Weekly Top Ten December 3, 2014

Friends (House Concerts), Romans, Countrymen: Lend Me Your Ears

December gets off to a great live music start this weekend, with at least 35 great concerts between now and Sunday as listed on the Pikes Peak Concert Calendar.

Be forewarned, though – you have just one more chance this year to experience a performance at one of the most intimate venues in Colorado Springs, the home of Whitney and Marc Luckett, who welcome New England folkie Cheryl Wheeler back to Friends House Concerts this Sunday evening.  Cheryl is an engaging storyteller who has written hilarious songs such as “Don’t Forget the Guns,” “Lady Gaga’s Singing Program,” and “Pop Tarts and Spam.”  She is also known for serious, thought-provoking songs dealing with current issues.  Details below.

1.  Cheryl Wheeler, Friends House Concerts (Skyway), Sun Dec 7 (7 pm, $30).  Cheryl has a new live release out called Greetings from Cheryl Wheeler, which also features songwriter Kenny White, whose production credits include work with Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn and Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band.  Kenny White joins Cheryl on this run of three Colorado shows, which also includes stops at larger and less intimate venues – Swallow Hill‘s Daniels Hall in Denver and the Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins.

2.  Joe Johnson & His Band with the Barrel House String Band, Stargazers Theatre & Event Center, Sat Dec 6 (8 pm, $10).  Mississippi transplant Joe Johnson brings his band to Stargazers for their final area show of the year, where they will be joined by the hard-working BHSB.  Best of all, this concert is a benefit for TESSA, a local non-profit doing good work helping the victims of domestic violence.

3.   Colorado College Bluegrass Ensembles, Packard Hall, Thurs Dec 4 (8 pm, free).  Former Open Road banjoist has been teaching CC students the art of bluegrass for several years now, and each December the kids showcase their talent on stage at Packard Hall, a listening room with amazing acoustics.

4.  Chris Duarte, Crystola Roadhouse (Woodland Park), Sat Dec 6 (8 pm, $18 – $38).  A Music Company Inc. keeps the blues alive yet again by bringing San Antonio guitar-slinger Chris Duarte and his power trio to our favorite Ute Pass honky tonk.  Duarte is touring in support of his thirteenth album, aptly titled Lucky 13.

5.  Out of Nowhere, Front Range Barbeque (Old Colorado City), Wed Dec 3 (7:30 pm, free).  It’ll be a night of fine pickin’ with the bluegrass quintet Out of Nowhere, who continue to develop original material such as the Jonny Slumpf tune “Floodwater.”  For this show the band will plug in their instruments and use individual microphones for a change.

6.  New Vintage Jazz, Zodiac Venue/Bar, Fri Dec 5 (8 pm, $5).   The New Vintage Jazz quartet hosts a “Winter White Party” that will feature a blend of original music and classic jazz standards that will have the audience boppin’ and groovin’.  White attire encouraged.

7.  Joywave with Trapdoor Social, Oh, Be Clever, Misterwives and Modern Suspects, The Black Sheep, Sat Dec 6 (7 pm doors open, $10.39 adv, $12 day of show).  Voted “Best Music Radio Station” in the Indy‘s Best Of awards, The Alternative RXP 103.9 FM presents an Alternative Xmas Bash with no less than five indie rock bands.  The official video for the song “Tongues” by the Rochester, NY’s Joywave has received over 420,000 views on YouTube – you have to see it to believe it (not recommended for the young or sensitive).

8.  Elephant Pajamas, Rico’s Cafe & Wine Bar, Fri Dec 6 (7:30 pm, free).  What is it about Colorado bands and elephants?  Elephant Revival, Radio London’s Family Elephant, RVZoo and the Sugar Spun Elephant Band, just to name three.  Now comes Elephant Pajamas, a new Colorado Springs trio featuring sax man Dalan Neuenschwander, Charlie Milo on bass and Khalill Brown (from Blue Frog) on drums.

9.  Blue Frog, The Legendary Ancient Mariner (Manitou Springs), Sat Dec 6 (9 pm, free).  And speaking of Blue Frog, the rising jam band throws a Manitou Full Moon Party Saturday with the promise of a rotating selection of guests.  Khalill is going to have a busy night!

10.  Nona Marie Invie, Laura Goldhamer & Rence Liam, Mesa House Concert, Wed Dec 3 (6 pm, artist donations suggested).  Come for the potluck dinner, stay for the eclectic lineup featuring founding Dark Dark Dark member Nona Marie Invie, Dear Rabbit’s Rence Liam and the multi-talented Denver artist, Laura Goldhamer.

Please do check with the venues to confirm details before you leave the house, and get out there and see some great live music!

Ciao baby,

Steve Harris, Executive Director