More than a dozen musical acts from Nashville, New Orleans and Colorado will perform during the 69th annual FIBArk whitewater festival in downtown Salida this week. Every show is totally free and will take place at the Salida Rotary Amphitheater in Riverside Park.
Thursday night the Aquaducks from Nashville will pump up crowd with their brass section at 5:30 p.m. The band brings their own version of funky soul with energy to match. One of their first hit singles, “Bill’s Toupée” includes the line “I’ve got loans to pay off my other loans,” a condition to which most people ‒ especially millennials ‒ can relate.
According to the Aquaducks website, critics have called them “probably one of the best duck-themed funk bands of all time ” If that doesn’t convince you to come out for their show, what will?
Following the Ducks are The New Orleans Suspects at 7:15 p.m. Initially formed in 2009 as a pick-up band to play the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, the five-piece group called themselves The Unusual Suspects Comprised of some of the most seasoned and respected musicians in the city, the band had chemistry they couldn’t deny Two years later they decided to take their band on tour full-time and rebranded themselves as The New Orleans Suspects. In the span of five years the band released four albums.
This star-studded band includes “Mean” Willie Green, the drummer for the Neville Brothers for more than 30 years, Jake Eckert who played lead gui- tar for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, who led the James Brown Band for 12 years. Watkins also worked with Joss Stone as her producer, engineer and bandleader for six years.
Kicking off the music at 3 p.m. Friday is 9Mile. From the Gunnison Valley, 9Mile will play a mixture of country, rock and Americana. The four-piece band has created a “feel good” sound Critics have said 9Mile “sounds like Chris Stapleton got together with Zac Brown and threw a party for John Prine at Robert Earl Keen’s house featuring the Eagles and the Highwaymen ” If you can follow that, you should come have a listen.
One of two local bands to perform during FIBArk, Hayes Hatfield Hybrid will take the stage at 5:30p.m. The band features four veteran musicians playing a mix of blues, rhythm and blues, and Mo’grass Fronted by Bruce Hayes on mandolin, electric guitar and steel guitar and Ernie Hatfield on Hammond or- gan and piano, Salida drummer extraordinaire George Mossman and Mathias Roberts on the bass set the groove Hayes called the band “funky, fun and jamalicious.”
Whitewater Ramble finishes off the night with “high-octane Rocky Mountain dancegrass” at 8 p.m. The Colorado- bred quintet combines strings with vocals to cover every genre from bluegrass to disco house music Whitewater Ramble calls Fort Collins home and is currently touring to promote its second studio release, Roots & Groove The band’s website boasts of more than 800 performances for the musicians, who have “established themselves as one of the hardest working groups in the jam scene today.”
DJ Logic will make a guest appearance during the Whitewater Ramble set. Emerging in the early ’90s in the Bronx, DJ Logic has collaborated with high-caliber artists such as John Mayer, Ben Harper, Mos Def and The Roots, among many others Labeled one of the world’s most accomplished turntablists, DJ Logic is widely credited with introducing jazz into the hip-hop genre His website touts his “spinning skills are definitely beyond reproach. He works with a phenomenal roster of invited guests, and he knows how to pic his collaborators as well as his samples.”
Mark Brut will start the Saturday music lineup at 11:30 a.m. Originally from Philadelphia and now based in Denver, Brut writes music about what he knows and has experienced. Due to his living in the South, mostly Atlanta, for 12 years, his music melds the Southern culture with his Philly roots and his time in the Colorado bluegrass scene.
Brut’s real strength is in his guitar playing ‒ both acoustic and electric. He also plays the bass in Ignatius Reilly, a band that will play later in the evening and Brut is the front man for The Sneaky Bastards.
All-female band Over the Castle will take the amphitheater stage at 1:30 p.m. Over the Castle is a young group from Castle Rock featuring harmonized vocals with rock and roll and blues-inspired ballads. The group has won four consecutive competitions in Denver. Influenced by the alternative grunge sound of the ’90s, the core of the band started playing together in elementary school.
Drummer Sabrina Meiklejohn said, “We want to surprise our audience by really rocking out but also give them something to think about. We write music that lets us express our unique take on the world around us.”
Local band Blue Recluse, will follow with some bluesy jams at 3:30 p.m. Blue Recluse combines the powerful vocals of Shawntel Royale with a grooving rhythm section for danceable rock. Royale’s musical influences ‒ Koko Taylor, Etta James and Susan Tedeschi ‒ are apparent when she sings. Our own music writer Joe Stone called Blue Recluse “one of the best blues-rock bands in Colorado ” That’s high praise from a music aficionado like Stone.
Hatfield, from Hayes Hatfield Hybrid, also plays Hammond and piano in Blue Recluse.
After the Hooligan Race, Ignatius Reilly will play at 6:10 p.m. Ignatius Reilly, hailing from Denver, plays alternative country with Southern rock, sounds of New Orleans and classic rock and roll. The band has also been known to throw down a “raucous electric boogie” or two. Hailing from different states across the country, each of the four members brings a diverse musical background. With their large repertoire of original music and covers, Ignatius Reilly has quickly become a thriving part of the Denver music scene.
Closing out Saturday night, The Soul Rebels will headline, featuring another special appearance by DJ Logic. The Soul Rebels blend the New Orleans brass tradition from the band members respective childhoods, add in funk, soul, hip hop, jazz and rock The eight-piece band brings a party atmosphere akin to a dance club. VICE called The Soul Rebels, “New Orleans’ finest brass ensemble.”
Sunday’s lineup will start a little differently. Crestone Tribal will belly dance to get the party vibe flowing at noon. Crestone Tribal is a dance collective featuring the performance troupe Bellysattva. The group’s goal is to “share, promote, teach, celebrate and grow strong in the art of tribal-style bellydance.”
One-man-band CJ Conway will follow with his loop machine at 1 p.m. Conway plays the guitar, bass and various drum devices Conway often incorporates other artists and background music from popular songs in his set. Examples include “Finally Moving” by Pretty Lights, “Sugaree” by The Grateful Dead and “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band.
Colorado Floyd will play back-to-back sets to close out the festival Sunday afternoon. The first will start at 2:40 p.m. and the second, at 4 p.m. If you hadn’t guessed it by the name, Colorado Floyd is a Pink Floyd cover band that performs the “whole spectrum” of Pink Floyd music.
Colorado Floyd keyboardist Michael Golembesky said, “We’re all huge Floyd fans and enjoy keeping their music alive and sharing it with everyone.”
If you love Pink Floyd and Colorado, you’re guaranteed to like Colorado Floyd.