There's no exact science to making a live show or album great. But as California's Jackie Greene has been performing a blend of folk, rock and Americana since he was a teenager, he's figured out the answer for himself.
“Spirit and intensity — that's what I like,” Greene explained over the phone from a studio in Oakland. “They might be abstract ideas, but people can feel them. It's not about the notes, it's never about the notes.”
Greene has been crafting that very spirit and intensity on countless stages with musicians ranging from the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Bob Weir to the Black Crowes and more over the years. He recently released his first proper live album, “Live from Town Hall,” after nine studio releases and will be stopping at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th St. in Denver, at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11. He'll also be opening for Blues Traveler at their annual Fourth of July show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway.
The Ophelia's performances will be an acoustic outing with guitarist Nathan Dale, providing a needed balance to the full band shows he's done during his most recent tour.
“These are a different kind of show — almost like VH1 Storytellers. It's more laid back and provides me an opportunity to dig deep … it's almost a campfire vibe,” Green said. “It's about finding a healthy balance of being a sideman versus being an acoustic singer/songwriter. I don't think I could be happy if I could only do one.”
A lot has changed for Greene, both musically and as a songwriter, since he released his first album in 2002. Recording at home and on the road has become easier and technology has drastically altered the way music is shared and distributed. Most importantly, he's now the father of a 14-month-old daughter, and that's changed the way he sees, well, everything.
“If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. My entire perspective is different now,” Greene said. “How I look at music is different, too. I'd love to someday be able to take my family on the road with me when I tour.”
As an expert at touring by this point in his career, Greene has visited Colorado countless times, and said he looks forward to performing here every chance he gets.
“Colorado is one of my homes away from home,” he said. “There's been so many good times in Denver. It's a great music town and a place where the crowds really welcome you.”
For tickets to the show, visit www.opheliasdenver.com, and for more information on Greene, head to www.jackiegreene.com.
A chocolate-covered Mother's Day weekend
For some people, chocolate is more than just a sweet treat to indulge in from time to time — it's much closer to a way of life. You'll find both types and everyone in between at the Colorado Chocolate Festival held at the Denver Mart, 451 E. 58th Ave., from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.
The festival will feature about 30,000 square feet of space for 100 vendors from all over the country. Attendees will be able to sample chocolate candy, cakes, cookies, truffles, fudge, brownies, toffees, coffees and more. There will also be speakers, cooking demos, wine-tastings, fun contests, Mother's Day gifts and even a chocolate martini bar, courtesy of Baileys.
For tickets and information about the decadent event, visit www.cochocolatefests.com/colorado-chocolate-festival.html.
A carnival for the taste buds
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a hungry person in search of a delicious dish must be in want of a food truck. And for that, Northglenn's Food Truck Carnival is the place to go this weekend.
The event will be held at Northglenn City Hall, 11701 Community Center Drive, from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 10, noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.
The carnival will feature about 20 rides this year; 11 specific for children and nine that work for all ages. There will also be midway games for people to play. On the truck end, there will be about eight trucks offering fashion, axe throwing and more, and dozens of food trucks offering all kinds of culinary styles.
For all the details, visit www.foodtruckcarnival.com.
'Game of Thrones' gets the Clocktower send-off
HBO's “Game of Thrones” is just about to wrap up forever (until the next spin-off or three are greenlit) and The Clocktower Cabaret is sending the once-in-a-generation show in style.
The characters and stories from the Seven Kingdoms will receive a burlesque variety tribute at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 at the cabaret, located at The Daniels and Fisher Tower, 1601 Arapahoe St.
The cabaret's cast will honor iconic characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and more through burlesque, drag, aerial and more. Devoted fans of the show or devotees of the theatrical arts will be thrilled by this sure-to-be stunning tribute.
Head over to www.clocktowercabaret.com for all the required information and tickets.
Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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