“Think I’ll ride on down to Leadville, where I feel like I might feel no pain.”
Some advice taken from the songbook of Carey Nall and Groovespeak, who will be ushering in the upcoming weekend with live music Friday night at the Silver Dollar Saloon in downtown Leadville.
Groovespeak is a name familiar to regulars in the high Rockies music scene over the last decade and a half. The project of Nall and Brian Woodward spawned in Leadville as a two-man gig in 2003. Woodward now lives in Boulder, and Nall, who has been performing solo acoustic sets over the last few years, has recently teamed up with other local musicians to resurface as a six-piece group of friends and bandmates united under the banner of Nall’s original music.
In a wide range of styles, from blue jeans to funk, Groovespeak delivers on themes of easy high mountain living and complements their sets with choice selections of covers from the likes of Traffic, David Bowie and Van Morrison.
Groovespeak’s threads run deep through Leadville. The Harrison Avenue block between Third and Fourth streets, where the Silver Dollar has stood since 1879, is a perfect place for the band to perform. Former member Luke Finken owns Wilde’s Green Hour next door, where today’s members regularly convene on Wednesdays to jam together at the open mic night. It’s where saxophonist Allie Moreau met Nall and hooked up with the band. Keyboardist Ryan Ruegg works around the corner at High Mountain Pies, and across the street is the Tabor Opera House where the other half of the horn section, Mark Hanson of Miner Down, can be found throughout the summer. Bassist George Finnell teaches at Lake County High School, and drummer Vilous Fox has been working closely with Nall in recent years, also appearing in the Ark Valley scene with the bands Horizon Line and Leadville Cherokee.
Moreau’s flowing melodic style combines with Hanson’s gritty veteran sound to create a double dose of tasty saxophone jams and harmonies. Ruegg, on keys, will be reviving an old Hammond organ and Leslie amplifier at this weekend’s show.
This Friday, Feb. 2, come see them at the Silver Dollar Saloon, starting at 9 p.m. The Silver Dollar is entering a new era of its own with a re-inspired food menu and amenity improvements. It endures as one of Leadville’s treasured spots to enjoy good food, drinks and atmosphere.
Most recently, Groovespeak has performed at the Scarlet on Halloween and for Campout for the Cause in Buena Vista. As the band works on recording, a new album titled A Place in the Sun should drop this year, so keep an eye out. In the meantime follow Groovespeak’s progress on SoundCloud, Facebook and Nall’s website CareysMusic.com.
Also, catch the band’s bassist, Finnell, with his former crewman Sam Galey of 24 West at Ski Cooper on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.