Wheeler Opera House’s 2019 On the Rise series brings four new acts to Aspen
Fall is a season of musical discovery in Aspen, as the Wheeler Opera House continues its offseason On the Rise series.
On the Rise, which has run since 2016 at the historic theater, brings new and ascendant bands and singers to its stage in the autumn as the leaves turn gold and the resort town turns pin-drop quiet.
“Our goal is to help these artists be introduced to the Aspen audience and then bring them back more frequently as their careers grow,” Wheeler director Gena Buhler said in late August.
The Wheeler-curated lineup at On the Rise has given Aspen a first glimpse of acts like Seth Glier, the singer-songwriter who has since made a handful of returns for a growing local fanbase, and Vaud and the Villains, the wild performance art collective who came back for the biggest night of the year and headlined New Year’s Eve at the Wheeler.
This fall’s edition moves from the Wheeler’s main stage to The Vault, its intimate bar space (though Buhler says if they sell out the room, they’ll move shows to the big room). It includes four concerts. Here’s what to expect:
Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
The earthy soul singer and songwriter made a surprise (to him) splash on the national music scene in 2017, when Jennifer Hudson — the superstar vocalist, Oscar winner and “American Idol” alum — joined him while he was busking on the street in Atlanta. The stunt, part of a national insurance company’s “Insure Carefuly, Dream Fearlessly” marketing campaign, jump-started the Georgia-based singer’s touring career and brought listeners to his best-known song, “Colorado,” which will no doubt be a highlight of his Wheeler set. Guthrie played the Wheeler’s free summertime Sunset Sessions series in 2018.
Thursday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Crossing over between folk, rock and electronica, Lynx’s one-woman show combines multiple instruments, loops, dance beats and beat-boxing. A Colorado native, now based in Portland, Oregon, her buzzy live act has brought her to the stages of Coachella, Austin City Limits and into collaborations with the likes of Beats Antique and Matisyahu.
Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.
This California-based folk trio has been together since 2010 and developed an eclectic sound, epitomized in the new album “Give the People What They Want,” which boasts down-home acoustic sounds, enchanting three-part harmonies, throwback originals and gorgeous covers of folk classics like “Angel From Montgomery” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” They come to the Wheeler on an international tour that included stops in Europe, at Outside Lands in San Francisco and at Reverbia at Burning Man.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.
A fitting follow-up to the Rainbow Girls show, this all-female country group of four Nashville-based powerhouse vocalists and songwriters is in the midst of an 80-show 2019 tour supporing the new EP “Women and Wine,” released in January. The solo tour marks a step up for the rising band, which in recent years toured opening for the likes of Trace Adkins and Kenny Chesney, and in 2016 made Rolling Stone’s “10 Country Artists You Need to Know” list.
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