The lineup for the Seventh Annual MeadowGrass Music Festival is nearly complete – look for artist announcements via social media next week and help us spread the word. Tickets are selling at a record pace and early bird prices end at midnight on Sunday, March 15. Starting Monday March 16, weekend passes will cost $89 each, while weekend passes with camping will increase to $129. You do not want to miss out on the region’s premiere music festival, so purchase your tickets on-line now! Moondog Music Shop will also have weekend passes for sale beginning Tuesday if you’d prefer to avoid the service fees. Flush with cash? Treat yourself and support Rocky Mountain Highway with a VIP upgrade featuring close-in parking, swag bag, daily VIP reception, and much more.
No less an authority than the legendary folk singer Livingston Taylor has praised this young man’s music as “the greatest pop songwriting since Billy Joel.” Seth’s sophomore release The Next Right Thing earned a Grammy nomination in the obscure “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical” category in 2011. Advance reservations are required for this show in the most intimate venue in Colorado Springs.
Other fantastic musical offerings in the Pikes Peak region abound, so stand by for our weekly Top 10 picks (below):
1. Gregory Alan Isakov with Mandolin Orange, Stargazers Theatre, Sun March 1 (7:30 pm, $25 adv, $30 day of show). March comes in a like a lion with indie folk favorite Gregory Alan Isakov, whom we remember fondly for his phenomenal set at the Second Annual MeadowGrass Music Festival in 2010. As an added bonus, Yep Roc Records’ husband-wife duo Mandolin Orange from Chapel Hill, NC will also perform in this concert sponsored by the indispensable Fuel/Friends Blog.
2. Jake Schepps & the Expedition Quintet, Black Forest Community Club, Sat Feb 28 (7 pm, $15 BRAS members, $20 general public). Speaking of MeadowGrass alumni, banjo virtuoso Jake Schepps will bring the latest incarnation of his Expedition Quintet to Black Forest for a very special Black Rose Acoustic Society concert. Jake performed twice at MeadowGrass in 2012, backing up the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale for the Sunday morning “Bluegrass Mass” and taking center stage for a set that included interpretations of Bela Bartok. Jake will be performing selections from his new album Entwined, which includes long-form commissions from contemporary classical composers, and the band includes a veritable who’s who of acoustic music – Ross Martin (guitar), Matt Flinner (mandolin), Eric Thorin (bass), and Ryan Drickey (violin).
3. Taarka, Black Forest Community Center, Fri Feb 27, (7 pm, $5 BRAS members and students, $10 non-members). It’s a big weekend for the acoustic music lovers of the Black Rose Acoustic Society – yet another former MeadowGrass act, the Lyons-based quartet Taarka, headlines the last open stage of the month. Led by the husband-wife team of David and Enion Pelta-Tiller, Taarka will be sharing new songs from their upcoming release Making Tracks Home.
4. Mike Zito & the Wheel and the Samantha Fish Band, Stargazers Theatre, Fri Feb 27 (7 pm, $35 VIP, $25 table seating, $15 GA). Double down on the blues with two top shelf artists who are joining forces for a benefit concert for The Blue Star Connection, a non-profit that provides musical instruments and lessons to children with serious health challenges. As if two A-list headliners was not enough, newcomers Katy Guillen & the Girls from Kansas City open the show.
5. Caroline Smith, Ivywild School, Sun March 1 (8 pm, $10 adv, $12 day of show). This will be Caroline’s second visit to the Ivywild Gymnasium, having opened for The Head and the Heart‘s Josiah Johnson at about this same time last year. Caroline’s powerful voice and stage presence make her a force to be reckoned with as she fuses 90’s R&B and neo-soul with her indie rock roots.
6. The River Arkansas, Front Range Barbeque, Fri Feb 27 (7:30 pm, free). Haunted Windchime Mike Clark has no shortage of projects to occupy his time, including this new gypsy country folk blues band he fronts along with Macon Terry from the Denver collective$ Clouds & Mountains. Sure as Christo and Jeanne-Claude shall drape the Arkansas River with cloth, so shall the River Arkansas blow the roof off of the westside’s favorite music venue.
7. Barrel House String Band, Blue Frog and Curtis Boucher, Zodiac Venue/Bar, Sat Feb 28 (8 pm, $5). Three great acts that go great together – be witness to the first (but surely not the last) cross-collaboration between the jamgrass of BHSB and the jamrock of Blue Frog, with a side of indie folk from Curtis Boucher thrown in for good measure. Donations (of treats and/or cash) also accepted for All Breed Rescue and Training.
8. RHZ Awards feat. Joe Johnson, Dreamghost, We Are Not A Glum Lot, Stoney Bertz, and Celestial Mechanics, Ivywild School, Sat Feb 28 (7 pm, $10). RHZ stands for The Redheaded Zombie Show – Brainless Horde. Find out the winners in categories including Best Album, Best EP, Best Single, Best Music Video as well as awards for visual artists in the region.
9. Andy Clifton, Acme Bar & Grill, Thurs Feb 26 (8 pm, free). Let’s hear a cheer for another music venue opening in the Springs, this one a restaurant at 925 South Eighth Street run by the owners of Oscar’s on Tejon Street. Alternative rocker Andy Clifton will christen the space with a solo set.
10. Bruce Hayes, Wildwood Sounds (Del Norte), Fri Feb 27 (7 pm, $15). Sure it’s a long drive down to Rio Grande County, but you won’t be disappointed if you make the trek to see this one-man band spread some celt-grass love to the intimate house concert audience in the mountains west of the San Luis Valley.
Ahhhhhh – it’s good to be back. Thanks for paying attention!
Stay tuned for the MeadowGrass Lineup announcement coming to an inbox near you next week.
Steve Harris, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Highway