Live in Minturn – it’s music time |

Live in Minturn – it’s music time

Wren Wertin
Bo Salling and the Brakes Are All Gone Bad dishes out a lively show for opening weekend of the Live in Minturn concert series at Chilly Willy's Saturday.

Coming from a myriad of venues, it’s Live in Minturn, the concert series that throws one musical party after another for a good cause. Opening weekend includes Stuck in the Mud at Mango’s Friday, and Bo Salling and the Brakes Are All Gone Band at Chilly Willy’s Saturday.

“There’s a distinctive spirit to Minturn, to maintaining its own integrity and not just becoming a homogenous portion of the resort economy, for better or for worse,” mused Andy Kaufman, owner of The Saloon. “There’s a real spirit in Minturn. I think anybody that’s spent a lot of time there knows that.”

The Saloon is an institution, as the building dates back to 1901. As far as Kaufman knows, it’s always been a restaurant, bar or gambling joint. Kaufman has owned it for 18 years, and a couple of the Live in Minturn events are held there. This marks the concert series’ fourteenth year.

“We do our celebrations differently with Halloween and July 4,” added Kaufman. “We make a point of being contrarians. Because of that, there’s a community spirit, and because of that we’re seeing a lot of younger locals and families establish themselves by purchasing homes in Minturn. I think it’s going to continue the revival and maintenance of that strong spirit.”

A few years ago, proceeds from Live in Minturn were given to the town’s volunteer firefighters, in order to help with the meager operating budget. Then the town voted to join the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

“Charlie Moore really felt like he was on pretty good financial footing, and didn’t feel like it was appropriate for us to raise funds any longer.”

So they came up with the Minturn Community Fund, which is recognized as a 501 C3 non-profit by the government.

“Our goal is to seek out and grant programs which will improve or enhance open space or recreation,” said Kaufman.

“Or if we find something else we really like we could do that, too,” he added, laughing.

Last year they held a concert in the La Playa park.

“There’s a real natural opportunity there for an amphitheater,” said Kaufman. “For our project, we are looking to see about the feasibility about creating a small amphitheater there. Towards that end, the town of Minturn has really been involved in the river restoration there, and there are funds dedicated to that park. We see it as a real community resource.”

Not only might it be used for concerts of every type from rock to Bravo!, it would also be available for weddings, meetings and parties.

Last year’s series raised between $8,000 to $9,000, and a chunk of that has gone into the feasibility study for the site. They’re also hoping for a grant from Greater Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, funded by the Colorado lottery.

Alison Kabel used to organize Live in Minturn, but this year the baton has been passed to Cori Snyder. The series has grown so substantially that it’s born a part-time position.

“First Alison and then Cori have taken it on in the spirit of community service,” said Kaufman. I have every belief that Snyder set about booking the acts.

“I tried to get bands that were new and looking to break into the Vail Valley,” said Snyder. “We’re trying to bring some new people into town. You do have to play for such a little bit of money, that maybe a first gig makes it worth it, before they get booked by someone big like 8150.”

The festivities begin at Mango’s in Red Cliff with local boys Stuck in the Mud on Friday. Snyder saw them at Open Mic Night first at Mango’s and then at Main Street Grill.

“They didn’t even have a P.A. system,” she said. “They were just sitting in the corner – they’re really talented on their instruments.”

As per tradition, the series finishes Oct. 30 with a knock-down, drag-out Halloween bash at The Saloon with Little Hercules. As they’ve just picked up a booking agent and are shopping their latest album around, the band is on the move. It just might be one of their last local show for a while.

For more information on the series, visit

PULL QUOTE: “There’s a real spirit in Minturn. I think anybody that’s spent a lot of time there knows that.” Andy Kaufman, owner of The Saloon in Minturn

Party with purpose

Live in Minturn concerts

Sept. 26 – Oct. 30

Minturn and Red Cliff venues

Sept. 26: Stuck in the Mud at Mango’s

Sept. 27: Bo Salling and the Brakes Are All Gone Band at Chilly Willy’s

Oct. 3: Michael Howard at Mango’s

Oct. 4: Flux at The Saloon

Oct. 10: The Meek at Chilly Willy’s

Oct. 11: Steve Vidaic Quartet at The Saloon

Oct. 17: Orion’s Room at The Saloon

Oct. 18: Three Degrees of Freedom at Chilly Willy’s

Oct. 24: Henry Parsons Project at The Saloon

Oct. 25: Askimbo at Chilly Willy’s

Oct. 30: Little Hercules at The Saloon

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.

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