Monday, June 01, 2009


when everything goes right.

Friday night started it all off with Lucero and Chuck Ragan at The Bluebird. I met a bunch of friends for drinks at the Goosetown Tavern and then headed across the street for an incredible show. Chuck and Jon Gaunt (the fiddle king) opened the show with a great set of punk rock turned acoustic folk, joined by various friends on stage. It was my first time seeing Lucero and my friends all said it was the best show they've ever put on... even though Virgil's wife Stephanie almost put a hurtin' on some annoying girls up front. Good times.

I was up early on Saturday morning for a little basketball with the Suburban Home Records and Legwork Studio kids. Not exactly NBA caliber ball, but it was damn fun. Then it was off to Joey's house for the first real backyard BBQ of the summer. Beer, good friends, a few games of washers, some veggie dogs, a giant bowl of queso and BBQ'd cookies with spicy mango makes for a pretty swell afternoon. And to top it all off... Lucero, Chuck Ragan, his wife and Jon Gaunt all spent the afternoon hangin' out. After being a Hot Water Music fan for more than 10 years, it was a real honor to meet Chuck and he couldn't have been nicer. We rapped for a while about random stuff... music, the tour, camping. Being the big music fan that I am, it's always cool to meet someone you greatly admire and they turn out to be an even better person than you could have ever expected.

After a little nap, I headed over to the David B. Smith Gallery to see an old friend. My buddy Josh Keyes had an opening that night and I hadn't seen him in years, so I thought I'd stop by. We used to work together at an art store in Oakland. I'm so happy for him that his art career has really taken off and his work is in high demand. If you aren't familiar with Josh's work, you should stop by the gallery to see the latest. For this show, Josh created both paintings and installations. I've always admired Josh for his attitude, personality, way with people and of course, his talent. I couldn't be happier that he is finally getting his dues. Congrats, dude. It was great to get to catch up.

Sunday night, I headed down to Colorado Springs to see Chuck & Jon play with some friends - Tin Horn Prayer and Andy Tanner. Chuck said that if I'd make the trip, he'd put me on the list. How the hell could I say no to that?! This was also Tin Horn Prayer's first live show since forming as a full band and I love the 5 songs Mike recorded when he started this project. Needless to say, I was excited for the show. Tin Horn had 2 guitars, a banjo, harmonica, accordian and Andy was playing the guitar, bass drum with one leg and a tamborine strapped to the other leg. Pretty damn impressive. The guys sounded great, especially for their first show. Andy Tanner was up next. Andy doesn't play much in Denver, which must be why I forgot how incredibly talented this guy is. From the first song, I was in awe and loving the set. And then Chuck and Jon took the stage. Chuck was so impressed with the opening acts that he invited all the other musicians to come up and play at any time during his set, and they did... even the sound guy hopped on the drums. Being there was like sitting in a friend's living room for an all night jam session. No offense to the other bands on the bill that night, but Chuck blew the damn doors off the place! This was definitely was one of the best live shows I've ever been to... and I've been to a few.

While pounding coffee on the 1 a.m. drive back to Denver, all I could think about was how awesome the whole weekend was. I've got some pretty great friends, old and new... thanks y'all.

Here are some photos and a bunch of videos from the weekend. This batch of videos also marks my 150th live video since I moved to Denver... woo hoo!

Josh and I at the opening on Saturday night.

The art of Josh Keyes. So simple and so intense.

Tin Horn Prayer at The Black Sheep... Andy and Mike.

Tin Horn Prayer... Eric and Cory.

Mike... just croonin' for the kids.

Tin Horn Nick on the mandolin.

Andy Tanner... live.

After Andy's set, Josh pointed out that he wasn't using a guitar strap. Pretty darn impressive.

Chuck Ragan at The Black Sheep.

Jon Gaunt... the master of all things fiddle.

Chuck's motley crew... Cory, Mike and the singer from RJ Fletcher.

Andy and Eric from Tin Horn Prayer hopped up on stage for an end of the night singalong.

Handsome fellers... Chuck Ragan and yours truly.

To see the high-quality version of any of the videos (and you should), just click in the video window and it will take you to my YouTube page. Be sure to click the "HQ" button under the videos, so you can watch the high-quality version.

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