Road Trippin', Sundance Head & Asleep at the Wheel

Road Trippin', Sundance Head & Asleep at the Wheel

Ten-time Grammy winners Asleep at the Wheel return to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. this Sunday.

Chris Aaland - 08/09/2018

Last weekend, I packed the family into my 2006 Tundra for a whirlwind tour of the Front Range. Departing at 7:30 p.m. Friday and arriving back home exactly 48 hours later, we drove through burn scars and Renaissance Fair traffic jams and dodged angry #MAGA coal rollers. Nearly half of our time was spent in cars, 12-13 hours

sleeping and but a fraction with family at the Aaland Cousins Reunion. It was the first time I’d ventured into a city bigger than Farmington or onto an interstate in 19 months. Let’s hope it’s at least that long until it happens again. Front Range driving sucks.

Small towns rule, my friends, poop-fueled road con- struction, sheep herds on the highway and all. Take this coming week, for example.

Ten-time Grammy winners Asleep at the Wheel return to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Texas-based Western swing band fronted by Ray Benson has followed in the footsteps of Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys since the early ‘70s, always adding a dash of contemporary flare to Wills’ vintage mix of hill- billy jazz and country music of the 1930s and ‘40s. Despite ever- changing musical trends, Benson and company stayed true to their original mission through nearly five decades. Durango’s StillHouse Junkies open the show. Buy tickets quickly, as Asleep at the Wheel always sells out these late summer shows at the Con- cert Hall.

KSUT’s members’ party and silent auction has always emphasized the FUN in fundraising, and this Friday’s event at Ska Brewing from 5:30-9:30 p.m. – the station’s 25th annual auction – promises to do the same. For $25, you get unlimited pours of tasty Ska beers, tasty appetizers from DuranGourmet, desserts from Baked in Bayfield, plus the chance to bid on such items as a weeklong Mexican resort vacation, season passes to Purgatory and Wolf Creek, concert-and-dinner pairings, local services, artwork and loads of outdoor gear for boaters, boarders, skiers and cyclists. Get tickets and find out more at www.ksut.org. The event is gen- erously sponsored by First National Bank of Durango.

Soul country singer Sundance Head performs at 7 p.m. Fri- day at the La Plata County Fairgrounds with an opening set by The Cannondolls. Sundance was the winner of The Voice in 2016 after previously appearing on American Idol in 2007. On The Voice, Sundance chose Blake Shelton as his coach and toured ex- tensively with him following his victory. The Friday at the Fair concert is a rare treat for both fans of reality TV music shows and classic country outlaws. Let’s face it: there was always an element of soul in recordings by Waylon Jennings, David Allan Coe and George Jones.

The Dolores River Brewery hosts the sixth annual Escalante Days and Nights Music Festival from 2 p.m. ‘til midnight Sat- urday. Ten bands for ten bucks is a steal, and the lineup is a strong one. Dale X. Allen’s Genuine Cowhide has long been one of my favorite alt-country bands, and Dale’s affinity for Southwest Colorado led him to relocate from Austin a few years ago. They’re just one band on a strong bill that also includes Niceness, Last Nickel, The Crags and more.

The Animas City Theatre hosts Connect Club Night with Posh Josh and Noonz at 10 p.m. Saturday. The event offers a house DJ blend of such varied styles as disco, jazz, funk and R&B.

Montezuma County folk-rock band Sweetwater Station plays outdoors at Mancos State Park at 6 p.m. Saturday. The con- cert is the latest in a continuing series of musical events at the park. This summer’s series was abbreviated due to the closure of

parts of the park in June and early July due to high fire danger. The park’s full reopen- ing in mid-July meant the music series resumed.

Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House is giving folks a reason to venture over Lizard Head Pass in between festivals this week with a trio of shows. AbbaFAB brings its Mamma Mia 2 Tribute Tour to the venue at 9 p.m. Friday, com- plete with a ‘70s costume con- test. At 8 p.m. Sunday, the Victor Wooten Trio per- forms, showcasing the low- end skills of the five-time Flecktones bassist. Then at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the popular neo-jam band Fruition re- turns for their first Telluride gig since Bluegrass 2017.

It’s always sad when Mexican Logger season nears its finish (hint: buy now), but Ska’s never a company to rest on its laurels. Twenty years ago, a friend told Ska cofounder Dave Thibodeau that ska music was simply polka gone bad. “It was a zinger, and I had no comeback until now,” Thibodeau admits. Two decades later, that comeback is Oktoberfest Lager in a can. The Bodo brewery released its version of the classic German-style lager in canned six-packs last Friday. It will be available seasonally, en- couraging skanking at Oktoberfest celebrations across Ska’s distri- bution footprint while supplies last. Crafted with 100 percent German-sourced Munich and Vienna malts, Ska’s Oktoberfest im- parts nutty, bready, toasty flavors, all balanced by Noble hops. It finishes clean and crisp. Packaging is half the fun with Ska beers, and Oktoberfest’s label sports the Headless Horseman (a Ska- themed skull-less cowboy) with a traditional blue and white checkerboard Bavarian flag as the backdrop. While Thibodeau ad- mits that he and others miss Mexican Logger in the winter, “This year we’re stepping up our seasonal lager game with this tradi- tional Oktoberfest.”

Congratulations are in order for Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, which won a 2018 Best of Award for Excellence from Wine Specta- tor magazine. The honor recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-selected assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Seasons is one of 1,214 international restaurants and is the first in Durango to win this prestigious ranking.

Elsewhere: AGAVE brings folksy jams to the free Three Springs outdoor series from 6-8 p.m. tonight (Thursday, August 9); Robby Overfield plays Dalton Ranch from 6-8 p.m. tonight; Kirk James has a busy week with gigs at Serious Texas BBQ South from 5-8 p.m. Friday, the Rusty Shovel Saloon at Vallecito at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Dalton Ranch patio from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday; and the Black Velvet duo with Dave Rust re- turns to the Animas River Beer Garden at the Doubletree Hotel from 5-9 p.m. Saturday.

Another born romantic, that’s me? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

Top Shelf

Christmas for sports fans, SunSquabi and Cloonan
Christmas for sports fans, SunSquabi and Cloonan
By Chris Aaland
10/11/2018

October is that glorious time of year when all of America’s major pro sports leagues are active.

Cowboys, Shillelaghs and pared-down punk
Cowboys, Shillelaghs and pared-down punk
By Chris Aaland
10/04/2018

It’s going to be a multi-cultural week, with everything from dusty boots and kilts to Mardi Gras beads and dirndls. The 30th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering rides into town tonight (Thurs., Oct. 4) through Sunday.

Double golds, Led Zep reincarnate and the 70s
Double golds, Led Zep reincarnate and the 70s
By Chris Aaland
09/27/2018

After being shut out at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival, Durango craft brewers stood atop the podium again in 2018. At last weekend’s drunkfest in Denver, Ska won gold for its Oktoberfest in the Vienna-Style Lager category, and Steamworks did the same with its Colorado Ko?lsch in the German-Style Ko?lsch category.

Russell, Ramblin' Jack and a Night at the Opera
Russell, Ramblin' Jack and a Night at the Opera
By Chris Aaland
09/20/2018

I must admit that I love my professional life, balancing radio and writing. Ever since 1987 when I stumbled through an interview with Warren Zevon for KDUR and the FLC Independent, I’ve been hooked.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Tripping Out on the Hallucinogen Wall
Tripping Out on the Hallucinogen Wall
By Stephen Eginoire
10/11/2018

The year was 1980. Disco had run its course, John Lennon left us with a hole in our hearts, and Mount St. Helens blew her top. And a few scrappy western-slope climbers made the Montrose Daily News.

The dry season
The dry season
By Stephen Eginoire
10/04/2018

Both austere and gentle, the desert is a place of contrast.

In Deep
In Deep
By Stephen Eginoire
09/27/2018

Hidden on the shoulder of a Utah mountain, a freezing, wet, abyss is attracting a small group of explorers dedicated to plotting a course through uncharted terrain found deep within.

Stay golden
Stay golden
By Stephen Eginoire
09/20/2018

With the summer of 2018 vanished in a literal cloud of smoke, it’s time to embrace the present and hurry on out to your local aspen grove before it’s too late! This year’s truly exceptional supply of color won’t be lasting much longer.

Read All in Day on the Life