Messing with Texas, Los Lobos & devils in George

by Chris Aaland

Moron season is officially open. I realized this after watching the antics of a trio of Lone Star licensed travelers last Saturday. Why is it that Texans are obliged to park their monster SUVs, engines running, blocking traffic, in front of grocery stores so their two-axe-handle-wide spouses can waddle into the store for RC Colas and calorie-conscious mini Twinkies? Why do they fail to comprehend double-turn lanes even less than their yellow-plated neighbors?

None other than “Walker, Texas Ranger” himself has said he’ll run for President of Texas if the Lone Star State secedes from the union. Hell, let him. Every village needs its idiot. It’s just his village is comprised of nearly 24 million, many of whom are bucking for stupid status.

At least there’s a whole lot for Texans to mess with as they spring break here this week.

Los Lobos will put down electric instruments in favor of guitarones, jaranas and bajo sextos for a special acoustic performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Community Concert Hall. Formed in the mid ‘70s as a traditional Mexican acoustic band, L.A.’s early ‘80s punk and roots scenes transformed them into one of America’s most endearing and enduring bands. Soon, they incorporated blues, R&B, Latin, jazz and rock. After two critically acclaimed albums and a retooling of Ritchie Valens’ catalog for the movie “La Bamba,” they were stars. Not a band to be pigeonholed, they returned to their roots with “La Pistola y El Corazon” – a collection of traditional Mexican folk songs – that proved they were not just another band from East L.A.

The Charlie Daniels Band, another heavyweight that defies categorization, plays a concert for scholarships at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Lewis College’s Whalen Gymnasium. He cut his chops in Nashville in the ‘60s as a session man and songwriter, recording with the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash. By the early ‘70s, he launched a solo career that had one foot in country and the other in Southern rock. Throw in blues, gospel, bluegrass, Western and Cajun music, and you can see how this part-time La Plata County resident is a member of the first family of Southern rock and country. The Bar-D Wranglers open.

Soulful folkie Martin Sexton does a pair of shows at the Abbey at 7 and 10 p.m. Sunday. No stranger to the Four Corners, he’s been here nearly a half-dozen times during the past decade for Durango Acoustic Music, the Community Concert Hall and the Abbey. This time around, Sexton is touring in support of his latest live album, “Solo.” In addition to his own songs, it also includes covers of Prince, the Beatles and Ray Charles.

The Summit hosts KDUR’s Clash Cover Night at 9 p.m. Saturday. For nearly a decade, local musicians have united to support Durango community radio by performing a select artist’s repertoire. Regional bands as disparate as the Lawn Chair Kings, Oatie Paste, the Boycotts, Jaki & the Joysticks, a dub rock band, Wild Mountain and Farmington Hill, among others, will pay homage to Joe, Mick, Paul and Topper.

Colorado bluegrass band Spring Creek, recently signed to Rebel Records, returns to town for an 8 p.m. engagement Saturday at the Hank. This Lyons-based quartet won the 2007

The Abbey has two rescheduled hip-hop shows this week. At 10 p.m. Friday, the Mighty Underdogs – a supergroup that includes Blackalicious’s Gift of Gab, Quannum compatriot Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Bay Area producer Headonic – bring their alternative realities to town. Tickets from their cancelled Sept. 13 concert will be honored. DJ Vajra is also on Friday’s bill. Then at 10 p.m. Monday, Zion I takes over the Abbey. (In last week’s Top Shelf, I erroneously listed this as a March 7 show). With six albums to their credit, this Oakland-based duo features DJ AmpLive’s futuristic production techniques and MC Zumbi’s positive and socially conscious lyrics. Local act Artikle opens.

Denver’s Rowdy Shadehouse Funk Band takes super-infused funk to the Summit tonight (Thursday). Their driving trumpet, guitar, bass, drums and vocals have made them Colorado favorites. On Friday, the Summit presents the Zappa-, Yes- and Rush-inspired fusion of Lawrence jam-rockers the Cosmopolitics.

Dog at Large has another reunion gig at Legends from 8-midnight on Saturday. The longtime Durango favorites play oldies, deep cuts, blues and originals.

Sam and Kat now have a name! Kentucky Deluxe plays fiddle tunes at the Starlight at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Los Lobos

Harpist Sylvia Zurko will give a one-woman performance about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine at Roshong Recital Hall in Jones Hall at Fort Lewis at 5 p.m. tonight as part of Women’s History Month. Born in the 12th century, Eleanor was queen to two French kings, mother of 10 and supporter of troubadours and their music. For those who don’t know her, Zurko takes Celtic harp to cool new limits – she once did KDUR’s Johnny Cash Cover Night.

Kirk James plays solo blues for the Soup for the Soul fund-raiser at 5:30 p.m. tonight in FLC’s College Union Ballroom, benefiting the Hospice of Mercy. His band also performs slopeside at Purgy’s from 2-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at Schankhouse Bar & Grille at Vallecito from 8-midnight on Saturday.

KDUR’s Furniture as Art Auction takes place at 6 p.m. tonight, March 19, at the Durango Arts Center. The event features food, drink, a live auction of furniture as art by Durango’s favorite artists, and music by Chad and Tom MacCluskey.

Support KSJD Dryland Community Radio by attending the 2009 Gypsy Ball at 7 p.m. Saturday at Let’s Dance in Cortez. The event features the Troupe Verde Bellydancers, palm reading by Two Eagles Astrology and the gypsy jazz of Le Chat Lunatique.

This week’s Top Shelf list acknowledges good things to come out of Texas:


• Tex-Mex

• Shiner Bock

• Texas troubadours (Townes, Guy, Steve, Lyle, Robert Earl, Joe, Jimmie Dale, et al)

• The 2005 FLC men’s soccer NCAA championship, won in Wichita Falls

• Former Meltdown president Elwin Johnston

Coyotes wail along the trail? E-mail me at



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