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Float on the musical wave

Ben Quirk
Special to the Daily Tea Leaf Green plays the Sandbar in West Vail back to back Friday and Saturday. The music starts at 10 p.m. both nights.
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Sage people often say sage things. It’s what sets them apart from us less sage members of the community. Sage people might look into the distance, over yonder hill, and say unto their friends, “life is like running up a mountain.” The aforementioned friends then nod in what they hope is a sage manner without ever questioning why one would want to run up a mountain while simultaneously wondering whether they should go out and buy some good mountain-running boots. Another favorite phrase of your run of the mill wise man is the classic, “life is random,” which is a particularly annoying collection of words because life really isn’t that random at all. Very few random things happen to me each day as I traverse from home to work to play and back again. Sure, occasional random events might occur but generally they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Life would be an absolute bloody nightmare if it were truly random. One aspect of life that is perhaps a little random is the type of bands and music we get coming through the valley. One week we’re overloaded with funk bands sporting giant horn sections, the next it’s baggy pants and conscious hip-hop. There’s undoubtedly a method buried deep in the madness but it’s not something we should worry about. Instead of heading to the nearest sage man to make sense of it all with some overly general words about very unspecific things we should just kick back and enjoy the randomness. Grab a friend and make a night of it. Who knows where it’ll take you.Little Hercules raise the pressureThe members of Little Hercules must have been a nightmare when they were gestating in their mothers’ wombs because these guys were born partying and haven’t stopped. Little Hercules mosh when they brush their teeth. They don’t eat food; they boogie with it until the energy they need is transferred by osmosis. Little Hercules don’t make love, love is spontaneously created in the air wherever they walk. This local band has the Devil in a right twizzle because he’s worried they’ll be too noisy for Hell. Little Hercules is actually a NATO weapon deployed in the Rocky Mountains who’s job it is to create enough energy to shield NORAD from nuclear strikes. It’s a little known fact that their parties single-handedly brought an end to the Cold War and ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity. Little Hercules I salute you.

Planet O bring it all togetherTo say you’ve played with Steve Vai, Ray Charles and Frank Zappa is to not need to speak again. Actions speak louder than words they say and if those actions are intricate designs on guitar frets, frenetic drumming or deep grooving bass lines with some of the world’s most respected artists there’s many, many things that don’t need to be said. You don’t need to say that Planet O fuse together old school funk and reggae with slide guitar and keys to create a sound created solely for the purposes of partying. You don’t need to say that they create a vibe that has the whole bar moving until last orders are called and the barrels drunk dry. You don’t need to say any of this.Tea Leaf Green plays a fresh cut

Attracting an audience to a jamband concert here is like shooting fish in a barrel. Having tried neither I feel I am singularly unqualified to write such a bold statement but I’ve been assured by local booking agents with close ties to the professional fish-in-barrels shooting community that the two are virtually indistinguishable.Tea Leaf Green (TLG) is a band straight out of San Francisco with a large bag of songs and styles and an even bigger reputation for outstanding musicianship, powerful lyrics and roof-raising energy. The Sandbar in Vail thought they were so good they booked them twice.The Wailers carry on crying outIt’s never easy to pick yourself up and carry on when things go wrong. When Bob Marley died in the early eighties it conceivably spelt the end of the Wailers as a musical entity. But the remaining members dusted themselves off, drew closer to each other and soldiered on with the only the thing they knew: Music. With a rich musical legacy to honor and uphold, the Wailers come to 8150 on Friday and Saturday for a double bill of reggae, packed audiences and some serious swaying, dancing and singing. Reggae lends itself particularly well to the snow scene I’ve noted. You can guarantee a couple of reggae albums in the house, nestled between the Jack Johnson and jamband cds.



Drew Emmit licks better than any otherDrew Emmit is no stranger to this valley. The founding member of Leftover Salmon (along with Vince Herman) has been acknowledge as having string skills second to none and a voice that complements these with its clarity, sound and purity. Emmit plays a variety of music-making objects from guitar to banjo to harmonica and flute. He is perhaps best known for his talent on the mandolin, an instrument you don’t hear every day. He will be playing the bouncing-dancefloored 8150 and fans and newbies alike can expect a virtuoso performance from this musical veteran.The Station checks in and groove outFeaturing special guest stars The Christopher Tiffany Band The Station is a jamband with a point to prove and a groove to lay down. Whether they wander from full on improvisation to more tried and tested songs The Station’s sole aim is to entertain the crowd and fill the dance floor with a mass of bodies lost in the moment.

Pulling funk, jazz, blues, rock and whatever else they think they might need and weaving them into the Station sound, this band intend to send a wave of music over the dance floor at Sandbar on Tuesday and watch the crowd float away with them.Today: Little Hercules at Samana at 9 p.m.Thursday Planet O at Sandbar at 10 p.m.Friday: Tea Leaf Green at Sandbar at 10 p.m.



Saturday: The Wailers at 8150 at 10 p.m.; Tea Leaf Green at Sandbar at10 p.m.Sunday: The Wailers at 8150 at 10 p.m.Tuesday: Drew Emmit at 8150 at 10 p.m.; The Station with The Christopher Tiffany Band at Sandbar at 10 p.m.Vail, Colorado


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