Denver musician Rob Drabkin performs in Eagle Saturday |

Denver musician Rob Drabkin performs in Eagle Saturday

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyDenver singer/songwriter Rob Drabkin decided to pursue a career as a full time musician while watching the Broadway musical "Chicago."

Flip flop rock. You know it – it’s the breezy soft rock tunes, ala Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, that you want to listen to on a sunny deck while wearing, you guessed it, flip flops, and sipping a Sunshine Wheat. And if the weather holds, that’s exactly what Eagle residents and visitors can do Saturday afternoon at the Dusty Boot when Denver musician Rob Drabkin puts on a free show as part of the Party for the Planet/Get Out Expo taking place in Eagle this weekend.

Drabkin was voted Colorado’s best singer/songwriter by Westword Magazine 2008, 2009 and 2010. He gathered enough votes to earn his turn on stage at The Mile High Music Festival with artists like The Fray, Widespread Panic, Tool and Ben Harper last summer and he played in front of a sold out Fox Theater audience when he opened for The John Butler Trio. He’s done short tours with Carbon Leaf and Tea Leaf Green and a national tour with Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam.

1. Vail Daily: You performed at the Mile High Music Fest last summer. Tell us about it.

Rob Drabkin: I remember feeling very rockstar – ha ha. We were the opening band for the whole festival and we had been voted on by fans! That was a big honor alone. We had a tremendous crowd that continued to grow and grow during our 45-minute set. It was the first “big time” festival we played and I distinctly remember the wrist bands they gave us getting us in everywhere! We took advantage of the forever open bar, the catering, the desserts, the red carpet, the couches, the free massages, and there were even beautiful girls who were giving out hand massages.

2. VD: How do you describe your music?

RD: It’s kind of a cross between a singer/songwriter on an acoustic guitar and a jam band. A lot of my songs are based upon some grooves that lend themselves to a lot of different arrangements. Everytime we play, it’s completely different.

3. VD: What can people expect from your show in Eagle this weekend?

RD: This show will be fun! I’m bringing a very different line up than ever before. I’ll be joined by banjo player Kyle James Hauser, acoustic guitarist Dave Preston, and I think we’ll have a little percussion with us as well. We’ll definitely stick with the more upbeat tunes for this set! No sad songs allowed.

4. VD: People have termed your sound “flip flop rock” what do you think about that?

RD: I think I’m more like a good pair of Teva’s. It’s definitely a bit more energy than a Jack Johnson vibe. (That’s what comes to mind when I think “flip-flop rock.” So perhaps I’m flip-flops designed for a rugged beach. The type of shoe you can hike in and take to the water afterwards.

5. VD: Being a Denver native, and a musician, what can you tell me about the Mile High City music scene. People keep saying it’s on fire. Is that true?

RD: It certainly is on fire and it makes sense. Nearly every major band out there loves to tour Colorado and play maybe 3-4 dates throughout the state. Music fans are certainly all here… Bands left and right are jumping out into the national scene!

6. VD: In your bio, you talk about having an ephiphany while watching the Broadway musical “Chicago.” When was that and tell us about it.

RD: Pretty much just that. There must have been a million different factors going on from school to social to life plans etc., etc. As much as I love them, I tend to daydream everytime I see a musical. Somehow during the middle of “Chicago,” it dawned me that I’d become a singer. Something I had never done before! I think it was about 5 to 6 years ago now.

7. VD: What do you have planned for the summer?

RD: I’ll be writing and recording the rest of the month of May, road testing new tunes. I have two tours planned both to the West Coast and to the East Coast and a big headlining show in Denver July 30.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or