Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk to play on Vail Mountain |

Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk to play on Vail Mountain

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk is bringing its blend of electrified Appalachian music to the top of Vail Mountain tonight. The Columbus, Ohio-based band will be playing Friday Afternoon Club at Eagle’s Nest beginning at 6 p.m. The band plays original music “inspired by the old west, country outlaws and moonshiners,” according to its press release. You’ll hear traditional Americana classics as well as old favorites.

Back in the day, Paul Painter, a founding member of the band and former Vail resident, spent many a night on Vail Mountain grooming trails and many a day raging down it, he said. Painter will be joined by singer-songwriter and bassist Mandy Dye, flat-pickin extraordinaire Trevor Edge, and keyboard player Bill Kurzenberger. On its journey to keep the spirit of American roots music alive and well, the band has shared stages and whiskey bottles with numerous national acts and will be sharing the mountain sunset with the folks of Vail tonight.

1. Vail Daily: You lived in Vail in the ’80s. What did you do?

Paul Painter: I ran a snowcat grooming ski trails on Vail Mountain. I was awarded the snowcat operator of the year award my last year, 1989; the year of Vail’s first world alpine ski championships.

2. VD: You and the band were here last year around the 4th. Do you like spending Independence Day in the Vail area and why?

PP: Yes we always love spending time in the Vail Valley. I still have a lot of friends here and by coming back I get to ski, mountain bike and do all the things I still love to do with some really outstanding longtime friends. Also, my family will be having a large family reunion in Cedaredge over the 4th of July weekend, so we’ll be headed over there next.

3. VD: Tell me about last year’s show and what people can expect from tonight’s show?

PP: The show last year went really well. Our music is very uptempo, appeals to a wide audience and is very danceable. We had a great crowd, especially considering the storms that rolled in toward the beginning of our set.-

4. VD: Describe your sound for me.

PP: Our sound is rootsy, I would say. Basically, our theory is to keep the spirit of American roots music alive in all its incarnations. We play bluegrass, rockabilly, classic country, folk and what I guess would be called ‘newgrass’ or ‘jamgrass.’ We play about half originals and half what would be considered traditionals. Most of the ‘cover tunes’ that we play are actually traditional bluegrass or Americana folk tunes or classic country standards.

5. VD: What’s the best part of being a touring musician?

PP: The best part of being a touring musician is getting to visit really cool places like Vail. We’ve traveled to all sorts of wonderful places, but Vail has to be one of our favorite trips every year. My wife and I met here in Vail in the ’80s working the slopes, so Vail will always hold a very special place in their hearts. It’s also great to get to meet other musicians all over the country, like Oakhurst out of Denver and Vince Herman’s band, Great American Taxi from Nederland, both of which we’ve had the pleasure to play with recently.

6. VD: You were recently very busy in Columbus putting on the Community Festival. Tell me about that.

PP: The Community Festival is THE largest free music festival in the world! It’s been running for 37 years and is entirely volunteer run. The festival raises money, which is given back to the community in the form of grants. Last year $15,000 in grants was given to various community organizations. There are six stages of live music all filled with local musicians from Columbus. We received over 600 applications from local bands this year, so it’s a very competitive festival, which makes the quality of music very good.

7. VD: You play the telecaster in the band. For our readers who don’t know what that is, can you explain?

PP: A Telecaster is a classic Fender model guitar. Waylon Jennings played a Telecaster, so it’s great for our style of music. It has a clean, classic sound and is able to produce a little twang.

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