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The Radiators are coming to Vail

Margaret HairVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyLimited commercial success hasnt stopped The Radiators from becoming one of the most successful and well-respected bands to come out of New Orleans. They bring their mix of rock, blues and funk to Golden Peak tonight for a free concert.
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VAIL, Colorado Taking a break from putting together a CD collection that will chronicle The Radiators three decades of existence, guitarist/vocalist Dave Malone is understandably overwhelmed.

New Orleans musical mainstays since the late 1970s, The Radiators have forged a solid reputation with their fan base and an unbreakable connection with the Crescent City by offering hours-long live sets that are as stylistically diverse as the place they come from.Trying to distill 30 years of live recordings and studio sets isnt a last-minute endeavor, but The Radiators have made it one. On Saturday, Malone had just finished mixing two new cuts, rounding out a collection that covers the evolution of classic rock through R&B, zydeco, jazz and blues brought to you by the band that cant help playing all those things at once.Malone talked about the countless fan-submitted tapes hes sifted through, the innumerable songs hes known through the years and the immeasurable heartbreak of seeing his city broken.

Dave Malone: Its a daunting task, but were doing it.Because our band kind of started or we were certainly one of the first bands to do this always allowing fans to tape our shows, going back to 1978.So weve accumulated quite a few shows, going back to cassettes and reel-to-reels, plus studio tapes, plus really good rehearsal recordings you know, everything weve done for 30 years.

DM: What it really put into perspective was how many songs weve learned and forgotten over the years. Were always getting fans hollering or asking for some song we cant even remember what it is. And were going, Not only do I not remember how to play that, I dont even remember that song.Weve found a lot of treasures in that aspect. Its cool, but its a lot of stuff. We play 100 to 200 shows a year, and theyre all on tape its a lot of stuff. Its insane. Its something we probably should have started last year. But we didnt, so here we are.

DM: Yes, especially post-Katrina. Just to get you caught up, Im the only band member that had standing floodwaters in his house. My main domicile was in New Orleans at the time and always was.Myself and (keyboardist/vocalist) Ed Volker are the two singers and songwriters him more so than me. We used to get together very frequently and work out new tunes. With the house being trashed and being on the road so much, we didnt do that as much.New Orleans got real crazy weird for a while, and its still kind of messed up. Were struggling to come back, but there are still vast areas that are just totally screwed up.My wife and I are building a house an hour and a half away, and I just got an apartment in New Orleans again.

DM: It damn near killed my soul, to tell you the truth. … Itll be a great day when I can finally unpack boxes of stuff I havent seen in two years.


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