Lariat hosts Florida band

Bonnie Blue has established itself as a mainstay of the Southeast music scene, bringing to its growing fan base a Southern rock flavor seasoned with jam, blues, soul and country. Fans of The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Grateful Dead and Government Mule will definitely enjoy Bonnie Blue’s 10 p.m. performance Friday, July 21, at The Lariat in Buena Vista.

Founded by guitarist and singer-songwriter Bradley Churchman and drummer Jeremy Mayr, Bonnie Blue has demonstrated enough talent to earn gigs alongside such legendary musicians as Butch Trucks of The Allman Brothers Band and John Popper of Blues Traveler. More recent additions to the band are Georgia native Will Gore on guitar and vocals, Adam Kenneway on bass and John Wilson on keys and vocals. Gore is well-known for his work in the band Soul Gravy; Kenneway holds a degree in jazz and formerly played with Squeedlepuss; and Wilson contributes to the Jacksonville, Fla., music scene as the founder of Rhythm and Keys Music School.

The band’s performances of original rock tunes and covers have earned it spots at music festivals like Wanee, Magnolia Fest, Swamptown Get Down and many others. On the heels of Bonnie Blue’s first studio album, No Lookin’ Back, the band is launching a Colorado tour beginning at The Lariat, where locals will get their first taste of the band’s infectiously good live act.

Gore said this will be “the first time in Colorado” for his band mates and him. “We’re excited for sure to kind of get out of our region. It’s exciting to take (our music) out of that realm, and we’re excited about coming out there and doing our thing. We’ve got a busy tour schedule, but we’re definitely going to try to find some time to enjoy Colorado while we’re there.”

The band recently bought a shuttle bus with bunks for touring and will be driving their new wheels for some 30-odd hours from Jacksonville to BV. “The first time we took (the tour bus) out for some gigs in Georgia, somebody backed into it,” Gore recalled. “I was talking to the guy later when he was paying for the damage, and he said, ‘I think I need to get my eyes checked because I backed into somebody else the next week.’” Gore agreed; after all, the shuttle bus isn’t exactly small. (Hopefully, that same guy’s not on the road when the band passes through Georgia!)

Barring any more incidents from drivers with questionable vision, Gore and his band mates will rock The Lariat with a healthy dose of authentic Southern rock originals and covers Friday. For a preview of the show, give their new album a listen on iTunes or check out their live performance videos on YouTube and get ready for a full plate of Southern-fried music.