Caleb Dean Band headlines 4 Eagle country dance in Wolcott | VailDaily.com

Caleb Dean Band headlines 4 Eagle country dance in Wolcott

You don't have to scratch too deep to reach country singer Caleb Dean's inner Hank.

Dean and his band play Thursday's country dance at 4 Eagle Ranch.

"I'm one of the only country guys left in this area," he said. "To yank our own chain, we're the real deal. We play straight up country and don't bend from that."

They do country. They do not do Lynyrd Skynyrd, and you can holler "Free Bird" all night long until you're hoarse. They do what they do and they do not deviate.

Fortunately for them, there's a demand for just that.

"There'll be a time it'll fade out and die down, but we're going to ride that pony as long as it runs," Dean said.

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The first Thursday of each month, 4 Eagle Ranch hosts a Country Western Dance Night. The evening includes dance lessons with an instructor from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a band at 7 p.m. The $15 entry fee includes the dance lesson and the concert.

Country comings and goings

Dean has been in and out of the music business for about 30 years — mostly in.

"We get to what we want to do and still make a living at it," he said. "We really are a country dance band."

Dean is a singer and a songwriter, born in the heartland state of Indiana and raised in Glenwood Springs. His musical journey started when he was just a kid listening to his granddad play banjo in the house along with uncles and cousins. He cut his teeth on his family's musicianship, with a lot of Roger Miller, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash thrown into the mix.

He tried his hand at songwriting in the early 1980s and made it to Nashville in 1993, where he knocked on publishers' doors up and down Music Row. There is no substitute for putting your boots in the street, and with some hard work and luck, he landed a publisher deal.

He also had a wife and two small boys back in Colorado.

"I decided I couldn't be away from that," he said.

So, like the country songs he sings, he loaded up the truck and rolled back to the Rockies. Dean spent the next years teaching his two sons to hunt, fish and play in the outdoors.

He took another Nashville sojourn in 1997, and now it's his two sons' turn to try their luck the Music City. They're doin' just fine, the proud father said.

Dean was knocking around Colorado, playing at the cowboy bars in ski resort towns when he joined the Eagle River Band and two time Grammy nominee Rick Devin. They opened shows for Michael Martin Murphy's West Fest in Vail, Copper Mountain and Scottsdale, Ariz.

These days Dean splits his time between Colorado and Nashville, but mostly he sticks close to home, playing in the Vail and Aspen area, and occasionally "rolling over the hump to Denver."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go

What: Caleb Dean country dance

Where: 4 Eagle Ranch, Wolcott

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Cost: $15 at the door

Information: This is the monthly country dance put on by 4 Eagle Ranch the first Thursday each month. It’s an all ages show.