Band scene kicks out the jams
This week the Vail Valley stays in the funk groove, stirs up an indie-rock frenzy and kicks back for some country and bluegrass twang. Country duo Brooks and Dunn perform at the Beaver Creek Village South Lawn at 6 p.m. Thursday. The tickets are $60, with comedian Heath Hyche opening the show. Leaving a profound influence on the country music world, their wildly successful reputation precedes them, having sold 27 million albums with 21 hit singles at the top of the country music charts.The songwriting focuses on common themes of human experience, with a simple approach and the finely crafted, raw, emotion filled vocals of Ronnie Dunn. “We were singing about girls that got away … good times … hard times … having fun … aching …,” songwriter Kix Brooks said. “We were singing about things we knew, things we learned playing beer joints and honky tonks.For a ripping bluegrass session, the Hot Buttered Rum String Band will play a free show at the Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. Thursday after arriving in its vegetable-oil powered tour bus. Based near San Francisco, band members have spent time in the Sierra Nevadas to inspire its “high-altitude California bluegrass” sound. They play a wide variety of covers and originals which convey the feel of traditional bluegrass, but don’t remain anchored in the past. The band sets themselves apart by including flutes and an accordion, not to mention some uniquely disparate influences. They pick their way deftly and melodiously through the musical idioms of bluegrass, jazz, folk and jam band predecessors, elaborating the ideas all along.
Punk/Ska/Celtic hybrid Warsaw returns to the valley at the Sandbar Thursday at 10 p.m. Warsaw works hard – averaging about 300 shows a year is no small task. Aaron and Chris Poland meld vocal styles together masterfully as only brothers can, while a trumpet and pennywhistles add color to the group’s sound. The single “Stoney Boady,” off the album “Pimpin’ On Crutches,” aired recently on MTV’s “Road Rules,” adding a spike to record sales. Warsaw has performed with musicians including: Offspring, No Doubt, Jack Johnson and Ozomatli. Look for Warsaw to advance steadily through the ranks.On Friday, another up-and-coming indie band arrives. The Hot IQs were nominated as best pop band in Denver by Westword in 2004 after impulsively forming in early 2003 and seeming to click almost instantly. The Denver Post also dubbed them one of the top five in their underground band poll the same year. The Hot IQs describe their sound as “pop, and fuzzed-out rock, putting the indie-rock chocolate in your disco peanut butter.” The basic grouping of guitar, drums and bass is simple, but it grabs your ear with clever hooks and smooth vocals with plush, full vowels that hit the mark and are reminiscent of The Cure singer Robert Smith. The Hot IQs will play a free show at Eagle’s Nest at 5:30 p.m., and also later at the Sandbar at 10 p.m.For some fresh sounds, All Strung Out will play Friday at the Gore Range Brewery at 5:30 p.m. It is a relatively new band in the valley circuit, combining several styles to keep the music interesting. “We’re not really pidgeon-holed by one style of music,” said guitarist Ron Mitchell, explaining how All Strung Out enjoys playing covers and originals that might fit into the bluegrass, blues, country blues or reggae genres. The recent addition of drummer Leo Spaziani should keep crowds moving, along with the band’s energy. “We’re definitely having a good time up there and I think people pick up on that vibe,” said Mitchell. On Saturday, see the veteran groove-masters The Average White Band. This group has been together over 30 years, and they sound downright funky. Featuring extremely catchy bass and horn riffs, AWB ended up one of the most sampled bands ever by musicians including: Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, TLC, P. Diddy, Phil Collins and Jon Hendricks. Their 1975 single “Pick Up The Pieces” off the album “AWB” quickly rose to the top of the pop and R&B charts. Despite high selling studio releases, the band much prefers the live show. “Making people dance is what we do best – we’re meant to be experienced as a live band,” co-founder of AWB Alan Gorrie said.
Little Hercules plays Saturday for Radio Free Minturn’s fundraising event. These Minturn natives are said to be “sonic crusaders on the frontier of timeless, hard-driving funk,” mixing funk, rock, hip-hop and jam styles with strong New Orleans connections. “Little Hercules has great potential to be original and unique … the band has a vibe that can make it happen.” said Leo Nocentelli, a founding member of The Funky Meters.If you’re into Phish, you can get another fix with Phix at the Statebridge Lodge in Bond this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A Phish spirit band, Phix focuses on recreating the live energy and spontaneity of Phish shows. Demonstrating a high level of musicianship while reproducing the essence of the legendary band’s shows has won the hearts of many a fan who mourn losing Phish’s live shows.Coming ’round the mountainThursday – Brooks and Dunn perform after comedian Heath Hyche at the Beaver Creek Village South Lawn at 6 p.m. Admission is $60/The Hot Buttered Rum String Band at the Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free/Warsaw at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. for $6/ The Harry Baxter Band at the Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott. Admission is free Friday – All Strung Out at the Gore Range Brewery at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free/ Laughing Bones at the Main Street Grill in Edwards at 10 p.m. Admission is
free/ The Hot IQs at the Eagle’s Nest at 5:30 for a free show and again later at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. Saturday – Almost Airborne and Little Hercules at 8 p.m. $10 includes admission, beer, a bumper sticker and door prizes at the Sandbar./Phix performs at the State Bridge Lodge in Bond at 7:30 p.m. for $15/Average White Band at the Village Green at 7:30 p.m. Admission is freeSunday – Phix plays again at the State Bridge Lodge at 7:30 p.m. for 15$Pete Fowler is a freelance writer and can be reached at email@example.com.Vail Colorado