The legend of the Lodge at Vail
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Micky Poage, musician and composer extraordinaire, looks out at an audience caught up in a musical whirlwind.
“We’ve lived here since the sto’ahm,” says a frequent Micky’s regular who hails from New Orleans. “And we’ve known him for 30 years”.
Micky, on his Yamaha grand, has played more piano keys than anyone could count. And he does it in a way that endears himself to his listeners as well as to those who stand up to sing with him. It is a great gift to make every vocalist sound like a star.
One night, we heard an incredible rendition of “Danny Boy” sung in a high Irish tenor by a talented fellow. Micky wore the St. Patty’s Day hat we gave him, and both performed in a way that would have made St. Patrick proud.
We’ve seen him do this time, and time again.
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Micky is a medley man, formulating his own arrangements by creating musical bridges between songs. It is not unexpected for him to get up, place a tiny American flag on the top of his piano, and play a custom assortment of patriotic songs that would make Martha Washington’s spine tingle.
And then there’s “Bob’s Medley,” a string of Broadway hit songs that were originally suggested to him by a friend named Bob.
The lounge, named for Micky, is in the Lodge at Vail. It has a quaint, cozy atmosphere which adds to the enjoyment. An antique bar, imported from England and once used at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, provides a backdrop for the entertainment.
Time, of course, has gone by: The big wooden “M” (for Micky) on the back wall has been replaced by a large flat screen TV. Still, the legend lives on, larger than his initial presence, building with every song a crescendo of enthusiastic applause.
If it were possible to paint with the keys of a piano, then the resulting work would resemble artistic strokes completing a melodic masterpiece that only Micky could create.
While melodies may not be a sign of our times, Micky has become part of our stimulus package. And he could be part of yours. If you decide to partake, you may forget for a moment the harsh realities of today and enjoy another world of harmony ” the one created as we see his hands reflected in the polished ebony just above the keyboard, playing with our hearts and creating memories we will never forget.
Often, while sitting there, I wonder “What if I were to walk up to the piano and just unload my wallet into the tip jar?” Well, that won’t happen anytime soon. But maybe the reader of this of this story will let Micky know of their appreciation after listening to the performance. That would serve as the ultimate tip.
Paul Beckler’s family has been visiting Vail since 1998 and has had a vacation home here since 2000. A very loyal fan of Micky Poage, he and family members have seen the musician every time they’ve visited.