Vail’s colorful apres scene
July 2, 2010
VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Valley has a thriving community of solo artists who entertain guests and locals alike, taking up musical residencies at restaurants, bars and hotels around the area. Their regular, weekly appearances at these venues makes the concerts accessible and memorable for audiences who return time after time for drinks, music and dancing.
First and foremost on this list is Phil Long, a staple at The Red Lion as long as most can remember. He’s released more than three albums, including a Best of Phil Long 20th Anniversary CD to commemorate his many years playing music in the valley. During both the winter and summer, Phil creates an environment where you know you’ll hear the classics and see your very best friends, week after week and all in the same room. He holds court at the Red Lion every Wednesday through Thursday for the summer.
Performer and educator Tony G plays both solo and trio shows with his band, The Tony G Trio. Jazz is Tony’s passion and he is regarded as a musician who helped get the valley’s scene on its feet during the fledging years of music here. His piano work is dazzling and not to be missed anywhere he plays around town or the valley. The Grouse Mountain Grill will be Tony’s solo home this summer as usual, while on Sundays he’ll host the Tony G Trio featuring Tom Kirk and Alan Finney at Kelly Liken from 8:30-11 p.m.
After traveling the country for the early summer, recording in Nashville and relaxing in California, Brendan McKinney returns to the valley to entertain crowds at a variety of venues. A self-described “international touring troubadour,” McKinney is noted for his expansion into countries like Sweden and Greece, among several others. Not bad for the acoustic guitar player who calls Eagle home. Check Brendan out every Friday at the Park Hyatt, Sunday and Mondays at Pepi’s, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Tuesday nights at the Red Lion.
Pat Hamilton is a pillar of music here and has played music in the valley for longer than she will admit, but her experience shines through her country, blues and new folk styling. She’s also known for her 2002 album, “You Are My Christmas,” as well as organizing charity collaborations and concerts around that time of year. Catch her at tasty Splendido in Beaver Creek every Friday.
Perhaps no other piano player in the valley exemplifies the same class and quality as Vail itself as Mickey Poague, our ubiquitous local lounge entertainer. Nothing goes better with ambience and aperitifs at The Lodge than Mickey, fingers dancing on the keys. Mickey has been an institution in Vail and is not to be missed. Find Mickey Thursday, Friday and Saturday all summer at Mickey’s Bar at The Lodge in Vail.
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Dave Perron is the lead singer of those downvalley bluegrass pickers The Laughing Bones. Dave brings a deep baritone vocal to his performances and his shows consist of originals, covers and some of the best Johnny Cash renditions this side of Nashville. Don’t miss “Ring of Fire,” a fan favorite, valley-wide. Dave is doing it right every Wednesday night at Eat! Drink! for their Music and Muse wine tasting series and every Thursday at Bearfish Grill in West Vail.
Vail’s music scene is as colorful as the valley we live in. Make sure to get out there and support some live, local music!