If you have not heard or seen Brother’s Keeper, a tight trio of veteran musical prodigies based in Vail, you may be missing out on some of the best of what the Arkansas Valley has to offer this weekend.  With Scott Rednor on guitar, Michael Jude on bass, and John Michel on drums to talk to for a night, one could pretty much tell the story of live rock music for the past thirty years or so.  Add in special guest saxophonist Richie Cannata, and  cover even more hall-of-famer ground.  Michel and Cannata met in the early eighties, when John worked in Richie’s sought-after studio in NYC as a session drummer.  Cannata’s studio has hosted artists from Billy Joel to Jennifer Lopez.  Like an impressive list of other icons, Cannata has fun connecting with Brother’s Keeper at least a few times a year and joining what Michel called, “great chemistry for the music.”  They mix it up at the Lariat in Buena Vista on Saturday.

“For the past 15 years, Michael and John have steadily played with the John Oates Band (Hall and Oates) and many other world renowned musicians, while Scott has been involved in recording and touring projects on a national level for more than 20 years. Scott now owns Shakedown Bar in Vail where he serves as Music Director bringing in national talent for locals and tourists from around the world,” chronicles the band’s bio.  The band history also takes into account an amazing cast of rotating musicians brought together more recently in their “Brothers Keeper Featuring Series” shows. The series has frequently drawn John Popper of Blues Traveler, and Jono Manson, a notable fixture from the NYC Nightingales/Wetlands scene in the nineties which brought us bands like Phish, Blues Traveler, and the Spin Doctors. The core of Wetlands’ acts was based on kinetic late night jams, good vibes, social neuvo-hippy consciousness and scintillating musicianship.  Rednor keeps this fire burning in Vail, and will for the second time, bring the crew out to Buena Vista to deliver their “raucous rock and roll” to our valley. 

The band’s recent debut album “Todd Meadows” is categorized as “Americana.”  This writer has gotten slightly exhausted with that terminology, and I’ll go ahead and venture that the southern rock spirit is huge in their recent work, with Popper and and Mason’s influence adding a jammy blues to Keeper’s traveling country lyrical themes.  If you call that “Americana” so be it.  The trio and two guests build what amounts to a supergroup with 5 lead singers, bringing together their “wealth of experience, and a wide range of musical styles.” as the band’s notes indicate.  Other guests on the album include Jason Crosby (Phil Lesh and Friends), Glenn McClelland (Ween), DJ Logic, Joel Guzman, and Rob Eaton Jr. Check out the video below of “Cold Rain” from the album with John Popper.  They are hard at work on a new album at Scott’s studio in Vail.

If you’ve heard anything from seminal Billy Joel albums like Turnstiles, The Stranger, 52nd Street, Glass Houses, and Songs in the Attic, you have heard Saxophonist Richie Cannata, who Brother’s Keeper is bringing in for the show at the Lariat.  Think “New York State of Mind.”

World class acts like this are starting to become possible in Buena Vista with the Lariat upgrading its music space this past year.  Owner Court Johnson has quickly built the Lariat’s reputation as a destination for some of Colorado’s best, and has started bringing in national tours to satisfy a devoted crowd of music lovers such as himself.  It’s a short trip from Salida or Buena Vista to catch soaring music in an intimate club setting with great food, no cover and without Vail prices for spirits!  This is the best of both worlds, where you can still shake hands with the band after a guaranteed mustache-curling performance.