ASPEN The Wheeler Opera House has announced a second round of performances in its 2008-09 schedule.Lime Creek Christmas, starring singer-songwriters Beth Nielsen Chapman and Hal Ketchum, will play Dec. 8-9. The story of a man returning to the ranch on which he was raised was developed by actor Anthony Zerbe from a novel-in-progress by Woody Creek writer Joe Henry.Woody Creek musician John Oates performs an acoustic show on Dec. 27. Aspen residents are being offered a discounted ticket price of $25. Oates, half of the pop-soul duo Hall & Oates, released the solo album 1000 Miles of Life in September.Two shows are being presented for Winterskl weekend: Utah acoustic group Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band, in their Wheeler debut on Jan. 9; and Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen, making his third consecutive January appearance on Jan. 10.The Chicago-based improv-comedy ensemble, the Second City National Touring Company, is set for Feb. 13. Guitar Blues, a package show featuring Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna singer-guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, guitar wizard Robben Ford, and acoustic soul singer Ruthie Foster, hits the Wheeler on Feb. 25.Texas singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, best known for composing the hit Mr. Bojangles, performs Feb. 21. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie, famed for the song and film Alices Restaurant, is scheduled for March 24.The Wheeler previously announced a slate of winter season shows that includes dates by Aspen humorist Barry Smith (Dec. 11); The Best of David Brenner Presents Whats So Funny (Dec. 28); Bernadette Peters (Dec. 29); Last Comic Standing (Jan. 18); string players Chris Hillman/John McEuen/Herb Pedersen (Jan. 31); South African singer Vusi Mahlasela (Feb. 20); bluegrass group Cherryholmes (March 13); and An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin (March 18).For tickets and further information, go to wheeleroperahouse.com.
ASPEN The Aspen Skiing Company has announced two performances in its Hi-Fi Concert Series for the upcoming season. All concerts in the series are free.Robert Randolph and the Family Band are set for Nov. 29 at the base of Aspen Mountain. The concert is timed to coincide with the opening weekend on Aspen Mountain, and the Aspen Winternational FIS Womens World Cup races. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., after the World Cup awards ceremony. The music will be followed by a fireworks display over the mountain.The New Jersey-based Randolph is a pedal steel guitarist who plays a modernized, high-volume version of the Sacred Steel gospel style. He was named number 97 on Rolling Stone magazines list of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The bands latest CD, 2006s Colorblind, featured contributions from Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews; they are at work on a new CD.New Orleans funk-jazz quintet Galactic is set to appear in the Hi-Fi series on Feb. 15, in Snowmass Village. The time and exact location have yet to be announced. The band has made several appearances at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival and at Belly Up Aspen. Galactics latest CD, last years From the Corner to the Block, featured collaborations with a series of hip-hop rappers and DJs, including Juvenile, Gift of Gab, Chali 2Na, Boots Riley and DJ Z-Trip. The CD was included in The Aspen Times list of the best albums of 2007.For further information on Aspen Skico events, go to aspensnowmass.com.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.