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A diverse lineup storms the valley

Pete Fowler
Special to the DailyPapa Mali plays Friday at 8150.
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A choice round of performers will light up the nightlife and music scene in the Vail Valley this week. Do your ears a favor and get out to hear at least some of the shows. The lineup will include more of the High Country’s beloved reggae, rock bands coming through with some interesting surprises and the prodigious jam-band superstars Galactic.A night of rock kicks off this weeks band scene. At the Sandbar, The Quick and Easy Boys will play “party rock ‘n’ roll” with some “trailer park country flavor” tonight at 10. The show costs a cheap $3 to start your weekend off right. Punk-metal band A.S.G. returns after a spring show earlier this year to play at 8150 tonight at 10 p.m. Expect some amped high-volume intensity. “If we had to classify it … we’d just say we play loud,” said the A.S.G.’s guitarist Jason Shi.

Thursday brings two choices. The Gamble Brothers Band plays for free at the Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. “All four of us have been heavily influenced by the Memphis and New Orleans music of the ’60s and ’70s,” said keyboardist/singer Al Gamble about the band’s style. “This music has also influenced our songwriting. Part of what we’re doing is paying tribute to those soul acts.” The Gamble Brothers Band is making sound headway through the bitter hell of the music industry. They have released two albums and in July of this year they beat out 1,200 bands to win the Independent Musicians’ World Series in Nashville and $35,000 in prizes. After the Gamble Brothers Band, the Sandbar is the place to be Thursday night. At 10 p.m., three Dallas bands will take you on a musical odyssey through reggae, blues and far beyond. Pablo and the Hemphill 7 are an increasingly popular rock-reggae band who opened for The Wailers in 2002. It should be an interesting show with diverse influences cited from Bob Marley and Peter Tosh to groups like Radiohead and Bela Fleck. The Triple A Blues Band loves to travel and play music. Its name articulates their passion for the road and the band lifestyle. The words “triple A” refer to the minor baseball league teams which work hard and travel the continent, getting no appreciation for their talent. Check out the band’s down-home, old-school howlin’-growlin’ blues stylings.

For some undeniable original creativity you will want to see Confusatron. Attempting to label them simply as a “jazz band” – as others have done – seems like a feeble stab in the dark. The music clearly embodies elements of ’70s funk, progressive rock, jam band improvisation and some electronic sounds floating around as well. Confusatron is about as far afield from the mainstream as it gets. Galactic and Papa Mali highlight Friday as the big night this week, playing at 8150 at 10. Galactic is a time tested band which also defies genre. Described as playing jazz-funk-rock fusion, they have been together for over 10 years since the early ’90s, and have recently returned to their roots as an instrumental act with the departure of vocalist Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet in 2004. See the longer feature in Friday’s Arts and Entertainment section for more information. Galactic will play with Malcolm Welbourne, known as Papa Mali. Born in Mississippi, he was raised in Shreveport, L.A., and spent summers in New Orleans being immersed in the rich musical culture there. He plays a mean slide guitar on top of being an excellent singer/songwriter. His style is raw and heavy. It sounds heavily grounded in New Orleans funk and blues with a swamp-twang edge. Papa Mali is touring this summer with the guitar, drums and bass trio called PM3. An affordable and excellent alternative to Galactic and Papa Mali is Cartesian Doubt. They are scheduled to play at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. Friday. Some of the four players have a history in the Vail Valley, playing in various incarnations of bands like the Minturn Ramblers. Citing influences such as the Grateful Dead, The Jerry Garcia Band, various reggae artists and Pink Floyd, the band “uses cover music as a vehicle” to express their own creativity and original material.



“If you like the Grateful Dead, you’ll like us,” said guitarist and vocalist Wally Furlow. Saturday night will be swept off its feet by Cuban dance music from Tiempo Libre. They perform at the Vilar Center at 4:30 p.m. The group was formed in 2001 by seven Cuban immigrants who were enjoying separate successful carreers in music. The goal was to share the exotic musical heritage of their homes, and create a fresh style of music by combining latin jazz with rhythmically oriented timba music, a Cuban variant of salsa. The music is meant to be danced to, but expect the first set to be more jazz-oriented, and the second set to be a fiery latin dance festival filled with irressistably distinctive rhythms. They have just recently released their debut album, “Arroz con Mango,” which is, “a wonderful CD to dance to,” pianist and music director Jorge Gomez said.The Grateful Dead cover band Dark Star Orchestra plays the Statebridge Lodge in Bond on Sunday night. They are great and take recreating The Grateful Dead experience to the next level. They reproduce specific Dead shows note for note, and even use similar setups of audio equipment – microphone placement, keyboard setup, etc. For some cool new reggae, the band Zion Eye will also play Sunday night at the Sandbar at 10.Tuesday is another good night to get out as two popular bands will perform. The Young Dubliners play the Ford Amphitheatre at 6:30 p.m. Made up of both Irish and American natives, the band plays celtic-rock, which makes for a very unique listening experience. It is a guitar, drums and bass group of four whose instrumentation is elaborated by a man of many talents, Chas Waltz, who plays violin, mandolin, keyboards, harp and sings. They have toured with Collective Soul and Johnny Lang, and have recently released their third album, “Real World,” earlier this year.

Later on in the evening, The Grift will be playing at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. Said to play amped up folk rock with urban embellishments, you can expect an energetic live show with tight vocal harmonies and catchy guitar hooks over DJ-laced grooves. It’s another highly unique combination with drums, bass, guitar, turntables and trumpet. Playing around Boudler for a couple years after its formation, The Grift has honed their chops by touring extensively.Pete Fowler is a freelance writer and can be reached at p_fowler1@yahoo.com.Vail, Colorado


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