Texas flood (of music) in Aspen
November 28, 2009
ASPEN – Let it be known from Amarillo to Beaumont (and take special care to make sure the word gets out in Austin): Aspen welcomes Texans with open hearts.
Make that open ears. Just so long as they’re totin’ a guitar, Lone Star Staters are getting the red-carpet treatment in Aspen this winter.
The Wheeler Opera House has a particular thing for Texans this season. Robert Earl Keen makes his annual winter visit on Jan. 9, bringing songs from his excellent new CD, “The Rose Hotel.” The parade hits stride in mid-February. Singer-songwriters Guy Clark and Radney Foster form a Feb. 19 double bill; Jerry Jeff Walker, who long ago dropped his upstate New York roots for a Texas accent, follows the next night. Things go big – Texas big – on Feb. 28, as roots rockers Los Lonely Boys, singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, and fiddler Carrie Rodriguez play the all-Texas Acoustic Brotherhood Tour. The theatrical Asylum Street Spankers take a bow on April 2.
The Wheeler isn’t the only one with a thing for Texans. The Belly Up Aspen schedule includes an intense run featuring singer-songwriter Todd Snider (Jan. 7), modern rockabilly great the Rev. Horton Heat (Jan. 8), and Cross Canadian Ragweed (Jan. 9), who are from Oklahoma (aka North Texas), and whose opening act is the Randy Rogers Band, who are from Texas proper.
Also Jan. 8: Rising group Band of Heathens, proudly representing the roots-rock capital of Austin, hit the Church of Carbondale, bringing copies of their impressive new CD, “One Foot in the Ether.”
Tired of the Texas musical accent? There’s plenty more sounds to hear in the valley the next few months.
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Singer-keyboardist Bruce Hornsby makes his first public appearance in Aspen in a decade when he bring his Noisemakers to Belly Up on Saturday, Dec. 5. Gospel-funk steel guitarist Robert Randolph arrives at the club Dec. 12. Belly Up’s Christmas/New Year’s schedule is filling up impressively, with dates by Colorado’s Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Dec. 20-21), local soul man John Oates (Dec. 26), B.B. King (Dec. 28), Neil Diamond tribute band Super Diamond (Dec. 29), electricians the Crystal Method (Dec. 30), and alt-rock icons Jane’s Addiction (Dec. 31).
Also at Belly Up: two nights of reggae-rockers Pepper (Jan. 1-2); prog-jam band Umphrey’s McGee (Jan. 22); blues-rockers North Mississippi Allstars (Feb. 11); bass freak Les Claypool in his local debut (Feb. 12); and modern hard rock quartet Gov’t Mule throwing out the kisses with a Valentine’s show.
Rounding out the Wheeler schedule: cabaret singer Linda Eder (Dec. 28); contemporary string band the Punch Brothers, led by mandolin wiz Chris Thile (Jan. 16); African singer Angelique Kidjo (Feb. 13); singer-pianist Marc Cohn (Feb. 23); jazz pianist Chick Corea in a solo performance (March 5); and folk singer-guitarist Richie Havens (March 12).