Fun covers you can dance to in Gypsum
GYPSUM, Colorado -Two members of The Harry Baxter Band live close enough to the Lundgren Amphitheater in Gypsum to walk to the concert they’re playing on Friday, June 19.”Some of our players are members of that community,” said lead singer Brent Gordon from Edwards. “Certainly they want to play for family and friends.”The Harry Baxter Band will star in this week’s installment of The People’s Friday concert and movie series. Today’s movie is the animated penguin film “Happy Feet” Last week more than 200 people turned out to see downvalley country band Derringer and the film “Land Before Time.”Expect to hear covers like Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, and songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Wilson Pickett. Members of the four-piece band pick songs they enjoy playing, then perform them live to see which tunes get the best responses from audiences.”You throw enough stuff to the wall and something sticks,” Gordon said. The songs that passed the test are a mix of light jazz, rhythm and blues and late ’60s or early ’70s dance music.All of the band members are longtime residents of the Eagle Valley, and that appealed to Dawn Ritts, special events coordinator for the town of Gypsum.”I chose this band because they have been playing in this valley for years and they can always be counted on to deliver a great show,” Ritts said in an e-mail. “The band consists of local artists and I think it’s great when you can come to a show and see people you know and love on the main stage.”The Harry Baxter Band has been performing in the Eagle Valley for quite some time. Gordon said the group started as an original funk garage band called The Underdogs in 1991. It evolved into the Harry Baxter Band in two years later.When people hear the name, they often assume the band borrowed it from a great jazz legend. That’s not the case, though.”It’s an anatomical pun,” Gordon said with a laugh. “I have a hairy back and that’s it. Everyone thinks it could be old mentor but it’s actually a fictitious character.”Today the band plays about 200 shows per year, mostly at local restaurants. Band members include Virginia native Gordon on sax and vocals, Steve Hoppin on guitar, Peter Fontanese on bass and Larry Dutmer on drums.Gordon paused before a gig at the Wolcott Yacht Club this week to chat about the upcoming show in Gypsum.1. Eagle Valley Enterprise: Which of the songs that you are playing Friday night is your favorite? Brent Gordon: “I guess I would probably ‘Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green. I like the smooth R&B feel. I like to go down that road if I can.”2. EVE: These events tend to draw a lot of families with children. What do you have in store for them?BG: The stuff we do is wholesome. There’s not going to be any ribald or off-color humor at all. We’re just going to stand up there and play music and there’s very little in between. We’re just going to give off positive energy and hope the kids like that.3. EVE: How did you get into playing the sax?BG: My sister’s boyfriend played bari(tone) sax. I was 10 years old and I liked the way it sounded. I quit piano and I quit guitar and I stuck with sax because I liked the sound of one.
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