Gout bout, Tart Logger and Robert Randolph

Gout bout, Tart Logger and Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph & the Family Band graces the Animas City Theatre stage at 9 p.m., Sat., Aug. 19.

Chris Aaland - 08/17/2017

Damn that gout! For nearly three weeks, I’ve been fighting flare-ups of the painful joint irritation that forced me to drop red meat, shellfish and alcohol from my diet while my uric acid levels get under control. It’s the type of pain that rivals nothing I’ve ever experienced ... and this coming from a guy who has gone under the knife three times for knee surgeries and once for a heart valve replacement. 

If you’ve never had gout, pray you never get it. A copious amount of uric acid crystals build up in your joints, like millions of tiny little glass shards. Your feet and ankles swell up, pushing these crystals into the nearest muscle, tendon and bone. Sitting, standing, lying down, walking ... nothing relieves the pain aside from chemistry. For several days in two separate flare-ups, I was bed-ridden, popping pain pills and alfalfa capsules, swilling apple cider vinegar and tart cherry juice, and icing my left foot and ankle. Dozens of fellow gout sufferers offered suggestions, most of which I heeded. 

I have many strikes against me: I’m overweight, I’m nearly 50, I’ve had a valve transplant, I eat plenty of red meat (especially cured meats like sausage, bacon and ham) and, mostly, I’m a huge fan of beer. Those 36 bricks on the wall at Falc’s? They make me the poster boy for gout.

Putting this flare-up in place is critical, what with beer festival season launching this weekend. I’m on two new prescriptions (Colycrys and a steroid called Methylprednisolone), which are working wonders. Five days into the scripts find me walking around like a normal person again. I may ultimately be prescribed Allopurinol, which is a highly successful preventative measure. My diet remains modified: let’s just say there’s a lot of chicken and veggies in my future. Alcohol will gradually be reintroduced ... which is good news, as beer festival season starts this week!

The third annual Mancos Valley Summer Brewfest takes place in Cottonwood Park in Mancos from noon-7 p.m. Saturday, with four local bands on the bill: the Lawn Chair Kings (1-2:15), Charlie Milo Trio (2:35-3:50), Jade Masque (4:10-5:25) and the Outskirts (5:45-7). Three brewers and one vintner will be on hand, including event co-sponsors Mancos Brewing and their friends at Dolores River Brewery, Fruita’s Copper Club Brewing and Cortez’s Guy Drew Vineyards. Unlike some beerfests, this one is not a free pour festival. Mancos Valley Resources will sell tickets at the front gate redeemable for beer or wine, with proceeds benefitting itself, the Mancos Farmers’ Market and Chicken Creek Nordic. If you’ve never been to Cottonwood Park, it’s a laid-back festival scene.

Ska Brewing’s Mod Project released its second canned beer last Friday, Tart Mexican Logger. I sampled an ounce or two last week (damn gout!) and found it to be exactly what you’d expect – a light, palatable beer that makes you pucker, but not nearly as much as the first Mod brew, Pink Vapor Stew. I like both, but envision going through the Tart Mexies much more quickly than the Pinkos. It’s a blended sour version of Mexican Logger, the unofficial beer of summertime in these parts. The tart version is brewed with lemons, limes and sea salt and weighs in at a 5.2 ABV. It’s available for a limited time in 12-oz. cans and six-packs throughout Colorado.

This week’s can’t-miss event offers musical salvation as Robert Randolph & the Family Band graces the Animas City Theatre stage at 9 p.m. Saturday. Randolph grew up in the House of God Church in Orange, N.J., where he mastered a variation of the pedal steel guitar known as the sacred steel that he’s helped popularize. Randolph has worked alongside such A-list talent as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Derek Trucks, all of whom have studied his technique. Gospel music is often overlooked in American roots music. Randolph & Family elevate it to its rightful place alongside blues, soul, bluegrass and rock. Rolling Stone named him among the Top 100 guitarists of all time, thanks to his endless touring, four albums and two live records. He first landed in the national spotlight after the release of his debut, “Live at the Wetlands,” in 2002. 

Among the Balcony Backstage’s weekend shows is the Ben Sparaco Band on Friday and Hail! Cassius Neptune on Saturday (both shows start at 9:30 p.m.). Based out of Nashville, Sparaco has made a name for himself by taking inspiration from the rock, folk, jazz, blues and soul greats of yesteryear and applying a fresh, teen-age vibe to them. Just 19 years old, he’s shared the stage and toured with members of the Allman Brothers, Dead & Co., North Mississippi Allstars and Mumford and Sons, among others. Hail! Cassius Neptune is a sextet from Gainesville, Fla., that bounces between progressive music, R&B/soul and jazz.

Two of my favorite new Americana acts team up at Club Red in the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village at 8 p.m. Friday – Jamestown Revival and Joe Pug. Jamestown Revival is an alt-country duo from Magnolia, Texas, with two excellent records under their belt in three short years: “Utah” and “The Education of a Wandering Man.” Pug, on the other hand, plays singer-songwriter fare that wanders into Steve Earle and James McMurtry territory with his mix of blues, rock and country.

Elsewhere: Pete Giuliani plays this week’s Ska-B-Q at 5 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Aug. 17); the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio teams up with James Ranch for jazz and grub at tonight’s Burger & a Band Night at 5 p.m.; Elder Grown brings funk fusion to the free Three Springs Concerts in the Plaza at 5:30 p.m. tonight; Kirk James belts out solo blues on the Dalton Ranch patio from 6-8 p.m. tonight; the Stillhouse Junkies booze it up with bluegrass at their regular 7 p.m. Friday gig at Durango Craft Spirits; the Black Velvet Trio is back at the Derailed Pour House at 7 p.m. Friday, while the duo returns to the Animas River Cafe? at the Doubletree Hotel at 5 p.m. Saturday; and the Kirk James Blues Band rocks the Rusty Shovel Saloon at Vallecito from 1-5 p.m. Saturday.

My favorite drug is an ice cold beer? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net

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