Bowman, owner of Blue Sky Music Presents, staged the first Musicians Day last year in protest of a concert called the Montrose Music Festival staged by a Grand Junction radio station. Bowman said only Grand Junction artists were scheduled to perform at the event sponsored by Cumulus Media Inc., which slighted Montrose musicians.
Bowman complained to the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism because its name was on the poster for the other music festival, but came to find out that Montrose ACT was not a sponsor, just that the Montrose ACT Redcoats were selling beer at the event.
That led Montrose ACT to become a sponsor of Bowman’s event, as it is again this year, Bowman said.
Bowman has plenty of talent lined up for the live music event, which played to an overflow crowd last year at Canyon Creek Bed and Breakfast.
“We had such a good time that people wanted me to do it again,” he said.
But this year the event will be held outdoors behind the Elks Lodge on Hillcrest Avenue. Elks Club members will sell drinks and “food from the grill,” Bowman said, but the event is free, thanks to “generous businesses in Montrose.”
Here’s a roundup of what to expect:
The music begins at noon and continues until dusk, starting with Joe and Kalena Sherben, husband and wife who have been playing together since the early 80s. Joe plays acoustic and electric guitar, while Kalena plays acoustic guitar, bass and keyboard, and their musical tastes include blues, folk, rock and country. The couple, who run open mic night at the Red Barn on Thursday nights, will be teaming up for Montrose Musicians Day with drummer Scott Berry and electric guitarist Peter Larsen.
The music will be nonstop, with the six-member Jason Hunter Band taking the stage on the lawn behind the Elks Club at 1 p.m., performing, according to the its Facebook page, “high concept, deep groove, jammy jazz, cold funk fusion.”
Next on stage will be String Theory at 2 p.m., comprised of Dee Harthan, Steve Felberg and Jed Kovach, with a sound that highlights guitar work and intricate three-part harmonies, Bowman said. Their material includes covers of Eric Clapton, James Taylor, CSNY and Bonnie Raitt as well as original compositions.
Heavy Drags will then perform its genre, described as garage/soul/tropical, at 3 p.m. The Grand Junction-based band lists its influences as “the beach, soul music, beer, cigarettes, cocktails served in a pineapple, Animal House and the Wal-Mart on North Avenue.”
Next on stage at 4 p.m. will be Boxcar & Yengo, a Montrose group that performs regularly in the area and at Main in Motion, combining on guitar and bass to play both their own originals as well as covers.
Rusty Strings will start their set at 5 p.m. Composed of two Montrose natives, brothers Jake and Lloyd Garduno, and an Ohio transplant, Frank Majewski, the group plays “an intricate mix of folk and country classics.”
Gotta Be Girls, a four-member, all-female acoustic band, performs at 6 p.m., accompanying their tight four-part harmonies on guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and a variety of percussion instruments. The band plays a wide variety of musical styles, which they describe as “blues, country, bluegrass, swing, Celtic and folk, as well as a wide selection of original tunes.”
The final set, starting at 7 p.m. will feature The Last Bus, headliners for the event, with influences such as the Allman Brothers, The Meters, Phish, Iron Maiden and the Grateful Dead. The band includes Rob Jones on guitar, lap steel and lead vocals; Josh Fabian on bass and vocals; Kevin Vernon on drums and vocals, Mike Beck on drums and vocals, and Shawn Cooper on keyboard and vocals. According to its website, the band “thrives on playing in the moment and reaching for new unexpected heights…The result is an original, succulent jam-filled blend of funky, bad-ass music.”