Roots & Rhythms, Peace Queer and tickets for Stills

by Chris Aaland

I’ve collected live-in-the-studio rarities from radio stations ever since Boulder’s KBCO began its Studio C series in the early ‘90s. I usually make my mom wait in line each December when they go on-sale. Recently, she’s rebelled against the 5 a.m., 20-degree line waiting.

We’re spoiled here in the Four Corners to have KSUT’s “Roots & Rhythms” series. The fourth installment is available now as part of the station’s annual spring fund drive. Unlike KBCO or KMTT volumes, the KSUT collections feature artists who have appeared live in concert right here in Durango.

Highlights from this year’s set include John Cowan’s take on a Moody Blues classic, a haunting Alejandro Escovedo performance and intimate solo readings by Jim Lauderdale, Dave Alvin and Tom Russell. A Steve Earle cut from last summer’s Community Concert Hall appearance also graces the 19-track disc.

Roots & Rhythms Vol. 4 is only available with a $60 pledge to KSUT. You can give online at, or if you’re one of 4,000 households to have received the 2009 membership mailer, simply return the pledge form. You can also call in for the CD during the annual membership drive from March 2-7. All pledges go into the drawing for a trip for two to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

One of my favorite KSUT memories is shuttling Todd Snider out to the station in 2002 for an on-air performance and interview. Snider wanted to learn “Rocky Mountain Way,” so I made a quick stop at home to pick up Joe Walsh’s “Greatest Hits.” We listened to it all the way out to KSUT and all the way back. Snider played it right before the encore that night. He returns to town for a show at the Henry Strater Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday in a coproduction by the Hank and KSUT. His songwriting may have taken a political twist in recent years with tunes like “You Got Away with It” and “Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males,” but he remains as funny as ever.

Anthony B brings reggae to the Abbey in a 10 p.m. all-ages show on Monday. He’s released more than 25 albums in his career with such classics as “Universal Struggle,” “So Many Things” and “Life over Death.” A Dub Rock Band and DJ I-Gene open.

Scottish Gaelic vocalist Julie Fowlis and special guest Giant’s Dance come to the Community Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Sunday. Fowlis sings centuries-old traditional songs in Scots Gaelic while accompanying herself on whistles, oboe, cor anglais and other instruments.

Vince Herman brings Great American Taxi back to town for an Abbey Theatre gig at 10 p.m. Saturday. A 21-and-over affair, Taxi always packs the Abbey to the gills for its Americana rock.

The Durango Arts Center hosts a benefit for Bare Bones Burlesque & Salt Fire Circus from 7-11 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. Pipe plays funk, hip-hop and rock at a fund-raiser for the third annual Silverton Jamboree, at Steamworks on Thursday night (tonight). A portion of all beer sales goes to the “Southwest’s Highest Festival,” which brings such acts as Southern Culture on the Skids, Papa Mali, the Soul Rebels, U.S. Pipe, Aftergrass and Strange New Shoes, among others, to Silverton from June 12-14.

On Friday, Steamworks welcomes back the ska, Afro-beat and reggae of Liquid Cheese. The popular lounge/pop/comedy act Vanilla Pop returns to Steamworks on Saturday.

The Summit’s lineup includes the bluegrass, experimental and progressive music of Head for the Hills tonight, Durango’s party rock band, The Sweats, on Friday, and the Top 20 hip-hop of Grieves on Saturday (Soulcrate, Type and Artikle are also on Saturday’s bill).

Stop the presses! Tickets for the April 11 Stephen Stills show at FLC’s Whalen Gymnasium go on-sale at 10 a.m. Monday at the Community Concert Hall’s downtown ticket outlet, and by calling 247-7657. Tickets range in price from $35-$65. Stills is a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee (with Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Buffalo Springfield) whose career spans five decades.

This week’s Top Shelf list features Beth Warren’s top 10 moments from in-studio performances that eventually became tracks on KSUT’s Roots & Rhythms, Vol. 4:

1. Shemekia Copeland sitting in her chair, two feet firmly planted on the floor as she belted out “Beat-Up Old Guitar.”

2. Alejandro Escovedo showing up with a full orchestra, so to speak. Even a cello!

3. Walking into the station after the Infamous Stringdusters had arrived and tripping over guitarist Andy Falco’s gear bag. My hands were full and I was headed for a full-on fall when mandolin player Jesse Cobb reached out and caught me. Saved by the mandolin player!

4. Picking Marty Stuart & the Fabulous Superlatives up at the Community Concert Hall in a rental van. They were surprised that their driver was also their on-air host and the station’s general manager.

5. Introducing David Bromberg on-air and flashing back to all the good times back in college while listening to his albums.

6. Hearing John Cowan break into the opening notes of “Tuesday Afternoon” by the Moody Blues. It knocked us out.

7. Martha Scanlan bringing her grace and incredible talent to our airwaves once again.

8. The subdudes pulling at a yo-yo for the song “Let’s Play” … and you can’t see it on the radio.

9. Hearing Steve Rauworth interview Ben Taylor and asking the question, “How are your folks?” Ben’s parents are James Taylor and Carly Simon.

10. Trying to match wits and wisdom with the erudite and talented Tom Russell. •

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