The third annual Beanstalk Music and Arts Festival returned to the State Bridge Amphitheater in Bond, Colorado this past May, proving once again that The Magic Beans, perfect Colorado weather, and a slew of other incredible acts are the perfect recipe for a fun-filled weekend. The Magic Beans played all three nights, filling State Bridge with their mixed-genre, upbeat space funk.
The third annual Beanstalk Music & Mountain Festival is set to return to the State Bridge Amphitheater in Bond, CO May 29-31. This years lineup is nothing short of fantasti, with three sets from The Magic Beans, two sets from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Kyle Hollingsworth Band featuring Michael Kang, Iron Horse, The Main Squeeze, Vine Street Vibes, Juno What?! American Babies, and more.
Valentine’s Day is a day full of love whether you are with someone or single. So many people are divided about how they should feel on this day. For someone like me who loves holidays and live music, there was nothing better for me to do than to enjoy this day with my daughter, support the One Billion Rising March against abuse in Denver, and then seeing some of my favorite musicians performing their interpretations of one of my favorite band’s music.
Before I saw Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for the first time Monday night, I totally misunderstood the band’s titular pun. I can’t help but laugh at my sheer stupidity, but I thought it was a combination of “Hey, we’re a Grateful Dead cover band” and “When our drummer parties, we have 911 on speed dial”. But just 15 minutes into Joe Russo’s Almost Dead's first set at the Boulder Theater, it dawned on me.
There is a slow pace and a sparse population in the Adirondack Park. We have approximately the same amount of year round residents in 2015 as we did in 1900. Having a music venue that is truly close to home is a luxury I no longer have. A fair concession for living here. Hopefully, this clarifies why I consider the Higher Ground in South Burlington, despite the 90 minutes it takes me to arrive from my doorstep, my home field.
When it comes to modern day interpretations of the American Songbook that is Grateful Dead, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is causally setting the bar. With an illustrious thirty years of Dead tunes to choose from, former Furthur drummer Joe Russo and his grateful gang of east coast friends are reinvigorating songs and arrangements that have been played to a pulp.
How many more Dead tribute bands does the scene really need? There’s truly already plenty out there. Even if the music is structured to be boundless and open for continuation, it seems like bands could better serve the music with an improvisational spirit, but playing originals instead of Dead covers. Indeed it takes a special group of musicians who understand the music inside out and have the ability to diversify the extensive catalogue instead of simply parroting it.