The two esteemed musicians known as the SunDog Twins, each steeped in ancestral music traditions, are finishing their spring tour, stopping twice in the Ark Valley this month: first at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center Sunday, May 13, and then Friday, May 25, to mark the beginning of the Tabor Opera House 2018 season.

The SunDog Twins are prolific Colorado singer-songwriter Leon Joseph Littlebird and Grammy Award-nominated percussionist Will Clipman. The two eclectic artists and storytellers met during a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon in 2012, departing as friends and collaborators. After performing together at a handful of shows, the pair set to work recording an album in 2016. Shadow Chant was released n 2017 and is available at CDBaby.com.

The album incorporates both musicians’ traditional backgrounds and instruments  Littlebird’s American Indian heritage on guitar and Native American flute combined with Clipman’s Sami (norhtern European) ancestry on drums and percussion. But amid the instrumental soundscapes, Shadow Chant also offers stylistic departures, as in the opening title-track, an unabashed rock ’n’ roll tune, or in the album’s closer, a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.”

Original songs by Littlebird include a scathing reflection on treatment of American Indians in “Indian Wars,” an instrumental telling of his childhood in “Taos Nights” and an exploration of the meaning of success in “Living in the Flow.”

Clipman’s career as poet, mask maker, drummer and raconteur encourages the music with colorful percussion that acts as voices and characters of their own.
The SunDog Twins are returning for their second show at the Salida SteamPlant this Sunday, May 13, at 7 p.m. after celebrating the album’s release there in September 2017. Located at 220 W. Sackett Ave. in Salida, the SteamPlant is an events center and community space where exciting performances, classes and exhibitions take place year-round. Visit SalidaSteamPlant.com to find out what’s coming up next at the SteamPlant.

The SunDogs’ Leadville performance on Friday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. will mark the beginning of the 2018 Tabor Opera House performance schedule. In its second year of management, the nonprofit Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation will continue to rehabilitate the 139-year-old building, once the grandest opera house west of the Mississippi River.

In a recent press release, the foundation announced the launch of its new website, the 2018 performance schedule and its inaugural year’s numbers. But it also announced the discovery of asbestos as an unforeseen and preliminary hurdle and indicated that it will not be able to operate over the 2018-19 winter. This opera house needs love and blessings, which Littlebird and Clipman will help to usher in May 25.

The coming season at the Tabor Opera House, 308 Harrison Ave. in Leadville, includes stand-up comedian Josh Blue, Flamenco Fantasy Dance Theater, the Central City Opera and Hazel Miller. The new website is live at TaborOperaHouse.net. Attending any event at the Tabor is a gratifying experience that feels like a step into history.

For more about the SunDog Twins, visit WillClipman.com and LittleBirdMusic.com. Tickets for the SteamPlant show are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, available online or in person. Tickets for the Tabor Opera House performance are $20 and are available to purchase at BrownPaperTickets.com.