A groovy hello Durango’s hep cats and kittens; it’s once again time for the entertainment lowdown. This week finds us with plenty of action-packed shindigs to choose from, and I’ll detail a few that I think will be the most fun. You’ll also learn how I am single-handedly responsible for sending two guys to rehab.
I’ll begin in the world of bluegrass. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Animas Conservancy and Friends of the Animas River are hosting a wingding called “Bluegrass for the Animas.” The event will feature local bluegrass bands Badly Bent, Deep Blue Creek, Stony Creek Ramblers and others. You know, what passes for a bluegrass band in this town is often hardly more than just another jam band with acoustic instruments. That is NOT the case with these groups. They’ve got the stand up bass, the single microphone that everyone gathers around and, best of all, simple, tasteful solos. Authentic bluegrass is hard to come by in these parts and deserves our support.
I assume proceeds from this event will benefit the above organizations and help further their conservation-minded goals. The whole thing gets underway at 11 a.m. at the Animas Meanders Ranch, north of 32nd Street. Tickets are $20, $10 for students and little ones get in for free. Getting there is a little complicated so call 259-0522 or visit www.foar.org for the details.
The night before, Friday the 13th, local upstarts Pop Shove It will be rockin’ out at Cuckoo’s Chicken House. Pop Shove It burst onto the scene a month or so ago, and the buzz has been incredible ever since. Even the most embittered rock critics can’t stop gushing. The band combines a hard-edged sound with a solid lyrical and pop sensibility. Pop Shove It will begin around 11 p.m., and local troubadour Greg Olsen will open the evening around 9:30 p.m. There is no cover charge and food will be served until late that night. Cuckoo’s is located at 128 E. College Drive, next to the Abbey Theatre. Call 259-6322 for more information.
A few weeks ago I recommended that you drive to Santa Fe to see Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. If you missed out, do not despair. They are coming to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis on Wednesday the 18th!! Hicks and the band put on a show that almost defies description. It’s jazzy, swingin’ and funny, and a good time is sure to be had by all. Tickets are $15 to $18, and get this: the cheaper tickets are closer to the stage. You can get your tickets at the Concert Hall box office or on-line at www.durangoconcerts.com.
I’m sure you all know about the Blues and Brews Festival in Telluride, so I’ll not waste the space. But if you are going, you do not want to miss Los Lobos, as they are touring behind what is one of their best albums to date. They headline the Main Stage on Friday night. An all-day ticket for that day is $40 and I hear beer is involved. Oh, yeah! Check out www.tellurideblues.com for more info.
Last week I suggested to a couple of friends that they sample a few happy hours around town. I had no idea that this little project would turn into a three-day bender that would lead to one of the friends swearing off booze and the other being completely MIA. Well, that’s exactly what happened! Let’s benefit from their suffering, shall we? I sent my undercover agents Frosty and Fir on a simple mission: find Durango’s best happy hour. Three days and 17 bars later, Frosty returned with hazy memories and an incredible thirst for Sprite. This is what he found.
It seems as if there is something of a three-way tie for the best happy hour: Between 4 and 6 p.m., Mama’s Boy offers $2 drafts, and the free pizza is really good even though it’s on the same counter the waitresses keep their glasses of soda. Cuckoo’s Chicken House offers a plate of wings and pitcher of domestic beer for $9.99 from 2 to 4 p.m. According to Fir that’s the most screaming deal. If you find yourself at Storyville between 3 and 6 p.m. you can expect half-priced appetizers, $2 drafts and well drinks for 3 bucks. Frosty says, “Just be nice to your bartender or she’ll use sarcasm on you.” Ouch!!
Joel’s, Lady Falconburgh’s and Gazpacho all get an honorable mention. At Joel’s, beer and wine is discounted, and there is a do-it-yourself nacho station in the back. Our boy Fir seems to have forgotten what time of day it was, however, so call for times. >From 4 to 6 p.m., Lady Falconburgh’s has pints for $2.50 and well drinks for $3.00 and an appetizer special that changes daily. Between 4 and 7 p.m. Gazpacho’s has free chips and salsa and $2.75 margaritas. Wednesday is “mystery can night.” For a dollar you get a can of whatever the bartender yanks out of a tub. Frosty got a Moosehead.
Fir and Frosty must’ve gone to Solid Muldoons next because at that point in their notes they trail off into paranoid Hunter S. Thompsonesque rantings. Poor, poor boys.
That’s your early evening drinking and snacking in a nutshell folks, have fun!! My thanks to Frosty and Fir for all your hard work and diligence. Be sure to have Betty Ford send the bill to the Telegraph.