Opportunities abound for Ark Valley craic
Although the lowlands and hills of the Ark Valley will hardly be draped in green by March 17, residents from Salida to Leadville will likely don the emerald color while taking part in local celebrations in hopes of catching a bit of the “Luck o’ the Irish” this St. Paddy’s Day.
Salidans can catch a good dose of St. Patrick’s Day fever beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday when local band Stuck in the Briar takes the stage at Soulcraft Brewing with their Celtic and afro-rhythm sound. Stuck in the Briar is comprised of Elisha McArthur on fiddle, penny whistle, bodran and vocals; Elliot Jackson on fiddle and vocals; Bruce Warren on hammered dulcimer and guitar; Justin Murphy on upright bass; Jeff Shook on percussion, including djembe and cajon; and Mike Rosso on mandolin, tenor banjo, bodhran and octave mandolin. Their performance at Soulcraft will include a guest appearance from Alex Maupin on guitar and bodhran. Rosso said the band’s name came from a song he wrote on the night he met one of his former girlfriends. The band has yet to learn to play that tune.
Simultaneously, Colorado Springs band Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show will get their performance underway at Wood’s High Mountain Distillery. This indie rock band writes, performs, records and releases original music that crosses multiple genres, and puts on a well-polished stage show. Their unique sounds have been likened to that of The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, White Denim, Delta Spirit, Wilco, Kings of Leon and Spoon. Musical influences include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Clearance Creedwater Revival, Otis Redding and The Who. Band members include Mark Bush on vocals, bass and guitar; Scott Bein on lead guitar; and Aaron Fanning on drums.
Wood’s drink special for the night will be a far cry from the typical green beer poured traditionally on St. Patrick’s Day. Wood’s barkeeps will be mixing their “I Dream of Greenie” cocktail made with Mountain Hopped Treeline Gin, wheatgrass juice, fresh lime, agave and fresh minced ginger.
Midway through the evening, the Boathouse Cantina will kick the holiday into high gear with their “Psychedelic Patty’s” party beginning at 8 p.m. The Cantina will offer not one, but three bands in honor of St. Patrick: Dead Poet Society, playing “a balance of the expected and the unexpected”; Chino, Calif., reggae/blues band Top Shelf Shake; and Ontario-based rock band Porcelain Hill will perform until midnight. Drink specials will be part of the festivities.
Cap off the night in Salida by shaking your booty to local band The Groove Farmers as they play their first ever St. Patrick’s Day set at the Victoria Tavern. Tunes get crankin’ at 9 p.m. and revelers will be able to dance the night away until 2 a.m. The Farmers describe their genre as Buck Owens meets Lee Scratch Perry. The quartet features Toby Dunn on lead guitar, George A. Mossman on drums and vocals, Mike Pollock on trumpet and vocals, and Eric Tauer on saxophone, bass guitar and vocals.
A little farther north, high octane soul and funk band The Aquaducks will bring their high-energy show to the Buena Vista crowd at The Lariat beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Aquaducks’ sound is reminiscent of artists ranging from Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder to Lettuce and James Brown. The Ducks have been described as “dripping with enough funk to fill several swimming pools,” and one of the best funk bands Nashville has to offer.
Further upriver, Denver transplant Tiffany Christopher returns to the valley for St. Patrick’s Day, this time playing in Leadville at Wilde’s Green Hour immediately after the end of the traditional Leadville St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which begins at high noon on Harrison Avenue.) Her manager, Briony Hunn, characterized Christopher’s work as “genre-bending, unique and versatile.” The artist – a free-spirited, folk-pop singer-songwriter, guitar-playing, ukulele-strumming and occasional percussionist – covers classic rock, Prince, Johnny Cash and The Black Keys, while mixing in more than a handful of original songs.
Wilde’s is the only bar in Leadville pouring Guinness on tap; in addition they’ll be serving corned beef and cabbage ($6 while supplies last), hosting a fish fry for $8, and mixing Irish mochas for $5 all day long. Smithwick’s is also available on tap at Wilde’s.
And finally, if making turns in the pow is part of your St. Patrick’s Day tradition, then Ski Cooper is the place to be. Colin McFee will play bagpipes on the deck (weather permitting) at noon. McFee is a local music instructor and silversmith who has been playing bagpipes since he was 12 years old. Later on, Celtic band Crossroads Gathering will play inside the lodge at Cooper’s Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub from 3 to 5 p.m. Crossroads delivers their Celtic music via the hammered dulcimer, Irish whistle, guitar, concertina and fiddle performed by Ark Valley artists Randy and Carol Barnes, Sue Greiner and Pablo Hadzeriga. Corned beef reuben sliders and Irish shepherd’s stew will be on the pub menu for the day.
As they say, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so here’s a bit of Irish blessing for you as you plan your festivities for the wearin’ o’ the green: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”
For directions and location information for any of these venues, as well as an up-to-date calendar of events, visit ArkMagazine.net.