Delicious water and funkalicious roots

Delicious water and funkalicious roots

Elder Grown plays funkalicious roots rock at the Animas City Theatre at 9 p.m. tonight (Thurs., April 4).

Chris Aaland - 04/04/2019

It just doesn’t take much anymore. I spent my 51st birthday Sunday afternoon at Durango Craft Spirits, listening to tunes with my buddy Michael McCardell, while enjoying a couple of old fashioneds and a mule. Sure, Michael pours ’em stiff, but three cocktails and a beer chaser at home shouldn’t have been enough to induce a hangover.

When you’re young, you can pound beers, shots and cocktails hand over fist. The penalty for youngsters can be solved with naps, a greasy meal and usually the hair of the dog. But after age 50, four or five drinks are enough to bring on a restless night of sleep, cottonmouth that requires tending to every 15 minutes or so, and a stomach that grumbles with pain the entire next day. You can still manage to get through a day of work, pick up the kids from school and even help with chores at home. But you just don’t feel 100 percent.

There comes a point in your life where you realize that ice water is your favorite beverage. Black coffee might jump start your day, a diet soda might give you an afternoon kick, but water is the go-to beverage of choice – drunk, hungover or stone-cold sober. My old lead role from “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in junior high theatre always comes to mind, with Snoopy singing, “Behold that flowing flagon moist and sweet that has been sent forth to ease our thirst.”

I powered through two full Nalgene bottles of H2O Sunday night, another one on the drive to work Monday, and two more while I did my Music Blend on KSUT. I looked over my playlist that afternoon, which yielded some equally bland choices – Sting, Bruce Hornsby & the Range, acoustic Grateful Dead, some bluegrass staples by the Infamous Stringdusters, Town Mountain and several of the bands headlining next week’s Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. Old songs, like old jeans, a favorite T-shirt and a beat-up flannel that Shelly altered for me after the elbows blew out, are as comfortable as a glass of ice water.

Maybe I’m attracted to water because my first vice was fly fishing. The sound of a bubbling brook is like a symphony to me. I get as much satisfaction out of a streamside nap as I do of having an 8-inch brookie or cutthroat grab my Royal Wulff. On hot summer days, I’ll wet wade underneath waterfalls and wash the stink and sins away.

I’m as enamored by the helicopter videos of the avalanche chutes on Red Mountain Pass this winter as the next guy. It’s going to be an epic water year in the San Juans, and the creeks won’t really be fishable until July. But after years of drought, the trout that survived the past two summers need a break. And if the creeks are rushing too fast for fishermen like me, I’ll happily snooze streamside listening to water plunge over rocks.

The San Juan Symphony pays homage to the music of Gustav Mahler when it performs “Mahler and the Titan” at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Community Concert Hall (there’s also a 7 p.m. evening show Saturday at San Juan College in Farmington). A greatly expanded SJS will present two iconic works from the turn-of-the-(last)-century Austrian composer’s early period, showcasing his brilliant integration of simple melodies into complex musical textures. Baritone Michael Hix joins the symphony for “Wayfarer Songs” and the orchestra itself takes center stage for the awesome power of Mahler’s First Symphony, nicknamed “The Titan.”

The Animas City Theatre hosts some funkalicious roots rocking when Elder Grown takes the stage at 9 p.m. tonight (Thurs., April 4). Punk meets rock and pop meets hip-hop when Elder Grown takes the stage. Combining the freedom of improvisational jams with captivating, original songs, the quintet encourages you to break down your idea of genre and tempo with your hips and heartbeat. Elder Grown’s members switch instruments mid-song, as Josh Hoffman (guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals), John Hoffman (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), Paul Hoffman (drums, vocals), Sam Kelly (saxophone, vocals) and Brandon Clark (keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals) share the musical love.

The finals of “The Durango Voice” take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Henry Strater Theatre. Ten finalists emerged from February’s blind auditions, receiving vocal training in the interim. Much like TV’s popular “The Voice,” our local vocal heroes were chosen by the judges, who each turned their chairs around to select finalists. These contestants will compete again, with three winners to be selected to receive gift certificates and prizes in addition to singing engagements around town. The event benefits Manna (formerly Manna Soup Kitchen).

There’s still plenty of seats remaining for tonight’s 8 p.m. show with the Tim O’Brien Band at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride. If you’ve ever attended Telluride Bluegrass, then you surely know Tim is one of a handful of performers that are known on a first-name basis. A Colorado music treasure (he lived in Boulder for decades before heading east to Nashville), he first made hay with Hot Rize in the late 1970s through mid-’90s. Along the way were the release of 15 solo records, plus collaborations with his sister, Mollie O’Brien, roots multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, Cajun and old-time pioneer Dirk Powell, newgrass supergroup NewGrange, and many others. This time around, he’s returned to his bluegrass roots for his brand-new, eponymous record. Most of his previous solo albums wandered into country, rock, Celtic, Cajun and Americana territory.

Then on Friday and Saturday, the Ride Festival presents two nights of Big Something at the Sheridan. A longtime favorite of Telluride’s mid-summer rock festival, Big Something tickets aren’t available at the Opera House until the night of the show. If you want tickets in advance, you’ll have to visit the Ride’s website.

Congratulations are in order for Michael McCardell and Durango Craft Spirits, which took home more hardware at the American Distilling Institute awards ceremony in Denver a couple weeks ago. Cinder Dick won a silver medal in the bourbon category, while Mayday Moonshine took home a bronze for moonshine. You can sip each this Friday when the StillHouse Junkies play from 7-9 p.m. at the tasting room.

Old Dan and I, our throats slate dry, our spirits cry out for water? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

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