OA Rock Column Aug. 07, 2009

GJ hits it big with two great shows at the same time

Here are some odds and ends for a warm summer weekend.

If you have a desire to see some live music this weekend, you really have two great choices. Singer-songwriter Greg Brown will bring his great show to the Mesa Theater and Club in downtown Grand Junction on Saturday, Aug. 8. Right around the corner at the newest venue in town, The Roper Ballroom, country-rock legends Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen will make their first appearance in Grand Junction with a very intimate show in a small room.

I have been a big fan of all three of these gentlemen for years, and a fan of Chris Hillman from when I first heard the Byrds in 1968 or ’69. I have closely followed his career since then and in my opinion, he has carried the torch for a musical style that he created with Roger McGuinn and the late Gram Parsons, starting with the Byrds’ classic, “Sweetheart of the Rodeo.” Hillman has pretty much stuck to that traditional style throughout his career.

I have also followed Herb Pedersen from the first time I heard his great song, “The Hey Boys,” sometime in 1974 while working at Cook’s Warehouse Market. It motivated me to go out and purchase his first LP, “Southwest” and its follow-up, “Sandman.” That led me to discover that he was in the Dillards, and so I went out and purchased “Wheatstraw Suite” and became a big fan of the Dillards.

I’ve been a big fan of Greg Brown since I first heard “Who Woulda Thunk It,” with its goofy lyrics: “We used to say I don’t care if I never grow old/ I’m gonna flame, gonna burn, take one quick turn and be gone like James Dean/Now we don’t say that. It’s too late to die young/ So we sit at the table long after supper and a good wine/ Here’s what we sing, we go, hey hey, hey hey, who woulda thunk it Hey hey, hey hey, who woulda thunk it?”

I have seen Greg play live several times and also had the good fortune to interview him twice. He is a unique individual with a unique outlook on life, and in my opinion, one of the very best singer-songwriters I have ever heard. So now you have two great choices and

it’s a tough one, because both of these shows are worthy of your presence. I still can’t decide myself which one I am going to go to.

On a final note, I noticed that the new boss is from Kansas. I think that is a good thing and I also wonder who his favorite band is. Kansas? Seriously now, some of the best friends I have in this world are from Kansas and I am going to see many of them this weekend at our local annual disc golf fundraiser for a soccer scholarship in Olathe, Kan., which is also on Saturday. One band we all love is the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, who are from Missouri, and this song sums up my thoughts this weekend:

“I’ve been makin’ some friends, and oh what good friends they are/Like brothers and sisters, they’ve made my life richer by far/As time slowly rolls on, we’ll keep on singin’ songs/I’m so amazed at what’s happened along in my life.” — Ozark Mountain Daredevils 1974.

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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