Polytoxic’s 7th Annual Last Waltz revisited is best yet

By Alan Crandall
Editor of RockyMountainJams.com

Some say The Band was the best band ever.  Many of my age group (older) considers Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz to be the greatest rock and roll concert movie ever filmed.  The movie is one of my favorites.  The film is ranked by viewers with 8 out of ten stars on imdb.com.  The now legendary concert was filmed and performed on Thanksgiving Day at Winterland in 1976. Billed as the farewell show for The Band, the concert promoted and organized by Bill Graham, was a grand event.  All 5000 of the San Francisco Winterland’s attendees were served a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.  Originally The Band was to play the show solo but after a few guests were added to the bill the list of entertainers grew at a terrific rate.  Before long you had the long list of: Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles and Neil Young set to take the stage.
Now flash forward to 2005 and one of Denver’s premiere jam bands, Polytoxic, had the idea to invite a bunch of their friends to re-enact the legendary concert.  They planned for a fun little show and the tickets sold out so fast that it became one of their biggest shows ever.  Since then the band has performed the show every year before Thanksgiving offering tribute to the original event.
Polytoxic’s Last Waltz Revisited show featuring the Denver Horns at the Boulder Theater was an amazing event showcasing artists from many different bands and types of music.  It was so much fun the audience was soaking up every joy filled moment by dancing and singing along with the long famous rock and roll ballads.  Many of the performers were not only in character of the performer they were covering but they dressed the part too.

Boulder Theater’s back stage was buzzing with energy and the artful way the organizers staged one guest performer after another was to be admired.  I am now hooked and plan to make this show part of my Thanksgiving tradition.  If you missed Friday’s performance you have another chance this Wednesday at the Ogden Theater in Denver.  I recommend it.

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Cornmeal, Polytoxic, Elephant Revival, Tedeschi Trucks, Kyle Hollingsworth … what are you doing this weekend?

By Alan Crandall
Editor at RockyMountainJams.com

Cornmeal at the Aggie Theater

I just took a look at my events calendar on Facebook and apparently I am attending four shows tomorrow night.  Yep it is true, I am going to see Cornmeal at the Fox, Polytoxic at the Boulder Theater, Tedeschi Truck Band at the Fillmore, and Kyle Hollingsworth Band, featuring Michael Kang at Hodi’s Halfnote.  I guess I just can’t help myself, I see a good show and say to myself, heck yeah, I am going to that!

We live in a great place for concerts and I apologize to all of the other great bands that are

Kyle Hollingsworth

gigging this weekend and not mentioned here.  Sometimes planning for a weekend’s entertainment is like planning a play in the big game, trying to figure out how, where and when to go, … cash a lot of times being a big factor.

Here is my game plan, as it turns out both Cornmeal and Elephant Revival are playing a couple of shows this weekend. I plan to catch Cornmeal at the Aggie in FortCollins tonight. I will miss Cornmeal at the Fox Theatre on Friday, Elephant Revival at the Bluebird Theater, The Kyle Hollingsworth Band at Hodi’s and Tedeshi Trucks at the Fillmore.  I will instead opt for the also amazing Polytoxic’s Last Waltz Revisited at the

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Boulder Theater.  That will free me up to see Elephant Revival and the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Boulder Theater on Saturday.

Are you keeping track… I am trying too… the Kyle Hollingsworth Band is also playing a show at Cervantes on Saturday so whatever combination works for you, catch a few shows or if you are like me try to catch them all.

One quick note, cash and timing has me missing Hollingsworth and Tedeschi Trucks shows however, Kyle tickets are very affordable and if you can’t go out or afford the $50

Elephant Revival

tickets for Tedeshchi Trucks then I have good news, the The show at the Fillmore Auditorium will, for the first time, be broadcast on iclips.net.  If you pre-order the show it is only 10 bucks.

See you at the show.



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Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe with Anders Osborne perform an amazing ‘Sticky Fingers’

By Alan Crandall
writer, photographer and editor of Rockymountainjams.com

Halloween is a special time in Boulder. Stories of past year’s revelry have been told so many times that they now have become Boulder lore. Shoulder to shoulder folks in all forms of costumes and attire, or lack thereof, are now woven into the tapestry that is the Pearl Street Mall Halloween history. Wild parties spilling out into the Mall Crawl are what many think of around Halloween.  Times and culture have changed and recent efforts to revive the Mall Crawl were thwarted, so for me, Halloween is about costumed fun and music.
I am not sure where or when the Halloween tradition of one band covering another band’s music began, but I am glad it did. This Halloween I witnessed the Great American Taxi perform music from the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Primus, The Motet Funk up the music of the Dead, and The Warren Haynes Band perform the music of James Brown. All amazing shows that I knew I would enjoy so for me the biggest surprise was the Anders Osborne/Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe collaboration covering the Rolling Stones best album “Sticky Fingers.”  I should point out that this match up and performance for Denson was not just for Halloween, he is doing a full “Sticky Fingers” tour, in any case they blew up the Boulder Theater, took the audience for a ride and brought us back down to earth.

Either one of the very powerful performers, Anders Osborne or Karl Denson would have been a great show considering their talent and  the amazing musicians they travel with, combined it was like thunder and lighting.

Osborne opened the show with some hard driving rock, jumping around the stage like a performer possessed. Then after a short break they reconfigured to stage an amazing show, from “Brown Sugar” to “Moonlight Mile” I was in a rock history bliss.  I believe their version of “Wild Horses” is the best I have heard.  “Sister Morphine” was nothing short of amazing.  I had a fantastic night at the Boulder Theater, one the record books and another great Pearl Street Mall experience that I will weave into my Halloween lore.

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Great American Taxi kicks off Halloween at The Stage Stop in Rollinsville, Colorado

Writer and photographer Alan Crandall submitted the following post:

The Great American Taxi

I knew we were already in for a big weekend. We had plans to see Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Anders Osborne Friday night at the Boulder Theater, The Motet at the Ogden Theater on Saturday and The Warren Haynes Band at the Ogden Theater on Halloween, and still the idea of the Great American Taxi with Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon playing an intimate “party” at the historic Stage Stop in Rollinsville, Colorado, on Thursday Oct. 27, was just too much to pass up.

(Bloggers note: look for more on the above mentioned shows later this week)

For me it was an easy decision.  “Let’s go hang out with the cool mountain folk”… folks that I feel at home with, and check out a show with one of my favorite homegrown bands.  The Great American Taxi, born  from a local benefit concert have come into their own.  You really don’t need to mention that Vince Herman plays with Leftover Salmon anymore, when talking Taxi, since the band has grown into a big national touring act itself  and for good reason, the Taxi will take you for a ride that you wont soon forget.

Almost in an instant we knew we made the right decision to head up the hill to Rollinsville, Colorado. This show was intimate, fun and another great party at the historic Stage Stop.  Vince Herman introduced himself as Jerry Garcia and lost it laughing when an audience member pointed out that Jerry grew his finger back. Guitarist Jim Lewin came as Van Morrison, and Chris Sheldon as Les Claypool.  The audience was treated to many songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, some Van Morrison and at one point Sheldon broke into some amazing Claypool rifts that rocked the room.  The lighting was fantastic, the bar was offering 2 dollar beers and many in the audience were mountain folk and friends of the Nederland based band.  The Great American Taxi with members Vince Herman, Chad Staehly, Jim Lewin, Chris Sheldon and Brian Adams are sure to please with their flavor of down home Americana bluegrass/rock.

If you missed the Great American Taxi Halloween shows, don’t fret, they just announced that they will perform at the Boulder Theater on Friday December 16th for the 9th Annual Mark Vann Foundation Benefit Show.  This will be an event that you will not want to miss.

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The Motet ‘Funk is Dead’ in costumes (Ogden)

By Alan Crandall:

I am not going to give away how cool it was to see the Funk is Dead show performed by The Motet at the Ogden Theater on Saturday.  I even have the set list and photos to share soon but time only permits me to share with you some photos from the show of various costumes.  Tonight’s show at the Boulder Theater is sold out but they are currently running a Facebook contest for one pair of tickets, good luck!  For the lucky folks with tickets, you are going to have a blast!

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Robert Randolph and the Family Band rock the Boulder Theater

By Writer and Photographer Alan Crandall

Robert Randolph and the Family Band played to a packed Boulder Theater, Friday Oct. 21.  The band broke into their fun filled jams playing some of their old standards.  Randolph is amazing at the steel guitar and I have seen him rip song from rock legends  in his signature and entertaining style.

I first saw Randolph over ten years ago in Telluride and many times since.  Every time I see him it is a party.  He had the audience at the Boulder Theater smiling and dancing. Randolph played a very nice version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Riviera Paradise. He also invited an audience member to come up and jam with the band and Mark Niernberger of Leadville Cherokee took the offer and the resulting song looked and sounded like they had been jamming together for years. The way Leadville Cherokee’s Niernberger jammed I recommend checking out their band!

I really enjoyed Randolph’s “If I had my way” and he once again invited the ladies to the stage to join him and the band on the stage for a song and dance.  (Check out the video below.) Then to close out the show Randolph invited the warm up and recently signed to Atlantic Records band, The Sheepdogs, to join the band on stage.

If Robert Randolph and the Family Band come to town I recommend seeing the show, for me it has always been a good time.

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‘Funk Is Dead’ interview with The Motet

Quentin Young caught up with The Motet during one of their recent rehearsals for their now famous Halloween shows, this year covering the music of the Grateful Dead.  The band is playing a series of 4 Halloween shows, for ticket information, visit www.TheMotet.net.

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The Motet’s ‘Funk Is Dead’ preview on Friday

The Motet

The Motet

Times-Call Entertainment writer Quentin Young talked with The Motet founder and drummer Dave Watts about The Motet’s now famous Halloween theme concerts. This year’s theme is “Funk is Dead”  covering the music of the Grateful Dead.  Find out how the Motet is going to funkify some of the Dead’s large catalog of music and transform the jam band’s music into funked up dance tunes.  Pick up a copy of Friday’s Times-Call and check out the Day and Night section for more on this year’s series of 4 concerts.  For more information visit www.themotet.net.  In the meantime check out this shaky cam view of the Motet from Mishawaka Amphitheatre taken earlier this year.


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The Sheepdogs hit the big time

By writer and photographer and editor of RockyMountainJams.com, Alan Crandall:

Canadian rockers The Sheepdogs are a big deal in their native town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  After touring Northern America for the last 6 years, entering and winning the Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Choose the Cover of the Rolling Stone contest” they are a big deal here too.  Along with getting their mugs on the cover of the Rolling Stone they also received contract with Atlantic Records and the bragging rights to be “the first unsigned band to ever grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine,” the contest award page states.  “Millions of voters were cast” and The Sheepdogs were chosen.

I had the opportunity to check out The Sheepdogs at the Boulder Theater last Friday, Oct. 21 and I am glad I did.  This band is the real deal, from the very first notes I realized we were in for a really good show.  Warming up for Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The The Sheepdogs offer original songs in a old school rock and  roll feel complete with the  dual lead guitarists and showmanship of high energy rock band performance.   I plan to check these guys out again and I hope they come back to Colorado soon.  For more information check out www.thesheepdogs.com.

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2011 Red Rocks Furthur Shows best yet

Writer and Photographer Alan Crandall submitted the following post:

I have been to shows of just about every incarnation of jam band Phil Lesh and Bob Weir have brought to Red Rocks and one thing I have learned over the years is every show can be everything for everybody.  While some people are having the time of their lives others may be less than enthused.  I do think that you have to be in the right mood and ready to have a good time to have the kind of concert experience I had, we had, at this year’s Red Rocks Furthur shows.  The 2011 Furthur concerts at Red Rocks were the best ever!

My friends and I had been excited about these shows since they were announced. We collaborated on getting tickets, making arrangements, getting in concert mode and for us, these shows were set to be a vacation from the day to day grind.  The weather for the Sept. 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd shows was fantastic.  Each night had had and exuberant crowd singing along with long road tested material.

Friday night started out right with a nice “Aiko Aiko” that had everyone immediately dancing.  The second set opened with guest artist Chris Robinson setting in on “You Ain’t goin’ Nowhere,” a rousing “Hard to Handle,” and Two Souls In Communion.

Friday, September 30
Set List:
Aiko Aiko
Greatest Story Ever Told >
Cold Rain & Snow
Me And My Uncle
Ramble On Rose
Money For Gasoline
Box of Rain
Second set:
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere *
Hard To Handle *
Two Souls In Communion *
Cryptical Envelopement >
The Other One >
Cryptical Envelopement >
The Wheel >
Supplication Jam
Death Don’t Have No Mercy
China Cat Sunflower >
I Know You Rider
Donor Rap
Attics Of My Life
Saturday evening was my favorite of the three concerts. I knew when the band opened with “One More Saturday Night” that it was going to be a good evening.  Set two was especially was delicious with Furthur going straight into a jam and then moving into Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse”, the rest of the set was a list of my favorite songs; St. Stephen, Dark Star, The Eleven, Caution, Mountain Song, Playing in the Band, Morning Dew, just to name a few.  The encore was Uncle John’s Band that fans now seem to associate with former Dark Star Orchestra guitarist, John Kadlecik.  Saturday’s show was amazing to me but when leaving I ran into a friend at the bottom of the long stairs out and when asked how she liked the show and she said “not so much.” Her and her friends were at the top of the venue and we were 7th row so maybe that had something to do with it…

Saturday Oct. 1
Set List:
One More Saturday Night
Sitting on Top of the World
Mexicali Blues
Peaceful Valley >
Stagger Lee
Next Time You See Me
Gimme Some Lovin’
Around & Around
Second set:
Jam >
Eclipse >
Mountains of the Moon
St. Stephen >
Dark Star >
The Eleven >
Caution >
Mountain Song >
Playing in the Band >
Dark Star >
Morning Dew >
Playing in the Band (reprise)
Donor Rap
Uncle John’s Band

Sunday’s show started off earlier, it was still daylight when the band took the stage and opened with a crowd favorite Samson and Delilah.
It may be that it was my birthday, it may be that I was at Red Rocks watching one of my favorite bands it may be that I was surrounded by friends, whatever it was, for me the three 2011 Furthur shows at Red Rocks were the best ever.

Sunday Oct. 2
Set One
Samson and Delilah
Reuben and Cherise >
I Need A Miracle >
Looks Like Rain
Tennessee Jed
Bird Song >
Turn On Your Lovelight

Second Set:
Truckin’ >
Smokestack Lightning >
New Potato Caboose >
Born Cross Eyed >
Wharf Rat >
Unbroken Chain
Shakedown Street >
Standing On The Moon
Help On The Way >
Slipknot! >
Franklin’s Tower
Donor Rap
Brokedown Palace

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