Nuding up, String Wizards and rolling out the barrels

Nuding up, String Wizards and rolling out the barrels

California band Midnight North plays rock & roll at the Animas City Theatre at 8:30 p.m. Mon., March 5.

Chris Aaland - 03/01/2018

A young fella in Kansas City apparently had enough this past weekend, leading police on an extended chase while he sped through town buck naked on a bright yellow ATV. Damn it, this guy was making American great all by himself. Heed his actions. Are you angry with conservative lynch mobs trying to recall perfectly functional county commissioners? Let your tallywacker flop around in the breeze in a high speed chase. Don’t like all those pesky liberal hikers and mountain bikers restricting your backwoods access? Flex those supple quads on your own quad while streaking up and down the trail. 

We should all be fortunate enough to enjoy the great outdoors au natural. Nearly 20 years ago, I took my old German shorthair/Labrador retriever mix, Sherman, up the Hermosa Creek Trail. I’d usually start at the Forest Service parking area just down the road from Purgatory’s back-side and walk a mile on the trail past private property before making my first cast. But on this day, I started at the bottom and climbed up into the canyon, nearly 4 miles. Along the way, Sherman encountered a porcupine – thankfully, the forceps on my fly vest allowed me to remove nearly 100 quills from his mouth and face – and we guzzled water on the two-hour trek. Upon reaching a spot where I could bushwhack my way down to the creek, I started catching trout ... nearly a hundred of them. Most were rainbows, and considerably bigger than the ones upstream. Quite a few were brookies and even a handful of cutthroats made their way to my net. It was an epic day.

But the midday temperatures soared into the 90s. Sherman rolled around in the creek to cool off, spooking trout each time. I was wet wading, so my legs kept cool, but I grew jealous. I came upon a deep, slow pool and decided to join him. Off came the fishing vest, t-shirt, cargo shorts and underwear. I gently laid my rod on top of the vest and rested it against a shoreline tree. I enjoyed a 15-minute skinny dip with no other humans in sight. Then I spotted him – a 16” rainbow that I’d unknowingly chased from his hole, carved out of a giant boulder by centuries of erosion. I slowly retreated, grabbed my rod and landed a cast into the head of the pool. No sooner had my grasshopper started drifting downstream than a spunky brookie grabbed it. One trout after another followed suit. Finally, the big rainbow got into the feeding frenzy. My two-weight creek rod bent furiously as he tugged and wiggled until he was finally spent.

Yes, I’ve fished naked. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to condemn a good old boy just out for a Sunday drive on his ATV.

I do recommend you come fully clothed to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, when the legendary John McEuen & his String Wizards pay homage to McEuen’s 1972 epic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Best known as a banjo player, McEuen is adept at nearly every stringed instrument, blending bluegrass, old-time, folk, country, jazz and rock. He and his Dirt Band mates were pioneers of the all-encompassing acoustic roots genre we now know as Americana. He’s since performed alongside the Allman Brothers Band, Asleep at the Wheel, Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, John Denver, Bob Dylan, Phish and countless others. If you enjoy any of these American musical forms, you’ll find McEuen’s show both educational and entertaining. I’ve caught him three or four times, both with the String Wizards and the Dirt Band. This time 

around, there’s a multimedia show playing in the background. My buddies who saw this tour in Telluride earlier this winter loved it.

The Animas City Theatre welcomes California band Midnight North at 8:30 p.m. Monday. Their third studio album dropped last summer, featuring flares of country on some tunes, tinges of soul on others, but mostly good, solid, rock & roll. The band is tight, having held down weekly Sunday night gigs at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Calif., where they crafted their three-part harmonies and drew the praise of Relix Magazine, a popular jam band publication.

BREW Pub & Kitchen celebrates its fifth anniversary starting Wed., March 7, by rolling out barrel-aged beers all week long. It’s no secret that I’m one of head brewer Erik Maxson’s biggest fanboys. It all culminates with a party featuring Lawn Chair Kings from 6-9 p.m. on Sat., March 10, but any true hophead needs to start sampling each day’s ale with Wednesday’s barrel-aged bock. Later offerings will include the 2016 Oktoberfest soaked with sour cherries, the 2016 Queen of the Wood barley-wine, a barrel-aged Rye Can’t IBU, a barrel-aged sour cherry barleywine, and a barrel-aged, blended Oktoberfest ... big beers for big bellies like mine.

The First Friday of March falls this week, meaning Steamworks will tap their popular Irish Car Bomb firkin at 3 p.m. It’s based in Backside Stout, with oak spirals soaked in Jameson Irish Whiskey, Irish cre?me syrup and milk sugar added to the second fermentation. Trust me, it’s a blast.

Twangy local singer/songwriter Thom Chacon may live here and float folks down the San Juan River on guided fishing trips, but he doesn’t often make his way onto the local stage. That changes Wednesday with a performance at the Red Scarf Listening Room. He’s shared the stage with the likes of Mary Gauthier and Robert Earl Keen in the past, so if you’re one of those folksy listeners like me, Chacon’s gig is a welcome addition.

The best thing I’ve heard this week is the sophomore effort from Western Centuries, “Songs from the Deluge.” Unless you caught them on Reservoir Hill a year ago, you probably haven’t heard of this Americana/alt-country quintet. But you will soon, as they’re one of the headliners at April’s Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. The group is a three-headed beast featuring singer/songwriters Cahalen Morrison, Jim Miller and Ethan Lawton. And while Morrison, a semi-local boy whose mother lives nearby in northern New Mexico, abhors his unit being called a country band, their music harkens back to the Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens and the Tex-Mex style of Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender.

Running naked down the state highway? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

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