New Orleans sound dominates this week’s music
It may be hot this summer, but the music scene in the Vail Valley this week is on fire. If you’re interested in music or just looking for entertainment, be sure to check out this week’s lineup. It is ripe with funky grooves of all description, bringing another dose of the New Orleans sound along with some capital bluegrass and blues.All-star power-funk trio bassist George Porter, drummer David Russell Batiste and guitarist/vocalist Brian Stoltz (PBS) are coming to 8150 at 10 p.m. Wednesday night. PBS is comprised of three of the four members of a group some call the founding fathers of funk – The Funky Meters. All three are world-class musicians from New Orleans who have toured or recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, Government Mule, Jimmy Buffet and the Neville Brothers. If not playing around New Orleans or on tour, PBS can be found at the studio where they just recorded their latest album, “Expanding The Funkin’ Universe.” Their heavy blend of funk is said to be “forging the New Orleans sound into the 21st century.” Geared toward improvisation, their show is sure to be a high energy groove-fest guaranteed to blast you off your seat and onto the dance floor. On Thursday, go see Vail native J.E. Borgen in the Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. for his show as part of the free downtown concert series. Transfused with jazz and reggae influences, his folk-based guitar songwriting style and heartfelt voice might just propel you into that delectable realm of late afternoon bliss. See Thursday’s story for more information.
Progressive bluegrass band Shanti Groove comes to 8150 at 11 p.m. Friday. They have stepped out of the traditional bluegrass format by welcoming percussion into their mix and combining it with elements of jazz and rock. The members’ style and innovation is a refreshing move away from the sometimes seemingly played out bluegrass jam band format. Constantly on tour for about the past year, Shanti Groove knows how to thrill a crowd with interactive shows and foot-stomping verve that should not be missed. Another excellent option Friday night is Willis, playing at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. I had the pleasure of seeing this self-described “eclectic, funky jazz quartet” in their home of Boulder, and I was blown away. Its sound encompasses the influences of such funk-masters as Herbie Hancock and James Brown against a rock and jazz background. You will hear an occasional Latin twist and lots of high-flying improvisation to go around. This hardworking band with Possum Logic members Pete Kartsounes and Kyle Ussery has been together eight months. They are already on their second national tour and have produced two CDs. Willis is dedicated to their fans and wants to see them have a good time. You will have a great time, I promise. See the show.For some red-hot blues action Saturday, go to the Beaver Creek Plaza at 4:30 p.m. to see Joe Bonamassa and his power trio rock the Beaver Creek Concert Series. Joe first picked up the guitar at 4 and absorbed all the musical power he could from blues greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Duke Robillard, Danny Gatton and Robben Ford. Having opened for B.B. King to much acclaim at age 12, Bonamassa picks up and elaborates where previous blues legends left off. In addition to his excellent singing and wicked guitar skills, he has also proven to be very adept at writing more emotional rock-ballad type songs. Fortunately, after producing a solo CD, three studio albums and touring extensively for many years of his widely successful career, Bonamassa graces us with his presence in the Vail Valley.
Instead of doing all the mindless chores you can think of and deeply pondering what purpose Sunday evening might possibly serve in your life, listen to Colin Hay from the multi-platinum award winning Australian band Men at Work perform at the Vilar Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. With over 25 years of experience, this veteran guitarist and singer knows how to tell a captivating musical story. See Friday’s article for more details.On Tuesday you can get down with some more New Orleans sound from the big brass funk band the Rebirth Brass Band. They play a free concert at the Ford Amphitheatre at 6:30 p.m. and perform again later on at 10 p.m. at 8150 for a $10 cover charge. Also originating in New Orleans, their style mixes the brass band tradition with more heavy funk to create a dynamic new sonic texture. Rebirth is a top-notch band which has toured all around the world, played with big names like The Grateful Dead, The Funky Meters and George Clinton and the P-funk All-Stars. Their instrumentation consists of three trumpets, two trombones, a tuba and drums. I saw Rebirth last year in Aspen and loved the upbeat, danceable groove, which made the show so much fun.
Music lineupToday – Porter, Batiste, and Stoltz at 8150 at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15Thursday – J.E. Borgen in the Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free
Friday – Shanti Groove at 8150 at 11 p.m. Tickets are $5/Willis at the Sandbar at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5Saturday – Joe Bonamassa at the Beaver Creek Plaza at 4:30 p.m. Admission is freeSunday – Colin Hay from Men at Work at the Vilar Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $36
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Tuesday – The Rebirth Brass Band at the Ford Amphitheatre 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. See them later on at 10 p.m. at 8150 for a $10 cover Vail Colorado