Al Green lays it down in Beaver Creek |

Al Green lays it down in Beaver Creek

Charlie OwenVail CO, Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado Al Green may be in his 60s, but he sounds surprised when people ask him if he still tours. Not only does he still tour, he tours all over the country and the world. Im like, dang, have you been to Europe any, or Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, London, Paris? I mean, man, this year were going to Barcelona, where I cant speak no Spanish at all, said the legendary gospel and soul singer. Its just fun, man. I mean Im not going to make it a job, thats for sure.Youd never know it though. Green said he performs almost 160 shows a year, and thats in between his duties as pastor for his Memphis church and a family life. Green performs Monday night in Beaver Creek, one of the last shows of the Vilar Performing Arts Centers summer concert lineup.Im a huge fan, said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center.I never imagined Id get to see Al Green … not only does he have this incredible voice and all these incredible songs, but hes got this other thing, this deeper spiritual side to him that I think probably makes him a pretty cool individual.

And the man still knows how to make sweet soul music. His latest album, Lay It Down, was released to wide critical acclaim.I feel like its one of the best works we ever done. And of course, it debuted at number 10, so I mean … I really dont know how to rank it. Its like talking about my kids I cant choose one over the other, Green said. I just thank the big man upstairs for giving us this successful period right here.

Lay It Down is proof that the old and new schools of soul music can work together to produce something unique and special in a time where mediocrity and falling standards is the norm across the board in the music industry. Green worked with many up-and-coming stars, as well as more established artists, to make the magic captured on Lay It Down. But what started out as an attempt to create a more contemporary sound on the album came out more like modern R&B and classic 70s Green thanks to the mutual respect and admiration that guest artists like The Roots Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson (the albums co-producer), John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae (Green has duets with both) have for the legendary singer.I thought it was fun, Green said about his time in the studio with the young blood. I went to sit down with them and asked them questions and rolled around what their feelings were, but I also had to take into account what Al was doing, Green said.

But Green is surprised and humbled by all the attention that Lay It Down is getting, he said.Everybodys going Woohoo and I just told them What the hells wrong? Ive been cutting albums all along and yall never said nothing, Green said, laughing. With all the recent success hes seen lately, and all that hes accomplished throughout his 40-year career, Green has a lot to think about and be thankful for, he said. The biggest difference between the up-start Green of the 70s and the mellowed-out modern Green is that now hes more focused, more purpose oriented, he said, which is what made the success of Lay It Down possible in the first place.High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: Al GreenWhen: Monday night at 8 p.m.Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver CreekCost: $90, $125 and $160 based on seatingMore information: Call 888-920-2787 or visit

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