Where to go in Eagle County to hear local live music
It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about ski season or watching the snow fall. It’s time for apres-ski. For those of you who don’t know, the French phrase “apres-ski” simply translates to “after-skiing,” and it’s the time when one can keep the fun from the slopes rolling by having a hot beverage or two and listening to some great live music at one of the many restaurants, eateries and lounges around town. Most apres-ski musicians are as familiar to locals and visitors as their favorite run, but there are a few new players on the scene this year. Teddy Robb is a guitarist and vocalist who just moved to the area this season. Robb is fresh off a stint at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee, which is considered one of the most famous honky-tonks in the world. Along with fellow musician Andy Cyphert, he will be playing at Pepi’s Restaurant & Bar Mondays through Wednesdays throughout the winter season. Pepi’s will be the place to go when you want to hear come classic country tunes sung in Robb’s signature twang. Robb plans on being a showstopper instead of a background snooze.
“I don’t want to be the goldfish in the room,” Robb said. “I want to break the glass and get everybody involved and feeling like they’re a part of the show.”
For some Johnny Cash and even Cyphert and Robb’s version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” pop into Pepi’s during apres-ski or in the evening. In addition to this, here’s a list of your apres-ski music options this winter season:
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The Fitz at Manor Vail
Singer and guitarist Scotty Kabel enjoys his weekly apres gig because it gives him the opportunity to play “in my own backyard,” he said. Starting mid-December, Kabel will play Thursdays through Saturdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Call 970-476-4353 for more information.
Four Seasons Resort Vail
Starting Dec. 18, The Four Seasons will have live music in the Fireside Lounge every Thursdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m.
King’s Club at Sonnenalp Resort
King’s Club has live music every night from 8 to 11 p.m. Playing nightly this winter will be a rotation between acoustic guitarist Donny Z, vocalist and pianist Kathy Morrow and folk-rock musician Kevin Danzig. Morrow’s jazzy tunes soothe you after a day on the hill, while both Donny Z and Danzig play everything from country to American contemporary classics. Call 970-476-5656 for more information.
Pepi’s Restaurant & bar
Nightly music has been happening at Pepi’s long before people even knew the meaning of the term “apres.” At Pepi’s, acoustic singer Dave Tucker plays Thursdays through Sundays and newbies Cyphert and Robb strut their stuff onstage Mondays through Wednesdays. Both play two sets, one from 4 to 6 p.m. and one from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 970-476-4671 for more information.
An apres-ski staple for decades, The Red Lion is mixing the music up a bit this year with Brendan McKinney playing Wednesday through Saturday and relative newcomer Texas Brendan performing Sunday through Tuesday. Everyday there will be two music sets, one from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 until 11 p.m. Call 970-476-7676 for more information.
For apres, longtime favorite Phil Long will play with friends Wednesdays through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. Shakedown will also have a different band or musician every night of the week at 10 p.m. On Sundays, bar owner Scott Rednor strums an acoustic solo set. Mondays Dave Tucker plays and locals can enjoy $1 beers. On Tuesdays, Johnny Schleper plays solo, and on Wednesdays, Rob Eaton Jr. joins Schleper in a duo. Five-piece band In The Realm jams on Thursdays, and Town Cavalry rocks out on Fridays. On Saturdays, Brother’s Keeper, Rednor’s group with Michael Jude and John Michel, of The John Oates Band, play the night away. Although Shakedown isn’t exactly spacious, Rednor doesn’t let that stop him from bringing in the biggest acts he can find.
“You’ve never seen a band this good in a bar this small,” Rednor said. “I’ve got some of the best players in the country playing (at Shakedown).”
Call 970-479-0556 for more information on cover charges and food specials.
This Bridge Street club will have live music Sundays through Tuesdays beginning at 5 p.m. Longtime apres musician and classic showman Steve Meyer, also known as the “Good Times Man,” will begin his run starting Dec. 26, playing weekly Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m. Cover charge is $5, but locals can get in free with a locals card from the bar. On weekends, Vail Underground hosts DJs such as DJ Freewater, DJ Droid, DJ P-Rock and DJ Alejandro Thursdays through Sundays starting at 10 p.m. and into the wee hours of the night. Call 970-476-0360 for more information.
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Tavern on the Square at Arrabelle
Starting Dec. 11, the Tavern will have apres music daily from 3 to 6 p.m., featuring a rotating schedule of musicians, including Peter Fontanese and Don Watson, James Peiper, Nick Steingart, Ron Hardy, Donny Z, Andre Lemieux and pianist Dawn Poff. There will also be music in the evening from 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, call 970-754-7700.
Avalanche Pub, Vail Marriott
Through the month of December, musicians Dave “Skip Dog” Anderson and Roy Bloomfield will play in rotation Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning at 4 p.m. Starting in late December, the Avalanche Pub will have live music everyday from 4 to 10 p.m. Call 970-476-4444 for more information.
Local favorite Jonny Mogambo plays at Garfinkel’s Monday through Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. In an interview with the Vail Daily last year, Mogambo said he likes to bring “the old-school vibe” to his apres shows and will be “spinning the shot wheel and partying like we always have, apres-ski style with my solo acoustic rock show being the catalyst for the party.” Call 970-476-3789 for more information.
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Maya at the Westin Riverfront Resort
Beginning at the end of November, jazz combo BLT will play every Friday and Saturday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Riverfront Ramblers will follow them from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. on Fridays and Turntable Review on Saturdays at the same time. Starting Dec. 22, there will be live music in the lobby starting at 3:30 p.m. and continuing until 9 p.m. or later most days. Living Being and Roy Bloomfield will join BLT, Turntable Review and Riverfront Ramblers in the rotation at this time. If you haven’t witnessed the view of the peaks from the deck patio at Maya, apres-ski may be a perfect time.
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Grouse Mountain Grill
Back again this year is jazz player Tony Gulizia, also known as “Tony G,” performing Wednesdays through Sundays from 7 to 11 p.m. Gulizia has performed at Grouse Mountain Grill for almost 20 years and is a champion of the jazz scene here locally, playing at the Vail Jazz Festival every summer. For apres-ski, Gulizia likes to play “the very best of jazz, old and new, bop to swing with some groovy stuff in between,” he said.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Dec. 19 through Jan. 2, there will be live music fireside from noon to 4 p.m. with guitarist Robert Ingman. Playing the Great Room from 6 to 10 p.m. daily will be James Pieper and playing in the Bachelor’s Lounge from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. will be a nightly rotation between Brent Gordon, Dawn Poff and Steve Hopping. Music continues in both the Great Room and the Bachelor’s Lounge on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the winter season.
Splendido at the Chateau
Splendido showcases piano music nightly from 7 to 11 p.m. Classical pianist Peter Vavra will play Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and popular pianist Kathy Morrow will play Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call 970-845-8808 for more information.
The Park Hyatt
At Powder 8 in Ford Hall (formerly McCoy’s), Shannon Tanner will play most days from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. In the hotel lobby, Dave Kemmerly will play from 4 to 7 p.m. most days. For more information call 970-949-1234.
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Balata Restaurant at Sonnenalp Golf Club
Enjoy live music two Thursdays per month from 6 to 9 p.m. with acoustic rockers Faith Crawford and Kevin Danzig. For more information call 970-477-5353.
Vista at Arrowhead
Class-act apres entertainer Micky Poage returns to Vista with his Yamaha grand piano, playing Monday through Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 970-926-2111 for more information.
We’ll be running this apres entertainment listing throughout the season. Have an apres event you’d like to see included here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.