Underground Sound Series hosts first of seven concerts
The Underground Sound Series brings seven on-the-rise artists to play at the Vilar Performing Arts Center from now through Nov. 11
Last Friday, the Underground Sound Series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center hosted the first of seven concerts that are scheduled to take place weekly from now through Nov. 11. The Underground Sound Series focuses on giving exposure to up-and-coming musicians in the industry, and this year’s lineup features a diverse mix of genres and artists from all over the country.
The series opened with a performance from Molly Tuttle, a Nashville-based bluegrass artist who has garnered national recognition for her virtuosic guitar and songwriting talents. Tuttle is the first woman in history to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award, which she was awarded in both 2017 and 2018, and she performed at the Vilar on the heels of her second album release, titled “…but I’d rather be with you”.
“As we expected, Molly Tuttle’s guitar prowess and charming stage presence set the tone for the Underground Sound Series,” said Owen Hutchinson, the executive director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “Those who knew her music swooned over their favorite tunes, and those who were discovering Molly Tuttle for the first time have added an instant favorite to their Spotify playlists. That’s what this series is all about. Seeing an artist that you aren’t familiar with feels like taking a chance, but this series is curated to deliver, show after show.”
Discover new voices
Underground Sound is all about giving community members the chance to experience new artists at the forefront of their genres who have yet to become household names. Ruthie Hamrick, the marketing director for the performance center, said that the artists who perform with Underground Sound are often on the cusp of launching into mainstream popularity.
“Part of the mission of the series is to support emerging artists, musicians on the rise and people who are working to blaze their trail in the music industry,” Hamrick said. “We’ve had past musicians – Elephant Revival, Gregory Alan Isakov, and others – who in a few years after taking the stage [at the Vilar] are selling out venues of the likes of Red Rocks. It’s really exciting to see them when they’re on the cusp of their career, before they start headlining 9,000-person venues.”
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The Vilar has been hosting this music series for over a decade during the late fall, which reflects the intention to serve the local population, as opposed to some of the more tourist-facing productions during peak summer and winter seasons. Known as the “love for locals” series, the organizers keep the tickets cheap and transferable to include as many community members as they can.
“This series is one of our favorites at the theater because it’s during a time of year where people have a little more time on their hands, and you can relax before we ramp up for the busy winter season,” Hamrick said. “It’s great to head on up with your neighbors and your friends, anyone who is interested in discovering new music.”
Affordable and transferable all-access passes
The all-access Underground Sound Pass costs $125 and includes general admission tickets to all seven shows and one free drink at each concert. The passes are also fully transferable, allowing people to share tickets with anyone they choose.
“Maybe you can’t commit to seven shows, but it’s a great way to share with your neighbors or your colleagues and invite someone up who might not normally go to a show at the Vilar, or might get to explore a new genre,” Hamrick said. “We also love the idea of gifting it. You can gift a show to your babysitter or your teacher, and they can enjoy a night out too.”
Tickets to individual shows are also available for $32 each, no drink included.
Six shows to go
The second show of the series will take place this Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by Jade Bird. Bird is a singer-songwriter from the UK who puts a British spin on Americana-style folk and country music. She released her sophomore album, “Different Kinds of Light”, in August of this year, and at just 23 years old has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, BBC’s 2018 “Sound Of” poll and Vogue, among others.
The Denver-based Taylor Scott band takes the stage the following Friday, Oct. 15, where they will be playing new music off of their unreleased upcoming album. Like all artists, Scott was deeply impacted by the lockdown in 2020, and is returning to the stage with a heightened sense of purpose.
“With taking that forced time off, it was a super reflective time,” Scott said. “It ended up bringing a lot of intensity and focus to the music when coming back to the stage. I’m on this mission to always try and be super present, to make up for whatever I might have taken for granted before we realized how fragile the whole thing is.”
Scott used the time off to work on a new album, which will be released later this year, and he will be sharing his latest songs with the Underground Sound audience.
“After playing exclusively acoustic guitar for a year, I felt pretty aggressive, musically, and wanted to really stretch on stage and really bring the energy up and play a little more rock and roll type of stuff,” Scott said. “We’re playing almost all the tunes from this new record, so people get to hear a lot of stuff that nobody else has ever heard before, and that’s been super exciting.”
Scott said he is excited for his band to be included in such a great group of up-and-coming artists, and looks forward to sharing his work with an audience primed for exposure to new music.
“One thing I like about on-the-rise artists, if you will, is that it feels like it tends to be more about the music most of the time,” Scott. “I always appreciate that intensity and that sort of intention. When you get to see an artist that’s really working for it, really trying to claw their way to the next level artistically and in their career, I think it makes people really bite into it, which is a really fun way to see somebody perform.”
Tickets to the Underground Sound Series are available online now at vilarpac.org. Proof of full vaccination is required for attendance at all Vilar Performing Arts Center events.
Upcoming Underground Sound lineup
JADE BIRD: Wednesday, Oct. 6 | 7:30 PM
Jade Bird is a singer-songwriter on the rise making the BBC’s 2018 Sound Of poll and recently touted everywhere from Vogue to Rolling Stone. Bird is part of a tight-knit Nashville songwriters community including Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and Brandi Carlile.
TAYLOR SCOTT BAND: Friday, Oct. 15 | 7:30 PM
Funk, soul, rock and R&B all come together in this Denver-based band’s repertoire. On stage, the road-tested Taylor Scott Band simply kills it night after night. Good luck trying to sit down or stay still. In addition to touring and recording with his own band, Scott plays alongside the likes of Blues legend Otis Taylor and Warren Haynes.
SAMMY MILLER AND THE CONGREGATION: Thursday, Oct. 21 | 7:30 PM
Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission, the band is pulling people out of their solitary lives and putting them in the moment with a bracing dose of joyful jazz performed with infectious theatricality. Led by Grammy nominated drummer Sammy Miller and his seven-piece group are adventurous and charismatic musicians who are conservatory-trained but who have not lost their childlike wonder and awe for playing music. Since the band’s inception, they’ve played around the world including Lincoln Center and The White House. While independently the band members have performed with artists including Lady Gaga, Wynton Marsalis, Lizzo, Jason Mraz and Beyoncé.
GOLDEN DAWN ARKESTRA: Saturday, Oct. 29 | 7:30 PM
This will be a Halloween show like no other! Golden Dawn Arkestra will take listeners on a world tour from Brazil to Berlin, sweeping past punk & psych rock, plunging into disco & soul, all the while romancing the World Beat. Golden Dawn Arkestra continues to experiment with a myriad of musical styles and genres, all the while remaining true to their expansive cinematic sound.
SIERRA HULL with Special Guest Dead Horses: Thursday, Nov. 4 | 7:30 PM
Sierra Hull is an American bluegrass icon. After making her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, the Tennessee-bred virtuoso mandolinist played Carnegie Hall at 12, then landed a deal with Rounder Records just a year later. In her first 25 years alone, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hit more milestones than many musicians accomplish in a lifetime. Dead Horses has been described as “intimate, folk-inspired conversation between two close friends” and they’ve been named a Rolling Stone Artist You Should Know.
SETH WALKER: Thursday, Nov. 11 | 7:30 PM
Seth Walker is often cited as one of the most prolific contemporary Americana artists on the scene today. He’s a multi-dimensional talent who combines a gift for melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for the guitar. He’s released 10 albums, broken into the Top 20 of the Americana Charts, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Blues Chart and received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Relix, among others.
What: Underground Sound Series
When: Seven shows, starting Sept. 24 and ending Nov. 11
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Cost: $125 for the Underground Sound Pass, featuring tickets and a drink at each show; NEW this year, the VIP Access Pass is $250 and includes tickets, drinks, access to the venue’s May Gallery before performances, early entrance for preferred seating and more.
More information: Visit vilarpac.org