There’s plenty of chili; the event, in fact, features district and regional chili cook-offs sanctioned by the International Chili Society. And of course, there’s beer – samplings from some 40 microbreweries. But what’s got people buzzing about Snowmass Village’s second annual Chili Pepper & Brew Fest is something the title doesn’t tell you: the music. Keller Williams, the jammingest solo act on the festival circuit, finally returns to the valley (his first local appearance was ages ago, when he still strummed the guitar) on opening night, Friday, June 17. Michael Franti & Spearhead, the inspiring soul-rock act that earned this paper’s Best Show honors last year, plays on Saturday, June 18. And the opening acts are none too shabby for a festival that nominally isn’t about music: San Francisco jam band New Monsoon on Friday, countryish rocker Chuck Prophet on Saturday. The fest closes Sunday, June 19 with more beer, more chili – and more music, by winners of the local Battle of the Bands competition.
Wine is having a fine time on screen lately, with the success of “Sideways” and now “Mondovino.” Like “Sideways,” Jonathan Nossiter’s documentary is not exactly a full-scale celebration of the stuff. “Mondovino” looks at wine and the winemaking industry through the perspective of globalization. On one side are the giants – winemaker Mondavi, critic Robert Parker, consultant Michel Rolland – who aim to make crates for the masses. Facing off against them are old-timers and purists who argue in favor of terroir – the concept that wine must be inextricably linked to the region and culture that produced the grapes. Too long and unfocused, “Mondovino,” which shows at the Wheeler Opera House Tuesday, June 14, nevertheless defines significant issues shaping the wine industry. Food & Wine attendees, take note.
The road does go on forever for singer-guitarist Dickey Betts. Unceremoniously kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band in 2000 – a lapse in music quality being the official reason – Betts resurfaced on his own with 2002’s “Let’s Get Together,” which stuck to boogie-rock rather than recriminations. And Betts, who with the late Duane Allman comprised perhaps the greatest one-two guitar punch in the history of rock, came out swinging again on 2003’s “The Collectors #1,” an all-acoustic marvel that showed Betts stretching into jazz. Betts appears Monday, June 13, at the Belly Up, with his longtime side project, Great Southern, but don’t be afraid to call for such Allman classics as “Blue Sky,” “Jessica” or “Ramblin’ Man,” all from the pen of Betts.