Six Days on the Road:
Muddy Buck, Bear Mountain, Burns Pub, and back to Riley’s

July 17th, 2014

Connolly at Muddy BuckI’ve returned from a whirlwind tour of Colorado, one in which the spheres aligned to allow reunion performances with some of the musicians and performers who have helped define my world of music over the past few decades.

It also gave me the chance to make some new musician friends while discovering some incredible live-performance venues.

More on all of these below.

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The trip started with a Connolly Brothers Band reunion and concluded with session at Burns Pub in Broomfield. In between I got to travel high into the Rockies for a reunion show with my long-time collaborator Chris Laughrey (of the Laughrey Connolly Band) at a venue called The Muddy Buck.

One of the high points of the trip was a house session on Bear Mountain, where Chris and I got the chance to jam with Brian Del Mar, a guitar virtuoso who closed the night with a jaw-dropping acoustic rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

You can try to imagine that if you like, but Brian’s solo performance is something that has to be seen and heard to be believed. If you’re ever in Evergreen, Colorado, you’ll want to drop by the Muddy Buck where Brian performs with bandmate Sherree and others.

with Paul Iwancio compressedAlso on hand at the Bear Mountain session were Paul Iwancio (pronounced “eye-wan-see-oh”) and Nita Paul, who perform as the duo Ella’s Unrella. I generally resit the urge to describe performers by comparing them to other artists (we’re all originals, right?), but Paul’s style recalls that of John B. Sebastian and John Denver. That said, he and Nita have a sound that is all their own. You can discover them for yourself by checking out their new CD Colors in Our Sky. Highly recommended.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAI was delighted to discover that Paul (who is originally from Baltimore) is friends with singer-songwriter (and fellow science-fiction writer) Sara Pinsker, with whom I got the chance to perform at the Baltimore Book Festival last September.

Paul has recorded one of Sarah’s songs (“Twice The Prince” ) on his CD Open Heart Stories, and he performed it for us that night.

Great stuff!

Also in attendance: a pair of musicians named Gary and Marty (a.k.a. Bittersweet) who graced the session  their warm harmonies and rich guitar playing.  Needless to say, I was sorry to leave Evergreen. But more good music awaited.

photoThe last stop was Burns Pub, where the session was as good as any I joined while in Ireland a few years back. Among the highlights at Burns were banjo player Brian Lanni, who got up and danced some jigs and reels, and brother Mark Connolly who closed the night with a soulful rendition of “The Parting Glass.”

The good times continue this weekend when I return to Riley’s Pour House for a special back-to-Pittsburgh homecoming show. Unless you’re in Colorado, I expect to see you there.  Sláinte! (Rock on!)

Photos Credits:
The Connolly half of Laughrey Connolly at The Muddy Buck by Julie Negal Attebery.
Laughrey Connolly at the Muddy Buck by Ginny Connolly.
Paul Iwancio and the 21st-Century Scop by Ginny Connolly.
Sarah Pinsker at the Baltimore Book Festival by Lawrence C. Connolly.
Session at Burns Pub by Ginny Connolly.
All photos © 2014 by their individual photographers.

  1. This entry was posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 7:14 pm and is filed under 21st-Century Scop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.


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