The Grateful Ball featuring the Travelin’ McCourys set for Friday at the Fox Theatre with special guests

The Grateful Ball featuring the Travelin’ McCourys will come to Boulder this Friday eve featuring the Travelin’ McCourys with special guest Drew Emmitt, Andy Thorn and Greg Garrison from Leftover Salmon.  And if that weren’t enough to get you up and shaking a leg, Adam Aijala of Yonder Mountain String Band will also be sitting in.  This is a show not to be missed as the bands are planning on playing one set each and then a full set dedicated to  the music of the Grateful Dead. The Fox Theatre will be hopping with grateful tunes.

The Travelin’ McCourys have started a new chapter in their book with the announcement that their guitar chair will be permanently filled by long-time friend and fan favorite, Cody Kilby.

It’s a fitting call, given that Kilby — a veteran of the national bluegrass scene since appearing on the IBMA Awards Show in 1993 as a member of the Bluegrass Youth All-Stars with fellow teenagers like Chris Thile — was the guitarist on the Travelin’ McCourys debut appearance at the Wintergrass festival.  Since then, a distinguished and varied group of guests have toured with the McCourys— the list ranges from bluegrass stalwarts like Jeff White and Ronnie Bowman to edgier pals like Keller Williams, The Infamous Stringdusters’ Andy Falco, and String Cheese Incident’s Billy Nershi — with Kilby enjoying the role of most frequent.  Kilby spent 14 years as a member of Ricky Skaggs’ award-winning Kentucky Thunder and as a sought-after studio player, most recently on Beck’s Grammy winner, Morning Phase.

The Travelin’ McCourys are made up of 80% of the Del McCoury Band, as sons of the bluegrass legend award winning Ronnie McCoury (mandolin) and Rob McCoury (banjo) continue their father’s work – a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives.  With fiddler (and 2 time IBMA fiddle player of the year) Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and newly crowned guitarist Cody Kilby (formerly of Ricky Skaggs Kentucky Thunder), the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful.  But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.  The McCourys don’t stand still, they are on the road – and online – entertaining audiences with live music that includes some of the best musicians and singers from all genres; always different, always exciting and always great music.

This may be the last fair deal in the country… grab your tickets and we will see you at the show!

Check out their version of “Loser” from last year’s Del Fest.

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Audio File: New music — get into it

Boulder band Intuit is releasing its third album, “Canyon Roots,” on Saturday at Nederland’s Caribou Room. (Courtesy photo)

By Duncan Taylor
Colorado Daily Columnist

OMG. So much to get to today. In recent weeks, I’ve been going over the many new and upcoming releases from our local music makers, and today I want to get in depth with one spectacular new album in the hopes to get you off your butt and up to the release party Saturday night at the Caribou Room in Nederland.

Longtime Boulder power group Intuit is one of those rare high-talent bands you might just stumble across playing at a local brewery. Though the Naropa grads have been playing shows big and small for years, they’re also our neighbors — some of the kindest at that — and coworkers and friends. When you see these cats play at their level, it’s clear the group is a diamond in the rough.


Good, local music is something to be celebrated and loved. But none of that actually need be the reason you download or purchase Intuit’s newest, “Canyon Roots,” as soon as you’re done reading this.

Do it for the sound quality. I try to listen and get my hands on as much locally recorded music as possible, and let me say without qualification: “Canyon Roots” by Intuit is one of the best-sounding full-band albums I’ve ever heard. And you know I’m a snob about well-recorded music.  Read More…


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Their own rock club: Fox Theatre in Boulder turns 25 in March

The Gasoline Lollipops perform during a concert at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday in Boulder. For more photos of the concert go to
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer/ Feb. 14, 2017

By Christy Fantz: 303-473-1107, or
Previously published at the

As Don Strasburg recounted the story of Boulder’s Fox Theatre during an interview in his AEG Live Rocky Mountains office in Denver, he described the venue as having been started by “kids that just came out of puberty” who got their own rock club.

It was 1992 in Boulder. Members of the University Hill venue’s core founding crew were aged 25 years, tops (save for one founder, an “elder statesman” in the late-Dicke Sidman). It was a time when J.J. McCabe’s, the Dark Horse and Tulagi’s ruled the roost for club experience, said Strasburg, a founder of the Fox who today serves as vice president of AEG’s Colorado branch.

The Fox Theatre building as it appeared in 1961. (Carnegie Branch Library for Local History / Camera File Photo)

“Being a 23-year-old kid in 1992, that’s what we lived,” said Strasburg, a self-proclaimed Grateful Deadhead. “We’d go see bands like Band Du Jour, Leftover Salmon, The Samples.”

The Boulder Theater downtown was the more “adult” venue, where major bands would play. Strasburg said 1992 was a time when Colorado’s famed amphitheater Red Rocks called 30-40 shows a killer season, whereas today the venue hosts more than 100 concerts in a year. And in 1992, the University of Colorado was more involved in the music scene and the Glenn Miller Ballroom in the University Memorial Center was a more active participant with live music.

“It was a vibrant scene, there’s no doubt about it,” Strasburg said. “I remember helping Phish get one of their first shows, at J.J. McCabe’s. This is what the community was like right before the Fox opened on the Hill.”

Now, 25 year later, the storied Fox Theatre is celebrating its silver anniversary. On March 6, the venue’s birthday, Boulder’s legendary jam group Leftover Salmon is performing. The Fox’s big anniversary soiree is slated for March 17 with Colorado funk revivalists The Motet — and in between the two, and through the end of the month, some big names in music will help the intimate club celebrate its birthday with big performances (from 3OH!3 to Big Gigantic, and The Meters and way more). These March shows are filled with artists that Strasburg called the “backbone” of the Fox Theatre and how it grew into the legendary venue it is today.

The very first show at the Fox Theatre was on March 6, 1992, when New Orleans funk

Don Strasburg, left, James Hambleton, Cheryl Liquori and Dave MacKenzie, are part of the founding group that started the theatre 25-years ago. The Fox Theatre on The Hill is celebrating 25-years. For more photos of the concert go to (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

band The Meters performed. The Funky Meters, an offshoot with founding Meters members Art Neville and George Porter Jr., will be returning to the Fox on March 23 for an anniversary show.

“The song ‘Cissy Strut’ was one of my favorite Meters songs,” said Strasburg. “I’ll never forget hearing the first notes of that song resonating out of the Fox Theatre’s PA. It was crazy. I was a 23-year-old kid in my own club. It was like, this is f***ing surreal.”

The Fox Theatre opened its doors that day by the efforts of investors Strasburg, CU students and buddies Dave MacKenzie and James Hambleton, sound engineer (and Strasburg’s friend) Jon O’Leary and Sidman, a former production manager at the Boulder Theater. James Hambleton’s brother Charles Hambleton (who played in Boulder band The Samples and is the associate producer of the 2009 Academy Award-nominated film “The Cove”) was also in the mix.

Sound of success

In 1990, when Strasburg was 20 years old and a student at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, he was hell-bent on bringing Vermont jam band Phish to Colorado to perform. The East Coast musicians never really toured outside of Vermont before, he said.

In his Denver office in the Santa Fe arts district in January, Strasburg pointed to one of his historic, framed music posters and memorabilia on his office wall: “Right there is the actual petition I wrote to Colorado College to get the money for Phish to play Colorado College. I had to go in front of the student board and say, ‘Can I please have $1,500?'”

His efforts got him the cash, the band — and probably most importantly, a window into the business of music entertainment. Getting Phish to perform in the state cemented his interest in seeking out fresh acts to play in the Colorado market.

The seed for his future rock club was planted, Strasburg said, while he was backstage at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center theater in 1990 during a Samples performance. This is when he realized, “We really needed a room in Boulder.”

“I remember calling Dave Starr, who ran (CU’s) Program Council at the time,” said Strasburg. “I told him about the idea, and I said, ‘Don’t tell anybody.’ About two hours later, I get a call from Dicke Sidman, saying, ‘Dave Starr just called me.'”

Soon a partnership between Sidman, O’Leary and Strasburg was born over a gentleman’s handshake and drinks at the Hotel Boulderado, he said.

From the Peak to the Fox

The Fox Theatre wasn’t originally supposed to be what Boulder knows as the Fox, Strasburg said.

The plan was to snatch up the Peak Theater (sitting at 1109 Walnut St. — the former site of The Foundry and Absinthe House, currently occupied by Boulder House). Sidman enlisted his brother-in-law, a lawyer, to help the crew put some documents together to raise money so they could put a bid on the building. With a contribution from Strasburg’s grandfather, the trio had plans to invest in what Strasburg’s grandfather called a “sound business decision.”

But life doesn’t always go according to plan.

“After much negotiation, we lost the bid,” Strasburg said. “We thought it was over. We had this genius idea and it was never going to happen.”

When the trio acknowledged that the space at 1109 Walnut wasn’t going to be used as a rock club, but more as a dance club, “We didn’t see it as someone stealing our thunder,” Strasburg said. “Somebody just took the space.”

“What the f*** are we going to do now?” he asked.

After Strasburg made the move to Boulder, he said he would get in his car and drive around, trying to conceptualize how he and his business partners could get this rock club up and running. During one of his drives, he made a stop on the Hill, entered what was then the Fox Movie Theater (next to the now-defunct Tulagi’s), and asked the older woman collecting movie tickets if there was any prospect of purchasing the space.

Her enthusiasm for the young businessman spurred him, Sidman and O’Leary to have negotiations with Cinamerica Theaters, the space’s owner. Cinamerica was only interested in a sale, but Strasburg said they convinced the company to lease them the space for three years with an option to buy.

Feelin’ irie

With a lease secured and a core crew in place, the only thing the trio needed was some good old-fashioned money. Strasburg said the Hambleton brothers were on board from the beginning, so the remainder needed would be up to O’Leary, Sidman and Strasburg.

“Jon, Dicke and I were literally walking around Boulder with prospectuses in our hands,” said Strasburg. “We were going to our friends’ college housing places — you know, the houses with the beat-up couches from Goodwill on the porches that were probably going to get torched on the Hill at some point — trying to find friends who wanted to make an investment.”

MacKenzie hopped on board with the Hambleton brothers to help with investments.

“James (Hambleton) and I were college buddies,” said MacKenzie. “Our sisters were college roommates. It was all about the house parties — and listening to The Samples — when James came to me and said, ‘Hey, you want to become partners in a rock ‘n’ roll venture?’ … And because I couldn’t play music, I said, ‘OK, cool.'”

The money was in place, and many local musicians were passionate about the venture, throwing support behind it, Strasburg said, adding that the partners had a leader in Sidman, a creative guru in O’Leary, and a self-proclaimed hustler in Strasburg himself.

“We may have had the Boulder Theater as competition, but, we knew we were going to make it,” Strasburg said.

Next, the group had to face the liquor board.

“We were freaking out,” said Strasburg. “We knew if we got this liquor license, this is the moment of our lives. This is everything.”

Alas, Boulder was skeptical of the “23-year-old kids” trying to pull this off, he said.

“We’re trying to open a major concert venue on the Hill in Boulder,” said Strasburg. “Nobody thinks we’re going to pull this off. Nobody.”

After canvassing for neighborhood approval and getting an initial rejection from the liquor board, the guys returned a month later to the City of Boulder with the drive to get an approval. (“It was pretty contentious,” Strasburg said.)

The crew finally got their liquor license the second time around.

“We literally, that day, walked up to the Fox and changed the marquee to say, ‘Feelin’ irie.'”

Perfecting the space

Happy Birthday Fox Theatre from the 20th anniversary

Once the liquor license was secured, the partners started cleaning out the old movie theater.

“All of our buddies — Jon-O led the charge — carried all the seats in the Fox out, and started removing everything we could to start construction,” Strasburg said.

With a renovation that began in December 1991, and a business launch in March 1992 — the crew only had a couple months to put the new club together, Strasburg said.

Truncated timeline aside, there was nothing sloppy about the job. The theater, which has been nationally hailed for a flawless sound system, an intimate concert experience

and a history of soon-to-be worldwide acts recording live albums there, like Dave Matthews, the venture had no intentions other than to create the best possible experience for concertgoers, Strasburg said. (In 2013, Rolling Stone put the club at No. 4 as one of “The Best Clubs in America.”)

It was no coincidence the group was successful. Sidman came complete with back-of-the-house experience and a big dream, Strasburg said.

“Our fearless leader, Dicke Sidman,” recalled Strasburg. “He had an ethos he called he Harvard theory. It was a win-win. The audience wins, the band wins. It feeds upon itself and the gyroscope spins harder, which is the fun. That was the ethos that guided us.”

O’Leary, who Strasburg said is still a partner with the Fox, led the charge for the design and build of the theater with a team of renowned sound and light people. The crew built the theater from the center out — they wanted to see how it felt to dance, to hear, to be comfortable — including elevated platforms and drink rails.

“They thought out, from a common sense approach, on how to make this small room the best experience it possibly could be,” he said. “And it was really successful.”

Strasburg said that while many concert venues concern themselves with good looks — pretty walls, fancy bathrooms — “it doesn’t really impact what it’s like to actually watch and hear a show.”

Don’t panic

Although the endeavor to create a community music space was in full effect, “We were bleeding money from the week we opened,” said Strasburg. “It was a constant battle for years and years and years to stay afloat.”

Strasburg said Sidman had an old phone (“I’m surprised it wasn’t a rotary phone, it was so old,” he said, laughing) that had “Don’t Panic” written on the number label so nobody would panic when bill collectors called.

Strasburg admitted that early on, he didn’t think they’d make it past one year.

“You’re just holding on for dear life,” he said. “The vision of the dream was not some kind of get-rich-quick scheme. The idea behind the Fox was to create an eternal experience that would be a part of many, many generations who could experience what we did 25 years ago.”

But Strasburg said the struggle was still an everyday challenge. He said Sidman used to say, “Live to fight another day. The only reason you won’t win is if you give up.”

Sidman’s death, three years after the club opened, hit the Fox crew hard. Sidman was described by the men as “a fearless leader,” “an elder statesman,” “a dear mentor and friend.” Investor MacKenzie called him, “the ghost with the most.”

“My least favorite memory at the Fox was when Dicke died,” said Strasburg. “Or when we heard he had cancer. But remembering some of those painful memories at different shows ended up becoming some of the best stories.”

Photos from the 20th anniversary party.

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Fox and Friends

In 2010, management at the Fox Theatre and the Boulder Theater came together under one umbrella, Z2 Entertainment. Z2 took over ownership and operations of the Fox and Boulder theaters and is a promoter for various venues, such as Boulder’s Chautauqua AuditoriumCheryl Liguori is the ‎CEO of Z2 Entertainment and was the Fox Theatre’s general manager in its infancy.

“The Fox was more or less on life support or barely surviving until we merged with the Boulder Theater,” said Strasburg. “Once Z2 was created, the venues could stop beating each other over the head. Suddenly we’re able to get out of the weight of that constant fear of death, because we were killing each other … That’s a fact.”

Strasburg said Z2 is putting its energy in full force behind both Boulder venues, making sure the theaters are fully nurtured. It’s a challenging job, Strasburg said, but he quoted Bob Dylan from the song “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”: “He not busy being born is a busy dying.”

“We want to keep creating and evolving,” Strasburg said.

David Weingarden, talent buyer for Z2 Entertainment, said that when he was on the road with ’90s bands, like The Verve Pipe and Tonic, the Fox Theatre was “this shining beacon of a theater.”

“It’s just a wonderful room,” said Weingaden. “Especially if you’re on the road hundreds of days a year and you never know what you’re going to run into when you’re on the road. The Fox is one of the greatest venues. Not only for the sound, but backstage, hospitality and customer service. Everything.”

When he was on tour with bands, they would have to play at some “really dumpy places,” but the Fox was “always a favorite,” Weingarden said.

“People love playing this room,” he said. “I feel honored to be working here and to be booking these rooms.”

It’s not just the musicians, though. Chris Peck, a talent buyer with Z2 who relocated to Boulder from booking shows in Knoxville, Tennessee, after booking shows for Bonaroo, said the bare bones of the company comes from the staff.

“It’s like a family here,” said Peck. “It’s such a small, tight-knit company. And the whole experience from coming through the doors, to getting a drink, to hanging out and lounging. This is one of the best rooms that I think sounds by far way better than a lot of other small, 500-cap clubs. And it sounds really amazing in here.”

With big names coming back to play the 625-capacity club (Primus is playing the Fox before hitting Red Rocks this summer), groups like Boulder’s String Cheese Incident (which can sell out a multiple-night engagement at Red Rocks in a short period of time), is helping to celebrate the Fox’s anniversary with two intimate shows on March 3 and 4.

The club, which has moved beyond daunting challenges, seems to have another 25 fruitful years ahead of it.

“The Fox, while it’s perceived as a big deal and a big venue, it’s small,” said Strasburg. “In the scheme of national clubs and what’s considered a club — it’s considered a very small club — there’s a level of how many musicians can come down and afford to play the Fox. So to have so many of these acts who have come through the Fox and make their start at the Fox, be willing to come back and play it again — we were just really grateful and honored that they would remember us.”

Favorite Fox moments

The Fox Theatre opened its doors March 6, 1992, through the early efforts of investors Don Strasburg (now vice president of AEG Live Rocky Mountains), University of Colorado buddies Dave MacKenzie and James Hambleton, James’ brother Charles Hambleton (who played in Boulder band The Samples), sound engineer (and Strasburg’s friend) Jon O’Leary, and the “elder statesman” Dicke Sidman, a former production manager at the Boulder Theater.

“There was nothing I loved more, when we opened the Fox, was going to see live music,” Strasburg said. “That’s what I am, what I was. It was the most important experience for me … that unexplainable phenomenon of being in the room and the whole place is levitating.”

While at his AEG office in Denver, Strasburg talked about this crazy endeavor he helped launch, with ideas that started spinning back in 1990, and his favorite moments at the Fox over the past 25 years.

• Strasburg points over my left shoulder: “Maybe the most memorable musical moment for me was that show.” It was a Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson show for the Triple A Summit on the Hill in 1998.

“I’ll never forget Bonnie Raitt, singing ‘Angel From Montgomery.’ And I remember her singing, ‘I remember when I was a young girl, drinking at Tulagi’s, looking for some boy to take me home.’ I was like, man, we’re just steeped in tradition here.”

• He said he’ll never forget when Coldplay performed in 2002. “They just exploded. I was flat-out blown away by what we were seeing that night.”

• Or when Muse played the Fox in 2004: “I remember there being only 600 people there. I didn’t even go backstage and talk to them. I was like, ‘I’m just going to let this be, because I’ve never seen anything so spectacular in my life. I’m just gong to leave them up on that pedestal.”

• Or when Sublime never showed up in 1994: “Sublime didn’t show up for their first show at the Fox, because they were partying in Telluride and decided that they just wanted to stay in Telluride, but didn’t tell anyone until 6 o’clock that day. Someone came in to work and said, ‘Dude, those guys aren’t coming, man, they’re still partying in Telluride, my friends are down with them, they’re still partying.'”

But when core members of the Fox Theatre gathered for the Daily Camera in early February to take photos at the venue, Cheryl Liguori, ‎CEO of Z2 Entertainment and the Fox Theatre’s general manager in its infancy, which operates the Fox and Boulder Theater, and Strasburg had an even better story from the Sublime show, when the band actually did show up to perform in 1995.

“Sublime was a good one,” Strasburg said.

“Oh my god, remember when they picked up Allison and put her in the Dumpster out back at that Sublime show?” Liguori asked. (Allison used to work in production, they explained, and a Sublime band or crew member jokingly tossed her in the alley trash.)

MacKenzie, James Hambleton and Strasburg erupted in laughter.


What was your favorite show at the Fox?

Strasburg: Willie (Nelson) is up there. That Willie one was really cool.

James Hambleton: I say Wilson Pickett. That was so rare.

MacKenie: Yes, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt.

Liguori: David Byrne, definitely.

But they all agreed that there are way too many good memories to choose one.

James Hambleton: My band and I (Doug and the Thugs) opened up for Radiohead here in ’93…

Strasburg: I still have that poster.

Liguori: I think I managed that band for a minute.

Strasburg: Not Radiohead.

Liguori: No, not Radiohead. Doug and the Thugs.

Mackenzie: Remember before we could afford places to live, James’ bedroom was where the VIP deck is now?

James Hambleton: It was. For over a month. I was yelling for room service, Bloody Marys …

Mackenzie: There were no windows, so you never knew if it was 2 a.m. or 2 p.m.

As they all had a rare opportunity to interact and reminisce that day on the Hill, spouting exciting memories over one another, Strasburg broke the chatter and said: “You just have to imagine. A bunch of, more or less, a bunch of kids that just came out of puberty, f***in’ had their own rock club.”

Not like he had to explain it, but the gesture was sweet.

Read More…

A project from a few years back we did called Fox Photo of the day.

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Fox Theatre in photos

I have been to so many wonderful shows at the Fox Theatre. In Celebration of their 25th birthday in March I am heading to the archives to feature some of the rich history of amazing music I have seen at the fox over the last 10 years.  Below is just a taste of what is to come.  Enjoy.

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Rising Appalachia headline the Fox Theatre tonight in Boulder supported by The Brothers Comatose

Sisters Leah and Chloe of Rising Appalachia perform at Red Rocks earlier this year.

Sisters Leah and Chloe of Rising Appalachia perform at Red Rocks earlier this year.

I am excited that one of my favorite bands, Rising Appalacha are headlining the Fox Theatre in Boulder this eve.  The beautiful harmonies of sisters Leah and Chloe are a joy to hear.   Joined their band, percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, Rising Appalachia brings a folk sound as unique as the wind.

From the bands recent press release, “Rising Appalachia brings to the stage aerra_rr_2016-7 collection of sounds, stories, and songs steeped in tradition and a devotion to world culture. Intertwining a deep reverence for folk music and a passion for justice, they have made it their life’s work to sing songs that speak to something ancient yet surging with relevance. Whether playing at Red Rocks or in rail cars, at Italian street fairs or to Bulgarian herbalists, this fiercely independent band has blazed a unique and colorful path across the globe. 11 years into their movement, Rising Appalachia believes that the roots of all these old songs are vital to our ever evolving soundscape.”

This will be the third time this year that I get the opportunity to enjoy the harmonies of Rising Appalachia.  The first time this year I caught the band warming up for Elephant Revival at Red Rocks.  Next the band was featured at ARISE Music Festival outside of Fort Collins.

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The Fox Theatre will actually be most intimate setting I have seen Leah and Chloe perform this year.  The band has had a strong upbringing and rich history of performing in many situations including busking on the streets of New Orleans.  “Proudly born and raised in the concrete jungle of Atlanta, Georgia, sharpening their instincts in the mountains of Appalachia, and fine tuning their soul on the streets of New Orleans they have crafted a 6-album career from the dusts of their passion.

Arrive early to enjoy the sounds of The Brothers Comatose.  This will be my first opportunity to check out what seems to be a very fun band.

I am really looking forward to continuing to celebrate Rising Appalachia’s sound, the Cubs win and escaping the election news for tonight’s performance.

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Colorado’s premier music festival ARISE set for Friday with Ziggy Marley, Hard Working Americans, Jurassic 5 and many, many more

Just an hour from Denver, 45 minutes from Boulder, 25 minutes from Fort Collins, and 15 minutes from Loveland, ARISE Music Festival is easily accessible to Colorado’s Front Range. When you are driving or riding towards the ARISE festival grounds in the foothills outside of Loveland, Colorado you are immediately taken aback by the amazing beauty of the Colorado foothills. Follow the signs and directions and suddenly the 100 acre festival grounds at Sunrise Ranch are revealed. Here you will find a festival cradled in the majestic foothills of the Rocky Mountains and next to the Green Ridge Glade Reservoir. Sunrise Ranch has stewarded this beautiful land as a sustainable ranch and working organic farm for more than 70 years without pesticides ever touching the soil. Red sandstone, pine-covered hills and the surrounding Roosevelt National Forest are all a beautiful backdrop for this amazing event.

It does not take long to realize that the ARISE is much more than a musically diverse festival 3 day festival. In addition toFeaturing 7 stages of live music, ARISE offers yoga, workshops, theme camps, art gallery & installations, children’s village, speakers, films and camping on 100 beautiful mountain valley acres of Colorado ranch land.

This year the ARISE Music Festival has it’s most ambitious line-up to date. Featuring over 200 scheduled performances the festival highlights a diverse lineup of musical performances that spans hip-hop, reggae, bluegrass, rock, jam bands and improvisational acts from around the country. When you are at ARISE you are part of a community, where you can find something to please every festivarian.

The 2016 ARISE will feature a number of national and internationally renowned artists including Ziggy Marley, Jurassic 5, Papadosio, Hard Working Americans, Wildlight, The New Mastersounds, Del the Funky Homosapian, Phutureprimitive, Jeff Austin Band (formerly of YMSB), The Travelin’ McCourys, Fortunate Youth, Everyone Orchestra, Dirtwire (featuring members of Beats Antique & Hamsa Lila) and Bridget & Bonnie (of Elephant Revival) and many more.
Widely regarded as “Colorado’s best music festival” — ARISE has grown steadily since it’s 2013 inception, annually ushering thousands of avid festival-goers from around the state and around the country for three days of music, camping, and holistically-minded inter-active programming.


See Rising Appalachia at this year’s festival.

Rated as one of the “Top 7 Next-Gen Festivals” in North America by Buzzfeed, the independent ARISE Music Festival features international and national touring headliners, regional acts, as well as Colorado’s best up-and-coming performers. Additionally, each year the event plays host to a variety of dynamic presentations which include some of the nation’s top yoga instructors, activism-thought leaders and workshop presenters.

Attendees can expect to be wowed by the spectacular visual performance of Transition Theater and inspired to action by prominent, globally-recognized environmental activists, including Julia Butterfly Hill and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Josh Fox. ARISE uniquely fulfills the mission of the festival: to promote ecological “thrive-ability” and connection through uplifting art, entertainment, and activism.

Known for its “Global Cooling Initiatives,” such as planting a tree with every ticket sold, the festival goes to great lengths to encourage attendees to practice eco-mindfulness through a number of “thrive-ability” practices. ARISE Music Festival provides water for free and plastic water bottles are not sold onsite; instead attendees are advised to bring re-usables. Additionally, in symphony with the festival’s progressive composting and recycling programs provided by ZeroHero, ARISE requires all vendors to serve their assortment of food and beverages using only compostable products provided by festival sponsor, EcoProducts. Truly a leave-no-trace event, ARISE is celebrated for it’s cleanliness and participant cooperation.

A special event for families of all sizes, children 12 and under are FREE and half price Youth Tickets for 13-17 year olds are also available. A range of general ticketing, family camping, and VIP packages for the ARISE Music Festival are available on the official website at For more information about the event and all of its unique programming options, check out all of the ARISE social channels at, and at

NewAtAriseNew this year, ARISE has set up the Oasis Express. The Oasis Express shower installations are beautifully artistic, full-service showering facilities. Inspiring outdoor, yet private environments are created with custom tension fabric. Each trailer features 12 open-air hand crafted cedar shower stalls, 2 dressing rooms, and a 3-sink grooming station. Oasis Express offers complimentary Dr. Bronner’s soap and body care products as well as towel service and the showers are incredibly water-efficient with environmentally conscious greywater management strategies. The Oasis provides a unique and sacred environment that inspires well being, transformation, and social interaction.

At this point, if you don’t already have tickets for this three day festival adventure, our recommendation is that you get them now. Ticket prices for ARISE will increase on August 1st. So don’t miss out, grab your tickets today! We will see you at the festival!

Photos From ARISE 2015

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Lyons’ RockyGrass Academy cultivates ‘a living tradition’

Steve Cody and his daughter Maddie Cody, 11, rehearse together along the North St. Vrain River during the RockyGrass Academy in Lyons on Tuesday. See more photos at (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Steve Cody and his daughter Maddie Cody, 11, rehearse together along the North St. Vrain River during the RockyGrass Academy in Lyons on Tuesday. See more photos at (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

It was the second day of school Tuesday morning for 238 adults and 36 kids admitted by lottery to the sold-out, four-day RockyGrass Academy at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons.

The lucky students left their campgrounds carrying mandolins, banjos, guitars, fiddles, basses and dobros across slightly muddy fields, heading to class under large tarps set up along the St. Vrain River.

In its 21st year, the school is held each summer prior to the RockyGrass music festival, which begins Friday.

The popular academy attracted 370 applicants from 35 states and several foreign countries, from which 274 students were selected. Approximately 70 percent of them are from Colorado.

Students receive daily instruction in playing music, building an instrument, singing or songwriting, and also choose from an array of electives such as Clogging, Slapping the Bass, Pete Seeger Tunes and Techniques, Intro to Clawhammer, or Guitar Thievery in Songwriting.

Read More …

Posted in Bluegrass, Festival, Live Music, Local Band | Leave a comment

Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band to play the Boulder Theater tonight


Josh Ritter performs at Red Rocks, May 2016.

Tonight Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band will play the Boulder Theater.  Over the course of his acclaimed career, Ritter has released seven full-length albums, including his most recent, 2013’s The Beast In Its Tracks, which debuted at #22 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top Rock Albums chart. The record also received widespread critical praise—NPR Music called it, “…gorgeous and glorious,” while Pitchfork asserted, “Beast is contemplative and forgiving, a means of burying one relationship to commit to another, and Ritter nicely evokes the excitement and resignation of such a transition.” Additionally, in 2011, Ritter made is debut as a published author with his New York Times best-selling novel, Bright’s Passage (Dial Press/Random House). Of the work, Stephen King writes in The New York Times Book Review, “Shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime…This is the work of a gifted novelist.”


Here are some photos from Josh Ritter’s performance at Red Rocks earlier this year:

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For more information, visit Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band’s website at:

If you go:

Where: Boulder Theater
July 12th, 2016
oors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets $25 GA or $35 Reserved


Posted in Boulder Theater, Live Music, People | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Coral Creek gets the crowd jumping at the Oriental Theater warming up for the John Kadlecik Band

By C. Alan Crandall
CoralCreekOriental-7I headed out to see Coral Creek and the John Kadlecik Band perform at the Oriental Theater, thinking that it was a cool and interesting to have a Colorado favorite Bluegrass band warm up for the heady jams of John Kadlecik.  “Wouldn’t a rock band or a Grateful Dead cover band be better as an opening act?” I thought.  Well I am pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Coral Creek’s music is described on their Facebook page as a “Rocky Mountain Bluegrass & Americana Music from the Colorado Front Range, featuring original songs by Chris Thompson, Luke Bulla & Bill McKay and unique renditions of traditional bluegrass tunes and Americana classics by The Band, Grateful Dead, Peter Rowan, Bill Monroe and more…”  Coral Creek is that and more an I think they have found a winning combination. 

Coral Creek at the Oriental Theater, April 27, 2016

Coral Creek at the Oriental Theater, April 27, 2016

Fronted by the guitar and vocals of Chris Thompson and featuring the vocals and keys of Bill McKay, of Leftover Salmon fame, Coral Creek had the crowd jumping from their very first note.  Performing long jams like “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Ramble On Rose” the band was a great choice and very entertaining for this concert. Bill McKay is a perfect fit for Coral Creek, his vocals and hard driving keys contribute to the sound in a way that makes you feel he has been playing with Chris, Rob and Jack for years.  A special treat for the Oriental Theater shows was Nathan Peoples filling in for Luke Bulla on fiddle with his saxophone. His type of “fiddle” playing  filled the room with hard driving solos that meshed with the bluegrass/ jam band sound perfectly.

I am sold, I will catch Coral Creek any chance I get, they are a solid band with a fantastic sound that will have you moving to their grove from the very first note. For more info visit

Our friends over at had a chance to chat with Coral Creek, here’s a glimpse:

From touring on a yacht in the Virgin Islands, procuring a dingy to get to their gigs, and fighting storms with ‘Captain Dave, Coral Creek is spreading the good vibes of their new self-titled album. Coral Creek played Cervantes Other Side’s three year anniversary party of the Grass For That Ass Bluegrass Thursdays. Coral Creek consists of Chris Thompson on lead guitar, Bill McKay (formerly of Leftover Salmon) on keys, Rob Garland on bass, Jack Watson on drums, and filling in tonight for Luke Bulla (of Lyle Lovett Band) is Nathan Peoples on the “saxophone fiddle.”  Read More…

Upcoming Coral Creek shows:
June 4th : Capitol Hill People’s Fair, Denver, CO
June 12th : Taste of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO
June 25th: Clear Creek Rapid Grass: Idaho Springs, CO
June 30th: Thursdays on Frist & Third: Rochester, MN
July 8th : Summer of Love Fest, Kent, UK
July6-24: UK Tour
July 29th: the BEACH: Buena Vista, CO
Aug 3rd: Beaver Creek Resort: Avon, CO
Aug 5th: Parfet Park: Golden, CO
Aug 19th: Yarmony Grass: Rancho Del Rio
Sep 2nd : Four Corners Folk Festival: Pagosa Springs, CO

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Check out this short grab of “Ramble On Rose” from the Oriental Theater show.

@CORAL_CREEK at the @OrientalTheater

A video posted by Rocky Mountain Jams (@rmjams) on

And “Dear Mr. Fantasy”

@CORAL_CREEK at the @OrientalTheater

A video posted by Rocky Mountain Jams (@rmjams) on

So as you can see, if you have the opportunity, you should catch a Coral Creek show!

Posted in Bluegrass, Jam Band, Live Music, Local Band, Oriental Theater | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Nederland’s Elephant Revival to headline at Red Rocks joined by Josh Ritter, Rising Applachia and special guest ‘The Human Experience’ on Sunday

ER_BT_2014_600By C. Alan Crandall/ previously published at

ER-RedRocks-2016-FinalPoster-wTHX-webThis Sunday, Elephant Revival will return to Red Rocks Amphitheater for an early show. Arguably one of the most famous bands out of Nederland, Colorado, Elephant Revival’s style of acoustic progressive, indie, Americana music delights audiences from coast to coast. In its tenth 10th and fresh off of their sixth album release, named “Petals,” the band has found success in the festival circuit that they have embraced since their inception.

The quintet is formed by members Bonnie Paine, Bridget Law, Charlie Rose, Dango Rose and Daniel Rodriguez and say their mission is “to close the gap of separation between us through the eternal revelry of song and dance.”

From the band’s website: “Elephant Revival has toured extensively since their inception, garnering a large and loyal fanbase. The band headlines major venues and has performed at over 30 festivals each year, including Newport Folk Fest, Bumbershoot, Telluride Bluegrass, High Sierra, All Good and many more. On May 22, Elephant Revival will headline the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, in their home state of Colorado, for the first time.”

Check out Elephant Revival’s visit to Second Story Garage here.

Joining Elephant Revival at Red Rocks is Rising Appalachia, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band and The Human Experience with David Block.

Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith

Leah Smith

Leah Smith

Rising Appalachia, also with six albums to their credit, is formed by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith from Atlanta, Georgia, and joined by their band, including members Biko Casini and David Brown. Rising Appalachia “is a melting pot of folk music simplicity, textured songwriting, and those bloodline harmonies that only siblings can pull off,” says their website. After spending time in the Appalachia mountains and then moving to New Orleans, the sisters honed their harmonies and musical stylings into an entertaining, captivating performance.

Originating out of Moscow, Idaho, Josh Ritter will be joined by Zack Hickman, Sam Kassirer, Josh Kaufman and Liam Hurley, performing their strong flavor of indie folk-rock.

Kicking off the show on Sunday, and performing between sets, are the unique offerings of The Human Experience with David Block. This musical experience encourages participants to “sing, dance, play, don’t take life too seriously and to create, collaborate, share and learn,” says the band’s Facebook page.

Sunday is an early show. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and everything will be rapped up by 10 p.m., according to the Facebook event page. Billed as a family-friendly event, with many opportunities to enjoy the surroundings that is the Red Rocks Amphitheater, this is an event not to miss.

If you Go:

Ages: All Ages
Doors Open: 4:30 p.m.
Price: $40-$45
Door Price: $45-$50
Music starts at 5 p.m. and will be done by 10 p.m.


The Human Experience with David Block.

Posted in Jam Band, Live Music, Local Band, Red Rocks, Second Story Garage | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment