Don’t give up music for Lent
Fat Tuesday has come and gone, but the spirit of Mardi Gras still lingers in the air, and now the self-sacrificing season of Lent is upon us. Don’t let the celebration in your heart end just because you can’t eat chocolate or drink for a few weeks, because there are some great musical acts coming to town, and I would hate for you to have to miss out on the good times.
Stop and go to 8150 for bluegrassThursday night the Hit and Run Bluegrass band plays 8150. Hit and Run have only been playing together for about four years, and in that time, they have made quite a name for themselves in bluegrass and festival circles. They have played at such big events as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the Rockygrass Bluegrass Fest, just to name a few. They have also won a slew of musical contests and awards and have played with G. Love and Special Sauce, Galactic, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Their popularity comes from their authentic and modern bluegrass style. Look forward to a picking extravaganza from Hit and Run, a band that is sure to keep rising in the ranks of bluegrass for a long time to come.Rap, over easyIf you listened to the radio at all during 2001, then you are probably familiar with the rap ditty “Because I Got High”, a seriously funny look at the effects of marijuana on people’s lives. The man that brought you that hit, Afroman, will be performing at the Rumpus Room tonight. He prides himself on his underground appeal, which is probably why he is still not a household name like 50-Cent or Jay-Z. He takes a lighter approach to rap, staying away from the thug element and focusing on sexual and drug satire.
Warning: Don’t bring the kids to this show. If you do go be ready for hilarious lyrics as well as some sweet grooves and dance hooks. The secret of JababaDon’t miss Pawn Shop Jababa as they make their Vail and Sandbar debut tonight. This band from Boulder is starting to make a name for themselves on the Front Range due to their energetic and captivating live shows.Drawing from their diverse musical influences, Pawn Shop Jababa showcases eclectic instrumentation, strong improvisational ability and first-rate songwriting. They take advantage of their unique instrumentation by playing a repertoire that incorporates elements of jazz, funk, bluegrass, ragtime and blues. The band deftly balances ripping instrumentals with a focus on carefully crafted vocal songs to create engaging and captivating sets that flow seamlessly from the first song of the night to the very last. In their brief history, Pawn Shop Jababa has received countless inquiries about the origins of their cryptic and unusual name. Will the secret finally be revealed tonight? Show up at the Sandbar to find out.Not done with Mardi Gras, yet?Friday night, don’t miss JoJo & His Mojo Mardi Gras Band at 8150. Widespread Panic’s John “JoJo” Hermann fronts the band. He’s taking some time off from that band. With Johnny Few on bass, Max Abrams on sax, Hunter Williams on percussion, Kevin Mabin on drums and JoJo on keys, they are sure to keep the spirit of Mardi Gras alive with their authentic New Orleans sound. Mama’s Cookin’ will also be playing with Mojo tonight. This exciting band meshes hip-hop beats with original songs carved out of rock, jazz and blues. A great line-up that is sure to make a great night of music.
Alive with DeadPlaying the Sandbar Friday night is a band that needs no introduction – Shakedown Street. Picking up the mantle of the Grateful Dead and running with it for the past two decades, Shakedown Street is back in town to give all the Dead Heads in the valley their fix. Still hard at work on playing the best shows possible, they are always changing the set list in their ever growing stack of Dead songs. One never knows what to expect at a Shakedown show. One thing is for sure, the spirit of Jerry Garcia and the Dead lives on in this veteran Colorado band. Also playing with Shakedown Street, very special guest Melvin Seals from the Jerry Garcia Band.Wordplay wizardFounding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA (The Genius) will appear at 8150 Saturday night. With a rap career spanning over a 15 years, and most recently making appearances on “Chappelles’s Show” on the Comedy Central Network, nobody can doubt the importance of GZA on the hip-hop scene. His street-smart rhymes and wordplay make him one of the most formidable rappers in history. Don’t believe me? Then check it out for yourself. Opening for GZA will be independent rapper Black Pegasus.Reggae that rocksAlso on Saturday night at the Rumpus Room, the Mystic Roots Band will be playing their own brand of reggae. This California-based band brings elements of ska, funk, and rock to their fresh, cutting-edge sound. Roots throws a power-packed punch with reggae songs that are not afraid to rock out. Fans of roots rock reggae as well as new school will be pleased by the rambunctious subtlety of Mystic’s fascinating sound. Charlie Owen is freelance writer based in Vail.