Steve’s stage bursting with music
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE ” If there’s any doubt Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale has earned a place on the musical map, this week’s lineup of nationally touring acts making a stop at the intimate venue should end all speculation.
Steve Standiford’s guitar shop/listening room, typically a weekend live music venue, has booked gigs almost all week, bringing a host of rising talent to town, including a number of acts making their Steve’s debut.
“I’m amazed at the level of talent that’s touring the country, pretty much under the radar,” Standiford said.
Tonight brings the second performance in a two-night stand by San Francisco funk musicians Gail “Mojo” Muldrow and Cecil “P-Nut” Daniels, touring as Black and Blewgrass. They booked back-to-back impromptu gigs at Steve’s, reportedly after Muldrow’s ski instructor, Dan Rosenthal, told Muldrow about the place.
Rosenthal, by the way, is backing the group on drums, while his wife, Pam, handles bass duties and local musician Matt Sandate joins the backing band on electric guitar.
Muldrow’s career spans work with Sly and The Family Stone to recent shows with Prince at his Vegas club, according to Standiford. Her guitar chops have earned some pretty impressive comparisons (Hendrix, Page), he said.
Daniels, whose Bay-area project The Apocalypse also includes Muldrow, is best known for his MIDI-horn playing ” the horn is an electronic sax with a synth feature that gives it the sound of various brass and reed instruments. He has jammed with a host of bands familiar to local audiences, including Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, New Monsoon, The Motet, Leftover Salmon and Robert Randolph and The Family Band.
While Steve’s doesn’t typically hold shows on Mondays and Tuesdays, Standiford couldn’t resist.
“I want to see this lady play the guitar,” he said of Muldrow.
Thursday, Jan. 11 brings another show on a normally dark night at Steve’s ” a debut appearance by the Texas-based, country-flavored Bonnie Bishop Band. Bishop’s first full-length album, “Long Way Home,” spawned a couple of regional Texas hits, “Send Me a Cowboy” and “Sweet on the Down Low.” The band is now touring in support of its latest release, “Soft to the Touch.”
According to her website, she performed at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July party last summer.
“I’m thinking, if she’s good enough for Willie, she’s good enough for Stevie,” Standiford joked.
Friday, Jan. 12 brings the return of singer/songwriter Reed Waddle, who has been writing and recording in Aspen with Woody Creeker John Oates of late. The two musicians debuted a new song, “Blue Eyed Soul” at Waddle’s last gig at Steve’s ” a KDNK live broadcast, and Waddle opened for Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band fame last September at Belly Up Aspen.
Standiford isn’t promising an appearance by Oates (as in, Hall and Oates) this time around, but he’s not ruling it out, either.
The Sidehlll Gougers ” a young, country trio out of Texas featuring Shane Walker (vocals, guitars, harmonica) Cody Foote (electric bass, upright bass) and Jamie Wilson (vocals, acoustic guitar) play Steve’s on Saturday, Jan. 13. Wilson’s lead vocals bring Emmy Lou Harris to mind.
Finally, finger-style guitarist Michael Young out of Minneapolis will showcase his skills on six- and 12-string guitars and the slide guitar at Steve’s on Sunday, Jan. 14.
So far, Steve’s has lined up 17 acts during the month of January, which may be a record, he notes.
“It seems like the agents talk … they started getting the word that there’s a venue in Carbondale,” Standiford said.
“This one-man show is turning into a full-time job,” he added, but then quickly admitted it’s tough to keep a straight face when he labels booking new music into his listening room “a job.”
As always, shows at Steve’s start at 8:30 p.m. Admission is charged at the door ” probably in the $10 to $15 range for the upcoming acts, said Standiford.
Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is email@example.com
This wasn’t my best work. I still stand by my original picks to win each of the snowboard contests at X Games Aspen 2023, but fate chose poorly. The main lesson? Don’t pick against Mark McMorris, Marcus Kleveland or Scotty James, unless you have a very good reason.