(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Front Range recommended shows, 2/24

I'm going to keep it dead simple this week. I have two shows to suggest and each one promises complete dedication to the groove.

Thursday, 27 February (Bluebird Theater, Denver CO)
Friday, 28 February (Bluebird Theater, Denver CO)
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Pimps of Joytime

068 Pimps of JoytimeThis twofer is the best deal you're likely to see. First up, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a solid New Orleans ensemble that's equally comfortable digging deep into a trad jazz vein or funking it out modern style. The group has been around since 1977, but continues infusing itself with fresh musical boundaries to cross and conquer. Then, New Orleans mixes it up with Brooklyn for the funk masters, The Pimps of Joytime. I first heard about PoJ when a friend texted me from a show in Chicago to recommend them. When I saw them this last fall, they didn't just close out the bar with an eternally long set, they closed down the whole damn city. The two bands are trading off opening slots as they meander through the Rockies (and the rest of their tour), so I would expect a little friendly competition for these two nights at the Bluebird. Let them fight it out for soulful dominance; either way, the audience will be the winners.

Saturday, 1 March (Boulder Theater, Boulder CO)
Keb' Mo'

Keb' Mo' is more than just an impressive blues guitarist and singer. Hell, there are plenty of whole churches that don't have the soul he brings to his music. What I appreciate the most is that, while he can easily bring enough flash to win a headcutting contest on technical merit alone, he knows that finding the heart of a song and connecting to the emotional foundations is more important than any exhibition of mere skill. This is one of the strongest artists around that can fully animate the blues.

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