Minturn local Jean Larie Flaherty releases third record
Jean Larie Flaherty’s new record is like if Joni Mitchell lived in Minturn. The longtime local’s latest, “Day Dreamin’,” captures Flaherty’s evolution as a musician and songwriter, with cover art by Minturn artist Gel Clemmer.
Flaherty is one of many musical acts that will be playing in Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ’s Hometown Throwdown, which takes place at four venues on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m.: Little Beach Amphitheatre, Kirby’s, The Bunkhouse, and Helen’s House.
Aside from her music, Flaherty has become a well-known face. Her first winter here was in 1974, and her husband Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty was the mayor of Minturn for 12 years.
“Times are a-changin’ but you can’t do anything differently,” Flaherty quoted Bob Dylan. “You just got to make it work and try to be good.”
Speaking of Dylan, she cites the folk singer as one of her musical influences, as well as Joan Baez, Paul Simon and The Beatles, of course. She likes playing Rolling Stones deep cuts on her radio show for Radio Free Minturn: Catch her DJ’ing with Sunny Dee on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This particular record reflects Flaherty’s commitment to songwriting.
“I’ve made it a point, especially the past few years, to write every week. It’s like anything, the more you do it, the better you are at it. Or, the better you feel you are at it,” she said.
“Seeress of the Washoe Valley” draws inspiration from outside her personal life. Her daughter lives in Reno, Nevada, which is in Washoe County. While she was researching, she came across a Scottish woman who moved there in the 19th century, Eilley Bowers. Bowers was a female entrepreneur — rare at the time — who became very rich from the mining industry. When the mining industry collapsed, she lost all her money and rebranded herself as “The Famous Washoe Seeress,” and became a fortune teller. She died in 1903, with no money to her name.
“I’ve tried to do that because it’s easier to write about personal things,” she said. “I’ve tried the past few years to write about things that are a little more impersonal, because it’s easy to get your own take, but it’s different to get a take on that yellow house over there.”
That said, the record still has definitive slices of Flaherty’s life embedded within. “Golden” is about her golden retriever, whom she had for many years and is featured on the back cover. The dog passed away, but Flaherty has a new golden doodle puppy to keep her busy. We didn’t discuss this specifically, but I bet “Take Care of Each Other” is about the relationship she has with her husband, and how it changes as time passes.
Flaherty is selling physical CD’s and it is available for streaming on Spotify. For more information, go to jeanlarie.com.
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Tons of new and gently used gear can be found at the 51st annual Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Swap this weekend at Dobson Ice Arena in Lionshead.