Local duo a long time coming to Wheeler stage | AspenTimes.com

Local duo a long time coming to Wheeler stage

Stewart OksenhornThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Peggy WilkieCallie Angel and Wade Waters (also known as local musicians Carolyn Golbus and Gary Baines) make their Wheeler Opera House debut Saturday, Nov. 19, in a benefit for the Aspen Youth Center.

ASPEN – About 12 years ago, local musician Gary Baines found himself on Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House stage – as a stagehand. But Baines, who was helping some friends load their equipment in for a gig, had a moment to dream: alone onstage, he heard a voice (most likely the soundman) tell him to pick up a guitar and make some noise.”So I grabbed it and started playing. And thought, ‘Someday …,'” he said.Someday has come. Callie Angel & Wade Waters, the local duo that Baines co-fronts with singer Carolyn Golbus (a.k.a Callie), plays the Wheeler at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in a fundraiser for the Aspen Youth Center.Fortunately, Baines has proved himself to be a patient musician, and Callie Angel is a group that was founded with an eye toward the long haul. It was five years ago that Golbus was sitting at Taster’s Pizza in Snowmass Village, mentioning that she needed to find a duo partner. Someone suggested Baines – and within minutes, who should walk into Taster’s but Baines, who also happened to be in an active search for a musical mate.The project began on an impetuous note: “It was, ‘Hi, nice to meet you … want to make an album?'” Golbus recalled. But quickly the two settled into long-range planning. For Golbus, who had been a theater major at UCLA and a singer in rock bands, there was learning to play guitar and record songs. For Baines, who had come of age as a musician while in the Coast Guard, finding nightclubs to play in wherever he happened to be stationed, the goal was to become a better singer.The two began with small, slow steps, working up a set of cover tunes – Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Buffett, Doc Watson – that could go over at clubs and parties. But instead of putting their attention on aprs-ski gigs and the like, they concentrated on writing original music, which was a mutual goal. They began recording at Mauka Productions – the studio that takes up most of Baines’ 700 square-foot Snowmass Village apartment – then, when Baines upgraded to Pro Tools digital audio software, they took a year-long break while learning to work the new equipment.”Getting a feel for what we do together, Carolyn learning to play guitar and me learning to sing better – that gave us an opportunity to grow,” Baines said. “We didn’t just jump into playing.”Earlier this year, Callie & Wade had what would have to be considered its moment of arrival. They released the debut album “Center of That Day,” and celebrated it with a headlining gig in May at Belly Up.Since then, the duo has built serious momentum. In July, they played at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale, to a full house with people standing out on the street. In August, they appeared at the Basalt Summer Music series. In January, they will headline at PAC3 in Carbondale. Somewhere along the way, the duo became a five-piece band, with bassist Chris Harrison, drummer Billy Jensen and singer Sariah Adams joining the group.The music itself has also expanded. “Center of That Day” emphasized Golbus – the album, credited to Callie Angel, featured mainly her songs; her photo alone appeared on the cover. The group’s next album – “Nashville Bound,” which is mostly recorded and due out in the spring – will focus on Baines’ songs, which tend to be country-ish story songs written, very much unlike Golbus’, from the male perspective. Among the new tunes: “Bounty Hunter’s Life” – “about a bounty hunter rolling into a border town,” Baines said – and “Living at the Speed of Life,” which collects snapshots of three different people who ended up in far different places than they expected.Baines and Golbus see the Wheeler gig as more than another show. The two have put the same kind of effort into the evening – which includes a performance by Derek Brown; and a silent auction in the lobby, with Baines’ former duo partner, Steve Koch, providing music – as they put into their music.”I don’t care how many people come through the door; the event is already a success,” said Golbus, who was moved to do a benefit for the Aspen Youth Center after her 11-year-old son, Garrett, began using the facility last year, while Golbus was occupied taking her 16-year-old daughter, Chandler, to rehearsals for a production of “Rent.” (Chandler is set to star next month in “Legally Blonde,” presented by Jayne Gottlieb Productions at PAC3.) “Connecting with the community this way, having the help of the Wheeler, it’s been great. For the silent auction, all I heard was, yes, yes, yes. It was the easiest, most touching experience.”After the fundraiser, it will be back to musical business: finishing “Nashville Bound,” trying to line up festival gigs, looking to get their music beyond the Roaring Fork Valley.”I feel like it’s going in the biggest, most wonderful way. It’s like, What’s next, universe?” Golbus said.”We’re growing this mighty oak,” Baines added.stewart@aspentimes.com