Weekly Top Ten August 2, 2015

Drinking Is Good For Us, Doctors Say

Technically speaking, drinking alcohol at the Commonwheel Arts and Crafts Festival is good for Rocky Mountain Highway, not you personally.  And only one doctor said that – and yes, it was a Juris Doctor, not a medical doctor.  But we can say with absolute conviction that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every Pikes Peak Brewing craft beer (or fine wine) at the festival this weekend will benefit your favorite local music non-profit (by which we mean us).  And did we mention that it’s fun?

Ryan Flores performing at MeadowGrass, circa 2013

We hope that you’ll visit the beer garden in front of the music stage and enjoy an adult beverage or three and music from talented local artists including (but definitely not limited to) Redraw the Farm, Mo’ Mungus, Ryan Flores, Blue Frog, Woodshed Red, and Radio London’s Family Elephant.   As an added bonus, you can rest easy knowing that you have done your good deed for the week.

It should come as no surprise that the Commonwheel Festival ranks #1 in this week’s list of the Top 10 Concerts in southern Colorado:

1.  Commonwheel Arts and Crafts Festival, Memorial Park (Manitou Springs), Sat-Mon Sept 5-7 (10 am – 5 pm, free).  Nineteen bands for the price of none!  Now in its 41st year, the Commonwheel Festival also features works for sale from over 100 artists, delicious bites from 10 food vendors, and of course the fabulous Pikes Peak Brewing beer garden presented by Rocky Mountain Highway.  Stop by for a free Rocky Mountain Highway sticker!

2.  Merle Haggard, Pikes Peak Center, Thurs Sept 3 (7:30 pm, $42 – $62 depending on seating).  What more needs to be said about the legendary country great?  At age 78 “The Hag” just released Django & Jimmie, a new album he recorded with fellow elder statesman Willie Nelson.  As of this writing we understand that good seats are still available for the show.

3.  Los Lonely Boys with Danielle Nicole, Southwest Motors Events Center (Pueblo), Sun Sept 6 (7 pm, $22).  Even though the Colorado State Fair seems to have scaled back its national talent offerings, Coloradans have a special fondness for the Garza brothers, who last year released their eighth studio album Revelation.  Supporting is Trampled Under Foot‘s Danielle Nicole, a Kansas City native whose new album Wolf Den drops later this month.

4.  Hogan & Moss with Adrian & James from Barrel House String Band, Front Range Barbeque (Old Colorado City), Wed Sept 2 (7:30 pm, free).  Jon Hogan and Maria Moss play “scorch folk” string music straight from the high desert artistic capital of Marfa, Texas, home of the mysterious Marfa Lights.

5.  Lost Junction, Benny’s Lounge, Sat Sept 5 (8 pm, free).  The duo of Bob Henderson and Ted Galloway celebrate Ted’s 61st birthday in style with gonzo cowboy and Americana music.  The party starts at 6 pm and special guest Oakley Cassaboom will be sitting in on pedal steel guitar.

6.  Joe Johnson & Grant Sabin, The Principal’s Office, Thurs Sept 3 (8 pm, free).  Two of our greatest local exports, Blank Tape labelmates Joe Johnson and Grant Sabin kick off a national “End of Summer Tour” that will take them through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi & Missouri.  Joe has a new single out called “The Champs Last Round.”

7.  Captain Wails & the Harpoons with A Bad Night for a Hero, Youthful Nothings and Henry David, Zodiac Venue, Fri Sept 4 (8 pm, $5 or $10 if under 21).  All the way from Salem, OR, this power trio is led by Rusty Wails, “the infamous Pirate Captain,” who according to internet legend “lay preserved in the belly of a gigantic sperm whale for 500 years before finding himself reanimated by the radioactive sludge spilling into the ocean from Fukashima [sic], Japan.”  Expect an evening of indie rock, grunge and punk with three local openers.

8.  Ponder the Albatross with Barrel House String Band, The Ancient Mariner (Manitou Springs), Fri Sept 4 (8 pm).  The new Front Range band PtA promises a night of original experimental Folk/Rock/Grass music and covers ranging from Queens of the Stone Age to Cake.

9.  Justus League and the Mike Maddux Bluegrass Trio, Blue Moose Tavern (Green Mountain Falls), Sat Sept 5 (12 pm, free).  Whether you celebrate or rue the end of summer, The Blue Moose invites you to enjoy blues and bluegrass all day on Saturday – the music starts at 3 pm.

10.  Fireweed, Coyotes Coffee Den (Penrose), Sat Sept 5 (5:30 pm, free).  For the final summer concert at Coyotes this year, enjoy straight ahead bluegrass performed live for your listening pleasure by Pueblo’s Fireweed, a band that’s been together for more than 20 years and will have just played a number of shows at the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo.

For more concert information, please consult the Pikes Peak Concert Calendar.

Always remember that the Grass Roots Revival airs live on community-powered radio station KCMJ on Tuesdays from 2-4 pm Mountain time, with replays on Wednesdays from 8-10 pm and Thursdays from 1-3 pm.  This week’s show features new music from Steep Canyon Rangers, Iris DeMent, The Railsplitters, Pieta Brown, Dave & Phil Alvin, and The Waifs, plus a timely song called “Denali, Not McKinley” by Eric Brace and Peter Cooper.

Take one for the team,

Steve Harris, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Highway