The Hunts, MarchFourth and Afrosonics

The Hunts, MarchFourth and Afrosonics

Indie-alt folk band the Hunts play the Bayfield Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of Music in the Mountains.

Chris Aaland - 07/05/2018

To say business is hurting in Durango right now is an understatement. The fires all but shut down tourism, which forced many business to furlough employees, which in turn meant many locals had less disposable income.

One overlooked area that seems to be suffering is the local concert and festival business. The all-day, quite affordable More Music Festival with a full lineup of international, national, regional and local world music and reggae in late June sold around 100 tickets. Sales are nonexistent for KSUT’s Party in the Park, slated for Fri., July 20, in Buckley Park with the Latin band Baracutanga and the reggae and ska of the Big Takeover. And Music in the Mountains, which begins nearly a one-month run this Saturday, has seen remarkably slow ticket sales since the day the 416 Fire broke out.

Local culture, which includes a strong schedule of live music that spans countless genres, is one of the reasons the Four Corners is a special place to live. Writers, artists, musicians and other talented folks are inspired by nature and attracted to this areat Take a minute and browse the web to see what’s happening. Then take a few hours to support the organizations that bring music to town day in and day out, through good times and bad.

Music in the Mountains kicks off its 32nd season of classical, chamber and world music at 7 p.m. Saturday when the Hunts play the Bayfield Performing Arts Center. The Hunts are an indie alternative folk band comprised of seven siblings. Born and raised in the southlands of Chesapeake, Va., the Hunt brothers and sisters grew up in a musical home and quickly began composing their own music. Josh (guitar, lead vocals), Jenni (violin, lead vocals), Jonathan (keyboards), Jordan (drums), Justin (bass), Jamison (mandolin) and Jessi (viola) make up the band, with all seven contributing backing vocals. They recently released their second album, “Darlin’ Oh Darlin.’” If you’re fans of The Oh Hellos or Darlingside, then you’ll like the acoustic gang vocals of The Hunts.

MITM hosts its annual Chocolate Indulgence benefit at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Festival Tent at Purgatory. This year, a cappella powerhouse Backtrack Vocals will take the stage, as they have at such notable venues as Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater. Their pop-flavored, vocal-driven arrangements include such standards as “Over the Rainbow,” the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Neil Diamonds’ “Sweet Caroline.” They even tackle Ariana Grande and Michael Jackson on their latest album, “Backtrack.” As always, Chocolate Indulgence includes artisan desserts. Animas Chocolate Co. and the Ore House restaurant will create numerous “duets” that pair handcrafted chocolate desserts with a specialty cocktail, beer or wine as a prelude to a magical musical evening.

One concert that will likely sell out (if it hasn’t already) is MarchFourth, which returns to the Animas City Theatre at 9 p.m. Saturday. MarchFourth is a genre-breaking force of entertainment. An explosion of brassy funk, rock, and jazz emanates from fifteen or so performers at their shows. The large ensemble of musicians, acrobats and stilters tours the country year-round, taking audiences on a joy-inducing, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization.

Two of Durango’s favorite rock bands, Farmington Hill and the Crags, perform at The Balcony from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. “Like Boris and Natasha, or PB&J, Farmington Hill and the Crags are the perfect combination for your Saturday entertainment,” said FH lead guitarist Erik Nordstrom. “These two bands should put a dip in your hip and a glide in your slide.”

If that’s not enough, the Six Dollar String Band with special guest Patrick Dressen, keeps the local going at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Balcony Backstage. Six Dollar is fresh off their summer recording extravaganza in Mancos and has a main stage performance at High Mountain Hay Fever Festival in Westcliffe (July 12-15) on the horizon, where they’ll appear alongside such national groups as the Dry Branch Fire Squad, the Kathy Kallick Band, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, and others.

The free Concerts @ The Park series certainly doesn’t struggle due to economics. After all, it’s free. Many people that never buy tickets to shows populate the audience. Tonight (Thur., July 5) finds the Boise-based Afrosonics and their world fusion in Buckley Park from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sharing the spirit of music as a universal language,

Afrosonics combines diverse musical influences to create an original music style. Although the rhythms are of African origin, the style is difficult to label as the band incorporates music from throughout the world, including South America and the Caribbean, and American forms like jazz, blues and rock.

Telluride-based singer/songwriter Emily Scott Robinson performs at 6 p.m. Sunday at The Listening Room, located at 121 W. 32nd St. Robinson promotes her music through a unique platform called Patreon, in which her supporters pledge a small amount each month and receive new music, updates from the road and more. Each month, artists like Robinson choose a charity to donate their Patreon proceeds to. For example, her recent tune, “Traveling Mercies,” is dedicated to all the families crossing uncertain seas, rivers and borderlands with no promise of a safe return. “It’s a blessing and a prayer,” she said. “One we all whisper when we send a child or a loved out into the world. I hope it can remind us of how vulnerable love makes us. We all have that in common, no matter our nationality.”

Elsewhere: Nina Sasaki & Dave Rust play the Kennebec Cafe? in Hesperus from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight; the Kirk James Blues Band travels down to Farmington to rock Clancy’s Irish Cantina from 7-9 p.m.; Sasaki’s Black Velvet duo holds court at the Animas River Beer Garden at the Doubletree Hotel from 5-9 p.m. Saturday and from 6-9 p.m. Sunday at the Cyprus Cafe?.

Finally, tickets go on sale at noon Friday for the 2018-19 Community Concert Hall season. Highlights include Get the Led Out (Sept. 28); the Capitol Steps (Nov. 1); Adonis Puente & the Voices of Cuba (Nov. 7); the Revelers (Nov. 17), Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (Dec. 20), The Second City (Jan. 24); Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy (March 3); and, of course, the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara’s annual presentation of “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 7-9).

Almost ablaze, you still don’t feel the heat? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

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