Musical ambrosia |

Musical ambrosia

Mountain of Venus has become familiar to festival audiences. The former Colorado residents are kicking off 2004 with a tour through the Rockies.

Even a goddess has to head home for a visit.

Mountain of Venus was born in Steamboat Springs, but the band has relocated twice in the past four years. The dedicated travelers kick off their 2004 tour circuit with a return to the Rockies. They play the Half Moon Saloon in West Vail today at 10 p.m.

The quintet includes Tanya Shylock (lead vocals), Jody Cohen (vocals, guitar),

Dave Gesualdo (bass), Michael Garrett (drums) and Michael Pascale (lead guitar). They’ve cultivated a fan base in the jamband niche, encouraged by their musical homage to the Dead, rock and folks roots. They swing from lyrical folk to driving rock to psychedelic improv over the course of a concert.

“Guitarist Michael Pascale, leads beautifully with those swirling, high pitched notes that resonate to the ceiling leaving audiences twirling in the aisles,” wrote Eric Ward in Glide Magazine.

Pascale’s guitarwork is underscored by Shylock’s sweet voice, singing above Cohen’s harmonies. Pascale is the primary songwriter for the group, which keeps their repertoire of original music ever growing. In their five years of bandhood, they’ve amassed four albums, one demo and are poised to record a studio release. Mountain of Venus seems ready to take the next step.

The band has shared the stage with the likes of Steve Kimmock Band, Little Feat, Derek Trucks and more. Their music is made for festival settings.

Their religious touring ethic has turned them from support for the big names to headliners on respected – albeit smaller – stages. The group cites the live stage as Mountain of Venus’ natural habitat – which means they’ll be setting up a tepee of tunes on the Half Moon’s stage tonight. For more information call the club at 476-4314 or visit

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

Building the room

Mountain of Venus

Today, 10 p.m.

Half Moon, West Vail

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