In Colorado, concerts abound as a main source of entertainment, and rock, blues, bluegrass, folk and jam bands still rule the mountain music scene.Maybe you saw The Grateful Dead, or Santana, or pre-banished Phish at Red Rocks.If so, we salute you. You know how to rock.For you lucky (insert favorite band here)-heads, as well as for you deprived concertgoers, there are always opportunities to rock out right here in Vail.We have our own hosts of bar-side concerts.And in the next week alone, they’ll provide a host of possibilities for seeing innovative music, which is usually heaped into the “jam” genre.The season’s biggest vacation weekend promises rambunctious crowds, who’ll be ready to jam out and get funky all over town, and there are three shows that cater to the Frisbee-chucking, hippy-dancing, free-loving partier in all of us.New Monsoon plays at Club 8150 in Vail on Feb. 17 at 9 p.m.This band will certainly entertain and entice many travelers, whether they’re into Pink Floyd or Tito Puente (two of the band’s listed influences).They use foreign instruments, like a tabla, a small drum of northern India, to mix in distinct percussion. They also use the Aboriginal didgeridoo from Australia (which should please the abundant, accented people of the South Pacific living in the valley).Despite the diversity they’ll bring to 8150, however, New Monsoon is making a name for itself in the genre that’s so popular in Colorado’s mountain towns – bluegrass jamming.A performance at the 2004 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the subsequent live album released at the end of last year have propelled the band into well-known circles, such as those provided by the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee and shows with String Cheese Incident and Burning Spear, two popular yet incomparable jambands.Next we have Shakedown Street at The Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail on Feb. 19 and 20. Shows there usually start around 10 p.m. Call (970) 476-4314 for more information.Grateful Dead was the original jamband and their music still incites dancing all over the country.What’s more, we’re lucky enough to have one of the best Dead cover bands right here in Colorado.Shakedown Street was born in Manitou Springs, a town which has since declared itself Colorado’s gathering place for deadheads.Vail is an great place for the band, too they’re a staple at that summertime dance-haven State Bridge and they plan to celebrate their 18th year on the road right here in the valley.You know what that means? A pumped-up and groovy two nights at The Sandbar. Don’t tell me this town ain’t got no heart.Last, but certainly not least, The Derek Trucks Band plays 8150 in Vail Village on Feb. 24. The doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance (at club8150.com or at Mojo Music in Avon) and $18 at the door.Derek Trucks is, quite simply, not to be missed. At only 25-years-old, he travels with his own band and with the Allman Brothers, and Rolling Stone included him on their list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”Moreover, his band includes an organ and some horns as well, perfect for improvisation.So, if you’re into “spine-tingling slide playing” (Guitar World) and bands that can handle any genre (those lumped together as jambands), this show is for you.There you have it three bands that will keep you hippy-dancing through the week. And trust us, grooving and twirling assures happiness and a nice laid-back attitude. President Washington would have wanted his B-day celebrated in that way. VT By Chris Black
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