The (musical) talk of the Vail Valley
October is off-season, which means the local music scene is as quiet as the gym on a powder day. But it’s also when talent buyers draw the curtain back and reveal the winter music scene. All in all, the next few months look pretty solid, though maybe not quite epic. This week the folks at Highline Sports announced the Vail Snow Daze concert schedule. The (free!) shows include Mix Master Mike on Dec. 9, Dwight Yoakam on Dec. 10, O.A.R. on Dec. 11 and headliner Weezer on Dec. 12. It will be the first time Dwight Yoakam and Weezer perform locally. James Deighan of Highline Sports and Entertainment, the festival’s producer, calls the lineup the “most powerful” to date. Deighan saw Weezer perform two weeks ago in Vegas at a Rolling Stone magazine event.”I had never seen them before and they were insane – an absolute riot and very energetic,” he said. “I was texting someone a picture of the stage that I had just taken and I looked up and the lead singer was climbing up onto my shoulders randomly.”
Agave in Avon, though still a fairly new music venue, is pulling some big names. Case in point is Citizen Cope, who will perform a solo acoustic set on Dec. 27. The Brooklyn-based musician (his real name is Clarence Greenwood) is known for his indie-rock stylings and though the concert is still more than two months away, nearly half of the tickets ($25 in advance) have already sold out, said talent buyer Crawford Byers.”That’s his cheapest ticket price in the country,” Byers said. “We’re super stoked for that show.”Byers started booking acts at the venue in December last year and while he’s had to be very specific about what he books there – “I can’t do new talent, I have to do pretty established acts,” he said – he’s happy with how the venue has been received.”A few shows have sold out,” Byers said. “It’s really going great. The bands are having a great experience. It’s the right size venue and people are leaving there happy.”I’m optimistic that this will definitely will be the best winter in Vail for music since 8150 closed,” Byers continued. Also on tap at Agave is Nathen Maxwell & the Original Bunny Gang on Nov. 11. Maxwell spends most of his time playing bass guitar with Celtic punk band Flogging Molly. And another side project will rock the stage on Dec. 8 when Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats comes to town. That might not mean anything to you until we mention that Smith is the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The instrumental funk rock band hails from Los Angeles and it’ll be their first time playing Eagle County.
Tickets for the Vilar Center officially go on sale Nov. 1 but we got a sneak peek at the lineup this week and quickly ID’d our favs: One-man musical phenom Keller Williams performs Jan. 13; soulful singer/songwriter Amos Lee is Feb. 3 and Oscar-winning film composer Randy Newman is March 12. On the Street Beat agenda are a few big names too – Colorado jammers Emmitt-Nershi Band on Dec. 16, the King of Newgrass Sam Bush on March 3 and jazz man Robert Randolph returns March 24.
Meanwhile, over at Samana Lounge, Scotty Stoughton is excited that roots reggae band Midnite is returning to Samana Nov. 11. “They headline huge festivals and they’re coming to Samana,” he said about the St. Croix-based band. DJ Dan, a pioneer of the electronic music scene, returns to the venue Dec. 10.”He performs at the top parties around the world, from Ibiza to South America,” Stoughton said. “He’s a legend and to get him back is really fun. He’s remixed Madonna to Depeche Mode.”Stoughton’s own band, Bonfire Dub, has been busy recording their first record in Boulder. A release party is set for Dec. 16 at Samana. Jason Barber at the Sandbar has been busy booking old favorites (Who’s Bad on Jan. 18, Zepparella on Feb. 4 and more) at the West Vail bar, as well as some new names. Two members of Georgia rock band Bloodkin, singer-guitarist Daniel Hutchens and guitarist Eric Carter, will perform an acoustic set at the Sandbar on Jan. 27. It’s their first Vail performance, Barber said, and people can expect an “intimate singer/songwriter show.”High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.