R&R | Roma Bar Hosts Conscious Southern Hip-Hop Outfit the Nappy Roots, Joint Point to Play the Sheridan
by Adam E. Smith
Nov 22, 2012 | 983 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ON THE MIC – Skinny DeVille of the Nappy Roots worked the crowd while playing at Honga’s in Telluride last week. (Photo by Adam Smith)
ON THE MIC – Skinny DeVille of the Nappy Roots worked the crowd while playing at Honga’s in Telluride last week. (Photo by Adam Smith)

(Catch it)


Joint Point To Play At The Sheridan Opera House


Built on the foundation of strong improvisational skills, and adventures into original music creation, Joint Point is Telluride’s answer to jazz-infused exploratory rock and roll. By employing modern electronic gadgetry to recreate the classic stylizations of jam band predecessors, an organic sound emerges that sweeps the genre spectrum from spacey funk to ambient pocket rock. The key is that the self-identified ski bums often manage to do this all within the loose structure of one continuous jam. Telluride has seen them keep up with the likes of mandolin player Michael Kang from the String Cheese Incident on stage, so what do they have in store next? Find out when they headline a show at the Sheridan Opera House on Friday for guitarist Stu Sundel Norlin’s 30th birthday that is sure to feature some special guests.

Joint Point & Friends, Fri, Nov. 23rd, The Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, 8 p.m., $15, sheridanoperahouse.com    


(Caught it)


The Nappy Roots Perform at a Revived Roma Bar in Honga’s


Even as the Nappy Roots tour van cruised up and down Colorado Ave trying to locate the discreet venue, a group of fans were already beginning to congregate outside of Honga’s. The unusual anticipation was not too surprising given the Kentucky rap quartet would bring the sole hip-hop show within the Telluride borders this year. After quick sound check inside the legendary music bar, Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, and Fish Scales disappeared to their offsite green room while Honga’s transformed from a cozy sushi joint to a packed out dance party. A DJ kicked out popular and classic rap anthems to hype up the receptive crowd. Fellow Kentucky native Jef Jon Sin put on a noteworthy opening set of lyrically charged boom bap styled tracks to warm things up


Jon Sin’s departure from the stage left the completely sold out room laying in wait for what already felt like a wildly enthusiastic hip-hop show in an unsuspecting location. As soon as the group ran on stage the bass levels from the sound system kicked up a few notches, and the patrons immediately had their hands in the air pumping to the beat. It had been five years since Nappy had made it to 8,750 feet, but the notorious music addicts of Telluride only needed a set opener from their debut album Watermelon, Chicken, and Gritz to signify their approval by gyrating and rapping the words back to the emcees. The foursome switched on a dime to their junior studio effort The Humdinger to flex their soulful yet punching lyrical witticism on “Beads and Braids.” They would follow it up with the sing-a-long crowd favorite “Good Day” from the same album before dropping into a medley of their hits “Awnaw,” “Po’ Folks,” and “Headz Up.” A decade had passed since they first penned these tunes, yet they still rhymed with the same intensity that made them the most successful rap group of 2002.


Although each cut represented a completely different sonic dynamic, the same thread of energy that ran through them ignited the crowd. It was relentless, and Roma Bar felt more like New York City’s SOB’s on this Friday night. As the set pushed forward DeVille and Scales dropped into unfamiliar tracks from their side project 40 Akers, but their on stage theatrics and pristine delivery kept the vibe alive. In between inhaling bottled oxygen and a particular large joint, the crew made sure the party was going for well over an hour by sharing their onstage liquor stash with fans. That audience interaction somehow turned into them bringing a dozen female fans on stage to break it down while they closed out with a deep cut “No Static” and the fitting “Welcome To The Show.” The Nappy Roots put on a clinic for how live hip-hop should be done, but also taught us that Telluride is thirsty for more of the underrepresented genre.    

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