to check with the venue before you head to a show in case the details have changed!

Paddle faster!

Steve Harris, Executive Director