Beer Olympics Dirtwire and Miss Tess

Beer Olympics Dirtwire and Miss Tess

Genre-bending banditos Dirtwire returns to the ACT Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Chris Aaland - 05/10/2018

It’s no secret that Colorado is a hotbed of craft brewing. One might argue that we’re the most beer-savvy state in the union. At last week’s World Beer Cup in Nashville, brewers from the Centennial State took home 28 medals, second only to California’s 44. In fact, California, Colorado and Oregon all won more medals than any other state!
It’s well known that I’m a craft beer connoisseur. But of Colorado’s award winners, I’ve only tasted ales from Steamworks, Telluride, Bristol, Dry Dock, the Sandlot and Avery. I’ve never even popped a top or poured a pint from the 21 other winners. I’ve certainly hoisted plenty of pints of Steamworks, though. Congratulations are in order for Second Avenue suds slingers for their gold medal in the Dark Lager category for Night Train. Steamworks was the only local brewery to take home a medal this time. Our next closest medalist was Telluride Brewing, which won silver in the American-Style Wheat category for Whacked Out Wheat.

“This is the first time Night Train has brought home some heavy metal,” Steamworks co-founder Kris Oyler said. “And given this was the World Beer Cup, we can lay claim to Night Train being the best American dark lager in the world. This is an honor for both Steamworks and Southwest Colorado, the Napa Valley of hand-crafted beer.”
Night Train is an American-style dark lager, considered smooth, rich and complex, yet not heavy, according Steamworks’ director of brewing operations Ken Martin. “It has chocolate and roasted notes and finished very clean like a good lager should,” Martin added. Best of all, Night Train is currently on tap.

Considered the Olympics of craft brewing, the World Beer Cup is held every other year. This year, 8,234 beers from 2,515 breweries representing 66 countries competed in 101 categories. With Night Train’s victory, Steamworks has now received five medals (three gold, two silver) at the World Beer Cup in the brewery’s 22 years. BREW Pub & Kitchen hosts a special Mother’s Day brunch Sunday, with deluxe specials for all of the mamas out there. Mom might want to get sauced on some of the new offerings, like Darlene, a Belgian ale with Montmorency cherries and named after brewmaster Erik Maxson’s grandmother; Keller, a bright and crisp pilsner that’s a perfect thirst quencher for our early May heat wave; or Jesus, the righteous double IPA with hints of yarrow.

It’s a quiet time of year for music, as we’re on the brink of June’s peak festival season. That said, you can still get your boogie on. Dirtwire returns to the Animas City Theatre at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Comprised of David Satori of Beats Antique, Evan Fraser of Bolo, and Mark Reveley of Jed & Lucia, “Dirtwire sits on the front porch of Americana’s future, conjuring up a whirlwind of sound using traditional instrumentation, world percussion, Soundscapes and electronic beats,” according to their press kit. “Each performance brings both band and audience to a mysterious crossroads of beats, blues, African, Asian and South American sounds.” The group has released six albums, including the brand-new “Blaze,” their second recording with Reveley as a member. Miss Tess holds court at the Dolores River Brewery at 8 p.m.

Saturday. While you might not know about Miss Tess, you certainly should. For more than a decade, the Nashville-based chanteuse has infused Americana with classic country and honky-tonk, southern R&B, New Orleans jazz and swing, and elements of swamp pop and early rock & roll. She released two solid records, “Sweet Talk” and “The Love I Have for You,” on Boston’s fine indie imprint, Signature Sounds before dropping her 2016 effort, the independently released “Baby, We All Know.”

The Dolores River Brewery also welcomes Society of Broken Souls, the folk noir duo of multi-instrumentalists Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. While acoustic based, the Society rotates between fiddle, drums, keyboards, and acoustic and electric guitars. Their lyrics tell tales of weathered characters, tough topics and quiet beauty.

Local pianist Lacey Black tickles the ivories at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Red Scarf Studio Listening Room. Black, who has performed professionally for 18 years, plans to debut some new material at the event.

Old-time music takes center stage in the Pullman Room at the Strater Hotel for an evening with Dan Levenson at 7 p.m. Saturday. Levenson is the 2017-18 recipient of the Southwest Folklife Alliance Master Artist Award. The performance includes musical conversation about Appalachian fiddle, clawhammer banjo and songs and stories of the life of a full-time road musician. The Pullman Room is located downstairs in the hotel, and a cash bar will be open. Additionally, Levenson will hold a workshop from 10:30 a.m. ‘til noon that day.

Durango Aerial Arts & Acrobatics presents Circus in Wonderland at 7 p.m. Saturday at the ACT. This is an adaptation of the classic Alice in Wonderland story that starts long before Alice goes down the rabbit hole. Durango Aerial Arts & Acrobatics was founded in 2015 and has grown into an educational and professional circus company serving all levels and ages. Arrive early at 6 p.m. to mingle and bid on silent auction items.

20Moons’ latest production, “Inside Looking Out,” debuts at 5 p.m. Friday at the Durango Arts Center’s, with a 5 p.m. performance scheduled for Saturday as well. The dance theatre also continues next week (Thurs.-Sun., May 17-20). Dancers include Anne Bartlett, Nan Cresto, Katie Clancy, Mike Inouye, Michaela Knox, Jen Painter and Jessica Perino, with Bartlett and Perino serving as artistic directors and Jeroen van Tyn as music director.

The best thing I’ve heard this week is Luke Winslow-King’s fourth album on the Bloodshot label, “Blue Mesa.” Based in New Orleans, Winslow-King is an Americana revivalist, whose music lands somewhere between the retro cool of Pokey LaFarge, the vintage rockabilly and R&B of JD McPherson and the dapper elegance of Lyle Lovett. Elements of the blues, jazz and ragtime of New Orleans – his home for the past 15 years – forms the roux of Winslow-King’s music. There’s also sense of place, particularly in the title track, “Blue Mesa,” with its Southwestern references. Other highlights include the belly-busting “Chicken Dinner,” raucous “Leghorn Women” and tender “After the Rain.”

A row of fools on a row of stools? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

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