Season’s greetings—or warnings.
If those Christmas decorations or those not-so-subtle enticements to spend money have not yet scared you out of your Bermuda shorts, let music be your …
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Season’s greetings—or warnings.
If those Christmas decorations or those not-so-subtle enticements to spend money have not yet scared you out of your Bermuda shorts, let music be your holiday harbinger.
Just in time for Hanukkah comes Swallow Hill’s Jews do Jews on Saturday, Dec. 10 at L2 Church, 1477 Columbine St.
Photo courtesy Blind Boys of Alabama.
Blind Boys of Alabama, a gospel vocal group originally founded in the 1930s, plays L2 Church on Monday, Dec. 19.
In what may be among the oddest of recurring Denver music events, this basically amounts to an assortment of locally based Jewish musicians playing the music of other Jews. Think Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Phil Ochs, Warren Zevon, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Carole King, Carly Simon, Neil Sedaka, Billy Joel and even the Turtles (interviewed in this column during its pre-bris infancy).
Given the death last month of Leonard Cohen, I would be very surprised if “Hallelujah” didn’t make its way onto the set list, especially at a Jewish-themed event performed in a Christian church, no less.
Consider that a request.
Spearheaded by Hal Aqua (interviewed in this column in November 2013), the leader of klezmer’s the Lost Tribe, the “Jews do” series began as a Cohen tribute before moving onto Dylan, Simon and finally this catch-all of nice Jewish boys (and girls).
A few years ago, I suggested “Jews do” Cat Stevens, though my extra-Abrahamic idea has yet to catch fire (or burning bush). Can you really get more Jewish than “Father and Son”?
It will be another evening of Denver-based roots music on Friday, Dec. 16, when the Railbenders pull into the Bluebird Theater. Born in the ashes of neo-swing, the Railbenders went “alt-country,” which of course means they play actual country music, as opposed to dance music with a subliminal twang.
As it rolls, the band that once bent the rails underneath Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” prefers the “hard country” moniker. And yes, this would be some hard country indeed—at least to swallow—for the Nashville that produced the class of 2016.
It’s back to L2, on Monday, Dec. 19 when the Blind Boys of Alabama find their way through the pews. This gospel vocal group has been doing its thing in one form or another since Roosevelt’s New Deal. Formed at Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Alabama, the Boys recorded for a range of R&B labels through the 1950s, scoring an early hit with the somber, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother but Mine.”
Decades later, the evolving membership found a new level of hipness in collaborations with Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson and others.
Another Southern music tradition returns to the Bluebird for two nights, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22-23. Among the many New Orleans musical exports, the Rebirth Brass Band has been a festival favorite since the 1980s.
Despite a name that could justifiably scare almost anyone with a well-reasoned tuba phobia, Rebirth has managed to maintain credibility among jazz fans while reaching wider audiences on the Crescent City’s dance floor with R&B, funk, soul and rock stylings.
In case you were wondering where Deadheads might be planning to spend New Year’s Eve—and who isn’t—Dead Phish Orchestra will headline the Other Side at Cervantes Masterpiece in Five Points, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30-31.
Although the name might double for an offbeat Bay Area seafood restaurant, Dead Phish purports to play “both kinds” of music, that of the Grateful Dead and its funkier heir apparent, Phish.
These are just a few of the musical highlights of December in central Denver and Capitol Hill. A wide range of other New Year’s Eve options are sure to be announced soon, most of them designed to keep audiences awake until midnight.
This will also be the last full month of music—and the last New Year’s Eve—before a certain change in government command occurs.
Happy holidays, and enjoy it all!
Contact Peter Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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