July 14, 2016

School’s Out … for Summer!

Friends, we were amazed to realize this week that the missive that you are currently reading is no less than the 100th newsletter that we have produced since embarking on our non-profit musical journey in 2014. Now that’s a lot of words!

Over the past few years we have worked hard to try to ensure that the whole community knows where to see live Americana music in the Pikes Peak Region, through the Pikes Peak Concert Calendar and the Grass Roots Revival radio show on KCMJ as well as this newsletter. Our team at Rocky Mountain Highway has produced three iterations of the MeadowGrass Music Festival and organized dozens of high quality roots music performances.

At this time your humble correspondent finds it necessary to take most of the rest of the summer off to make room for other projects, so this will likely be the last newsletter that you receive for awhile. In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us at the following free events presented by Rocky Mountain Highway.

First, we are proud to announce that the next summer outdoor neighborhood concert on the Patty Jewett golf course will feature New Vintage Jazz, our first foray into “serious” jazz. Weather permitting, the quartet will set up outside the patio of Patty Jewett Bar & Grill; in case of rain, we’ll back in the bar lobby. Admission is free and the show begins at 8:30 pm. Feel free to bring a chair or blanket to set up on the lawn.

In August we are excited to present the 3rd Annual SommerFest in partnership with Edelweiss Restaurant, which will run Friday August 19 (4-9 pm), Saturday August 20 (noon to 10 pm) and Sunday, August 21 (noon to 8 pm), just across Ramona Avenue from the restaurant.  In addition to authentic German food, games and entertainment, there will be kids’ activities on site and Rocky Mountain Highway volunteers will be on hand selling delicious Paulaner German-style beers. It’s fun for the whole family!

Finally, Labor Day weekend will mark the third year that Rocky Mountain Highway has helped organize a beer garden at the venerable Commonwheel Arts & Crafts Festival at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs, now in its 42nd year. You can find us right by the music stage, which will feature continuous entertainment from 10 am until 5 pm each day (Sept. 3-5). After you’re done browsing the fine art booths, stop by to enjoy a glass of wine or a craft microbrew from our friends at Pikes Peak Brewing.

We don’t want to leave you high and dry, so here is a sampling of some of the many other great concerts coming to our region during July and August:

Mountain of the Sun Music Festival, Aspen Valley Ranch (Woodland Park), Saturday, July 16 (12 pm, $12 or $6 for kids ages 12-18). It’s baaaack! Rocky Mountain Highway has been proud to help out with this annual fest in past years; this year Mountain of the Sun returns with an all-day benefit for the ranch featuring music from The Family Elephant, Jesse Cotton Stone, Jason Miller, Cold Heart Revival, and Bill Howlin Madd Perry, among others.

Roosevelt Dime, Jack Quinn’s Pub, Friday, July 22 (9 pm, free).

MeadowGrass fans will remember Roosevelt Dime’s rockin’ performance on the main stage on Friday last year, and now the band has released a new EP, Red Shoes, which includes covers of songs by Tom Petty and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now that’s what we’re talking ’bout, Willis!

Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines, Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (Palmer Lake), Saturday, July 23 (7 pm, Advance: $20 TLCA members, $22 non-members; Day of Show: $22/$24). Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix from San Marcos, Texas returns to Colorado after recovering from health challenges and releasing an album this year, Love You Strong, with a new lease on life. She will be joined by her Grammy-winning husband, multi-instrumentalist Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie from The Dixie Chicks).

Fiddles, Vittles & Vino, Rock Ledge Ranch, Sunday July 31 (3 pm, $50 – $5 off if purchased before 7/24). For eleven years the region’s top chefs have been putting on this benefit for Rock Ledge Ranch, which includes complimentary bites from the best local restaurants, tastings of craft spirits, wine and microbrews, and four bluegrass bands on two stages. This year’s headliner is Yep Roc Records recording artists Chatham County Line from North Carolina, who are set ro release their eighth album Autumn, in early September.  Finnders & Youngberg, WMD Bluegrass Band and WireWood Station round out the lineup.

Peter Rowan, Western Jubilee Recording Co., Tuesday, August 2 (7:30 p, $25). Peter is a true legend who has been pushing musical boundaries for more than 50 years – first as one of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, later as part of the bluegrass supergroup Old & In The Way with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, later still as leader of a reggae band, and most importantly as headliner for the 1st Annual MeadowGrass Music Festival way back in 2009. Produced by Scott O’Malley & Co. at Western Jubilee, Peter’s collaboration with Don EdwardsHigh Lonesome Cowboy, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album in 2002.

Loudon Wainwright III with The Mitguards, Stargazers Theatre, Thursday, August 4 (7 pm, $25 advance, $30 day of show). Speaking of Best Traditional Folk Album, one of America’s most insightful and humorous songwriters, the Grammy-winning Loudon Wainwright (the third), won that same award in 2004. Prepare to be amused – Loudon recently released the video for “I Had A Dream” – his vision of a Donald Trump presidency. Funny and scary at the same time!

Band of Heathens, Ivywild School, Thursday, August 4 (8 pm, $10 adv, $12 day of show). Having just played The Ride Festival alongside Pearl Jam in Telluride last weekend, Austin’s Band of Heathens returns to Colorado for a run that includes an appearance at the Rhythms on the Rio festival in South Fork. Over the past ten years the Heathens have released four full-length studio albums, including 2013’s Sunday Morning Record, which was named best album of the year by The Alternate Root.

Yarn with the Rob Nance & the Lost Souls, Songbird Cellars Neon Alley (Pueblo), Saturday August 6 (8 pm, $15). This Is The Year – that’s the name of Yarn’s new album, and expectations are high as the alt-country nee bluegrass band continues to accumulate fans through relentless touring since playing MeadowGrass in 2011 and headlining The Snow Ball at The Gold Room with Woodshed Red last December.

Kansas, Pikes Peak Center, Thursday, August 18 (8 pm, $42 – $62, not including service fees). Truer words were never spoke – “Carry On, My Wayward Son”! Rock behemoth Kansas is back on tour just ahead of the release of their first album in sixteen years, The Prelude Implicit. The band is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic album Leftoverture, which also featured the song “Dust in the Wind” and sold more than six million copies worldwide.

The Record Company with Kerry Pastine & the Crime Scene, The Black Sheep, Friday, August 19 (8:30 pm, $10.39 in advance, $12 door). Recently signed to the prestigious Concord record label, breakthrough L.A.-based The Record Company boasts a blues rock sound that is captivating audiences throughout the United States. Here’s a video of their take on the classic Grateful Dead tune “New Speedway Boogie.”

Ages and Ages, Ivywild School, August 30 (8 pm, $10 adv, $12 day of show). This five-piece band from Portland, OR with the “raw choral pop” sound has been making waves following the release of their well-received album Divisionary. Now the band is set to release their third full-length disc, Something To Ruin, on Partisan Records next month.

And that’s a wrap – at least for now! Thank YOU so much for reading this newsletter – the best part of this whole gig has by far been making connections with all of the music-loving people that live here in the Pikes Peak Region. The work continues!

Onward, and ever upward!

Steve Harris, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Highway