Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lionel and Honey: A Friendship Tree

Dear Readers,

I give you fair and advanced warning: This is going to get mushy. I just got off the phone with Lionel Young, the first and only double International Blues Challenge Winner, and my friend. It was an inspiring discussion. As are most with him.

He was returning a call I placed earlier to cover some business. Upon concluding said business, we did as we often do and spent some time chatting and catching up on the topical issues of life.

Lionel and I are lucky, not only to be true friends, but to share a number of true friends, one of them being Bob Margolin. In light of the very recent passing of Pinetop Perkins, Lionel asked me tonight how Bob was doing. [Ed. Note: Since this is a Blues blog, I’m not going to explain that inquiry; Dear Reader knows.] Having had the pleasure of speaking with Bob earlier today, I was able to answer that question: Sad, moved, inspired, and as well as can be expected. We then spent several minutes in a Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin Fan Club Meeting. A lovely place to be. And a place we visit often during our phone chats. More on that club and membership requirements in a later post. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top of The World Blues

Literally. Every year on the last full weekend of June, Winter Park, CO, is transformed into a Blues lover’s paradise. At 9000 feet above sea level, this June 24th opens the ninth year of Blues From the Top, another festival I WON’T miss. I know Telluride gets a lot of prestige and attention, but Winter Park is my favorite!

Before I go on to the myriad ways in which this festival is the pride of Colorado, I offer some practical advice. I live in Boulder, which is around 5500 feet above sea level. I’ve been here for 12 years, so I’m acclimated to the altitude. Until I go to Winter Park. Those additional 3500 feet can be tough. However, a couple of years ago I discovered ChlorOxygen, a chlorophyll concentrate which increases oxygenation. Beginning three weeks before the big weekend, I start taking it daily. It really helps. I have no interest in the company, nor am I a paid spokesperson. I offer you this link to make it easier on anyone wanted to minimize the effects of altitude.

Back to the Blues. From the Top. Although officially a two-day festival, it’s actually been three. In past years, things have kicked off Friday afternoon in the courtyard outside of Smokin’ Moe’s. Last year it was Curtis Salgado and Alan Hagar! Seriously! This year however, there will be a surprise in the park on Thursday, followed by concerts in the courtyard, so it’s now unofficially a four-day event.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Festival Season Is Just Around The Corner

Which means I’m on a diet. Summer clothes are simply too unforgiving of winter’s indulgences.

Here in Colorado, The Greeley Blues Jam (link here) kicks off the Blues Festival season on the second Saturday in June every year. I have a five-year calendar, and that Saturday is marked off each year. I know where I’ll be. For June 11, 2011, they have once again secured a stellar line up:
  • Robert Randolph & The Family 
  • Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers 
  • The Nighthawks 
  • Trampled Under Foot 
  • Coco Montoya 
  • The North Mississippi Allstars 
And that’s just main stage! Second stage always has great local and regional Blues acts as well, and adding the Blues 101 Youth Stage in the mix, well it’s a one-day festival that packs in two days of music. Very efficient. And not only that, but because there is an Event’s Center on the grounds, weather is not a factor. Last year was a deluge of rain, so the organizers got busy and moved everything over to the E.C., and we all enjoyed a great day of music and dry socks.

Before the big day, however, is the Big Night. Every year, on the second Friday night in June, Greeley is the place to be. No exception this year:

Greeley Blues Jam 2011 
Downtown Friday Events, June 11
9th St. Plaza & Surrounding Area

FREE music all day and night!