Hollingsworth’s quick mountain tour stops in Avon | VailDaily.com

Hollingsworth’s quick mountain tour stops in Avon

Geoff Mintz
Vail Daily correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily/Tobin Voggesser

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – With String Cheese Incident planning to ramp up their touring schedule in 2011, there won’t be nearly as many opportunities to see Kyle Hollingsworth Band as there were last year.

Making a stop at Agave Friday, the keyboardist and composer is on a brief tour of the Colorado mountain towns mapped out around an agenda of doing some skiing and drinking some good beer, he said. Hollingsworth won’t have to look very far for either of those things with plenty of snow and the Big Beers Festival happening in Vail this weekend. (He is an avid home brewer and creator of the Hoppingsworth IPA.)

Minus DJ Logic and Liza Oxnard, Friday’s Kyle Hollingsworth Band will feature the same lineup as when they played Eagle County’s Yarmony Grass Festival last summer. Hollingsworth is essentially borrowing members from Boulder jamband The Motet, including that group’s founder, Dave Watts, on drums.

“I have had a similar group for four or five years, but the band has always revolved around my friendship with Dave Watts,” Hollingsworth said. “He’s really the rock that got me going and the foundation for a lot of music I’ve been writing. It’s slowly evolved from there.”

Watts, a legend of the Colorado music scene in his own right, was actually the one who introduced Hollingsworth to String Cheese in Boulder many moons ago.

“He had this local jam at his house – I guess it was in 1993. I would go over to his house and some random guy named Michael Kang (String Cheese violinist) showed up one time. I had never met this guy Kang before, but we wound up doing a gig together,” Hollingsworth said.

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band flourished during String Cheese’s three-year hiatus, which started in 2007 and came to an end over the summer with a three-night performance at Red Rocks. With wide-ranging influences such as funk, Afrobeat, dubstep, pop and of course bluegrass, it was apparent at the reunion show that the band members had been busy working on a variety of side projects and mastering new styles during their time apart.

Hollingsworth said, when playing with String Cheese, the musicians have to give up a little bit of their own individual styles, but they gain so much more by bringing it all together.

“One of the cool things about String Cheese is that we have so many varied interests,” he said. “The fact that we’re able to showcase our different styles is important for all of us to feel like we’re getting our voice out there.”

Last year, Kyle Hollingsworth Band did a complete tour of the United States, but this show is a part of a quick stint in the mountains. The scheduling worked with the Motet and Hollingsworth’s other projects, so they booked a few gigs.

“There’s part of me that – it doesn’t matter what’s going on – I need the release of playing in front of people,” Hollingsworth said. “Post-String Cheese, I’ve been doing a lot of writing, not only instrumentals but a lot of vocal tunes. I wanted to put a band together that highlights not only instrumentals but songwriter as well.”

Opening the show Friday will be Denver jamband The Congress, who are regulars at Main Street Grill and Paddy’s.

“I’m a big fan of Kyle’s,” guitarist for The Congress Scott Lane said. “His band is band is insanely talented. I love seeing those guys play and I’m totally honored to be sharing the stage with them.”

The show at Agave starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $15.

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