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Dean Ween, Eliza Gilkyson and Asleep at the Wheel

by Chris Aaland

Singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson performs at the Mancos Opera House tonight (Thurs., Aug. 7).

I counted 50 people at a sparsely attended Shinyribs concert this past Monday. Where did all the Gourds fans go? A year or so ago, Kevin Russell and the rest of his gang would sell out their Durango gigs with ease. But throw personality clashes and a breakup into the mix and Russell came crashing back to earth. Too bad: Shinyribs is the perfect vehicle for his eccentric sense of humor and eclectic musical style, and his Animas City Theatre performance was spectacular, despite poor attendance.

Getting a crowd doesn’t appear to be a problem for Dean Ween. Two years ago, Aaron Freeman retired his Gene Ween persona and broke up the band. That left Ween’s lead guitarist, Dean Ween, free to pursue other ventures. One of those projects, Dean Ween & Brothers Keeper, is out to paint the town brown … or at least the Animas City Theatre at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Ever since Ween broke up, there’s been a fire burning in their fan base to catch a glimpse and earful of Dean. Joined by longtime bandmate Glenn McLelland (of Ween and Blood, Sweat and Tears), plus Scott Rednor, Michael Jude and John Michel of Brothers Keeper, expect a mix of songs from both bands, plus newly-penned Dean Ween originals.

Tami Graham Presents the Eliza Gilkyson Trio with special guest Melissa Crabtree at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Aug. 7) at the Mancos Opera House. Gilkyson is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer, songwriter and activist who is one of the most respected musicians in roots, folk and Americana circles. She’s released 20 albums of her own while writing songs that have been covered by Joan Baez, Rosanne Cash and Bob Geldof, among others. Four Corners music fans have seen her numerous times, as she’s played for Durango Acoustic Music, Pagosa Folk’n Bluegrass and elsewhere. Partial proceeds from tonight’s show benefit Mancos Valley Resources.

Jewel returns to Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House for an intimate concert at 8 p.m. Saturday. It’s a spendy affair – tickets range from $75 to $200 (those in the $125 and $200 sections are partially tax-deductible) – but it benefits both the Sheridan Arts Foundation and Project Clean Water. The latter is a charity that Jewel founded in 1997. Having experienced homelessness as a teen-ager, Jewel became ill and couldn’t afford to buy the bottled water she needed for her sick kidneys. She then realized it was difficult to obtain clean water in the United States and discovered it was a huge problem globally. Ever since, she’s been relentless in her efforts to bring safe water to those in need and create awareness for clean-water shortages around the world.

Mid-August approaches, so that means the Grammy-winning Western swing torchbearers in Asleep at the Wheel return to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. They’ll incorporate music from their critically acclaimed musical play, “A Ride with Bob,” in which the band’s larger-than-life founder and lead vocalist, Ray Benson, encounters the ghost of Bob Wills on a tour bus.

Rhythms on the Rio returns to South Fork this Friday through Sunday. Headliners include the one-man jam band Keller Williams, Fort Collins funky bunch Euforquestra, poppy folksters SHEL and such regional bluegrassy jam bands as Grant Farm and Good Gravy. If you can’t make it to South Fork, local audio archivist Bill Doherty will stream Saturday’s music from the festival from noon until it ends. You can find the link for that stream on the festival or bands’ social media sites or just search for Bill’s Ustream channel, “The Four Corners Music Factory.”

The Lost Dog Art Spectacle presents glass and woodworks by Taylor Green, Bridget Williams and Dustin Krupa through Sept. 2. An artist’s reception will take place from 6-9 p.m. tonight with live music from Alex Paul at 6. Following the reception, Bravestar plays what it calls fictional rock at 9.

We now return to having musical movers and shakers provide their top 10 albums of all-time this week as Kathrine Warren, PR and marketing director for the Sheridan Arts Foundation and Durango native, reveals what makes her booty shake:

1. Michael Franti, “Everyone Deserves Music,” 2003. I remember the first time I heard this album. We were driving to Clay Hills Crossing to coordinate the shuttle of my first ever San Juan River trip. I have now seen him 18 times and his positivity and energy is inspiring and invigorating every time I see him.

2. OutKast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” 2003. This album opened up my eyes to the world of hip-hop. The opening chords of “The Way You Move” and the catchy lyrics of “Hey Ya!” still bring me back to cruising up and down Main Avenue in my Isuzu Trooper with my girlfriends.

3. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, “Up from Below,” 2009. I listened to this album on repeat the summer I moved to Telluride after interviewing Alex Ebert and seeing the band in Town Park.

4. The Black Keys, “Brothers,” 2010. When I moved to Telluride, my super cool newspaper co-workers introduced me to this album. I love turning it up really loud in my car driving through the Dolores River Canyon.

5. Lord Huron, “Lonesome Dreams,” 2012. The song I heard from this album stopped me in my tracks. Several months later, I listened to it in its entirety as I walked through the Big Sur campground in California. It was quite magical and the album transports me back there every time I hear it.

6. Stevie Wonder, “Songs in the Key of Life,” 1976. My parents listened to Stevie Wonder when I was growing up. It really created a foundation for old school R&B and funk.

7. Infamous Stringdusters, self-titled, 2008. This album introduced me to one of my favorite bluegrass/string bands of all times. What a great bunch of guys!

8. Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs,” 2010. My brother played this for me as we drove through Arches National Park.

9. Bob Marley, “Legend,” 1984. One of the top-selling albums of all time. Enough said.

 10. Will Smith, “Big Willie Style,” 1997. In fifth grade, my grandma came to visit and bought scratch tickets from Wagon Wheel Liquor. She won $50 and gave the winnings to my brother and me. I bought this album with that money … my first-ever purchase at Southwest Sound.

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