The weekend is not quite over- Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams will be playing at Avogadro’s Number at 6, and tonight’s open mic at Lucky Joe’s ought to be fun. But thankfully Sundays are a bit light for music bloggers here, a chance to reflect on the week and post photos on the facebook page before starting over with the comedy night and funk jam at Hodi’s tomorrow night.
It’s been another great week in the Fort Collins music scene. This week differed slightly from most in that we had the 4th of July holiday mid-week, which shifted the monthly Black Mountain Ramble most-unfortunately to an already crowded Friday events schedule (many of the folks who regularly attend this show were already busy downtown for other events this Friday) and added some extra music events (and fireworks) to the week’s offerings. The fireworks started an hour late and were not all that exciting- the ones at the CSU celebration last October were better, and the fireworks show at the Realities Ride & Rally were better. Still, there were some great things going on this past week.
Molly’s Revenge (Monday, July 1)- This was a fantastic Celtic folk show, from a band touring through Fort Collins from California. We hear far too few bodhrans and bagpipes in Fort Collins, I think, but this band had both, and a nice collection of old Irish and Scottish fiddle tunes that would be great fun to dance to.
Avo’s Open Mic (Tuesday, July 2)- This was one of the best open mic shows we’ve seen so far this year at Avogadro’s Number, at least in terms of attendance and the sheer number of artists involved. we had several different bands play sets, including a significant fragment of Rich With Friends, plus a good featured artist opening set from Orion Freeman. Hopefully this coming week’s show will be at least as good. The open mic at Lucky Joe’s last Sunday (June 30) was also really good, so both shows have a challenge to meet or exceed the quality of this past week’s shows.
Bad Brad & the Fat Cats (Friday, July 5)- One of the free public shows at the Old Town Square Stage, this was one of the more popular shows so far in this Friday night summer concert series. I hadn’t seen Brad since last July, so it was great to see how his show has changed in the past year. Brad Stivers is still absolutely stellar on electric guitar, and I love that harmonica superstar Nic Clark is doing more vocals compared to last year. Brad’s younger brother Alec is on drums now for this band, and Mac McMurray is on bass. I liked the line-up last year, when Brad’s band was made up of older musicians who began their music careers while Brad was still an infant, but this current line-up seems more sustainable. This is easily one of the best blues bands in Colorado right now, and hopefully we’ll get to keep them in Colorado even once they become nationally touring superstars.
Free Range Pickens at Equinox (Saturday, July 6)- This weekend’s free Range Pickens show was a special treat, because they had two extra musicians- Joe, the band’s former mandolinist (who is looking for new projects in the Fort Collins area), and Mike, a guest fiddler from Pennsylvania who will be heading off to Portland in a week (and who will also be looking for new projects/bands to play with, in Portland). The Equinox ‘stage’ is nowhere near big enough to fit 7 people with their instruments, so Joe and Mike were tucked away out of sight for most of the show, but their instruments added some great layers of interest to an already great band’s songs.