Roots Country takes Tabor stage

Florida born-and-bred musician EJ Cox now calls Colorado home, and he’s treating his new friends to something special by bringing his “roots country” to the historic Tabor Opera House in Leadville at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, during Leadville Boom Days Aug. 3-5.

The band consists of Cox, Jackson Emmer, Dave Harding on guitar and Casey Boyd on banjo. For their tour through Minturn and Leadville, the band will be joined by artists Lois Mahalia on vocals and Randy Tico on bass. Mahalia has performed with musicians such as Kenny Loggins and Joe Walsh, and Tico has played with Jeff Bridges and his band, The Abiders.

Cox, a preservationist at heart, looks forward taking the stage at the 135-year-old Tabor Opera House, which has hosted historical figures and shows like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and magician Harry Houdini.

The EJ Cox Band made an entrance into the Colorado music scene in his new community of Carbondale in June. “Why wouldn’t someone want to move to Colorado?” Cox said. “California was great; I met my band there, recorded two albums there, and made life-long friends; and to be honest, California has inspired some new songs … but … the slower pace of Colorado is more my style.”

Cox’s down-to-earth lyrics and classic country sound mix and mingle the essence of country music. Describing his music, Cox said, “I would describe roots country as a little bit like Bourbon; there are certain elements that all come together to create this thing called bourbon, but once you mix it with something else, like Coca-Cola, it becomes another drink, it’s not just bourbon anymore. To me, country music has certain enduring elements, such as the gospel influence, old-time, blues, Appalachia, et cetera. … These are things that have always been a part of true country music. When you start mixing things like pop and rap into the ingredients, it no longer is country to me.”

“Don’t Mess with a Southern Man” and “Up ’Round Monterey” are two of Cox’s hit songs from his first album, River Town, released in 2015, and also from his latest CD released in late 2017, The EJ Cox Band – Live At The Maverick Saloon. Both tracks lend a view into Cox’s creative world and his style of country music. “Don’t Mess with a Southern Man” presents a collection of classic country instruments harmonizing together in a stiff warning to those looking to challenge a Southern man and his values.

Tickets can be purchased through the Tabor Opera House online ticket booth Brown Paper Tickets, or at the door. Tickets will be sold online until noon Aug. 4, then only at the door until showtime.