Beer wars, Civic Winds and Matisyahu

Beer wars, Civic Winds and Matisyahu

Jewish reggae/hip hop star Matisyahu comes to the ACT for a sold-out Monday night show.

Chris Aaland - 07/20/2017

I found myself in an interesting Facebook string earlier this week when making a snarky comment on Animas River Brewing’s post about the big rig that dumped its load of 42,100 pounds of beer on a runaway truck ramp on Wolf Creek Pass. Blue 12-packs of Bud Light were clearly visible in the pictures.

“Beer? Sounds like it was Bud Light instead. Make mine a Class VI IPA instead,” I posted.

“What’s with IPA people? We all can’t have a yacht, wear white pants and be snobby about a damned beer with pumpkin flavor. Us rednecks enjoy some Bud Light and country music. No need to bash it!” posted a Spuds MacKenzie defender.

It seems we both like country music. And I’ve never set foot on a yacht, although Grandpa Aaland used to take me out on his 15-foot aluminum boat where we’d dunk night crawlers trying to catch walleyes and smallmouth bass on Lake Pueblo. Grandpa, before he was a teetotaler, favored Schmidt and Old Style. He was a South Dakota corn farmer back in the day and as blue-collar as they come.

I wander down Cheap Beer Lane every once in awhile. Stroh’s, PBR, Schlitz, Schaefer and Miller High Life have all found their way into my belly on occasion. Back in the ’80s, we didn’t have too many craft beers.

But Anheuser-Busch is a polarizing beast. Maybe it’s because I grew up 3 or four 4 down 32nd St. from Coors. Perhaps it’s because a company owned by the multinational conglomerate, InBev, renamed its signature brand, Budweiser, as “America” last summer.

Mostly, it’s because Anheuser-Busch has bought Breckenridge, Goose Island, Devil’s Backbone, Elysian, Wicked Weed and others in recent years. I have some good friends who work at Breck. They’ve benefitted from the takeover. But there’s limited shelf space at liquor stores.

Most of it is used for Bud, Coors and Miller products. The micros they took over are starting to boot Ska, Steamworks and countless others off the shelves – maybe not here, but certainly in big cities.

I’m a localist. My beer fridge is stocked full of Ska, Steamworks and Durango Brewing. I fill growlers from BREW, Carver’s and Animas Brewing. My liquor cabinet features Mayday Moonshine, Soiled Doves Vodka and Jackalope Gin. I even uncork bottles of Guy Drew wines.

We’re damned lucky to live in a town with six microbreweries, with others just up the road in Silverton, Pagosa Springs, Mancos, Cortez, Telluride, Ouray, Bayfield, Aztec and Farmington.

For the record, Steve Miller brought a six-pack of Bud Light to a Broncos party at my house last year so that I could have a souvenir Super Bowl 50 can in my sports room. We drank a few, and used the rest to boil the brats after grilling them. The Brats were damned good. We chased them with Mexican Loggers, if memory serves me. And the Broncos won.

But I digress. Back to music: prominent Jewish reggae/rock/hip-hop artist Matisyahu comes to the Animas City Theatre this Mon., July 24 for a sold-out show. Known for his 2009 underground hit “One Day,” the New Yorker and his band are on tour promoting his sixth album, “Undercurrent.” It’s described as a stripped-down lyrical journey with melodic themes, rhythmic peaks and valleys, bliss- ful guitar passages and deep dub meditations. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. for those lucky enough to score tickets.

Across the San Juans, Telluride’s Americana Music Festival takes place through Saturday in the cozy Sheridan Opera House. It brings several of my favorite Americana and alt-country acts to T-Ride, including Rodney Crowell, who will perform to a sold-out crowd Saturday night with an opening set from Will Kimbrough & Brigitte DeMeyer. Other highlights include Carrie Rodriguez with opener Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters on Friday and the three-songwriter bill of Radney Foster, Michael Hearne and Shake Russell tonight (Thurs., July 20). While I’m fond of all of these artists, the Friday pairing of Rodriguez and The Honeycutters is a dream show. If I make it up there, there’s a good chance a pint or two of Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale will quench my thirst.

Music in the Mountains hosts its biggest night of the year, Pops Night, at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Pur- gatory Tent. This year, Pops Night celebrates “The Glamorous Night,” with a pre-con- cert auction that includes a Scottsdale golf getaway; a “Conductor’s Baton” package for Pops Night 2018 in which you’ll be seated at din- ner with the Music in the Mountains artistic director, attend rehearsals and more; festival artwork; and trips to Maui and Mexico.

The Concerts @ The Park series gets jazzy this week with the Southwest Civic Winds Jazz Orchestra performing from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. South-west Civic Winds was organized in Durango in 2012 to provide a cultural resource for both regional musicians and the audiences who appreciate their work. It’s an all-volunteer orchestra, self-described as a “symphonic community band” and comprised of brass, woodwind and percussion players, most of whom are pro- fessional musicians who perform for the joy of presenting music to their friends and neighbors. I got the chance to first hear them last summer at KSUT and Music in the Mountains’ Party in the Park. They swing!

Never heard of “Florida rock?” Check out the sound of Orlando’s the Groove Orient at 9:30 p.m. Friday night at the Balcony Backstage. Billed as high-powered, no-holds-barred, rock ‘n’ roll, the quintet – which was recently featured in Relix Magazine – is sure to help you get your weekend groove on.

On the Balcony’s outdoor stage, solo guitarist Gary Gorence performs his Southwestern roots country rock tonight at 5:30 p.m.; Pete Giuliani Band returns at 5:30 p.m. Friday, while Hello Dollface shakes things up Saturday night.

The Four Corners Folks Festival is still a month away (Labor Day weekend), but on-site camping and vehicle passes will sell out soon. Visit folkwest.com to ensure you’ll get your camping sites on Reservoir Hill, where you’ll get the chance to see Los Lobos, The Wood Brothers, Be?la Fleck, Sarah Jarosz and many more.

Elsewhere: Get a greasy side of the Kirk James Blues Band at tonight’s Burger and a Band night at James Ranch from 5-8; Kirk and co. will travel to the 49 Lounge at the Sky Ute Casino at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; the Black Velvet duo plays Dalton Ranch at 6 p.m. tonight; the Animas River Cafe? at the Doubletree at 5 p.m. Saturday and the Balcony at 4 p.m. Sunday; and the Assortment rocks the Community Concert Series in the Secret Garden at the Rochester from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. Proceeds benefit Stillwater.

It helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net  

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