York Street gardens will close at 3 p.m. on July 27 & 29 for concerts. Other early closings.
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers with special guest Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers
Thursday, Aug. 30, 7 p.m., York Street
Tickets Still Available
Buddy Guy and Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Saturday, Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m., Chatfield
Tickets Still Available
Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers – Bruce Randall Hornsby was born November 23, 1954 in Williamsburg, Virginia. His father was a former musician. He studied music at the University of Richmond, as well as Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami, from which he graduated in 1977. Bruce and his wife Kathy have twin sons, Russell and Keith (named after Leon Russell and Keith Jarrett). In the spring of 1974, Hornsby’s brother Bobby formed the band “Bobby Hi-Test and the Octane Kids” to play fraternity parties, featuring Bruce on Fender Rhodes and vocals. Bobby’s son R.S. Hornsby was a recurring guest guitarist with the Noisemakers. Unfortunately R.S. Hornsby passed away on January 15, 2009.
Bruce Hornsby and the Range performed and recorded from 1984 to 1991. Ultimately, though, the core "rock band" sound of the Range limited Hornsby's aspirations and after a final three-week tour in 1991, Hornsby disbanded the outfit to enter a new phase of his career. Hornsby appeared with the Grateful Dead in over a hundred shows beginning in 1988 and continued the collaboration until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Hornsby worked with many artists including Leon Russell, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Other members of the Noisemakers are: John “J. T.” Thomas (keyboards, organ), Bobby Read (saxophones, woodwinds, flute), J. V. Collier (bass), Doug Derryberry (guitar, mandolin) and Sonny Emory (drums).
On the solo albums Harbor Lights and Hot House, Hornsby was joined by all-stars such as Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Jerry Garcia, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Haslip and Bela Fleck.
Bruce Hornsby has recorded 16 albums with his various groups; 7 albums with the Grateful Dead; 13 with Grateful Dead-related groups such as Further and Rat Dog. He’s received three Grammy awards in three categories: Best New Artist in 1987; Best Bluegrass Recording in 1990 and Best Pop Instrumental in 1993.
Hornsby has played often at Denver Botanic Gardens. The last appearance was 7/24/2011 at Chatfield with the Noisemakers. This show also included Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones. The last two Bruce Hornsby concerts at York Street were 8/19/2008 with the Noisemakers and on 8/5/2004.
Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers released their second album Driftwood on July 17, 2012. Nicki's story began at a New Year's Eve party when she sang an impromptu blues song that caught the attention of musician/producer Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips). With Tim's encouragement Nicki began to write songs and perform in public. They went on to record Nicki's debut album, Toby's Song in 2008. Nicki and Tim were married shortly after and formed her band with childhood friend and guitar player, Deren Ney (watch for how he sneaks in slide guitar licks in the middle of songs). The band continued to grow with the addition of Steve Adams on bass, Dave Mulligan on rhythm guitar and drummer Mike Curry. Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers last played in Denver at Swallow Hill on July 20, 2012.
This concert brings two of the Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 Guitarists to Chatfield.
George “Buddy” Guy was born July 30, 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. He tells the story in his recently published autobiography, When I Left Home, of teaching himself to play guitar by listening to “Boogie Chillen” by John Lee Hooker. He says, “My sisters and brothers made my mother and father run me out of the house because I sounded like a bunch of bees practicing that song on a three-string guitar.”
In the early 1950s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966. Guy's career finally took off during the blues revival period of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was sparked by Eric Clapton's request that Guy be part of the '24 Nights' all-star blues guitar lineup at London's Royal Albert Hall.
While Buddy Guy's music is often labeled Chicago blues, his style is unique and separate. Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll. He is one of the historic links between Chicago electric blues pioneers Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and popular musicians like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page as well as later revivalists like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan stated that "without Buddy Guy, there would be no Stevie Ray Vaughan."
Guy has won six Grammy Awards both for his work on his electric and acoustic guitars, and for contemporary and traditional forms of blues music. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the President of the United States. Guy has recorded 69 albums over the past 47 years. Rolling Stone magazine named him #30 in their list of the Top 100 Guitarists. Buddy Guy last played at Chatfield on 8/19/2006 with The Robert Cray Band and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
Robert Randolph began playing his pedal steel guitar at House of God Church in Orange, N.J. He and his Family Band quickly made a name for themselves with their amped-up blues-rock take on gospel. In addition to Randolph the Family Band includes cousins Marcus Randolph (drummer), Danyel Morgan (bass), vocalist Lenesha Randolph; also, Brett Andrew Haas (keyboards and guitar), John Ginty (Hammond B-3 organ) and one of three rotating guitarists Joey Williams, Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff and another cousin Ray-Ray.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Robert Randolph as #97 in the Top 100 Guitarists. It states, "Randolph's family band is one of the most intense live acts in all of jamdom. His thirteen-string instrument has a chillingly clear tone, and his solos are dotted with howling melodies and perpetually cresting, lightning-fast explorations," Randolph is known for his dancing and inviting ladies in the audience to dance on the stage with him.
Thanks, once again, to Gardens’ member Rick Hum for these wonderful great pre-concert reviews. Everyone, get up and dance while you can! Last concert of the year is Friday, Sept. 7 at York Street: the Pat Metheny Unity Band!