Win tickets to Greeley Blues Jam 2012!

Greeley Blues Jam logoIt’s time to kick off your shoes and do some dancing, Colorado. The Greeley Blues Jam runs Friday, June 8 through Saturday, June 9, 2012, and is an all-ages festival celebrating blues music and the folks who love it. The event is brought to you by the City of Greeley and the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, and every year the lineup entices blues lovers from across the state to converge on Island Grove.

Island Grove Regional Park is the perfect location for this event, with trees dating back to 1869 and gorgeous lawns, this multi-use events complex is located on 145 acres in northeast Greeley on the banks of the Poudre River. My friend Karen calls the 45,000 square feet of fresh sod that is laid down for Greeley Blues Jam, “the best dance floor in the world.”

Greeley Blues Jam 2011 downtown

Greeley Blues Jam 2011 in downtown. Photo from GBJ on Facebook.

The party gets started in downtown Greeley on Friday, June 8 with music beginning at 3 p.m. Friday Fest is the official kick off and features the Johnny O Band at 9th Street Plaza. This is a FREE event running from 5 to 8 pm. More FREE music from 8 to midnight is scheduled at various venues around Greeley, including The Clarion Hotel Greeley, Kress Cinema Lounge , Dutch’s, Sky Night Club, Rio Grande Mexican , The Jager , The  Penalty Box, Patrick’s Irish Pub, Roasty’s, and Batter Up Cakes.

The ticketed portion of the event gets underway on Saturday, June 9. The Greeley Blues Jam always presents top-blues acts and this year is no exception with two stages and 11 hours of non-stop music by national and regional artists.

Greeley Blues Jam 2011 Island Grove Regional Park

Greeley Blues Jam 2011 at Island Grove Regional Park. Photo from GBJ on Facebook.

The Main Stage lineup includes Jimmie Vaughan & the Tilt-a-whirl Band, Lou Anne Barton, The SoulRebels, Otis Taylor Band, Kelly Hunt and Eddie Turner.

This is a family-friendly event that includes a Blues 101 Stage on June 9, where kids of all ages can learn about blues music and meet some of the most talented young blues performers in the country.  The Blues 101 Stage lineup includes Rex Peoples, Al Chessis and harmonica lessons, the All Star Youth Jam hosted by Bad Brad & the Fat Cats, and Dan Treanor with a history lesson on slide guitars and harmonica lessons.

Whether you are a lifelong lover of the blues, or just getting to know this musical style, the Greeley Blues Jam is the place to be and now here is your chance to win FOUR tickets to this event.

When I ran this contest in 2011, I asked you to share your best live music memory and there were some wonderful responses. This year, I am asking that you tell me your favorite concert of all time. This past winter I saw Paul Simon at the Broomfield Events Center, and I think that might be one of my favorites – probably tied with Sting at The Gorge in Washington State in the late nineties.

Leave your comment below and the winner of FOUR tickets to the Greeley Blues Jam will be chosen using on Monday, May 28 at 3 p.m.

To learn more about the Greeley Blues Jam visit them online at General admission tickets are $25 prior to June 9, and $30 at the door on June 9.



The Colorado Rockies are alive with music this weekend

No matter your musical tastes, Colorado has got you covered this weekend; from bluegrass to jazz, from country to reggae, there’s a little something for everyone. First up, the 38th Annual Rocky Grass in Lyons, July 23-25, 2010.

Rocky Grass Photo by Jennifer Schumacher. Photo from

This festival is held at Planet Bluegrass Ranch, 500 W. Main, along the banks of the St. Vrain River, and features top-notch bluegrass acts. Doc Watson, Patty Loveless, and Tony Rice, along with dozens of other acts will hit the stage in this three-day festival.

Along with the music, Rocky Grass features workshops in the Wildflower Pavilion, as well as contests. Grownups spend their weekend listening to music and drinking beer, while the kiddos cool off in the river. Rocky Grass is touted as a festival for the entire family and camping is encouraged. For camping information and tickets, visit

Want to beat the summertime heat? Head to the mountains for the Winter Park Jazz Festival this Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, 2010. This is the 28th year for this famed Colorado festival that brings in regional and national recognized jazz acts.

In addition to such as musical acts as Chaka Khan, Hazel Miller, Craig Chaquico, Boney James and more, Winter Park will be filled to the brim with other festivities. There are merchandise and food vendors, beer garden and lots of fun for the whole family. Go to for all the details and tickets.

Collegiate Peak Music Festival. Photo from Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce Web site (

Also located in the mountains is the Collegiate Peaks Music Festival (July 23-24, 2010). This is the 5th annual year for this growing music festival in scenic Buena Vista, Colorado. Headlining this year’s event is the funk band Fort Knox Five from Washington, D.C.

In the shadow of the Collegiate Peaks, at McPhelemy Park, the entire town gets out for this event featuring funk and reggae, dancing, vendors and more. At only $10 for the two-day festival you can afford to bring the kids and the dog. Learn more at or find them on Facebook and get ready to party Buena Vista style.

If country music is more your thing, than don’t fear, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday. Held annually since 1897, this event claims to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Featuring a world-class rodeo and outstanding country music artists, if you have a hankering to dust off your cowboy hat, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday (July 23) and last until August 1, 2010.

This year’s musical acts features country music legends Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and so many more. Although country is king at Frontier Days, this year’s event is being kicked off with an opening day appearance by the legendary rock-n-roll band KISS. For more information about Cheyenne Frontier Days visit

*Article also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.

Mad about Mandolin Cafe

Stoll Vaughan b&w

Stoll Vaughan at Mandolin Cafe in Loveland, Colorado on February 11, 2010. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

I recently discovered Mandolin Cafe  at 210 East 4th Street in Loveland, Colorado.   This relatively new addition to downtown, is a funky coffee shop  with a musical soul.

Last Thursday evening,  Stoll Vaughan, a singer/songwriter and stellar guitarist  played a free show  at Mandolin Cafe. Vaughan had approached owner Alex Zoll about playing at the  coffee shop  after Vaughan opened for The Elders at The Rialto Theater in Loveland, back in January.

Vaughan, equipped with a mic, speaker, harmonica  and a couple guitars, played songs off his “Love Like a Mule” and “The Weatherman” CDs,  as well as  a few  other tunes.   He also spent time chatting with the audience.

Mandolin Cafe is a great venue for true music lovers  because it’s an intimate setting –  the  audience really feels the music and the musician  is able to  interact with the audience.

The cafe also has a wide variety of coffee, smoothies and shakes,  as well as breakfast items, sandwiches, salads and even a kids menu. Our table ordered the Chicken Pesto Panini ($5.99) and Italian Panini ($5.99). Both were delicious.

We will definitely be back to Mandolin Cafe – for the music and the food.

See  Mandolin Cafe’s  entire musical line up at  or find them on Facebook.

Listen to Stoll Vaughan at

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Three Pickin’ Chicks

Troubadour Music Center

Troubadour Music Center & Instrument Repair, 521 2nd Street, Corvallis, Oregon. Photo from

So far, 2010 has proven to be a good year for music.   The Mayor is currently in Corvallis, Oregon, and last night I attended a music event at Troubadour Music Center in downtown. Three Pickin’ Chicks took the stage – Mary Flower, Cyd Smith and Jamie Stillway – three of the most amazing guitarists on the West Coast.   The ladies play a mix of acoustic blues, jazz, and original material.

This was only  the Three Pickin’ Chicks fourth show together. Each  is an  accomplished artists in  her own right,  but together  I think they’ve undercovered a magical musical connection.  

Acoustic Guitar” wrote of Flower, “With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in 12 tunes bred of back porches, parlors, street corners, juke joints, and country churches…” Flower has roots in Denver, Colorado, where she spent thirty years raising a family and making music. She now lives in Portland,  Oregon.  Find out more at

Cyd Smith (Cindy Smith) was a well-known musician during Corvallis, Oregon’s seventies folk music scene, where she played with Highwater String Band. She now lives in Southern Oregon, but continues to contribute to Oregon’s musical soul. Visit her at

Jamie Stillway’s classically influenced style literally moved me to tears. The Minnesota native lived in Denver where she worked a Swallow Hill before moving to Portland, Oregon. The  young guitarist has  been compared to  Bill Frisell and Leo Kotke, but she has discovered her own Stillway  style. Her Web site is

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