Now that's what I call a jam band

by Ted Holteen

I’ll get to the jam band thing shortly. But first things first. I’m not above saying that I’m rather pleased with myself for keeping my mouth shut about Friday’s big show for the last six weeks. And now I’m glad for it, because for once I won’t be caught with one of my size 13s lodged in my gizzard. In fact, not only have I conquered my initial phobias, but now I’m actually looking forward to it. Enough of the overture, right? Right. Well, ready or not, Colin Hay will be on stage tomorrow night at the Abbey Theatre, and I’ll come right out and predict a good time to be had by all. To those of you saying, “Are you f*#@ing kidding me?” I say, wait a second.

To the rest of you born post-Reagan shooting, I’m guessing that I need to explain what a Colin Hay is. In the early ’80s there was a band from Australia called Men at Work, which you’ve probably heard on the XM ’80s channel recently. Well, they had a nice run of it for a couple of years, won some Grammys, and then sort of faded into relative obscurity before the decade exhumation trend hit the Cosby era. Now the kids know the songs, which is a good thing if you’re in the business of selling music, as I imagine Colin and his people are. So, yes, what we’ve got is another front man touring in support of songs familiar and foreign, just like recent performances in Durango by the likes of Roger McGuinn, Robby Krieger and John Sebastian. What changed my outlook on the Hay show is the late realization that I really enjoyed myself at those other shows in spite of my first reservations. I think it’ll happen again tomorrow night. The guy does have talent, and he’s rather entertaining and amusing as well. You people need to be more open-minded, you know? Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

There are some other encouraging signs for music lovers coming from the Abbey this week. On Sunday, the Durango Society for the Cultural & Performing Arts takes over once again and serves up another winner. This time it’s Porter, Batiste & Stoltz, a trio picked from the branches of New Orleans’ Funky Meters’ family tree. Should be fun. And a note to the fine folks at the DSCPA: I’m sorry, but I’m tired of typing out your full name. In future columns I will only use your acronym, and let’s face it – if someone doesn’t know what it means by now, you probably don’t want them there anyway, am I right?

And speaking of people no one wants anywhere, next Wed., July 20, the Abbey will make the town’s latest attempt at the “noble experiment” known as an all-ages show. Central to that will be Single File, a band that bills itself as “No hassles, just rock.” Could be worse. And rather than segregating the young’uns upstairs, this time they’ll try wristbands to keep the booze out of their greedy little hands. As a former bouncer, I had a soft spot for under-age shows because the kids were really easy to terrorize and shake down


for cash and drugs once you caught them sneaking beers. Not that I’m implying such things would ever take place at a joint as reputable as the Abbey, I’m just making conversation. And it’s kind of a double-secret probation situation for the kids, too, as the results of this concert will weigh heavily on the future of all-inclusive music shows. Make us proud, kids. As for Single File, they’re out on some insane national tour that includes all the big stops from coast to coast. And Durango.

Opening will be Freewill Recovery, which will be on its own little odyssey this week. That includes gigs at Pride of the West in Silverton on Friday night, the New Mexico State Hot Rod Run in Farmington on Saturday, and this show on Wednesday. I won’t go into any detail about the hot rod thing, but of course, I think you should go. It’s a hot rod show in Farmington.

If you’ve been reading the Society Page since I took over last year, you may remember that I relegated quite a bit of space at this time in the summer to Music in the Mountains. You’re also probably on one or more government watch lists due to your choice in reading material, but that’s your problem. My problem is to get you anarchists to appreciate classical music and thereby gain a newfound insight into what makes your betters better than you. For the next three weeks, you’ve got your chance. It starts Sunday with an opening thing that you should take a pass on even if they did want you there. (I just had a vision of Mischa having a conniption after reading of me leading a group of pillaging Vikings to the opening ceremonies at what I promise will remain an undisclosed location. Fear not, Maestro, but maybe next year.) However, on Tuesday, the 19th, at 7 p.m., things actually get rolling. Of course my ignorance is shown just one performance in, which is a Chamber Music night up at the festival tent at DMR. Very nice, but I am at sea as to the evening’s selections from Britten and Reinecke and Bruch. But that’s how we learn things, and despite my gentle ribbing, the festival organizers would love to see some new faces in the crowd. Much more to come on this in the following weeks, so I’ll give you an early break.

This time I was out of town, so that’s my latest reason for missing the Melodrama as well as another day or two of my life that I can’t account for. I still think you should go see it. Next week: A visit to the Animas Museum.

It really is stupid that the All-Star Game has such an effect on the World Series – discuss amongst yourselves. Seriously – who planned a hot rod show in Farmington? •



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