Acoustic music can still rock |

Acoustic music can still rock

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL ” Leaving a successful band for a small mountain tour and a revolving-door cast of musicians might not appeal to most, but for Daniel Hutchens it makes perfect sense.

Hutchens is taking a hiatus from his Georgia-based roots-rock band, Bloodkin, to tour through a series of mountain towns with his side project, Daniel Hutchens Acoustic.

Vail just happens to be one of the stops for the acoustic carnival, as Hutchens and musicians from other bands play Friday night at the Sandbar in West Vail.

“All of my music stuff is kind of centered around the South and it’s kind of hard to make that break, but we love it out here,” said Hutchens, who lived in Keystone for a short time.

Eric Martinez is another member of Bloodkin who will be joining Hutchens on the brief tour. Martinez lives in Denver and has his own band, Lake Effect, making him one very busy musician.

Martinez became friends with Hutchens after joining Bloodkin on stage for a couple of songs in 2004. He began playing with them more often and was eventually asked to join the band, which he gladly accepted.

Since then, he’s cowritten songs with Hutchens for his latest solo album “Love Songs For Losers,” an honor that Martinez is very proud of.

“To be quite honest, the first night I sat in with them (Bloodkin) was at Cactus Jack’s up in Evergreen Colorado, (and I knew) I had made it. I was like, man, if I don’t do anything else …” Martinez said.

Hutchens and Martinez are just two of the musicians that make up the Daniel Hutchens Acoustic lineup. They will also be joined by Bill McKay (Leftover Salmon) on keys and John Bunting (Electric Sidedish) on percussion.

But Hutchens said that nothing is solid during one of their shows, as guest musicians frequently join them on stage for impromptu performances and that their shows often don’t follow a set format. It could be viewed as a musical free-for-all designed to give the crowd the most enjoyment.

Fans can expect to hear many songs from the Bloodkin catalogue, but in more intimate and stripped-down forms than they are used to. They will also mix in some covers and other original material to set lists to add some flavor to the show.

“The people playing each night may be slightly different, the songs we’re doing, you know, we’re going to try to mix it up a little bit each night,” Hutchens said.

Between Hutchens and Martinez alone there is over 30 years of musical experience and a wide-ranging set of influences, too. Hutchens is heavily inspired by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, while Martinez spoke of his love of metal bands like Motley Crue and Metallica. Geographical influences also figure heavily into Hutchens music as his Southern roots inspire much of his sound.

Through the years, both Hutchens and Martinez have grown steadily as musicians and they are now both married ” Hutchens even has a 1-year-old daughter. Finding that balance between being a rockstar and a family man is just one of life’s lessons that he has quickly had to learn, but he said that it’s only fueling his inspiration as a songwriter.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or

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