Weekly Top Ten March 4, 2015

7th Annual MeadowGrass Will Rock Your World, Experts Agree!

Rocky Mountain Highway is delighted to announce the first wave of performers scheduled to appear at this year’s MeadowGrass Music Festival.  MeadowGrass will take place Friday May 22 – Sunday May 24 at the beautiful La Foret Conference & Retreat Center in Black Forest, CO.

We are excited to welcome the versatile country-rock super-group Blue Rodeo from Toronto as the headliner for Saturday May 23.  Formed in 1984, Blue Rodeo has released 13 full-length albums over the past three decades.  The band has sold over 4 million records while winning 11 Juno awards (Canada’s equivalent of the Grammy).  Blue Rodeo was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2012.  


Sunday’s headliner is critically acclaimed songwriter Stephen Kellogg, who hails from Massachusetts and was recently described by a No Depression blogger as “The Best Songwriter You’re Not Listening To.”  SK recorded several albums for Universal Records with his band The Sixers before returning to his solo career in 2012.  He will be performing with a full band to close the festival this year.

Other artists who will be appearing at MeadowGrass this year include Shook Twins from Portland, OR, The Ragbirds from Ann Arbor, MI, HONEYHONEY, from Los Angeles, The Stray Birds from PA, Roosevelt Dime from NYC, and Front Country from San Francisco.  More acts, including a number of bands from the Pikes Peak Region, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for MeadowGrass are selling fast – we have already sold more than half of our allotted camping spaces for the weekend.  Please visit www.meadowgrass.org for updates and more information.  You can purchase tickets on-line at Ticketfly.com, or you can buy weekend passes (without camping) in person at Moondog Music Shop in Old Colorado City.  Ticket prices increase at midnight on Monday, March 16, 2015.

In the mood for music now?  Well there’s no need to wait until May – just check out the weekly Top 10 Concerts in the Pikes Peak Region:

1.  Arthur Lee Land, Front Range Barbeque, Wed March 4 (7:30 pm, free).  After serving for several years on the faculty at the Song School at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest in Lyons, Arthur finally made the move to Colorado from his native Iowa.  A talented songwriter, Arthur’s live shows are also acclaimed for his use of “live looping” to create a full band sound.  He will be performing songs from his latest album Cracked Open, with a tap takeover by O’Dell Brewing as an added bonus.

2.  KONGOS with Sir Sly and Colony House, The Black Sheep, Wed March 4 (8 pm, SOLD OUT).  The Alternative RXP 103.9 presents a Spring Fling at the Sheep featuring the four South African brothers who make up KONGOS supported by indie pop bands Sir Sly and Colony House.  Interesting aside – Colony House is fronted by two sons of Steven Curtis Chapman, the contemporary Christian singer.

3.  David Wilcox, Pikes Peak Center Studio Bee, Sun March 8 (7:30 pm, $27 adv).  David is a gifted story-teller and folk singer with more than a dozen full length albums to his credit, and this is a rare chance to see him in a small, intimate setting.  Just make sure you don’t stumble into the wrong part of the Pikes Peak Center, or you’ll be seeing The Australian Bee Gees.

4.  RUNA, Stargazers Theatre, Sat March 7 (8 pm, $21 adv, $25 day of show, $15 students/military).  Looking for some energetic Celtic music and spell-binding harmonies with step-dancing thrown in for good measure?  Look no further than Stargazers Saturday night, when the Pennsylvania quintet RUNA will take center stage.  You will not be disappointed.  Hopefully they play their version of “Ain’t No Grave.”

5.  Robert Cray Band, Pueblo Memorial Hall, Wed March 4 (7:30 pm, $32-$40).  Grammy-winning blues master Robert Cray makes just one stop in Colorado on this tour in support of his chart-topping 2014 release, In My Soul, and it’s in Pueblo.  After forty years in the music biz, Cray is widely recognized as one of the top blues guitarists out there.

6.  Grass It Up, Stargazers Theatre, Fri March 6 (8 pm, $10).  It’s the return of the Danimal, as Dan Karpel joins the area’s leading bluegrass combo on keys for a night of jam-grassy goodness.  Get your Grass It Up fix on Saturday night.

7.  Brad Paisley with Parmalee and The Swon Brothers, Colorado Springs World Arena, Thurs March 5 (7:30 pm, $9.50 – $75). Country superstar Brad Paisley stops by the World Arena in a valiant effort to help boost sagging sales of pick up trucks and domestic beer.  The Grammy-award winning singer is apparently a master of sponsorship sales too, and I am not making this up – his Country Nation World Tour is not only presented by KRAFT Cheese, but Brad has also partnered with Boot Barn to develop an exclusive line of jeans, hats, t-shirts, jewelry, belts and woven shirts called “Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley.”  Shine on, you crazy diamond.  Here’s an interesting video montage that makes the case that all pop country songs were the same in 2013.

8.  The Youngest with Joe Johnson and Tejon Street Corner Thieves, Triple Nickel Tavern, Fri March 6 (8 pm, ??).  The Youngest is a new Americana band out of La Grange, Texas that recently launched a Western tour in support of their debut album, Feral Road.  The so-called Feral Road Tour will bring The Youngest and the apparent return of live music to one of our favorite dives, the Triple Nickel Tavern, where they will share the stage with Joe Johnson (solo) and the TSCT collective.  Fun factoid – “La Grange” by ZZ Top refers to a brothel on the outskirts of La Grange known as the Chicken Ranch, which was also the subject of the 1982 film and Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

9.  The Harmaleighs, Front Range Barbeque, Fri March 6 (7:30 pm, free).  Nashville comes to the westside in the form of this folk duo with the rhymin’ names, Haley and Kaylee, who are touring in support of their debut album, Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush.  Get it?  The name rhymes with Har-mon-ies.

10.  Balanced Rock, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Fri March 6 (8 pm, $10).  Colorado Springs band Balanced Rock will perform in concert in the David Lord Theater at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts, after having been the first band to ever perform live in the new studios of KCMJ, where they were featured on the indie music show Front Range Radio hosted by Tim Board.

Hope to see you at a show soon!

Steve Harris, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Highway