While every state has their bevy of Grateful Dead cover bands, Colorado is proud to put Shakedown Street at the top of their list. Playing shows all over the Front Range and Rocky Mountains, they’ve built themselves into the beloved act they are today. Even Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra plays with members on occasion when jamming around Colorado.
The date was March 30th, 2013. Or was it October 9th, 1977? Either way, the city of Denver held camp to the throngs of Deadheads along Colfax. On our way into McNichols Arena, I mean The Ogden Theater; there was a buzz in the air that only a live concert can produce.
An unlikely collaboration between two roots music legends needed a proper introduction. Multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and vocalist Sam Bush is second only to John Hartford the most influential player in creating the style of newgrass music. A progressive take on bluegrass that fused elements of rock, psychedelia, and reggae was developed in the late 1960s and became incredibly influential on generations of successors to come.
It’s free and restrained, naive and formulaic; it’s the trajectory of what’s to come in tune these days and going forward. Palenke Soultribe’s second entry in their recent audio trilogy, the foreign MAR, is right out of the textbook of the ethnic familiar-obscure.Lately, there’s been increasing notice given to these eclectic EDM-roots crossover acts. Everything needs a drop these days in the realm of pop, but the devil’s in the details and a lot of artists are emerging from the clutter dead to rites.
As I ate the best sushi I had eaten in as long as I can remember, I had to keep looking over my shoulder, half expecting to see Keller Williams walk into the room. In terms of our physical proximity to one and other, it wasn’t that big of a stretch. He was playing later that night in South Burlington. But Keller and I have a connection that runs much deeper than this superficial story.
One of the great joys of attending concerts is the never-ending exposure to new artists and the swift kick in the ass feeling of why you haven’t been listening to them. This isn’t usually the case with most headliners, as you know what you’re getting into, but when it comes to the opening band, all bets are off. It’s a crapshoot. You might as well bet it all on red.
Tonight, perennial Bay Area folk group TV Mike and the Scarecrowes (yes, the extra e is necessary) perform at Berkeley’s The Starry Plough. It’s an intimate venue, with a big, open stage, giving performers enough room to move around, but also close enough to feel like there isn’t a barrier. And while the Starry Plough may look more like a pub than a concert venue, make no mistake. It’s a place that’s perfectly suited for both.
When the opportunity to see one of the catalysts of a certain genre of music presents itself, the general inclination is to get up off of the couch and learn something while boogying down. Considered to be amongst the earliest purveyors of the ska movement born out of Jamaica, and directly influencing what has come to be known as reggae, The Skatalites are a treat of a band led by the sole surviving founder, Lester “Ska” Sterling on alto saxophone.
After listening to my friends rave about Twiddle shows they’ve seen all over the country, whether it was a Phish after party or just a small show at a bar, I decided to drive down to Fort Collins from my home in Boulder, catch the $5 show and see what all the buzz was about. Hodi’s Half Note is a small bar venue in the middle of one of the main streets in Fort Collins.