Raelyn Nelson to rock Showdown Town | VailDaily.com

Raelyn Nelson to rock Showdown Town

Daily staff report
Raelyn Nelson, the granddaughter of Willie Nelson, plays for Eagle's Showdown Town free concert series on Thursday, July 23.
Special to the Daily |

2015 Showdown Town lineup

Thursday: Raelyn Nelson

July 30: Tracksuit Wedding

Aug. 6: The Original Shakedown Street

Aug. 13: Freddy Jones Band

EAGLE COUNTY — The Moe’s Original BBQ Showdown Town free concert series, presented by the Vail Valley Foundation, the Town of Eagle, and Bonfire Brewing, invites fans of all ages back for another free concert on Thursday, this time with Raelyn Nelson, who takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The granddaughter of Willie Nelson, Raelyn Nelson and her band pushes out tracks that are a country-rock clash of “three chords and the truth.” Raised on devotionals and “Papa’s” classics, Nelson changed her tune when she met Jonathan Bright (JB), a veteran of the underground scene. Paired with Nelson’s cheeky twang that can alternately be compared to both Loretta Lynn and Liz Phair, the result is a quirky continuation of the California cowpunk tradition, referred to by some critics as “the first installment of a brand new genre in music: Country/Garage Rock.”

With songs written and his new sound discovered, JB recruited his bandmates (Paulie Simmons and Preach Rutherford) from hard rock band Defense Wins Championships, and a rarity in Nashville materialized — a true, honest to goodness band, and not a Music Row creation.

“At first, I was nervous to say I was Willie’s granddaughter,” admitted Nelson. “I’m very proud of him, but I didn’t want to be compared to him because I’m not a great player. But when I sent him our music, he was ecstatic, saying, ‘Let’s get it out there!’ Before I do anything, I text him — and he’ll send me a big smiley face. He’s so supportive.”

Music begins at Eagle Town Park at 6:30 p.m. along with children’s activities, and food and beverage options. Concert-goers are welcome to bring their own coolers and folding chairs, and food vendors will be offering food for sale as well. New this year, Bonfire Brewing will be offering on-site public beer sales.