The Bean Brings Two Shows to Telluride
Intimate Solo Acoustic Performance With Tim O’Brien at Sheridan Opera House
Where would the Colorado music scene be without the eccentric innovators that flocked from across the country to instigate a profound bluegrass and folk movement in the Front Range decades ago? Even before bands like Hot Rize, and beyond Yonder Mountain String Band, East Coast musicians have found their place and sound in the mile high locale, and Tim O’Brien is directly responsible for leading the way in turning the state into a local hotbed and thriving national circuit stop.
The West Virginian multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter first picked up the guitar after hearing his sister’s Bob Dylan record when he was twelve years old. Through a self taught approach, he also took on violin and mandolin during his formative teen years. With the assistance of a bluegrass and country influence provided by the WWVA radio station, O’Brien would inevitably find himself becoming a full time musician emulating his regional upbringing.
Seemingly outgrowing that scene given his work ethic towards evolution and playing, O’Brien packed up his stringed instruments and moved West to Boulder, CO. It was there that the revered bluegrass quartet Hot Rize would rise to prominence during the 80s. O’Brien fronted the band and held down fiddle and banjo duties throughout their six studio albums that boast timeless cuts such as “Nellie Kane” and “Ninety Nine Years.” The charismatic group often turned to their comedic country western swing doppelganger Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers to enhance their live shows and demonstrate the range of the band’s personnel. After the band’s break up and ensuing reunion tours, O’Brien set out to continue a solo career he had already started outside the confines of Hot Rize. Now an extensive ten albums deep into that effort, his standalone singing and uncanny ability to construct songs shines brightest now. Most of O’Brien’s benchmark success comes from collaborations, the most noteworthy being the chart topping duet “The Battle Hype of Love” with Kathy Mattea, and the critically acclaimed full length album Take Me Back with his sister Mollie O’Brien.
After years of mixing true Americana music styles, the Grammy committee finally awarded him Best Traditional Folk Album in 2005. The accolade has done nothing to slow him down, and his next three studio efforts have done even better on the charts and among critics. On Monday O’Brien will make his yearly return to Telluride for a special solo acoustic set that should keep fans satisfied until his confirmed appearance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival this summer.
Tim O'Brien, Mon., Feb. 18, Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, $22, sheridanoperahouse.com
The Bean Hosts Bottoms Up Blues Gang and The Longest Day of the Year
Telluride’s coffee house-turned-musicroom is ramping up their late Winter schedule with appearances by St. Louis’ Bottoms Up Blues Gang on Friday night and Boulder’s The Longest Day of the Year on Saturday. The intimate room will be the perfect dance space for the Blues Gang to bring their classic rump shaking sounds lead by sultry vocalist Kari Liston. Supported by a cast of rotating musicians from New Orleans as well, this show promises to be upbeat and grooving. Rest up and return the next night for fresh Americana with the raw and raspy vocalist Sean Lamborne and his crew of Rock outlaws. Coming off the release of their first LP Turn Into The Ground, The Longest Day of the Year is ready to give Telluride a bit of their rowdy tunes that may better fit for a fenced in stage at a roadhouse.
The Bottoms Up Blues Gang, Fri., Feb. 15; The Longest Day of the Year, Sat., Feb. 16 The Steaming Bean, Telluride, thesteamingbeantelluride.com
The Bean Brings Two Shows to Telluride